EPA Issues Proposed Designation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid as CERCLA Hazardous Substances

On September 6, 2022, EPA published its long-awaited proposed designation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). According to EPA, adverse human health effects, mobility, persistence, prevalence, and other factors related to PFOA and PFOS support its proposed finding that these substances, when released into the environment, may present substantial danger to the public health or welfare or the environment. The hazardous substance designation triggers a reporting requirement to immediately report releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity of 1 pound or more in a 24-hour period. The entities potentially affected by this proposed action include: (1) PFOA and/or PFOS manufacturers (including importers and importers of articles); (2) PFOA and/or PFOS processors; (3) manufacturers of products containing PFOA and/or PFOS; (4) downstream product manufacturers and users of PFOA and/or PFOS products; and (5) waste management and wastewater treatment facilities.

The agency identifies the direct costs from the rulemaking as the reporting requirement noted above, a Department of Transportation obligation to list and regulate these substances as hazardous materials, and a property transfer requirement for federal agencies. EPA also qualitatively discusses what the agency is describing as indirect costs that include clean up and recovery costs from contaminated sites. You can review the details in EPA’s economic assessment for the rulemaking.

Comments are due on November 7, 2022.

Read the proposed rule and submit comments.

Advocacy contact: Send an email to Tabby Zeb tayyaba.zeb@sba.gov or call 202-798-7405.

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