Advocacy Comments on EPA’s Proposed Hazardous Substance Designations for PFOA and PFOS under CERCLA

On September 6, 2022, EPA proposed the 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 agency provides direct costs from the rulemaking which only includes those associated with a reporting obligation. EPA also qualitatively discusses what the agency is describing as indirect costs that include clean up and recovery costs from contaminated sites. Based only on the costs associated with reporting releases for PFOA and PFOS, EPA certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on small entities.

Advocacy is concerned that EPA does not provide an adequate factual basis to support its certification under the RFA. The agency does not include all the costs associated with direct impacts of the rule. Based on feedback from small entities, Advocacy believes that those impacts will likely pose a significant economic burden on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, Advocacy recommends that EPA convene a SBREFA panel to assess all direct costs, including those the agency mis-identifies as indirect costs, of the rule on small entities and to consider less burdensome alternatives.

For more, read the public comment letter and fact sheet, which highlights Advocacy’s concerns and recommendations.