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EPA Seeks Comment on Further PFAS Regulation

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by Patrick J. Paul and Chris Colyer

As previously reported in this blog, on December 4, 2019 EPA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) seeking information on whether to include certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on the list of toxic chemicals subject to reporting under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). 84 Fed. Reg. 66369.

Consistent with its PFAS Action Plan, EPA also is considering reporting thresholds for PFAS chemicals lower than statutory thresholds given the possibility of PFAS persistence in both the environment and human body.

The public comment deadline is February 3, 2020.

EPA relies on its own hazard assessments and externally peer-reviewed hazard assessments from other federal agencies in assessing whether a chemical meets the EPCRA Section 313 listing criteria. The agency intends to consider all available PFAS assessments on the human health and environmental effects from all sources, including those being conducted by other federal agencies.

EPA explains in the ANPR that it intends to carefully review all responsive comments in addition to previously collected and assembled studies. At that time, EPA may supplement the collected information with additional hazard assessments to determine whether some PFAS meet the EPCRA Section 313 listing criteria. If the agency so decides, the next step will be to publish a proposed rule to add certain PFAS to the EPCRA Section 313 toxic chemical list and set the appropriate reporting thresholds.