On April 13, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is taking a significant step forward in its efforts to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution. The agency has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to request public input and data on potential future hazardous substance designations of PFAS under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as "Superfund."
EPA's request for input and data is in line with the agency's PFAS Strategic Roadmap, and is aimed at gathering the latest science and information regarding PFAS. The ANPRM will provide an opportunity for a diverse group of stakeholders, including the public, state and local governments, Tribes, industry, businesses, environmental groups, and universities, to provide input.
The ANPRM seeks input on whether to propose designating additional PFAS as hazardous substances under CERCLA, including HFPO-DA, sometimes called GenX, and compounds that degrade in the environment by processes such as biodegradation, photolysis, and hydrolysis, to form certain PFAS. EPA is also seeking information on whether some PFAS compounds can or should be designated as a group or category.
PFAS can accumulate and persist in the human body for long periods of time, and exposure to these compounds may lead to cancer, reproductive, developmental, cardiovascular, liver, and immunological effects. Many known and potential sources of PFAS contamination are near communities already overburdened with pollution.
The ANPRM will be open for a 60-day comment period through June 12, 2023. EPA intends to carefully review all comments and information received in response to the ANPRM.
If EPA decides to move forward with designating additional PFAS compounds as hazardous substances under CERCLA, the agency will publish a proposed rule and seek public comment. EPA is not reopening or otherwise proposing to modify any existing regulations through this ANPRM. The agency is committed to using the best available science to tackle PFAS pollution and protect people from exposure to these forever chemicals.
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