Nov. 7 Deadline for Comments on New EPA PFAS Designation

The EPA is giving the public until November 7th to comment on the agency’s proposed PFAS designation as hazardous substances.

This summer, the EPA proposed designating two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including their salts and structural isomers — as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. This proposed rulemaking would increase transparency around releases of these harmful chemicals and help to hold polluters accountable for cleaning up their contamination.

The rulemaking would require entities to immediately report releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity to the National Response Center, state or Tribal emergency response commission, and the local or Tribal emergency planning committee (local emergency responders). Entities would not be required to report past releases of PFOA or PFOS as they were not yet listed as hazardous substances.

EPA is asking for public comment on the proposal for 60 days–comments must be received on or before November 7, 2022.

Long-time readers of Conduit Street will remember that EPA first announced this proposed designation back in June. The agency released the PFAS health advisories in light of newly available science and under the EPA’s responsibility to protect public health.

The interim health advisory levels are:
  • PFOS: 0.02 parts per trillion (ppt)
  • Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA): 0.004 ppt

This is a seismic shift from the 70 ppt the EPA recommended in 2016 and far below detectable levels (the best labs can currently detect about 0.10 ppt).

Read EPA’s public comment period announcement. 

Read prior coverage.