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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap: A Not-So-Brief Overview – with More to Come – Environment

United States: US Environmental Protection Agency’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap: A Not-So-Brief Overview – With More To Come

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Over the past decade, environmental regulators in the United States have viewed poly- and per-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as “emerging contaminants,” based on initial studies linking two of the thousands. of potential PFAS with various presumed health effects. The publication in October 2021 of a “PFAS strategic roadmap” (roadmap) by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) shows that this era is coming to an end. Over the next three years, the US EPA will take significant steps to control and clean up PFAS using a range of regulatory tools.

The twenty-three pages of the US EPA’s roadmap outline a long list of actions the agency plans to take to address PFAS issues by 2024 under laws such as Toxic Substances Control. Act (TSCA), the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), Clean Water Act (CWA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Clean Air Act (CAA). Below is a summary of the proposed actions and their expected timeframes:

Dated Law action
In progress TSCA Denial of low volume exemption requests under the TSCA for new PFAS entering the market
In progress TSCA Issue TSCA Section 5 (e) Orders for Significant New Uses of Existing PFAS with “Stringent Safety Requirements”
In progress TSCA Increase compliance monitoring for TSCA notification requirements and consent decrees
In progress Several Use enforcement powers under RCRA, TSCA, CWA, SDWA and CERCLA to identify past and ongoing releases of PFAS through inspections and requests for information, and face any imminent and substantial danger to human health by appropriate measures
4Q 2021 TSCA Order the PFAS manufacturer’s tests under section 4 of the TSCA
4Q 2021 SDWA Require expanded sampling of the drinking water system for PFAS from 2023 to 2025
2Q 2022 Not applicable Establish the PFAS voluntary stewardship program
2Q 2022 EPCRA Update the list of PFASs subject to toxic release inventory reporting requirements and classify PFASs on the TRI list as chemicals of concern with lower reporting thresholds
2Q 2022 CERCLA Propose the designation of PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances CERCLA
2Q 2022 CERCLA Publish Advance Notice of Proposed Regulatory Proposal to Solicit Public Opinion on Designating Other PFAS Chemicals as CERCLA Hazardous Substances
3Q 2022 TSCA Designate discontinued uses of PFAS as triggering significant new use requirements under the TSCA upon reactivation
4Q 2022 CAA Assess technical information and regulatory options to address PFAS as a potential hazardous air pollutant
4Q 2022 TSCA Finalize the proposed rule to increase the information reporting requirements regarding the manufacture and use of PFAS
4Q 2022 SDWA Propose a national regulation on primary drinking water for the chemicals PFAS PFOA and PFOS
4Q 2022 CWA Incorporate PFAS monitoring requirements into NPDES permits issued by the federal government and possibly propose substantive conditions such as disposal and product substitution requirements and stormwater management best practices for aqueous anti-foaming foams. fire

Issue federal guidelines to state CWA licensing authorities recommending the use of the same approaches as in federally issued permits

4Q 2022 CWA Develop national recommended water quality criteria for PFAS to protect aquatic health
2022-2024 CWA Develop technology-based regulatory limits on PFAS releases to wastewater for specific industries, potentially including organic chemicals, plastics and man-made fibers; metal finishing; electroplating; landfills; electrical and electronic components; textile factories; tanning and finishing of leather; molding and forming of plastics; and paint formulation
4Q 2023 National Defense Authorization Act 2020 Update the guidelines on disposal / destruction of PFAS and materials containing PFAS
4Q 2024 CWA Develop recommended national water quality criteria for PFAS to protect human health

In addition to these regulatory actions, the US EPA plans to continue research and toxicity assessments for the PFAS “GenX” chemicals, as well as five other PFASs (PFBA, PFHxA, PFHxS, PFNA and PFDA), which will be monitored. the publication of new health advisories in 2022 and beyond that state, local and tribal regulators can use to develop applicable limits of PFAS.

Overall, companies that produce and use PFAS will face a significant number of new regulatory considerations in the future. This article has provided a broad overview of the US EPA’s planned actions and timeline for PFAS, but stay tuned for more detailed overviews of how the US EPA can accommodate environmental justice considerations. in the following areas: regulating PFAS; potential problems with TSCA implementation; regulation of PFAS in wastewater discharges through CWA effluent limitation guidelines and individual NPDES permits; PFAS regulation under CERCLA; and possible parameters for a voluntary stewardship program as referenced in the roadmap. Meanwhile, Dickinson Wright’s team will continue to follow new developments in this evolving field.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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