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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Jiménez

New EPA Regulation Classifies PFAS as Hazardous Substances

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a decisive step in environmental and public health risk management by classifying two perfluorinated compounds, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), as hazardous substances.

This action, which affects the salts and structural isomers of these compounds, is framed under the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

New EPA Regulation Classifies PFAS as Hazardous Substances
New EPA Regulation Classifies PFAS as Hazardous Substances

New EPA Regulation: Implications of the Designation

This designation comes in response to growing concerns about the harmful effects of PFAS compounds, known for their persistence and mobility in the environment. Used in numerous industrial processes and consumer products, PFOA and PFOS have been linked to several significant health issues.

The regulation, which will be effective 60 days after its official publication, aims not only to remediate contaminated sites but also to ensure that the responsible parties manage the costs associated with cleanup. This is a clear example of the "polluter pays" principle that the EPA promotes.

New EPA Regulation: Notification Obligations and Affected Parties

Under this new regulation, any person in charge of a facility or vessel must notify the National Response Center if an amount equal to or greater than one pound of these compounds is released within a 24-hour period.

This measure involves a wide range of entities, including:

  • Manufacturers and importers of PFOA and PFOS.

  • Processors of these compounds.

  • Manufacturers and users of products containing PFOA and PFOS.

  • Waste management and wastewater treatment facilities.

Furthermore, a written report following the initial notification is required to the corresponding local and state authorities, ensuring comprehensive and transparent incident management.

This decision marks a significant advancement in U.S. environmental policy, reinforcing safety and accountability measures in the management of hazardous chemicals. The EPA's action is a reminder of the importance of vigilance and regulation in protecting public health and the environment.

If you require any further details or have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch with us without any hesitation. Our team is here to assist you in any way we can.

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