The EPA is asking the public for input on potentially adding certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the list of chemicals that companies are required to report to the agency as part of the Toxics Release Inventory. This action supports the agency’s February 2019 PFAS Action Plan, which describes EPA’s long- and short-term actions to address PFAS.
“EPA continues to show critical leadership on addressing PFAS as we aggressively implement our PFAS Action Plan—the most comprehensive cross-agency plan to address an emerging chemical ever taken by EPA,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
EPA’s TRI is an important tool that provides the public with information about the use of certain chemicals by tracking their management and associated activities. U.S. facilities in different industry sectors must report annually how much of each chemical is released to the environment and/or managed through recycling, energy recovery, and treatment. TRI helps support informed decision-making by companies, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public. Currently, no PFAS chemicals are included on the list of chemicals required to report to TRI.
As EPA considers whether to add these chemicals, the agency will use public comments and information received in response to today’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for two purposes. First, the public input will help the agency determine whether data and information are available to fulfill the TRI chemical listing criteria. Second, EPA will use the input to help evaluate the extent and usefulness of the data that would be gathered under TRI.
All comments and information received in response to this ANPRM will be evaluated along with previously collected and assembled studies. If EPA decides to move forward with adding PFAS chemicals to the TRI, the agency will publish a proposed rule and seek public comment on the proposal.
PFAS are a large group of man-made chemicals used in consumer products and industrial processes. In use since the 1940s, PFAS are resistant to heat, oils, stains, grease, and water—properties which contribute to their persistence in the environment.
The agency’s PFAS Action Plan is the first multi-media, multi-program, national research, management, and risk communication plan to address a challenge like PFAS. The plan responds to the extensive public input the agency received during the PFAS National Leadership Summit, multiple community engagements, and through the public docket. The PFAS Action Plan outlines the tools EPA is developing to assist states, tribes, and communities in addressing PFAS.
EPA continues to make progress under its PFAS Action Plan to protect the environment and human health. For more information, click here.