EPA Releases PFAS Action Plan: Program Update
Report highlights EPA’s aggressive and unprecedented efforts to address PFAS in the environment
WASHINGTON (Feb. 26, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing the PFAS Action Plan: Program Update. Over the past year, EPA has made significant progress under the Action Plan to help states and local communities address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and protect public health and the agency’s Program Update highlights those efforts.
“The Trump Administration’s efforts under the PFAS Action Plan over the past year represent the first time in EPA’s 50-year history that we have tapped all of our program offices to address an emerging contaminant of concern like PFAS — and our EPA staff efforts have been unprecedented,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “As we look to the future, we are committed to working diligently with our federal, state, local and tribal partners as we continue to make progress on this important public health issue.”
From issuing groundwater cleanup guidance to proposing a positive regulatory determination for both perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS), EPA has made progress under every aspect of the Action Plan. The actions EPA has taken reflect the comprehensive and coordinated approach that was outlined in the February 2019 PFAS Action Plan. Some key highlights from the past year include:
· On February 20, 2020, EPA issued preliminary determinations to regulate PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
· On February 20, 2020, EPA issued a supplemental proposal to ensure that new uses of certain persistent long-chain PFAS chemicals in surface coatings cannot be manufactured or imported into the United States without notification and review under TSCA.
· On December 19, 2019, EPA accomplished a key milestone in the PFAS Action Plan by publishing a new validated method to accurately test for 11 additional PFAS in drinking water bringing the total to 29 PFAS.
· On December 19, 2019, EPA issued Interim Recommendations for Addressing Groundwater Contaminated with PFOA and PFOS, which provide guidance for federal cleanup programs (e.g., the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) that will also be helpful to states and tribes.
· On November 22, 2019, EPA announced availability of $4.8 million in funding for new research on managing PFAS in agriculture.
· On November 25, 2019, EPA issued an advanced notice of rulemaking that would allow the public to provide input on adding PFAS to the Toxics Release Inventory toxic chemical list.
For more information and to view a copy of the report, visit: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/pfas-action-plan-program-update-february-2020
Background on the PFAS Action Plan
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.