Proposed Designation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as CERCLA Hazardous Substances
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EPA is proposing to designate 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--at docket EPA-HQ-OLEM-2019-0341 on www.regulations.gov.
The public comment period for the proposal to designate PFOA and PFOS closed on November 7, 2022. EPA is in the process of reviewing public comments.
The proposed designation of PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances is based on significant evidence that PFOA and PFOS may present a substantial danger to human health or welfare and the environment. PFOA and PFOS can accumulate and persist in the human body for long periods of time and evidence from laboratory animal and human epidemiology studies indicate that exposure to PFOA and/or PFOS can cause cancer, reproductive, developmental (e.g., low birth weight), cardiovascular, liver, kidney, and immunological effects.
- Overview Presentation: NPRM Designation of PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA Hazardous Substances (pdf)
- NPRM Questions and Answers (pdf)
EPA is developing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to seek public comment on designating other PFAS chemicals as CERCLA hazardous substances.
Enforcement Listening Sessions
EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance is holding two listening sessions to provide a forum for stakeholders to share input regarding EPA’s potential CERCLA enforcement discretion policy for PFAS. Read the press release. Note that these listening sessions are separate from the proposed rulemaking to designate PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA hazardous substances. The public comment period for the proposal to designate PFOA and PFOS closed on November 7, 2022.
For more information about EPA’s work to address PFAS, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/pfas.
For information about Superfund, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund