USEPA Submits Proposals Related to UCMR 5 and Disposal of PFAS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently submitted two proposals to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for interagency review to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The USEPA provided an Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 (UCMR 5) proposal. The proposal includes nationwide drinking water monitoring for PFAS under the UCMR 5 utilizing new methods that can detect PFAS at lower concentrations than previously possible.

The USEPA’s Interim Guidance on the Destruction and Disposal of PFAS and Materials Containing PFAS proposal would provide information on technologies for the destruction or disposal of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials. The proposed guidance includes ongoing research and development activities related to destruction and disposal technologies, which may inform future guidance. USEPA says the proposal is the first step toward its FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act obligation to publish interim guidance on the destruction and disposal of PFAS within one year.

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that have been manufactured and used by a variety of industries since 1940. Common applications of PFAS include water and stain repellant materials, as well as fast-acting firefighting products. In 2019, USEPA issued its first PFAS Action Plan, which outlines the tools under development to address PFAS in drinking water, identify and clean up PFAS contamination, expand monitoring of PFAS manufacturing, increase PFAS scientific research, and promote effective enforcement tools. Additionally, it outlines USEPA’s commitment to take a wide variety of actions to address this emerging contaminant in both short-term and long-term timeframes.