The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) asking the public for input regarding potential future hazardous substance designations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the “Superfund” Program.
The request for input and information follows a proposed rule by USEPA issued in September 2022 to designate two PFAS — perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and their salts and structural isomers — as hazardous substances under CERCLA. USEPA is currently reviewing comments received on this proposed rule.
USEPA is seeking input through the ANPRM on whether to propose to designate additional PFAS, including HFPO-DA, sometimes called GenX chemicals, and compounds that degrade in the environment by processes such as biodegradation, photolysis, and hydrolysis, to form certain PFAS. USEPA is also seeking information on whether some PFAS compounds can or should be designated as a group or category.
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) and other organizations representing the water industry are advocating that public utilities be granted an exclusive legislative exemption from liability under CERCLA. The exemption would apply to utilities that are required to remove PFAS for regulatory compliance purposes and dispose of PFAS contaminated residuals in an appropriate and lawful manner. The PFAS ANPRM is available on the Federal Register for review and comments through June 12, 2023.