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ACC: CERCLA Listing is an Expensive, Ineffective and Unworkable Means to Achieve Remediation

The Proposed CERCLA Designation Would Impose Tremendous Costs on These Parties Without Defined Cleanup Standards, Making It Impossible for These Entities to Prepare for The Impact of This Rule

Tom Flanagin

WASHINGTON (August 26, 2022) — The American Chemistry Council (ACC) released the following statement on the proposed Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) listing for PFOA and PFOS:

“We support strong, science-based regulations that are protective of public health and the environment, but a new proposed CERCLA listing is an expensive, ineffective and unworkable means to achieve remediation for these chemicals.

“CERCLA is complicated, results in extensive delays and is fraught with unintended consequences. There are other more effective and timely means to address potential site remediation through existing regulatory processes.

“Furthermore, the lack of uniform cleanup standards creates substantial uncertainty with the implications of a potential CERCLA listing, affecting federal, state and municipal governments, and other parties such as local fire departments, water utilities, small businesses, airports and farmers.

“The proposed CERCLA designation would impose tremendous costs on these parties without defined cleanup standards, making it impossible for these entities to prepare for the impact of this rule.

“The CERCLA proposal is further complicated by EPA’s recent release of interim health advisories for PFOA and PFOS, which could lead to an expectation that all contamination be cleaned up to non-detectable levels of the substances.

“Given these significant impacts and the tremendous costs to multiple entities, the proposal represents a significant regulatory action requiring a comprehensive assessment of potential costs and benefits, and the public sector impacts before moving forward. EPA also needs to provide science-based cleanup standards and clear, supporting rationale before issuing the rule. 

“Now is not the time to propose a rule that will be a significant cost on the treasuries of state and local governments, while the state of science is under development.

“The proposed CERCLA designation would divert resources and prevent regulators, industry, public health officials, drinking water utilities and communities from focusing on more pressing and higher priority issues, including existing delays in many state and federal cleanup programs.

“We encourage EPA to consider other available mechanisms that are more feasible and more effective to remediate PFOA and PFOS, and we look forward to engaging throughout this rulemaking process.”

For resources and information about per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), click here.

American Chemistry Council

The American Chemistry Council’s mission is to advocate for the people, policy, and products of chemistry that make the United States the global leader in innovation and manufacturing. To achieve this, we: Champion science-based policy solutions across all levels of government; Drive continuous performance improvement to protect employees and communities through Responsible Care®; Foster the development of sustainability practices throughout ACC member companies; and Communicate authentically with communities about challenges and solutions for a safer, healthier and more sustainable way of life. Our vision is a world made better by chemistry, where people live happier, healthier, and more prosperous lives, safely and sustainably—for generations to come.

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