WASHINGTON (November 7, 2022) — Today, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or Agency) in response to its proposal to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under Section 102(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). ACC issued the following statement on its submission:
“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.
“This proposal would result in potentially significant economic impacts but will not provide additional information on releases or facilitate timely cleanup of sites contaminated with the two substances. The magnitude of these impacts will be determined by the outcome of the Agency’s ongoing efforts to develop drinking water standards for the substances and to provide clear guidance on appropriate disposal and destruction methods.
“EPA should not move forward with the proposal until it has established an appropriate cleanup level based on the best available science and the Agency has determined that sufficient capacity exists for the disposal of PFOA and PFOS wastes. Only then can it conduct a comprehensive regulatory impact analysis for the proposal.
“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.”
PFOA and PFOS were voluntarily phased out of production by manufacturers in the U.S. starting in the early 2000s through the EPA’s PFOA Stewardship Program. PFAS are a diverse universe of chemistries. Each chemistry has its own health and environmental profile. These differences have been recognized by various regulatory and scientific bodies, including the EPA.