The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) recently announced their Fall 2023 Unified Agendas of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions. These agendas have revealed that there will be upcoming rulemaking that will focus on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These new regulatory actions are expected to bring in new compliance challenges, which will affect multiple stakeholders and the regulated community. Here's a summary of the key regulatory items:

EPA's PFAS-Related Actions

1. Final National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for PFAS: This regulation will cover perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), and hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO–DA) and its ammonium salt (also known as GenX chemicals).
2. Designation of PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA Hazardous Substances: EPA is finalizing a rule to designate PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).
3. Proposed Listing of PFAS as RCRA Hazardous Constituents: EPA's proposed rule lists PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, and GenX as hazardous constituents under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
4. DoD's Proposal on Procurement: The Department of Defense proposes prohibiting the procurement of certain products containing PFOA or PFOS.

Agenda of the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP)

The EPA's OCSPP agenda includes a range of priorities focusing on risk management regulations, chemical evaluations, data collection, and addressing PFAS. Noteworthy items from the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) agenda are:

1. Final Risk Management Rules for "First Ten" Chemicals:

EPA is finalizing risk management rules for five of the initial "first ten" chemicals identified.

2. Proposed Rule for Health and Safety Data Submission:

A proposed rule will request manufacturers of certain existing chemicals to submit unpublished health and safety data to assist EPA in chemical prioritization and evaluations.

3. Revisions to Framework Rules for New Chemicals:

The EPA is updating its framework rules for the assessment of new chemicals, encompassing premanufacture notice reviews and evaluations of existing chemical risks.

4. Proposed Significant New Use Rules (SNURs):

SNURs are proposed for high-priority chemicals such as "phthalates," "certain solvents," and those undergoing risk evaluation. This comes after the recent release of Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) for flame retardants and PFAS substances listed on the "inactive portion" of the TSCA Inventory.

5. Additional Proposed Risk Evaluations:

EPA will conduct risk evaluations for chemicals like the flame-retardant Tris(2-chloroethyl) Phosphate (TCEP) and other upcoming substances.

Anticipating Changes in PFAS Regulation

The EPA and DoD's release of these agendas indicate a pre-emptive move towards addressing PFAS concerns and promoting chemical safety measures. It is important for stakeholders and the regulated community to stay informed about the upcoming regulations, as they will have a significant impact on compliance efforts and environmental protection strategies.


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