Input Stories

Input Stories

EPA Finalizes “Inactive” PFAS Rule

Companies that plan to make or import any of the hundreds of “inactive” PFAS chemicals that haven’t been produced in years must first clear it with the Environmental Protection Agency, reports Bloomberg Law (subscription).

What’s going on: Any entity planning “to make or import any of 329 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that are listed as ‘inactive’ under the Toxic Substances Control Act must notify the Environmental Protection Agency 90 days ahead of time so it can review the company’s plans, according to the final rule.”

  • “The ‘inactive’ designation refers to chemicals that haven’t been manufactured, imported or processed in the U.S. since June 21, 2006.”
  • PFAS chemicals were used for decades in the U.S. beginning in the 1940s in food packaging, clothing, carpeting, firefighting foam and other consumer and industrial products, owing to their ability to douse fires and resist grease, corrosion and stains.

What’s next: The EPA will review companies’ submissions to determine whether the PFAS plans “present unreasonable risk to health or the environment.”

The background: The final rule comes less than a year after the EPA proposed the first federal limits on PFAS, when it put forth maximum allowable levels of two specific chemicals in public drinking water. 

Our view: “PFAS are necessary to a range of essential items, such as water distribution systems and our electric grid; critical energy production, usage and storage—including batteries, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, semiconductors and solar components—and many of the items necessary for national defense,” said NAM vice President of Domestic Policy Brandon Farris.

  • “Any regulation or reporting requirements on PFAS should recognize the criticality of PFAS substances and provide feasible solutions and alternatives, including exemptions where necessary.”
View More