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EPA Adds Select PFAS Chemicals to CERCLA Hazardous Substances List

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has designated two widely used polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) chemicals as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. The chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), are part of a phase-out manufacturing approach to reduce the production due to their potential health and environmental impacts .Two major processes, electrochemical fluorination (ECF) and fluorotelomerization, have been (and are) used to manufacture PFAS substances that contain perfluoroalkyl chains. PFAS are used in many industrial and consumer applications that may affect the environment or receptors by various mechanisms and to various degrees. Some uses of PFAS are building and construction material, cable and wiring, paper products and packaging, semiconductor industry, and textiles, leather and apparel.

Earlier this month, the Presidential Administration issued the first-ever, national and legally enforceable drinking water standard for five individual PFAS chemicals and limits for mixtures of any two or more of four PFAS chemicals, allowing the public water systems three years to complete their initial monitoring for these chemicals and to implements mitigation measures to reduce PFAS in drinking water within five years. (see full story here)

In addition to today's announcement, US EPA issued a memorandum providing direction about its enforcement discretion and how it will hold responsible entities who significantly contribute to PFAS contamination to the environment.

Waterstone professional personnel are highly trained and knowledgeable in the steps needed to determine if PFAS pollution is affecting your project. We can design and implement a sampling strategy to establish baseline values and delineate any onsite plumes. Call us today for a free consultation.


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