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EPA Takes Steps to Designate PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances

Date: January 21, 2022

WateReuse Association is keeping a close eye on proposed regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in water. In mid-January, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notified the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of its plan to designate two types of PFAS as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as the Superfund law.

Following OMB review of the plan, EPA is expected to release a proposed rule in March 2022 designating perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perflurooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as hazardous. The timeline tracks with EPA’s October 2021 PFAS roadmap forecasting a final rule by summer 2023. Without a liability exemption for entities that receive PFAS, utilities could be forced to cover the costs of mitigating PFAS that they did not create. WateReuse will be coordinating with members and partner organizations on a response to the anticipated rule. If you would like to share how a CERCLA designation would impact your water recycling activities, please reach out to Aliza Furneaux (afurneaux@watereuse.org).

To engage more on the issue of PFAS, join us for two Monday sessions at the upcoming Annual WateReuse Symposium: “Role of WRFs in Managing PFAS Circulation through the Water Cycle” and “PFAS in Wastewater Effluent: Meta-Analysis of Occurrence and GAC Removal.”

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