Read the full article by Richard Denison (EDF)
“Under an obscure and opaque – and increasingly used – exemption that EPA provides under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), EPA has been quietly approving companies’ requests to introduce new poly- and per-fluorinated substances (PFAS) onto the market. And it seems to be ramping up.
PFAS is a class of chemicals that are showing up as environmental contaminants all over the country. They are linked to large and growing list of adverse effects on human health. These concerns have led to increased scrutiny about EPA’s actions to allow new PFAS to enter commerce. EDF and others have raised concerns about a number of premanufacture notices (PMNs) companies have filed seeking approval to introduce new PFAS into commerce (see here and here); the PMN process is the standard way in which companies are to notify EPA of their intent to start manufacturing a new chemical.
But EPA has created other pathways to quickly get a chemical on the market, whereby companies can apply for an exemption from the PMN process. As documented in this post, we have identified a whole lot of PFAS coming into EPA’s new chemicals program through exemptions, and most of them are getting quickly approved. Worse yet, this side process is highly insulated from public scrutiny…”