Read the full article by E.A. Crunden (E & E News)

“Data collected by EPA indicates ‘forever chemicals’ are widespread in the waste stream and have limited federal oversight, bolstering cries from states and advocates who say the agency should crack down to rein in a severe public health and environmental threat.

Waste shipping information reported under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the nation’s waste law, previews the extent to which PFAS are disposed of along with hazardous material nationwide. The data, spanning between 2018 and August 2021, is likely only a fraction of the true presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the waste stream. But that tiny snapshot shows roughly 6,545 shipments of almost 14 million kilograms of PFAS-laden waste traveling across the country.

Little is known about how that waste is treated and managed, despite research linking a number of PFAS to health problems, including cancer, and environmental impacts, like drinking water and groundwater contamination.

‘What stands out is how little we know about the quantity of PFAS hazardous wastes moving through communities,’ New Mexico Environment Department Deputy Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Roose told E&E News. ‘This data truly constitutes the tip of a very dangerous iceberg.’

…PFAS contamination is among the biggest problems facing the waste industry. Some companies maintain they could ultimately play a key role in managing PFAS waste, helping to protect the environment and the public. But with so little known about best practices and with EPA guidance remaining vague, the industry remains in limbo.”…