Read the full article by Joseph Green (JD Supra)

“Earlier this week, U.S. EPA released the agency’s 2020 TRI National Assessment Report, which includes data from first-time reports filed for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).  In releasing the report, EPA indicated that it was concerned by ‘the seemingly limited scope of PFAS reporting’ and that it plans to ‘enhance PFAS reporting under the TRI by proposing a rulemaking this summer that would, among other changes, remove the eligibility of the de minimis exemption for PFAS.’

While PFAS are subject to a lower reporting threshold (100 pounds per year) than most other TRI-listed substances (the typical thresholds are 25,000 pounds for manufacturing and processing activities, and 10,000 pounds for ‘otherwise use’), the de minimis exemption allows facilities to disregard certain minimal concentrations of the chemicals in the materials they process.  In adding PFAS to the TRI list in June 2020, EPA retained the availability of the de minimis exemption for PFAS — which is 0.1% for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) (due to its cancer classification), and 1% for all other PFAS.  Accordingly, the quantity of PFAS in mixtures that contain less than the de minimis concentration do not need to be counted towards the reporting threshold or in release calculations.

Because PFAS are used at low concentrations in many products, the elimination of the de minimis exemption will result in a more complete picture of the releases and other waste management quantities for these chemicals.

– U.S. EPA Press Release, March 3, 2022

The announcement is consistent with the agency’s October 2021 PFAS Strategic Roadmap in which EPA stated its intent to propose a 2022 rulemaking to categorize the PFAS on the TRI list as ‘Chemicals of Special Concern’ and to remove the de minimis eligibility from supplier notification requirements for all ‘Chemicals of Special Concern’ (including other persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic or ‘PBT’ substances)  The Roadmap also noted that EPA will continue to update the list of PFAS subject to TRI.  The goal of these actions is to ‘enhance the quality and quantity of PFAS information collected through TRI.'”…