Read the full article by Jared Hayes (Environmental Working Group)

“At least five facilities around the U.S. operated by Dow Chemical, 3M and other companies are using very large amounts of the toxic ‘forever chemicals‘ known as PFAS but are likely using a regulatory loophole to avoid reporting their releases of PFAS into the environment.

This means the amount of PFAS being discharged – into the air or water or disposed of in the land – could be much higher than what we already know about. The problem shows the need for stronger Environmental Protection Agency regulation of industrial PFAS uses, and a series of pending rules could help tackle this issue.

The loophole stems from EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory, which requires manufacturers to track and report their management and any releases of 180 different PFAS over 100 pounds per year. A release refers to a chemical’s discharge into to the air or water or placed in a land disposal.

Several of these facilities producing large quantities of PFAS did not report releases during reporting years 2020 and 2021. Three Chemours facilities did not report discharges in 2020 but began doing so in 2021.

Those facilities – operated by Dow Chemical, 3M, Ortec, Innovative Chemical Technologies, and up to three unnamed companies – did report to the EPA using large quantities of PFAS in their manufacturing processes in 2020, through a different rule.

The Chemical Data Reporting rule, or CDR, requires manufacturers and importers to report data on production and use of certain PFAS in volumes of 2,500 pounds or more per year. Although they produced or handled specific PFAS in large volumes, these facilities did not file TRI reports for those PFAS.

According to the EPA, these companies are avoiding their reporting responsibilities under the TRI by exploiting a loophole allowing them not to report if PFAS amounts are negligible, defined as less than 1 percent of a total mixture.

EPA noticed lower-than-expected PFAS reporting in 2021, and contacted facilities that reported to the CDR but did not file TRI reports. All the facilities cited the loophole as the reason for not reporting.” …