Read the full article by Tess Kazdin (Waste Today)

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, has finalized a rule that will provide the agency, its partners and the public with a dataset of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) manufactured and used in the United States. EPA says this dataset is the largest of its kind. 

The agency says this rule builds on more than two years of progress on the Biden-Harris Administration’s action plan to combat PFAS pollution and is a key action in EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.  

PFAS is a category of manufactured chemicals that have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940s. They have characteristics that make them useful in a variety of products, including nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing and firefighting foam, as well as in certain manufacturing processes. 

The reporting rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is a statutory requirement under the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that requires all manufacturers of PFAS and PFAS-containing products in any year since 2011 to report information related to chemical identity, uses, volumes made and processed, byproducts, environmental and health effects, worker exposure and disposal to EPA, which says it will use the information to more effectively research, monitor and regulate PFAS

‘The data we’ll receive from this rule will be a game-changer in advancing our ability to understand and effectively protect people from PFAS,’ says Michael Freedhoff, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. ’Today, we take another important step under EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap to deliver on President Biden’s clear direction to finally address this legacy pollution endangering people across America.’

This rule will produce actionable data that can be used by EPA, as well as state, local and Tribal governments to craft policies and laws that protect people from dangerous ‘forever chemicals,’ the agency says. 

In its 85 years in business, Gaeta Recycling has operated a lot of machines. Michael Portannese is the fifth generation of his family to lead the company. Serving 30 municipalities in central New Jersey, Gaeta Recycling processes upwards of 720 tons of waste material per day. Moving material is at the heart of his business and, over the years, he has watched loading equipment become increasingly sophisticated and complex. But for his most recent purchase, Portannese was ready to try a different approach.

The final rule expands on the definition of PFAS in the proposed rule to include 41 additional PFAS that were identified as being of concern. EPA says it has determined that at least 1,462 PFAS that are known to have been made or used in the U.S. since 2011 will be subject to the final rule, better capturing the important data the agency needs to protect human health and the environment from these chemicals. 

Since EPA proposed this rule in June 2021, the agency says it has provided multiple opportunities for public comment and stakeholder input. 

The final rule also streamlines reporting requirements and reduces the burden for those who made or used small quantities of PFAS for research and development purposes and for those who imported PFAS contained in items into the U.S. 

EPA says data is due to the agency within 18 months of the effective date of the final rule, with an additional six months for reports from small businesses that are solely reporting data on importing PFAS contained in products.”