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Environmental Groups File Lawsuit Against EPA for PFAS TRI Reporting Exemptions

On January 20, Earthjustice represented the Sierra Club, the National PFAS Contamination Coalition, and the Union of Concerned Scientists in a lawsuit filed against EPA that challenges the Agency’s two final rules for the, “Addition of Certain PFAS; Community Right-to-Know Toxic Chemical Release (PFAS TRI) Reporting.” Per the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)EPA has continued to add PFAS to the TRI under Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). However, the lawsuit alleges that EPA adopted the TRI PFAS rules in a manner that allows polluting facilities to use the de minimis concentration and alternate threshold exemptions, “in violation of the 2020 NDAA and EPCRA,” and “without providing the public with notice and opportunity for comment.” The lawsuit cites that these exemptions reduce the amount of important PFAS data and information that polluters must report for low concentrations of PFAS in chemical mixtures and at certain thresholds – that is essential for understanding the amount of specific PFAS being released and where it has the potential to impact water, the environment, and exposed communities.

For reference, ASDWA worked with the Association of Clean Water Administrators (ACWA), and the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) to submit joint PFAS TRI comments to EPA on February 3, 2020. Our joint comments recommended that, “the NDAA reporting threshold of 100 lbs for the PFAS TRI is too high and not appropriate,” to capture important data from permitted discharges or accidental releases that, “can rapidly accumulate to unacceptable levels in waterbodies…potentially affecting public drinking water supplies, fish tissue intended for human consumption, aquatic life, and soils.”

For more information, read the Earthjustice article, and view the lawsuit.