Three New EPA and DOD PFAS Actions

EPA and the Department of Defense (DOD) have taken three recent actions to address PFAS through: a request for information on EPA PFAS research and development; a final rule to require reporting on five PFAS; and new screening levels for military site cleanup.

Request for Information; Identifying Critical Data Gaps and Needs to Inform Federal Strategic Plan for PFAS Research and Development: EPA’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has issued a Federal Register Notice with a Request for Information (RFI) to identify data gaps in research and development for several aspects of PFAS. This RFI will be used to inform the development of a strategic plan for federal coordination on PFAS research and development, and the PFAS interagency strategy team will also develop an implementation plan for federal agencies. Comments are due by August 29, 2022.

EPA Issues Final Rule to Require Reporting on Five PFAS: EPA has issued a final rule to update the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemical list for five additional PFAS subject to reporting requirements. The final rule officially incorporates the requirements for the four compounds provided in the previous January 2022 announcement (that includes PFBS), and now includes one new PFAS (CASRN 203743-03-7) that was added after EPA’s review of the associated Confidential Business Information claim. TRI data are reported annually and include quantities of chemicals released into the environment and can help states and water systems identify facility locations and potential drinking water contamination sources.

Investigating PFAS within the DOD Cleanup Program: The DOD has issued a memorandum from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense that revises its risk screening levels (RSLs) for DoD site cleanup under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP). The memo provides information about the existing RSL for PFBS and the new RSLs for five PFAS (PFOS, PFOA, PFNA, PFHxS, and HFPO-DA) based on updated, peer reviewed information from EPA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. DoD will use the RSLs for remedial investigations and ongoing and future preliminary assessment/site inspections to determine if further investigation is warranted or if no further action is required. The table in the memo includes the RSLs for tap water using different hazard quotients if one or multiple compounds are found at a site.