U.S. EPA Issues PFAS Roadmap for Next 4 Years

November 16, 2021

On October 18, 2021, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced the agency’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap: EPA’s Commitments to Action 2021—2024, which lays out a whole-of-agency approach to addressing PFAS for 2021 through 2024.

The U.S. EPA’s approach to PFAS is focused on three central goals and objectives:

  • Invest in research, development, and innovation to increase understanding of PFAS exposures and toxicities, human health and ecological effects, and effective interventions incorporating the best available science.
  • Proactively prevent PFAS discharges at levels that can adversely impact human health and the environment.
  • Broaden and accelerate the cleanup of PFAS contamination to protect human health and ecological systems.

The following is a list of significant actions and expected dates proposed. These policies will affect manufacturers, wastewater treatment facilities, landfills and end users of PFAS.

Actions Proposed Date
Address the data gap of potential human health and ecological effects for PFAS by publishing a national PFAS testing strategy Fall 2021
Ensure a robust review process for new PFAS using the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) New Chemicals Program Ongoing
Review previously approved PFAS under the New Chemicals Program of TSCA Ongoing
Reclassify PFAS previously approved but not currently used as “significant new uses,” requiring new approval before the PFAS can enter commerce Summer 2022
Propose a 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 Spring 2022
Finalize new PFAS reporting under TSCA Section 8 Winter 2022
Expand the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR)-5 sampling to all public water systems serving 3,300 or more people and 800 representative public water systems serving fewer than 3,300 Fall 2021
Establish a national primary drinking water regulation for PFOA and PFOS Proposed Rule Expected Fall 2022, Final Rule Expected Fall 2023
Publish the final toxicity assessment for GenX, PFBA, PFHxA, PFHxS, PFNA, and PFDA Ongoing
Publish drinking water health advisories for GenX and PFBS Spring 2022
Restrict PFAS discharges from industrial sources using Effluent Limitations Guidelines (ELGs) Expected 2022
Use existing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) authority to reduce discharges of PFAS at the source and obtain more comprehensive information through monitoring on the sources of PFAS Winter 2022
Publish multi-laboratory validated analytical method for 40 PFAS Fall 2022
Publish updates to PFAS analytical methods to monitor drinking water Fall 2024
Develop national recommended ambient water quality criteria for PFAS Starting winter 2022
Monitor fish tissue for PFAS in the National Lakes Assessment Summer 2022
Finalize list of PFAS for use in fish advisory programs Expected spring 2023
Finalize risk assessment for PFOA and PFOS in biosolids Winter 2024
Develop a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to designate PFOA and PFOS as Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) hazardous substances Spring 2022
Develop an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to seek public input on whether to designate other PFAS as CERCLA hazardous substances Spring 2022
Issue updated guidance on destroying and disposing of certain PFAS and PFAS-containing materials Fall 2023
Build the technical foundation to address PFAS air emissions Fall 2022 and ongoing
Use enforcement tools to better identify and address PFAS releases at facilities Ongoing actions
Break the large, diverse class of PFAS into smaller categories based on similarities across defined PFAS by parameters (such as chemical structure, physical and chemical properties, and toxicological properties) Winter 2021

 

CEC is closely monitoring developments regarding PFAS. If you have other questions related to PFAS regulations throughout the U.S., please contact Steve Maxwell at smaxwell@cecinc.com or at 888.267.7891.

About the Author


Steve Maxwell

Steve Maxwell, LSRP, P.G., is a Senior Project Manager in CEC's Environmental Engineering and Sciences Practice at our Philadelphia office. His areas of expertise are in environmental forensics, sediment assessment, tidal marsh hydrodynamics, sediment ecological risk assessment, site assessment, and site remediation.

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