EPA Submits Plan for Hazardous PFAS Designation Under CERCLA

January 18, 2022

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward with designating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). CERCLA was enacted by Congress in 1980 to investigate and clean up contaminated sites. The designation would be the first time the EPA has written a rule to designate a chemical as a CERCLA hazardous substance.

The submittal follows their “PFAS Strategic Roadmap” published in October 2021. According to the roadmap, such designations would require facilities across the country to report on PFAS releases that meet or exceed the reportable quantity. The hazardous substance designations would also help authorities on all levels obtain more information regarding the location and extent of releases. Lastly, the EPA or other agencies could seek cost recovery or contributions for costs incurred for the cleanup.

The EPA submitted their formalized plan to the White House Office of Management and Budget on January 10. The process usually takes 90 days, meaning the EPA will most likely propose the listing sometime between March to April 2022. The agency expects to issue a final rule in the summer of 2023.

CEC has been in active group discussions with the EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) and our clients to provide critical and timely information on the effects of the proposed listing. The OLEM provides guidance and direction for the EPA’s emergency response and waste programs.

If you have questions about how this development may impact your business operations, please contact any member of CEC’s experienced PFAS team, including Paul Tomiczek III and Tom Maher of our Pittsburgh office, Ivan Cooper of our Charlotte office, Jon Kitchen of our Boston office, or Steve Maxwell of our Philadelphia office. Our experts can clearly communicate the significance of this event from an economical, managerial, and social standpoint.

About the Author


CEC Staff

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) provides comprehensive market-oriented consulting services to advance client strategic business objectives. CEC is recognized for delivering innovative design solutions and integrated expertise in air quality, civil engineering, ecological sciences, environmental engineering and sciences, manufacturing infrastructure services, survey/geospatial, waste management, and water resources.

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