EPA Finalizes PFAS 'New Use' Rule
"EPA is concerned that commencement of the manufacture or processing for any new uses of [the specified PFAS] could increase the magnitude and duration of exposure to humans and the environment," reads an excerpt from the official EPA ruling.
The recently published SNUR lists several commercial industries that could be affected by the change, including (but not limited to):
- Manufacturers of one ore more of the subject chemical substances (e.g., chemical manufacturing and petroleum refineries)
- Computer and other electronic products, appliances and components
- Fiber, yarn and thread mills
- Carpet and rug mills
- Home furnishing merchant wholesalers
- Carpet and upholstery cleaning services
- Manufacturers of computer and other electronic products, appliances and components
- Manufacturers of surgical and medical instruments
- Merchant wholesalers
- Stores and retailers
EPA teased this latest SNUR, scheduled to take effect on September 24, 2020 in its 2019 PFAS Action Plan, in which it referred to a proposed phaseout of certain long-chain PFAS. The TSCA—legislation allowing EPA to serve as "gatekeeper" to manage human and environmental risks from chemicals in the marketplace—states that in order for EPA to designate a "significant new use" for specified long-chain PFAS, it must consider factors like projected volume, exposure levels and fate and transport, including disposal.
Next month in Breaking Down PFAS, we'll explore another significant source of suspected PFAS contamination: landfill leachate.