US facilities must report their environmental releases of perfluorobutanesulfonic acid, its anion, and its potassium salt plus two fluorinated polymers, the Environmental Protection Agency announced July 18.
The first toxics release inventory (TRI) reports for these five per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) will include releases for 2022 and are due July 1, 2023, the agency says. The EPA releases TRI data to the public each year as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act.
In a 2019 law (P.L. 116–92), Congress directed the agency to add PFAS to the TRI when the EPA finalizes toxicity values for them. The agency released those values for PFBS and the two related compounds in 2021. 3M introduced those substances early in this century to replace a more toxic PFAS compound for use as a surfactant to make water- and stain-resistant coatings.
The 2019 law also requires the agency to add PFAS to the TRI following certain actions under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This was the case for the two polymers.
PFAS are synthetic substances that don’t break down easily in the environment. Some PFAS are highly toxic.