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Chemical Regulation

Releases of 172 PFAS must be reported to US EPA

by Cheryl Hogue
May 21, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 20

Drawing shows chemical structure of 8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol.

US facilities that make, process, or use at least 45 kg per year of any of 172 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of highly persistent compounds, must report their releases of the chemical to the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA has added these PFAS to its Toxics Release Inventory as required by a law enacted in December. Earlier this year, the agency announced that it was adding 160 PFAS to the inventory, as mandated by a military spending law. But the agency has since reviewed criteria established in that statute and found 172 PFAS that met the criteria and have chemical identities that are not claimed as confidential business information. The EPA officially added these substances, including 8:2 fluorotelomer alcohol, which has been used in ski waxes, to the inventory. Facilities must submit reports by July 1, 2021, for their PFAS releases in 2020. The EPA says it plans to release these raw data to the public by July 31, 2021. Meanwhile, the agency is reviewing confidentiality claims for other PFAS that meet the law’s criteria for addition to the inventory.


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