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EPA to establish new federal PFAS regulations

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently collecting data and public comment concerning proposed changes to the regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS. PFAS are used in a multitude of different consumer products across numerous different industries, from clothing and furniture to the insulation of electrical wire. These chemicals are so resistant to breaking down in the environment that they have also been referred to as “forever chemicals.”

The EPA published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on March 17, 2021 and therewith requested data from certain producers of PFAS. Some of the requested data includes the description of the manufacturing process, current wastewater treatment systems and practices, and customer information. The EPA plans to use this data to amend some of the federal wastewater discharge regulations to include limits for PFAS.

Some states have also started collecting data from their PFAS manufacturers and dischargers in anticipation for the EPAs new incoming regulations for these substances. New Jersey has already set limits for certain PFAS limits in drinking water and groundwater that have been in place for years, with revised limits most recently set in 2017 and 2019 for drinking and groundwater respectively.

The EPA is accepting public comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking until May 17, 2021.


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