EPA Proposes PFAS as Hazardous Waste Under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act

Published On: February 2, 2024By Categories: Groundwater Quality, Newsline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on February 1 a proposal to modify the definition of hazardous waste as it applies to cleanups at permitted hazardous waste facilities.

This modification would assure that the EPA’s regulations clearly reflect the EPA’s and authorized states’ authority to require cleanup of the full range of substances that the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) intended, including emerging chemicals of concern, such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that may present substantial hazards, at permitted facilities.

Currently, the regulations do not clearly and accurately reflect the full authorities granted to EPA by Congress.

The EPA is also proposing to amend its RCRA regulations to add multiple PFAS compounds as hazardous constituents. These PFAS would be added to the list of substances identified for consideration in facility assessments and, where necessary, further investigation and cleanup through the corrective action process at hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities.

These proposed rules would strengthen protections for communities and drinking water supplies located near the 1740 permitted hazardous waste facilities across the nation.

The EPA will be publishing these proposals in the Federal Register in the next few weeks. Click here to read the prepublication of the proposed rule.

NGWA has long been an industry leader in providing PFAS research, education, and resources to the public and scientific communities. Learn more by visiting NGWA.org/PFAS, which is a complete resource center about the groundwater contaminants featuring a recently updated top-10 facts sheet, a position paper, and more.

The Association is hosting, Groundwater in the PFAS Era: Stressors, Protection, and Compliance Conference, April 16-17 in Tucson, Arizona. Click here to learn more.

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