EPA Releases Updated Interim Guidance on Destroying and Disposing of Certain PFAS and PFAS-Containing Materials

Published On: April 11, 2024By Categories: Newsline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released on April 9 an updated “Interim Guidance on the Destruction and Disposal of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Materials Containing Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.”

The updated guidance reflects the latest, best available science to provide information that managers of PFAS wastes can use to evaluate the most appropriate destruction, disposal, or storage method among those currently available. The guidance also recommends that decision-makers prioritize the use of technologies with the lowest potential for environmental release to better protect people and communities from PFAS exposures.

The guidance contains a new technology evaluation framework that enables technology developers to assess emerging innovative destruction and disposal methods. The guidance also underscores the need to generate and publicly release data to validate whether existing and new technologies may be suitable for larger-scale use. It describes new EPA test methods and improved screening tools to identify and prioritize safeguards for communities located near destruction and disposal facilities and overburdened by pollution.

The updated guidance can help government officials and private industry make informed decisions on PFAS destruction and disposal technologies, and aid in the implementation of forthcoming rules to protect public health from exposure to PFAS.

The updated interim guidance retains the 2020 guidance’s focus on three existing technologies: underground injection, landfills, and thermal treatment under certain conditions. It also incorporates public comments on the EPA’s 2020 interim guidance, integrates years of government and private sector work developing and accessing technologies, and highlights innovation and emerging technologies that warrant further evaluation. The new document identifies key data gaps and uncertainties that ongoing research is working to address to achieve efficient destruction of PFAS and minimization of environmental PFAS release.

The EPA will accept comments on the interim guidance for 180 days following publication in the Federal Register to help inform a future update to this guidance. Comments can be submitted to the public docket at Regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2020-0527.

Click here to read more.

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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