Reporting Rule Finalized
On September 28th, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized their long-awaited PFAS reporting rule. The rule requires manufacturers and importers of PFAS substances to report on the type and quantity of these compounds manufactured or imported in any year from January 1st, 2011, until present. The reporting rule also extends to article importers.
The sweeping rule aims to acquire information on PFAS usage in the United States and is a critical element of the Bien-Haris PFAS action plan as well as the EPA’s strategic PFAS roadmap.
Companies obligated to report on PFAS must do so within 18 months of the effective date of the ruling (30 days after publication in the Federal Register). Article importers have an extended deadline of 24 months. While details have not been finalized, there will be an electronic submission method to report on PFAS. A streamlined submission protocol will also be available for importers of articles.
Effected PFAS Substances
The final ruling includes over 1,400 PFAS substances that meet the structural definition of PFAS established by the EPA. PFAS substances that must be reported include the following:
- R-(CF2)-CF(R’)R’’, where both the CF2 and CF moieties are saturated carbons;
- R-CF2OCF2-R’, where R and R’ can either be F, O, or saturated carbons; and
- CF3C(CF3)R’R’’, where R’ and R’’ can either be F or saturated carbons.
EPA has stated that it will post to its CompTox Chemicals Dashboard a list of covered substances collected from the TSCA Inventory and Low Volume Exemptions (LVEs). Other compounds that meet the definition are still subject to the PFAS reporting rule.
Manufacturers and importers obligated to report will need to provide information on the type, quantity, uses, exposures and disposal methods of PFAS substances. Exposure criteria must include information on frequency and duration of use for exposed individuals. Existing information on the health effects of each substance are also being requested.
EPA did not propose any reporting exemptions or production volume thresholds, including flexibilities for small manufacturers. The scope includes any PFAS substances which are reasonably ascertainable by the manufacturer, including PFAS-containing articles, byproducts, and impurities. The reporting obligation also extends to any fluoropolymers which meet the structural definition.
Additional PFAS Rules
EPA’s reporting rule comes at a time where several US States also have their own reporting measures. Rules in Maine as well as proposed rules in Minnesota require manufacturers to disclose similar information. These reporting measures also come at the heels of an expansive PFAS Restriction Proposal in the EU, which aims to limit the manufacture and use of these compounds at a large scale.
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