EHS Administration, Regulatory Developments

OMB Says EPA Proposed Rule to Designate PFAS As Hazardous Will Be Costly

The EPA’s proposed rulemaking to designate two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including their salts and structural isomers—as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) hit a snag after its Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review.

The review identified the proposal as “economically significant,” which is a different economic impact than the one suggested by the EPA in its proposed rule, says ArentFox Schiff LLP in JD Supra.

This means the EPA will be required to conduct a regulatory impact analysis (RIA). RIAs are required for regulatory actions expected to exceed $100 million in implementation costs.

“The fact of the matter is that, despite admirable progress by EPA on many PFAS fronts, and even faster (though not necessarily as well thought out) progress by many states, PFAS continue to be used in many products today and therefore continue to be released to our land, waters, and air,” the National Law Journal says. “Cleaning up all of those PFAS will cost tens, if not hundreds, of billions, not millions, of dollars.”

The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register on September 6, 2022.  Comments can be made at regulations.gov under Docket #EPA–HQ– OLEM–2019–0341 until November 7, 2022.

See “EPA proposes PFOA and PFOS designation as hazardous substances” to learn more about the proposed rule.