Statement from the American Sustainable Business Network on the Proposed EPA Rule to Designate PFOS and PFOA as Hazardous Substances
The American Sustainable Business Network applauds the Environmental Protection Agency for today proposing to designate the two most commonly detected toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” as hazardous substances under the Superfund law.
PFAS is a diverse class of chemicals used in a wide range of consumer, commerical, and industrial products. There are currently more than 3,000 individual PFASs in the global marketplace.
The proposed rule would ensure that when two types of PFAS, known as PFOA and PFOS, are released over a certain threshold, it will trigger reporting requirements. Such reporting helps EPA and states identify health threats and guide response actions. The designation will also give the EPA power to compel cleanups at some sites contaminated with PFOA and PFOS.
Through this designation, both public and private sectors can begin to address the harms done to communities and ecosystems as a result of these inputs having long been under-regulated. ASBN’s position is that fully addressing and repairing harm done by these “forever chemicals,” through regulatory designation will not only help communities, taxpayers and all those susceptible to this toxic damage, but also ensure investment into clean and sustainable private-sector innovation for suitable, safe and non-toxic alternatives. Many sustainable and responsible manufacturers and retailers have already adopted alternatives to PFAS.
ASBN noted that this proposed rule, while historic, must not be the last step taken by the EPA on PFAS. First, this proposal only classifies PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances, when scientific evidence shows that other types of PFAS are potentially harmful. Second, this action does not fully ban the use of PFOA or PFOS. So, further actions should be taken to regulate harmful PFAS to level the playing field for companies that are innovating safer PFAS-free products and manufacturing.
ASBN urges the EPA to move forward on this rulemaking as swiftly as possible. The EPA should also take further action on PFAS in conjunction with the communities that have been impacted, and with the sustainable and responsible business community.