Regulation update: EPA announces PFAS reporting changes

Visit BSI's Experts Corner: Home for insights from BSI’s practice directors and industry experts on digital trust, environmental, health, safety, security, and sustainability.

Update: February 13, 2024

On February 1, 2024, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed two additional PFAS-related rules under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to regulate the cleanup of contamination from PFAS chemicals.

Rule one

The first proposed rule would designate nine specific PFAS as hazardous constituents under the RCRA. These include:

  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Perfluorooctanesulofonic acid (PFOS)
  • Hexafluoropropylene oxide-dimer acid (HFPO–DA or GenX)
  • Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
  • Perflurorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)
  • Perflourodecanoic acid (PFDA)
  • Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA)
  • Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA)
  • Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS)

According to the EPA, this designation is essential for future efforts to control and regulate PFAS chemicals as listed hazardous wastes.

Rule two

The second proposed rule would clarify that the EPA has the authority to address and remediate emerging contaminants like PFAS through the RCRA Corrective Action Program.


Last update: February 23, 2023

On December 5, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rule changes that would increase reporting obligations for all Chemicals of Special Concern, including PFAS, to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). Pursuant to Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), certain facilities that manufacture, process, or otherwise use specified toxic chemicals in amounts above reporting threshold levels must submit annually to EPA and to designated State officials toxic chemical release forms containing information specified by EPA via either a Form R (one chemical is reported per form) or Form A (multiple chemicals may be reported per form). Currently, facilities subject to the TRI reporting requirements may use either the TRI Form R or, if they meet alternate threshold requirements, the TRI Form A.

PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are manufactured fluorinated carbon compound chemical additives present in such items as pizza boxes, carpeting, cleaning products, water resistant fabrics, nonstick cooking materials, and nearly everything in between. Most recently it has been reported that PFAS have been found in cosmetics, personal hygiene products, and are now even found in wildlife. The chemical bonds of PFAS are extremely difficult to destroy, appear to last indefinitely, and are linked to a host of medical complications.

The EPA is proposing to add PFAS to the list of lower thresholds for Chemicals of Special Concern, thereby removing the de minimis exemption for these chemicals and requiring companies to report under the TRI program, regardless of concentration. Currently, if PFAS is present in a mixture below the de minimis exemption thresholds (i.e., 1% for TRI-listed PFAS and 0.1% for perfluorooctanoic acid [PFOA]), reporting is not required.

As PFAS includes thousands of compounds that are widely used in a variety of mixtures and trade name products, this proposed rule is expected to substantially increase the number of Form R Reports being submitted since Chemicals of Special Concern may not be reported on a Form A Report.

The TRI Reporting deadline is July 1st and covers waste management activities that occurred during the previous calendar year. Read JD Gibb’s EPA approves new ASTM E1527-21 standard and learn how BSI can help. For more EHS and Digital Trust topics that should be at the top of your list, visit BSI’s Experts Corner.

Follow along with our ongoing series emphasizing strategic planning and environmental risk mitigation as our environmental experts address how to turn traditional environmental liabilities into opportunities for your business. Read Risk Assessment is a Major Play for M&A Due Diligence, Risk Mitigation: Re-evaluating Cash Reserves, Risk Mitigation Adds Long-Term Value, and CHIPS and Science Act Demand new Attention on EHS.