2020 Environmental Real Estate Issues

In addition to the recently announced EPA rulemaking to establish drinking water standards for some per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), EPA has also initiated rulemakings that will specifically address PFAS under the Comprehensive Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA Hazardous Substances
One rulemaking proposes to add two PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoro octane sulfonic acid (PFOS), to the list of CERCLA hazardous substances. The proposed rule is undergoing interagency review and EPA has indicated a goal of March 2024 for final action.

Designation of Certain PFAS as RCRA Hazardous Constituents
In October 2021, EPA announced a rulemaking process to propose adding four PFAS chemicals as RCRA Hazardous Constituents under Appendix VIII. The four PFAS chemicals are: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluoro octane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluoro butane sulfonic acid (PFBS), and hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA and sometimes called “GenX”). According to the December 2023 “Progress Report” on EPA’s “PFAS Strategic Roadmap,” adding these PFAS “will provide federal and state agencies with important tools to clean up PFAS.”

Emerging Contaminants and RCRA Corrective Action
EPA has also initiated a rulemaking to “clarify that emerging contaminants such as PFAS can be cleaned up through the RCRA corrective action process.”

For both RCRA rules, the December 2023 Report says, “EPA expects to propose these rules as soon as the interagency reviews are complete.”

The Report also mentions that “EPA has updated its Regional Screening Level and Regional Removal Management Level tables…to include a total of 14 PFAS.”

To see the entire December 2023 Report https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2023-12/epas-pfas-strategic-roadmap-dec-2023508v2.pdf