On October 18th, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its “Strategic Roadmap” for the contaminant class of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) are synthetic chemicals introduced in the 1940s and 1950s, which have been used to make commercial and household products that resist heat; repel oil, stains, grease, and water; and have been used in firefighting foams. These chemicals, which persist in the environment for many years, have been linked to a number of adverse health effects.
EPA’s roadmap, which outlines the agency’s approach to addressing PFAS through 2024, calls for regulatory and non-regulatory actions including:
- setting enforceable drinking water limits;
- designating certain compounds, likely PFOA and PFOS, as Hazardous Substances under CERCLA (aka Superfund);
- limiting or banning future uses;
- instituting measures to prevent new releases;
- developing a better understanding of effects on human health and the environment through research and data collection;
- expanding research into treatment technologies; and
- broadening cleanup efforts/requirements and responsible party funding for same.
The roadmap sets timelines by which EPA plans to take specific actions and establishes new policies to safeguard public health, protect the environment, and hold polluters accountable.
SAGE is currently assisting clients with two sites in Massachusetts as well as two sites in Rhode Island with PFAS impacts. If you’d like to speak with us about possible PFAS issues, please contact Jacob Butterworth ([email protected]) or Rick Mandile ([email protected]).
For reference, links to EPA’s PFAS Roadmap resources are below: