EPA Updates Guidance on PFAS Waste

April 10, 2024
The Environmental Protection Agency will accept comments on the latest guidance for 180 days to help inform future updates.

On April 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated interim guidance that reflects the latest, best available science to provide information that managers of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) wastes can use to evaluate the most appropriate destruction, disposal or storage method. The guidance also recommends decision-makers prioritize using technologies with the lowest potential for environmental release to better protect people and communities from PFAS exposure.

The guidance contains a new technology evaluation framework for developers to assess emerging innovative destruction and disposal methods. It also underscores the need to generate and publicly release data to validate existing and new technologies suitable for larger-scale use. The updated guidance can help private industry make informed decisions on PFAS destruction and disposal technologies.

The updated version retains the 2020 guidance’s focus on three existing technologies: underground injection, landfills and thermal treatment under certain conditions. It also incorporates public comments from the 2020 document, integrates years of government and private sector work developing and accessing technologies, and highlights innovation and emerging technologies that warrant further evaluation, said the EPA in a press release. The new document identifies key data gaps and uncertainties that ongoing research is working to address to achieve efficient destruction of PFAS and minimize environmental PFAS release. The document also calls for collaboration with the private sector.

The EPA will accept comments for 180 days to help inform future updates to this guidance. Comments can be submitted to the public docket at Regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OLEM-2020-0527.

The EPA’s continued focus on PFAS also includes new reporting requirements. Chemical Processing’s “Best Practices for Complying with the EPA's New PFAS Reporting Requirements” can help manufacturers meet PFAS recordkeeping and reporting obligations by the 2025 deadline.

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