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EPA adds four PFAS to Toxics Release Inventory

As of 2022, the EPA says facilities subject to reporting requirements for these chemicals should start tracking activities.

January 27, 2022

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the addition of four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The EPA included the additions as part of its "Strategic Roadmap" to confront the human health and environmental risks of PFAS.

TRI data is reported to the EPA annually by facilities in certain industry sectors, including federal facilities, that manufacture, process or otherwise use TRI-listed chemicals above certain quantities. The data include quantities of chemicals that were released into the environment or otherwise managed as waste. Information collected through the TRI allows communities to learn how facilities in their area are managing listed chemicals. The data collected also help inform the EPA’s efforts to better understand the listed substances.

“We will use every tool in our toolbox to protect our communities from PFAS pollution,” says Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “Requiring companies to report on how these PFAS are being managed, recycled or released is an important part of EPA’s comprehensive plan to fill critical data gaps for these chemicals and take meaningful action to safeguard communities from PFAS.”

The four PFAS added to required reporting include perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), potassium perfluorobutane sulfonate, perfluorononanoic acid (CASRN) 65104-45-2 and CASRN 203743-03-7. PFBS-based compounds are replacement chemicals for perfluorooctane sulfonate, a chemical that was voluntarily phased out by the primary U.S. manufacturer by 2002. PFBS have been identified in the environment and consumer products, including surface water, wastewater, drinking water, dust, carpet cleaners and floor wax.

The EPA also has determined that CASRN 65104-45-2 is designated as “active” on the Toxic Substances Control Act Inventory and is covered by significant new use rules. Therefore, this substance has also been added to the TRI pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Additionally, CASRN 203743-03-7 has been identified for addition to the TRI list based on the NDAA’s provision to include certain PFAS upon the NDAA’s enactment. 

As of 2022, the EPA says facilities subject to reporting requirements for these chemicals should start tracking activities involving these PFAS as required by Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. Reporting forms for these PFAS will be due to EPA by July 1, 2023, for 2022 data.

In addition to continuing to add PFAS to the TRI, the EPA says it will soon announce a series of PFAS test orders that will require PFAS manufacturers to provide the agency with toxicity data and information on PFAS.