On April 19, 2024, EPA announced a final rule that will designate PFOA, PFOS, and their salts and structural isomers as hazardous substances under CERCLA. EPA states that under the rule, entities are required to report immediately releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity (RQ) of one pound within a 24-hour period to the National Response Center (NRC), state, Tribal, and local emergency responders. According to EPA, “[t]he designation of PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under CERCLA enables the agency to use one of its strongest enforcement tools to compel polluters to pay for or conduct investigations and cleanup, rather than taxpayers.” EPA issued a separate PFAS Enforcement Discretion and Settlement Policy Under CERCLA (CERCLA Enforcement Discretion Policy) “that makes clear that EPA will focus enforcement on parties who significantly contributed to the release of [per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)] … into the environment, including parties that have manufactured PFAS or used PFAS in the manufacturing process, federal facilities, and other industrial parties.” EPA posted a prepublication version of the final rule, which will take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. For more information on the final rule, please read the full memorandum.

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