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January 11, 2024

PFAS in 2024: EPA’s Regulatory Agenda Means Another Busy Year for Companies

At a Glance

  • The year 2023 was a busy one for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), with rules that increased reporting requirements and enforcement, and created potential liabilities for companies.
  • EPA’s regulatory plan for 2024 continues the aggressive regulation of PFAS, impacting manufacturers, users, processors, and importers of PFAS and PFAS-containing articles.
  • Companies are going to spend 2024 preparing for significant reporting requirements and new potential liabilities.

EPA continues to move forward with its PFAS Strategic Roadmap and released its Second Annual Progress Report this past month. EPA’s three overarching goals are: (1) restrict; (2) remediate; and (3) research.

What Happened in 2023

What EPA Expects to Do in 2024

There are six PFAS regulatory developments that EPA outlined in their plan:

Rule Name

Rule Stage

Expected Completion

1. Designating PFOA1 and PFOS2 as CERCLA3 hazardous substances


Q1 2024

2. National primary drinking water regulations for PFAS


Q1 2024

3. Significant new use rule for PFAS designated as inactive on the TSCA inventory4


Q1 2024

4. Listing PFOA, PFOS, PFBS5 and GenX6 as hazardous constituents under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)


Q1 2024

5. Adding more PFAS to the TRI

Proposal and final

Q1 2024 (proposal)

Q4 2024 (final)

6. Revising metal finishing effluent guidelines in chromium electroplating wastewater to address PFAS


Q4 2024

In addition to the six rules EPA has identified, EPA also took comments on the inclusion of PFAS in the air emissions reporting rule, which is expected to be finalized in Q3 2024.

Finally, while not a rule, EPA submitted updated interim guidance on destruction and disposal of PFAS for White House interagency review in September 2023 — the last step before finalization.

What Companies Need to Do in 2024

There is a significant amount of work ahead for companies that use, manufacture or import PFAS.

Companies will need to begin preparing for additional reporting requirements on PFAS. More than 130,000 companies are expected to need to report under the new TSCA Rule in 2025. Also, additional reporting requirements are expected for those companies that already report PFAS information. Across several industries, companies will need to start collecting information internally as soon as possible.

For companies that are required to report under EPA’s TRI program, they will need to collect additional information and be prepared to develop additional Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) that include even de minimis levels of PFAS. Companies may receive notifications from their suppliers that products purchased long ago may contain chemicals that trigger new reporting requirements for both the company and downstream users.

What Other Federal Agencies Are Doing on PFAS

While EPA dominated the PFAS actions in 2023, other federal agencies acted on PFAS as well:

  • On July 11, 2023, the Department of Defense (DOD) released their interim guidance on destruction and disposal of PFAS at DOD sites. The guidance provides four ways to destroy or dispose of PFAS.
  • In February 2023, the Department of Energy (DOE) released guidance on how to investigate current and historic use of PFAS at DOE sites. While the guide is only for DOE sites, guidance from the federal government is often applied in other contexts.
  • In the National Defense Authorization Act of 2024, Congress directed the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to produce a report within one year that evaluates the thoroughness of the Department of Defense’s PFAS testing and cleanup, and to provide recommendations on how DOD can improve.

In addition, various federal agencies have put out reports on PFAS. For example, in March 2023, the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy put out a PFAS report. We expect that the federal government will continue to produce more reports and studies on PFAS in 2024.

  1. Perfluorooctanoic acid
  2. Perfluorooctyl sulfonate
  3. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as the Superfund law
  4. On January 8, 2024, EPA finalized this rule and a pre-publication version can be found at https://www.epa.gov/system/files/documents/2024-01/9655-02_fr_doc_aa_esignature_verified.pdf.
  5. Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid
  6. Hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) dimer acid and its ammonium salt are known as GenX chemicals.

The material contained in this communication is informational, general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. The material contained in this communication should not be relied upon or used without consulting a lawyer to consider your specific circumstances. This communication was published on the date specified and may not include any changes in the topics, laws, rules or regulations covered. Receipt of this communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this communication may be considered attorney advertising.

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