NMPF Concerned with EPA’s PFAS Roadmap
November 3, 2021
NMPF is concerned over the potential treatment of farmland under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) comprehensive Strategic Roadmap to confront PFAS contamination nationwide. The strategy, announced Oct. 18, will engage stakeholders as multiple rulemakings related to its plan get underway.
EPA asserts the Roadmap is the result of a thorough analysis conducted by the EPA Council on PFAS that Administrator Michael S. Regan established in April.
The plan is centered on three guiding strategies: increasing investments in research, leveraging authorities to act now to restrict PFAS chemicals from being released into the environment and accelerating the cleanup of PFAS contamination. NMPF has long been an advocate for research in these areas, as so much is unknown about these chemicals and rulemaking should not be made on speculation.
Roadmap key actions include:
- Aggressive timelines to set enforceable drinking water limits under the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure water is safe to drink in every community.
- A hazardous substance designation under CERCLA, to strengthen the ability to hold polluters financially accountable.
- Timelines for action—whether it is data collection or rulemaking—on Effluent Guideline Limitations under the Clean Water Act for nine industrial categories.
- A review of past actions on PFAS taken under the Toxic Substances Control Act to address those that are insufficiently protective.
- Increased monitoring, data collection and research so that the agency can identify what actions are needed and when to take them.
- A final toxicity assessment for GenX, which can be used to develop health advisories that will help communities make informed decisions to better protect human health and ecological wellness.
- Continued efforts to build the technical foundation needed on PFAS air emissions to inform future actions under the Clean Air Act.
The Roadmap was well received by many environmental groups and some members of Congress. While NMPF has sympathy with some of its goals and provisions, other areas raise serious concerns: In particular, the application of CERCLA to contaminated farmland, to do so can cause that farmland to be a SuperFund site.
EPA will conduct rulemaking under this Roadmap for the next several years. NMPF will continue to engage with EPA during its various and numerous rulemakings related to the plan