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EPA Explores Adding PFAS to Toxics Release Inventory

Following the PFAS Action Plan announced in February this year, on Nov. 25 the Environmental Protection Agency released the prepublication version of its Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The proposal is to potentially add certain per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI). The TRI, lists chemicals that certain companies are required to annually report to the agency, in order to track their use and management.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler noted that the PFAS Action Plan is “the most comprehensive cross-agency plan to address an emerging chemical ever taken by EPA,” and that adding PFAS chemicals to the TRI program would “provide important information to the public on these chemicals for the first time.” 

Public comments on the ANPRM will be due 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register. The request for public input to the ANPRM has a dual purpose: to help the agency determine whether available information on certain PFAS would fulfill the TRI chemical listing criteria, and to help evaluate if the data gathered under TRI would be useful and beneficial to the public. 

If the agency then moves forward with this initiative, a proposed rule will be published and open for public comments before being promulgated.

© 2020 BARNES & THORNBURG LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 331


About this Author

Michael Elam Environmental Energy Attorney

Veteran attorney Michael Elam brings more than three decades of experience in environmental, energy, infrastructure and natural resource law in both the private and public sectors. He structures creative agreements and helps secure approvals and financing for complex national and international agreements involving the development, remediation and financing of environmentally challenged or controversial projects surrounding energy and sensitive water bodies or sources.

Michael represents businesses and other clients in complex projects and transactions, disputes and litigation. He is...

Tammy Helminski, Barnes Thornburg Law Firm, Grand Rapids, Environmental Law Attorney

Tammy L. Helminski is an associate in the Grand Rapids office of Barnes & Thornburg, and a member of the firm’s Environmental Law Department. Ms. Helminski has experience with environmental due diligence and risk evaluation, project management of large-scale remediation sites involving numerous parties, and assisting manufacturing and developer clients with environmental auditing and compliance. Her litigation experience includes representing clients in cases involving CERCLA, NEPA, RCRA and NREPA, as well as product liability, mold, asbestos, construction and contract litigation matters. 

Jeffrey Longsworth, Barnes Thornburg Law Frim, Washington DC, Environmental Law Attorney

Jeffrey S. Longsworth is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and the D.C. administrator of the Environmental Department, which was recently recognized as Tier 1 for national environmental litigation in the annual "Best Law Firms" ranking by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. He is involved in counseling and litigating issues that arise under federal environmental laws and regulations, with an emphasis on Clean Water Act matters, especially issues involving permitting, stormwater, effluent limitations guidelines, enforcement, inspections and spill...