PFAS TRI Reporting Expanded By EPA To 179 PFAS
On January 24, 2022, the EPA continued to expand the number of PFAS subject to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) with the addition of four PFAS to the TRI. PFAS TRI reporting is an issue that has recently seen significant attention by environmentalists who claim that the EPA has not added enough PFAS to the TRI, and that there are too many loopholes in the reporting requirements for the PFAS that are on the list. The EPA’s actions today bring the number of PFAS subject to the TRI to 179, which continues to broaden the impact on industry to comply with the significant reporting obligations. For any company that manufactures, imports, or utilizes PFAS, it is critical to pay attention to these developments, as well as take a forward-looking compliance assessment approach to likely future expansion of the PFAS TRI reporting requirements.
Today’s PFAS TRI Reporting Notice
The EPA indicated that it will add PFBS, potassium perfluorobutane sulfonate, and two chemicals named only by their identifiers for the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) inventory – Chemical Abstracts Service registry number (CASRN) 203743-03-7 and CASRN 65104-45-2 – to the TRI. Any facility which finds itself now needing to collect and report data on these four PFAS will need to report 2022 data by July 1, 2023. The reporting obligation is retroactive to January 1, 2022.
The fiscal year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) added 172 PFAS to the TRI, but as we previously reported, it also requires that any PFAS with a final toxicity value, subject to a SNUR, or added to the TSCA inventory be added to the TRI. PFBS and potassium perfluorobutane sulfonate were both the subject of an EPA risk assessment in 2021. which triggered their addition to the TRI.
Any company that uses 100 pounds or more of any of the PFAS on the TRI must report releases of the PFAS to the EPA. In addition, the companies are required to provide reporting to the EPA on the PFAS disposal or recycling.
Impact On Businesses
While today’s PFAS TRI reporting expansion does not add a significant number of PFAS to the TRI, it nevertheless continues the EPA’s trend of added increasing numbers of PFAS to the TRI. The goal of the EPA is to obtain as much data as possible regarding use, discharge, and disposal of the listed PFAS as possible so that it can understand use and pollution risks of the PFAS. Businesses utilizing any of the PFAS on the TRI must undertake every step necessary to comply with the reporting requirements set forth under the TRI. Companies utilizing PFAS not yet on the TRI must look to the future and prepare now for the possibility that additional PFAS will be added to the TRI, thereby increasing the company’s reporting burdens and increasing the risk for potential lawsuits by citizens, interest groups, or regulatory agencies for pollution.