The EPA expands the public’s right to know about PFAS pollution

Companies will soon need to report their use and dumping of PFAS chemicals in our waterways.

By Shannon Halinski

Manufacturers must report their use, storage and release of an additional nine chemicals from the PFAS family of chemicals, thanks to a new EPA rule expanding substances listed under the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI).

Congress mandated the new rule in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020. The law immediately added some PFAS chemicals to the TRI list, and provided directions for the addition of more forever chemicals on an annual basis. 

In 2022, we called on the EPA to further expand the public’s right to know about PFAS pollution in our “Wasting our Waterways” report. EPA’s new rule brings the total of forever chemicals on theTRI reporting list to 189. 

PFAS refers to a class of man-made “forever chemicals” that do not degrade in the environment, accumulate in human bodies and can cause kidney cancer, thyroid disruption and other health problems. Today, PFAS are found in many common household products and our waterways, and they are estimated to be in the blood of almost every American.  The new EPA rule is welcome progress, but only includes a few of the thousands of PFAS chemicals.

As we learn more about the widespread use of PFAS, the case for turning off the toxic tap completely becomes ever stronger.  

This new rule will go into effect July 24th.

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