Tens of Thousands Voice Concerns Over Proposed EPA Rule That Could Raise Costs and Decimate Businesses
E&C Republicans Demand an Extension of EPA’s Comment Period for Proposed PFOA and PFOS CERCLA Designation Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) sent a letter to the EPA urging the agency to reopen its comment period on a proposed new rule that designates all Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances. Given the unprecedented nature of the rule, as well as the concerns raised during EPA’s initial comment period, the members requested the agency reopen the comment period for an additional 60 days. BACKGROUND: On September 6, 2022, EPA proposed a new rule that would designate PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act ( CERCLA ). The EPA has never—in the more than 40 years since its enactment—used its CERCLA authority in this way. Furthermore, the rule was proposed without thoroughly reviewing the indirect costs and economic implications for designating all PFOA and PFOS chemicals as hazardous, which is why the Office of Management and Budget reversed EPA’s view that this proposal was not “economically significant.” A hazardous substance designation for PFOS and PFOA would have permanent, far-reaching implications for manufacturers, consumers, municipalities, and disposal companies, and could jeopardize products and services that Americans rely on every day—including smartphones and home appliances, to life-saving medical devices, airplanes, and more. PFOA and PFOS cleanup is urgently needed, but this rule raises legitimate and significant implementation and environmental questions that must be addressed. KEY EXCERPTS: “We urge you to give the American public a more robust opportunity to provide meaningful input.” […] “The public’s voices should be heard now rather than later in a hearing room or court room. We encourage EPA to reopen the public docket and extend the comment period for, at a minimum, an additional 60 days, to subject this proposal to a complete airing under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act, ensure an objective and transparent accounting and weighing of the costs and benefits of this proposal, and to reconsider and eliminate its potential negative public policy outcomes, especially those that are reasonably foreseeable.” CLICK HERE to read the full letter. CLICK HERE to read about Republican pushback to extreme PFAS legislation in July 2021. CLICK HERE to read about past CERCLA proposals targeting PFAS.