Comments by Christopher Blunck Featured in Chemical Watch Article “Breadth of US EPA’s proposed PFAS reporting rule unprecedented, experts say”
On June 17, 2021, Chemical Watch published insights from Christopher R. Blunck, Of Counsel, Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®), regarding a proposed per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) reporting rule that includes downstream users and small businesses with a lack of exemptions for the compounds’ occurrence as byproducts or impurities.
That is “an extremely broad reporting requirement”, said Christopher Blunck, of counsel with Bergeson & Campbell. The proposed rule’s absence of limits or conventional exemptions is “not precedented”, he said, and it foreshadows similar reporting obligations for substances in articles.
As written, the rule could pose difficulties for economic actors like article manufacturers and importers typically not reporting under TSCA, Mr Blunck said, as they work to comprehend requirements. And asking suppliers whether imported articles contain PFASs would prove a substantial effort, he said.
The EPA will “probably need to refine the standard for due diligence when chemicals are in parts of articles”, Mr Blunck said, including how to investigate the substances’ possible presence. The proposal’s exposure-related questions do not factor in within-article compounds, so the agency may change those elements following industry feedback, he said.
According to Mr Blunck, the EPA’s estimate of affected firms – 234 – appeared too low in the context of the numerous products potentially containing PFASs.
As organisations submit comments on the proposal, the agency will probably incorporate in its figures parties who are currently unaccounted for, particularly article importers, he said. And that updated “bigger burden may result in [the agency] looking more carefully at the types of information that they’re requesting”.
The EPA “should be considering practical aspects to the reporting obligations,” Mr Blunck said. Companies need clarity about whether raw exposure and risk monitoring data would be acceptable, he said, and the agency’s specific plans for using all requested details “could be characterized better so that the information collection can be better justified”.
Mr Blunck added that the EPA should conduct outreach to firms so they can offer input regarding impacts and − especially for those unfamiliar with agency reporting rules − become educated about their duties.
“Greater outreach will result in better comments for EPA to consider moving forward,” he said.
See – https://chemicalwatch.com/284788/breadth-of-us-epas-proposed-pfas-reporting-rule-unprecedented-experts-say (subscription required)