May 7, 2024

EPA Releases Updated Interim Guidance on Destroying and Disposing of Certain PFAS and PFAS-Containing Materials, Will Hold 180-Day Comment Period

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 9, 2024, the release of an updated “Interim Guidance on the Destruction and Disposal of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Materials Containing Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.” According to EPA, the updated guidance “reflects the latest, best available science to provide information that managers of [per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)] wastes can use to evaluate the most appropriate...
April 29, 2024

EPA Issues Asbestos Part 2 Draft Risk Evaluation, Preliminarily Determines That Asbestos Poses Unreasonable Risk to Human Health

On April 16, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the availability of and requested public comment on a draft document titled “Draft Risk Evaluation for Asbestos Part 2: Supplemental Evaluation Including Legacy Uses and Associated Disposals of Asbestos” (the Draft Asbestos Part 2). 89 Fed. Reg. 26878. EPA is evaluating legacy uses and associated disposals of asbestos, including chrysotile asbestos, five additional fiber types, asbestos-containing talc, and Libby...
April 26, 2024

EC Communication Defines Principles on Limiting Most Harmful Chemicals to Essential Uses

On April 22, 2024, the European Commission (EC) announced that it adopted a “Communication from the Commission: Guiding criteria and principles for the essential use concept in EU legislation dealing with chemicals.” The press release states that “[t]he overall aim of this concept is to achieve higher regulatory efficiency and predictability for authorities, investors and industry for a faster phase-out of the most harmful substances in non-essential uses, while allowing more time for the...
April 23, 2024

EPA Designates PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA Hazardous Substances, Releases CERCLA Enforcement Discretion Policy

On April 19, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule that will designate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and their salts and structural isomers as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). EPA states that under the rule, entities are required to report immediately releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed the reportable quantity (RQ) of one pound within...
April 22, 2024

EPA Issues Fourth TSCA Test Order for PFAS

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on March 25, 2024, that it has issued the fourth Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) test order requiring testing on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under its National PFAS Testing Strategy. According to EPA, the action requires the 3M Company (3M) and Wacker Chemical Corporation (Wacker) to conduct and submit testing on the physical-chemical properties of 2-(N-Methylperfluoro-1-octanesulfonamido)ethanol (NMeFOSE) (Chemical...
April 9, 2024

FDA Reports That No Asbestos Was Detected in Its 2023 Testing of Talc-Containing Cosmetic Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on April 5, 2024, the results of its 2023 sampling assignment, testing talc-containing cosmetic products for the presence of asbestos. The testing was conducted using Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). FDA states that “[a]sbestos was not detected in any of the 50 samples tested in 2023.” FDA states that it selected and purchased cosmetic products, and then it blinded and transferred the samples...
April 5, 2024

EPA Proposes to Require Submission of Health and Safety Studies for 16 Chemicals Being Considered for TSCA Risk Evaluation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on March 26, 2024, a proposed rule requiring manufacturers (including importers) of 16 chemical substances to submit copies and lists of certain unpublished health and safety studies to EPA. 89 Fed. Reg. 20918. EPA identified 15 of the chemical substances as potential candidates for prioritization through a screening process based on a combination of hazard, exposure (including uses), and persistence and bioaccumulation characteristics....
March 28, 2024

EPA Bans Ongoing Uses of Chrysotile Asbestos

On March 28, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to address to the extent necessary the unreasonable risk of injury to health presented by chrysotile asbestos based on the risks posed by certain conditions of use (COU). 89 Fed. Reg. 21970. According to the final rule, the injuries to human health include mesothelioma and lung, ovarian, and laryngeal cancers resulting from chronic inhalation...
March 25, 2024

Appellate Court Vacates EPA’s TSCA Section 5 Orders Prohibiting Inhance from Manufacturing or Processing PFAS during Its Fluorination Process

On March 21, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) December 2023 orders prohibiting Inhance Technologies, L.L.C. (Inhance) from manufacturing or processing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) during its fluorination process. The court notes that in March 2022, EPA “charged for the first time” that Inhance’s fluorination process was subject to the significant new use rule (SNUR) regarding long-chain...
March 25, 2024

PFAS – What to Know Now, and What to Expect

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are attracting global legal, regulatory, commercial, and litigation attention as no other “emerging contaminant” has. Companies producing, processing, distributing, and/or using these substances must be aware of global legal and scientific developments and take steps now to minimize legal, regulatory, and commercial risk. Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) and its global consulting affiliate The Acta Group (Acta®) have prepared...