Inside the EPA’s New PFAS Use Rule

In January 2024, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a significant new use rule (SNUR) to strengthen the regulation of PFAS by preventing anyone from resuming the manufacture or processing of inactive PFAS without EPA review of the significant new use. 

This final rule, which went into effect on March 11, 2024, targets 329 per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, also known as “forever chemicals,” that are listed as “inactive” on the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Inventory and are not part of the existing SNUR.

If you need assistance evaluating your EHS compliance regarding PFAS, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]. We have years of regulatory experience and can help you build a compliance program that incorporates existing and emerging guidelines. 

Which PFAS are affected?

The new SNUR applies to the 329 PFAS listed as “inactive” on the TSCA Inventory and that are not already subject to an existing SNUR. This “inactive” designation means that a chemical substance has not been manufactured, imported, or processed in the United States since June 21, 2006.

The EPA has exempted from the notice PFAS present as impurities, any byproducts that are not used for commercial purposes, and the importing or processing of inactive PFAS-containing articles since notification for the commercial activity designation (as active or inactive) on the TSCA Inventory is not required for such substances. 

Similarly, EPA is exempting from the notice requirement PFAS manufactured or processed: 

  • in small quantities solely for research and development, 
  • for test marketing purposes, 
  • as a non-isolated intermediate, 
  • or solely for export from the United States, except where the Administrator has made a finding described in TSCA guidelines.

Who does this action affect?

You may be affected by this action if you manufacture, import, process, or distribute commerce chemical substances and mixtures. Potentially affected entities range from automotive manufacturers to office equipment wholesalers. 

This action may also affect certain entities through pre-existing import, including import certification and export notification rules under TSCA.

How to Remain Compliant

The EPA has been actively working to prevent PFAS from entering the air, land, and water at levels that could negatively affect human health and the environment. This new SNUR is a key action in the EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap. It ensures that the EPA receives prompt advance notice of any future manufacturing, importing, or processing of inactive PFAS for new uses that might result in changes in human or environmental exposures.

This final rule enhances the regulation of PFAS by prohibiting anyone from resuming the manufacturing or processing of inactive PFAS without an EPA review.Anyone planning to manufacture, import, or process any of the 329 covered inactive PFAS inventories will need to notify the EPA 90 days prior to initiating the activity. Upon receiving a notification, the EPA will review and evaluate whether the new use might pose an unreasonable risk to health and the environment and propose responsible use guidelines if appropriate.

Get PFAS Support

The world of EHS compliance is changing rapidly, especially regarding PFAS. Keeping up with these changes and ensuring your products are ready to go on the market amid new regulations can be time-consuming and frustrating. 

We can help you build a solid compliance program that considers the new compliance landscape. If you need help identifying the PFAS in your manufacturing processes or supply chain, understanding your reporting requirements, or seeking out alternative substances for your products, contact our experts at [email protected]. We can help you work toward a sustainable future in the face of regulatory changes with everything from compliance assessments to reporting management and more.

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