Fri. May 31st, 2024

EPA declares 2 forever chemicals are ‘hazardous,’ putting polluters on the hook for cleanup

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May19,2024

The Biden administration on Friday designated two pervasive pollutants as “hazardous substances” — making it easier to put companies that dumped them on the hook for cleanup costs. 

The move, by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), designates two types of PFAS as hazardous under the nation’s legacy pollution law. 

PFAS, which stands for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, refers to a class of cancer-linked chemicals that have been used to make nonstick and waterproof products, as well as firefighting foam.

The toxic chemicals have become pervasive in U.S. waterways, but have also contaminated specific sites, including areas near chemical plants and military bases. 

The EPA’s latest action seeks to enable remediation of historic pollution of two of the most notorious and dangerous types, called PFOA and PFOS.

The new hazardous substance designation gives the agency greater authority to investigate and clean up sites that have been polluted with these chemicals under the nation’s Superfund law. It also makes it easier for the agency to compel the companies that dumped them to pay for those actions. 

Fighting ‘forever chemicals’: Women face pervasive PFAS risks

The EPA also said that it was issuing a separate policy stating that it would focus these efforts on big polluters like companies that made or used PFAS in manufacturing or certain federal facilities.

“President Biden understands the threat that “forever chemicals” pose to the health of families across the country,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a written statement. 

“Designating these chemicals under our Superfund authority will allow EPA to address more contaminated sites, take earlier action, and expedite cleanups, all while ensuring polluters pay for the costs to clean up pollution threatening the health of communities,” he added.

The chemicals are sometimes called “forever chemicals” because they tend to persist in the environment and build up over time instead of breaking down. 

The move comes just days after a separate rule established legal limits for several PFAS in drinking water, including PFOA and PFOS. 

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “EPA declares 2 forever chemicals are ‘hazardous,’ putting polluters on the hook for cleanup”
  1. As a woman, I appreciate the EPA’s action in designating PFAS as hazardous substances. It’s crucial to hold companies accountable for polluting our environment with these toxic chemicals.

  2. As an environmental advocate, I believe the EPA’s decision to label PFAS as hazardous substances is a crucial step towards holding polluters accountable for their actions. It’s time companies take responsibility for the cleanup of these harmful chemicals that have contaminated our waterways and endangered public health.

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