Autodesk Water
Connecting Waterpeople
Autodesk Water Webinar Series - April 30th, 10h (UTC+1)

EPA unveils annual report on advances in PFAS management

  • EPA unveils annual report on advances in PFAS management
  • Report highlights key EPA accomplishments to safeguard public health and the environment from dangerous ‘forever chemicals’.

About the entity

U.S. EPA
United States Environmental Protection Agency. The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its second annual report on PFAS progress, which highlights significant accomplishments achieved under its PFAS Strategic Roadmap and aligns with the Biden-Harris Administration’s all of government strategy to protect communities from the impacts of forever chemicals. The report outlines key accomplishments under the Roadmap over the past year across three fronts– to restrict, remediate, and research PFAS – all centered on achieving fundamental health protections for the American people.

“This PFAS Roadmap progress report illustrates EPA’s ongoing commitment to protect people from the harmful effects of forever chemicals,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “By combining science-based solutions, historic funding, and impactful regulations, EPA is following through on the vision set out in our Roadmap – to protect people, achieve environmental justice, and improve the lives of hardworking families across America.”

“One thing is clear: Americans don’t have to choose between clean air, land, and water or a prosperous, vibrant, and secure nation,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox and co-chair of EPA’s Council on PFAS. “As our whole of agency progress clearly illustrates, we are protecting people’s health while catalyzing research and innovation, fueling new markets and jobs, and prioritizing equitable infrastructure and treatment solutions for all people in this country.”

Key 2023 accomplishments include efforts to:

  • Make PFAS use safer: EPA finalized rules for new PFAS reporting, issued a framework for reviewing PFAS to ensure they are used as safely as possible, and proposed to eliminate exemptions for new PFAS and to restrict certain legacy PFAS.
  • Hold polluters accountable: EPA has proposed to list PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under CERCLA, the nation’s Superfund law, and anticipates issuing a final rule in early 2024. This action would give the agency the power to improve transparency around PFAS releases, help ensure that polluters pay for treatment and cleanup, and help communities that are facing significant pollution quickly receive effective protections. In the last year, EPA also took important steps to stop PFAS polluters, including adding PFAS as an EPA enforcement and compliance priority from 2024-2027.
  • Protect America’s drinking water and identify the scale of exposure: EPA proposed the first national drinking water standard for six PFAS in March 2023. Once final, this rule will save thousands of lives and prevent tens of thousands of avoidable illnesses. EPA expects to finalize the rule in early 2024. Also, to better understand where PFAS exist and how people are being exposed to them, EPA initiated nationwide monitoring for 29 PFAS at more than 10,000 public water systems under the Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule. Results are posted publicly each quarter through EPA’s website.
  • Deploy infrastructure funding to invest in infrastructure projects to address PFAS in water: Many communities need to install new infrastructure and treatment technologies to address PFAS in drinking water and wastewater. Thanks to President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), EPA is providing $10 billion dedicated to removing PFAS and other emerging contaminants – more than half of which is going to disadvantaged and underserved communities. In 2023, EPA distributed nearly $1 billion through the BIL State Revolving Fund Emerging Contaminants programs and announced the first $2 billion in grant funding to states, Tribes, and territories through the new Small or Disadvantaged Communities Emerging Contaminants grant program. These programs also advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s Justice40 Initiative, which set the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution.
  • Turn off the tap at industrial polluters: EPA has taken several steps to use permitting and regulatory authority of the Clean Water Act to reduce PFAS pollution in our nation’s waters– including specific regulations to limit PFAS discharges from PFAS manufacturers, metal finishers, and landfills.
  • Incorporate equity and environmental justice across the EPA’s actions: The EPA has worked to ensure that all communities have equitable access to solutions, to advance the goals of President Biden’s Executive Order 14096, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, and to integrate recommendations from the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council.
  • Advance the science: The EPA has continued to build the scientific foundation on PFAS through research and development. The agency is investing in research to fill gaps in our understanding of PFAS, to identify which additional PFAS may pose human health and ecological risks at which exposure levels, and to develop methods to test, measure, remove, and destroy them.
  • Listen to communities and incorporate environmental justice: EPA held listening sessions with community members impacted by PFAS in each of its 10 Regions, as well as a session specifically designed for Tribal partners. Feedback shared during these sessions, in coordination with recommendations from EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council and Local Government Advisory Committee, is informing Agency-wide response efforts and helping to ensure that communities with environmental justice concerns have equitable access to information and solutions.

A Whole-of-Government Effort

As EPA advances critical work using its authorities and resources, it is doing so as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to protect public health and the environment from PFAS. This coordinated effort, spearheaded by the White House, involves key collaborations. The Council on Environmental Quality leads a high-level interagency policy group focused on PFAS policy actions and the Office of Science and Technology Policy leads an interagency expert working group of federal technical and scientific leaders. Through these efforts, EPA and its partners are increasing interagency coordination and advancing work on research, analytical methods, contaminated site cleanup, and other areas.

Looking ahead to 2024, the EPA anticipates continuing its 2023 progress with several critical actions, including finalizing national drinking water standards for several PFAS; taking final action to list certain PFAS as hazardous substances under CERCLA; proposing Effluent Limitation Guidelines for PFAS manufacturers; issuing guidance on destroying and disposing of PFAS; finalizing new methods to monitor for PFAS in a wide range of media; and proposing rules designating certain PFAS as hazardous constituents under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. The agency also expects to continue engaging closely with its state partners, who are actively working to address PFAS issues in their communities.

Together, these and other commitments will complement and reinforce each other; hold polluters accountable; and empower communities, water systems, and state partners to protect the American people more effectively from the risks posed by PFAS exposure. Read the full report.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Topics of interest

The data provided will be treated by iAgua Conocimiento, SL for the purpose of sending emails with updated information and occasionally on products and / or services of interest. For this we need you to check the following box to grant your consent. Remember that at any time you can exercise your rights of access, rectification and elimination of this data. You can consult all the additional and detailed information about Data Protection.

Featured news