Within days of Office of Management and Budget and Science Advisory Board blessings, EPA has formally proposed that PFOA and PFOS, two of the hundreds of "forever chemicals" collectively known as PFAS, be included among the chemicals that are "hazardous substances" under the Federal Superfund law.   

EPA's designation will be final after everyone has an opportunity to comment; most certainly by the end of the year. No one should expect EPA's listing of PFAS to stop here. More PFAS will most certainly be added, some in relatively short order.

EPA says that the "level of evidence" of the risks posed by these two PFAS is "more than sufficient to satisfy" the standard for identifying them as "hazardous substances" covered by the Federal Superfund law. Since the list of "hazardous substances" is very, very long, and already includes things like sodium and zinc, it is hard to take serious issue with that EPA conclusion.

So now at least two PFAS will be subject to the same rules (to the extent there aren't more stringent state regulations) in all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

What comes next? Discovery of what could be hundreds if not thousands of "releases" of PFAS into the environment and litigation over what is discovered unlike anything we've seen since the 1980s and 1990s. The excitement and expense are just beginning.

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