EPA to host listening sessions on PFAS' CERCLA enforcement policy

March 3, 2023
EPA is hosting two public listening sessions for feedback in drafting PFAS enforcement discretion and settlement policy under CERCLA.

The U.S. EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) has announced two public listening sessions to receive input about new policy for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Comprehensive Environment Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The input will be considered by EPA in drafting PFAS enforcement discretion and settlement policy under CERCLA. EPA says that there will be opportunities for both verbal input during the public listening sessions and written input through a separate form.

The listening sessions will focus on an enforcement party related to responsible parties’ financial obligations under PFAS contamination response.

The dates for the sessions are:

EPA’s CERCLA PFAS enforcement discretion and settlement policy addresses stakeholder concerns and reduces uncertainties by clarifying when EPA intends to use its CERCLA enforcement authorities or its CERCLA enforcement discretion.

To the extent that PFAS cleanup enforcement efforts occur under CERCLA, EPA will develop a CERCLA PFAS enforcement discretion and settlement policy. The policy will take into account various factors, such as EPA’s intention to focus enforcement efforts on PFAS manufacturers and other industries whose actions result in the release of significant amounts of PFAS into the environment, and EPA’s intention not to focus on pursuing entities where factors do not support taking an enforcement action.

Although EPA will not provide responses to input that it receives through this solicitation, EPA says that it will carefully consider and take all input it receives into consideration in the development of an enforcement discretion and settlement policy.

The listening sessions are separate from EPA’s perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) hazardous substance designation rulemaking process. The input provided through the listening sessions are not part of the rulemaking comment docket.

Registration is required to attend a listening session. The registration form provides the option for participants to either make live verbal remarks or to just listen. Information on the opportunity to speak at the session is provided on the registration form.

More information on the CERCLA PFAS Enforcement Discretion Listening Sessions and how to register to participate can be found at: CERCLA PFAS Enforcement Listening Sessions | U.S. EPA.

Information on providing written feedback can be found on EPA’s website here. Feedback is due by March 31, 2023.