EPA releases updated guidance on disposal of certain PFAS materials

April 9, 2024
The EPA has announced a new interim guidance on destroying and disposing of certain PFAS chemicals.

On Tuesday, April 9, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an updated “Interim Guidance on the Destruction of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Materials Containing Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances” (PFAS).

The updated guidance is a reflection of the latest science to provide information for managers of PFAS wastes to use to evaluate the most appropriate destruction, disposal or storage methods.

The new guidance recommends that decision-makers prioritize technologies with the lowest for environmental release to better protect people against PFAS.

The guidance contains new technology evaluation framework that enables developers to assess the latest destruction and disposal methods. The guidance also points out the need to generate and publicly share data to analyze whether existing and new technologies can be implemented on a larger scale.

The updated guidance gives government officials and private industry the ability to make informed decisions on PFAS disposal and destruction.

“This guidance is another important step in the agency’s efforts to protect communities from PFAS pollution,” said Cliff Villa, Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management, in a press release.“It is a testament to the Biden-Harris Administration’s unwavering commitment to advance scientific understanding on methods to remediate, dispose of, and destroy PFAS contamination.”

The updated interim guidance retains the 2020 guidance’s focus on three existing technologies: underground injection, landfills and thermal treatment.

It also incorporates things like public comments on the EPA’s 2020 interim guidance and years of government and private sector work developing and accessing new technologies for the disposal of PFAS.

The new guidelines underscore the importance of identifying key data gaps and uncertainties that ongoing research is working to address.

The interim guidance is part of the EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap. Comments will be accepted for 180 days following publication in the Federal Register.

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