EPA cracks down on ‘for­ev­er chem­i­cals’ and pol­luters with new rule

EPA cracks down on ‘forever chemicals’ and polluters with new rule

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The Biden admin­is­tra­tion on Fri­day final­ized a new rule des­ig­nat­ing two wide­ly used “for­ev­er chem­i­cals” as haz­ardous sub­stances under fed­er­al law, an effort to keep pol­luters on the hook for any con­t­a­m­i­na­tion caused by the tox­ic, can­cer-linked chem­i­cals.
Per- and poly­flu­o­roalkyl sub­stances are wide­ly used in the U.S. to make every­thing from non­stick cook­ware and per­son­al care prod­ucts to children’s toys. But expo­sure to the tox­ic sub­stances is linked to a litany of health prob­lems, includ­ing repro­duc­tive prob­lems, devel­op­men­tal delays for chil­dren, cer­tain types of can­cers, and liv­er and heart prob­lems in adults.
The Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s final rule clas­si­fies two of the most wide­ly used PFAS, per­flu­o­rooc­tanoic acid and per­flu­o­rooc­tane­sul­fon­ic acid, as haz­ardous sub­stances under the fed­er­al Super­fund law, a change that gives the agency greater author­i­ty to mon­i­tor com­pa­nies involved in the han­dling of the chem­i­cals and ensure they are dis­posed of prop­er­ly.
The rule also requires com­pa­nies to report any release of PFOA or PFOS that meets or …