Senators to study EPA hazardous designation for PFAS

By Ellie Borst | 03/18/2024 06:25 AM EDT

The Environment and Public Works Committee will consider exemptions for “passive receivers” ahead of EPA publishing its final rule.

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).

Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation last year to protect certain sectors from liability for "forever chemicals" pollution. Kevin Dietsch/AP Photo

One of EPA’s most consequential “forever chemicals” proposals will be under the microscope at a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing this week.

On the agenda is a draft rule that would designate the two most widely detected and studied PFAS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, also known as the Superfund law.

That designation would trigger stricter reporting requirements and require polluters to foot the bill for cleanup. It means areas contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) could soon be eligible to be listed as Superfund sites.


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a class of thousands upon thousands of chemicals used in a slew of products, from cookware and clothing to semiconductors and solar panels.