The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) uses a combination of regulatory and voluntary approaches, including Significant New Use Rules (SNURs) and the voluntary 2010/2015 PFOA Stewardship Program.
US EPA has published four final SNURs (September 2013; October 2007; March 2002; and December 2002) and one recently proposed SNUR (January 2015) to ensure that PFASs that have been phased out from the United States do not re-enter the marketplace without review.
SNURs require that anyone who intends to import these chemicals, including in products, or domestically produce or process these chemicals for any new use submit a notification to EPA at least 90 days before beginning the activity. This notice provides the Agency with an opportunity to evaluate the new use and, if necessary, take action to prohibit or limit the activity.
|RISK REDUCTION APPROACHES FOR PFASs|
|Action||Path taken||BEPs Implemented||Category of PFASss addressed||Articles covered?||Life cycle stage(s) addressed||Method of approach||Public- private partnership encouraged?||Level of constraint|
2010/15 PFOA Stewardship Program; work toward elimination of long-chain PFCAs and related substances from emissions and products by end of 2015
|Encourage industry phaseout||Emission controls and product content||Long-chain perfluorocarboxylic acids and related substances||Yes||All||Regulatory||No||Fewer exemptions|
|Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) designates manufacture (including import) or processing of long-chain perfluoroalkyl sulfonates for any use as a significant new use, except for few ongoing use (40 CFR §721.9582)||Manage, manufacture, import, and processing||Minimisation of perfluoroalkyl sulfonates used||Perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs)||No||Chemical manufacture and import; processing of chemicals||Regulatory||No||Notification requirements prior to manufacturing, importing, or processing|
|Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) designates manufacture (including import) orprocessing of perfluoroalkyl carboxylate chemical for use as part of carpets or to treat carpets (e.g., for use in the carpet aftercare market) as a significant new use, except for few ongoing uses (40 CFR §721.10536)||Manage manufacture, import, and processing||Minimisation of perfluoroalkyl carboxylate chemicals used||Perfluoroalkyl carboxylate chemicals||Yes||Chemical manufacture and import; processing of chemicals, articles||Regulatory||No||Notification requirements prior to manufacturing, importing, or processing|
Proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) to designate import of perfluoroalkyl carboxylate chemicals, including in products, and domestic production or processing of these chemicals as significant new use, except for few ongoing uses (Proposed rule: 80 FR 2885)
|Manage manufacture, import, and processing||Minimisation of perfluoroalkyl carboxylate chemicals used||Perfluoroalkyl carboxylate chemicals||Yes||Chemical manufacture and import; processing of chemicals, articles||Regulatory||No||Notification requirements prior to manufacturing, importing, or processing|
In addition, since late 1999, EPA has worked with stakeholders to develop hazard and exposure information on PFASs through Enforceable Consent Agreements, negotiated but enforceable agreements among EPA, industry, and interested parties that requires certain signing parties to generate data and submit those data to EPA on a specified schedule. EPA continues to involve stakeholders in subsequent initiatives including industry, NGOs, other Agencies, academics, and the international community.
Industry and the broader research community played a key role in overcoming technological challenges in monitoring and other areas, such as creating PFAS standards, developing instruments capable of measuring PFASs, improving detection levels, handling contamination issues, and addressing scientific issues. Major manufacturers and processors of PFASs participate in the 2010/2015 PFOA Stewardship Program to work toward a phase-out of PFOA and related substances by end of 2015. The program stretched from 2015 through 2006 to provide an opportunity for development of alternatives which did not exist at the time of the launch. Progress toward the 2015 deadline is measured through annual reports. All companies are on track to meet the 2015 phaseout goal.
Concentrations of certain PFASs in media such as drinking water and in humans are also used as indicators of success. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals consists of a series of ongoing assessments of the U.S. population’s exposure to environmentachemicals through biomonitoring. The most recent data released in February 2015 indicate declines of PFOA in blood serum across the US population.
The U.S. EPA monitored unregulated contaminants under the third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) which includes PFOS, PFOA and other PFSA and PFCA compounds. The most recent report released in January 2015 included data from more than 3,600 public water systems, and showed no results for PFOA above the reference concentration (0.4 ppb) and 12 public water systems above the reference concentration (0.2ppb) for PFOS.
- Read more on EPA's Assessing and managing chemicals under TSCA.