Coalition Comments on EPA's Proposed Rule of the Designation of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) as CERCLA Hazardous Substances

November 7, 2022

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coalition of Companies and Trade Associations (the Coalition) supports accelerating appropriate cleanup of sites using existing regulatory tools to address the challenges presented by PFOA and PFOS to public health and the environment in communities across the United States. Businesses are actively collaborating with federal agencies and local and state government stakeholders to ensure an effective and balanced approach to addressing PFOA and PFOS-related concerns based on the best science and appropriate consideration of risk.

However, the Coalition opposes this rulemaking as it would have multiple negative, unintended consequences that would cause unnecessary impacts to companies and communities inconsistent with EPA’s goal of safely and efficiently addressing sources of PFOA and PFOS in the environment that present risk. A CERCLA hazardous substance designation under 102(a) has never been promulgated by the Agency, and it is the wrong tool to address substances that EPA says are so widespread. Designating PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances potentially could bring millions of landowners around the country under CERCLA jurisdiction and prompt a reopening of potentially a myriad of Superfund sites. While EPA insists it will use appropriate enforcement discretion, landowners with even small amounts of PFOA and PFOS could potentially be opened to liability by third parties. Accordingly, invoking CERCLA in this instance is not effective environmental policy.