US moves to exempt companies from reporting harmful chemical releases

Read the full story in The Guardian. You can read a compliance based discussion of the new regulation at the Kelly Green Law Blog.

Federal regulators are crafting an exemption for polluters releasing harmful perfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) into the environment in a way that environmental advocates say circumvents a new law meant to address widespread contamination.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a rule Monday adding 172 PFAS chemicals to a list of those that are required to report when they release them into the air or water, or on land…

Specifically, lawmakers said manufacturers should be required to report to the government if they release 100 pounds or more of the chemicals annually into a waterway. But EPA’s new regulation would allow them to bypass that requirement, as long as no single PFAS chemical in a mixture released exceeded 1% of the total.

EPA is also skipping the usual step of allowing the public to comment before finalizing the rule, arguing that because the rule is needed to comply with an act of Congress, EPA “has no discretion as to the outcome”.

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