EPA Lists Two PFAS Chemicals Under Superfund Law

PFOS and PFOA To Be Listed As Hazardous Substances

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the EPA proposed a new rule to list two PFAS chemicals – PFOS and PFOA – as hazardous substances under the United States’ federal Superfund law, giving EPA the authority to force polluters to efficiently cleanup contaminated sites and recoup costs of cleanup. 

EPA’s own assessment of PFAS indicates that exposure to minuscule levels of the two chemicals – which can be present in drinking water, fire fighting foam and common foods – can cause a host of health impacts including decreased fertility, developmental delays in children, and increased risk of cancer. 

In response Sonya Lunder, the Sierra Club’s Senior Toxics Policy Advisor, released the following statement: 

“We welcome this step from the EPA to address the legacy of PFOS and PFOA contamination in communities, military bases, and industrial sites around the country. Today’s action alone does not match the urgency of the problem. EPA must rapidly assess and add other PFAS chemicals to Superfund and the RCRA Hazardous Waste list. It must ensure PFAS waste is not transferred to marginalized communities who live near incinerators, landfills and injection wells.  PFAS producers, not the public, should bear the cost of cleaning up contaminated sites.”

In response, Adam Nordell, PFAS-impacted farmer and Campaign Manager with Defend Our Health in Maine, released the following statement: 

"PFAS contamination destroyed my organic farm business, threw my family's life into chaos, and left us with a lifetime of terrifying health concerns. It's been more than half a century that the corporations who profited off the manufacture and use of PFAS have dumped this nightmarish problem on farms like mine, on rural communities, and on communities of color. The whole time the polluters have been able to wash their hands and walk away. This proposed listing is a crucial step towards protecting people and protecting farms. EPA is going to hold polluters accountable for their actions."

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.