As part of its new PFAS reporting rule, the Environmental Protection Agency has published a newly enforceable definition of PFAS that significantly increases the number of chemicals covered by the definition, and therefore, the rule. This AgencyIQ analysis will review the new definition compared to previous agency definitions, and what it may mean for future agency policy.
PFAS and the EPA
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a wide group of synthetic chemicals that do not occur naturally in the environment and have been produced since the 1940s. PFAS contain at least one alkyl carbon with its hydrogen atoms replaced by fluorine atoms. Carbon-fluorine bonds are some of the strongest in nature, leading to wide adoption of PFAS for a diverse array of industrial and commercial uses since the chemicals began to be produced.
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