The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week its latest step in the implementation of its Action Plan—a preliminary regulatory determination regarding two per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). The Action Plan was issued in February 2019 and outlined the agency’s efforts to address PFAS contamination in groundwater. This latest step comes on the heels of the EPA’s November 2019 proposal to add PFAS to the list of chemicals for which facilities must report use under the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).

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On Monday, May 19, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) issued final rules under Section 316(b) of the Clean Water Act for existing[1] facilities that (a) use cooling water intake structures designed to withdraw at least 2 million gallons of water per day from waters of the U.S.; (b) have or are required to have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit; and (c) use at least 25 percent of the water they withdraw exclusively for cooling purposes.  According to USEPA, the rules apply to more than 1,000 facilities in the following sectors:

  • Electric generating plants
  • Pulp and paper mills
  • Chemical manufacturing plants
  • Iron and steel manufacturing
  • Petroleum refineries
  • Food processing
  • Aluminum manufacturing


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