Berkeley Law Petitions EPA to Regulate Certain PFAS under RCRA

EPA Headquarters • Washington, DC

Berkeley Law Petitions EPA to Regulate Certain PFAS under RCRA

The University of California Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) filed a petition for rulemaking with EPA on January 15, 2020 representing the Green Science Policy Institute (GSP) and several other activist groups asking EPA to regulate hundreds of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The full list of petitioners include:

  • Alaska Community Action on Toxics, a nonprofit environmental organization based in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Buxmont Coalition for Safer Water, a grassroots community organization north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Clean Cape Fear,  a grassroots community alliance in Southeastern North Carolina
  • Fountain Valley Clean Water Coalition, a community organization in El Paso County, Colorado
  • Green Science Policy Institute, a nonprofit scientific organization based in Berkeley, California
  • PFAS Alliance, a nonprofit environmental organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Petitioners are requesting that EPA promulgate regulations designating wastes containing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt (GenX), and any combination of these, as hazardous wastes subject to the management and disposal requirements of Subtitle C of RCRA. Additionally, petitioners are asking that the RCRA hazardous waste designations for PFOA and PFOS wastes extend to cover the full chemical subclass of each—long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (LCPFACs) and long-chain perfluoroalkane sulfonates (LCPFASs), respectively—because the characteristics of LCPFACs and LCPFASs demonstrate that class-based regulation is appropriate.

According to ELC, the petition is meant to amplify pressure on EPA to take serious action on PFAS and complements a petition filed on September 19, 2019 by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) that also asked EPA to list PFAS chemicals as RCRA hazardous waste.



Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic Petition 
Letter to Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, EPA | January 15, 2020

PEER Petition 
Letter to Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, EPA | September 19, 2019

Green Science Policy Institute Press Release
Press Release: BERKELEY, CA - January 15, 2020

Berkeley Law Blog Post
Legal Planet | Dark Waters in Dark Times | January 15, 2020 | by Claudia Polsky, Director, Berkeley Environmental Law Clinic

Michigan Live Posting
Advocates Petition EPA to Regulate PFAS as Hazardous Waste | by Garret Ellison, mLIVE | January 17, 2020

Port City Daily Article
Clean Cape Fear joins petition for EPA to consider PFAS ‘hazardous waste.’ Here’s how it could change things | by Benjamin Schachtman, Port City Daily | January 19, 2020