Sept. 29, 2023 – Assent statement on the EPA PFAS final ruling.
As expected, the EPA has issued its final ruling on reporting requirements for PFAS data to better protect communities from forever chemicals. The scope of this ruling is immense, with an estimated potential cost for compliance of more than $800 million to companies.
There are clear opportunities and risks for complex manufacturers, suppliers, and others as they unpack the requirements of the new regulation.
- Risk: The final EPA ruling places new, complicated reporting obligations on manufacturers. Many organizations do not yet have the functional structure in place to gather and assess supplier data, adding to the complexity of meeting the regulations by the stated date.
- Risk: The financial cost of non-compliance can be detrimental on its own – but additional risks include early supply chain obsolescence, production and sales slowdowns and loss of customers due to non-compliance coupled with an inability to provide them with data.
- Opportunity: Businesses should also view this ruling as an opportunity. Being proactive, beyond basic compliance with the new EPA ruling, will benefit companies and their customers, stakeholders and investors. Companies that engage their supply chains to meet the enhanced data collection required through this final ruling will also gain the opportunity to proactively gather information for other PFAS regulations as well. This will help mitigate risks of fines, legal action, potential loss of market access, and supply chain disruptions resulting from product obsolescence.
- Opportunity: As with previous PFAS-focused regulations, the new EPA ruling will spur innovation for substitutes to existing PFAS chemicals currently used in products and parts. Manufacturers of PFAS chemicals and products that contain them will now have greater clarity on the scope of innovation required to guide future research and development activities and article importers can facilitate these efforts further.
While the EPA’s final PFAS reporting rule creates new financial, operational and supply chain challenges, it also provides even greater momentum for manufacturers to build supply chain transparency. Companies that proactively prepare to meet the new requirements and deploy the needed tools to capture, access and remove PFAS across their supply chain will position themselves to successfully navigate the evolving global regulatory environment.
The final rule is largely unchanged from the proposed rule. Overall, the adjustments signal a more comprehensive approach to PFAS management, with an emphasis on gathering more detailed information about the larger list of substances and their impacts.
- The EPA is requiring any entity that manufactures (including import) or has manufactured (including imported) PFAS or PFAS-containing articles in any year since January 1, 2011, to electronically report information regarding PFAS use, production volumes, disposal, exposures and hazards.
- The final ruling estimates over 1,400 substances on the TSCA inventory will meet their definition. This is approximately 100 substances more than listed in the proposed rule.
- There is a slightly longer reporting period than originally proposed, now 18-24 months.
- “Small manufacturers” are not exempt but are given 24 months instead of 18 months.
Quotes and information from this statement can be used as stated, directly, without additional approval, only with attribution to Cally Edgren, senior director of sustainability at Assent.
Credentials: Cally Edgren
Cally Edgren has spent nearly three decades developing and managing global compliance programs at complex manufacturing companies such as Rockwell Automation and Kohler Co. She now leads sustainability efforts at Assent, the leading SaaS brand focused on compliance reporting to address existing and new regulatory compliance mandates. She is a subject matter expert on product materials compliance as well as market access certifications, with a background in program and process development to support compliance requirements.
About Assent Inc.
Assent provides a leading supply chain sustainability management solution that supports manufacturers across the globe in addressing their product compliance and ESG needs. Founded in 2010, the company helps manufacturers collect and manage the supply chain data needed to meet environmentally and socially responsible product standards. With advanced technology and deep regulatory expertise, Assent enables companies to collect data that is aligned with regulations and industry standards to manage risks, accelerate market access, and foster sustainable practices. For more information, visit: www.assent.com.