The EPA released an updated “Interim Guidance on the Destruction and Disposal of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances and Materials Containing Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances.” The updated guidance reflects the latest, best available science to provide information that managers of PFAS wastes can use to evaluate the most appropriate destruction, disposal, or storage method among those currently available. The guidance also recommends that decision-makers prioritize the use of technologies with the lowest potential for environmental release, to better protect people and communities from PFAS exposures.

The guidance contains a new technology evaluation framework that enables technology developers to assess emerging innovative destruction and disposal methods. The guidance also underscores the need to generate and publicly release data to validate whether existing and new technologies may be suitable for larger-scale use. It describes new EPA test methods and improved screening tools to identify and prioritize safeguards for communities located near destruction and disposal facilities and overburdened by pollution. The updated guidance can help government officials and private industry make informed decisions on PFAS destruction and disposal technologies, and aid in the implementation of forthcoming rules to protect public health from exposure to PFAS.

“This guidance is another important step in the agency’s efforts to protect communities from PFAS pollution,” said Cliff Villa, Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “It is a testament to the Biden-Harris Administration’s unwavering commitment to advance scientific understanding on methods to remediate, dispose of, and destroy PFAS contamination.”

The updated interim guidance retains the 2020 guidance’s focus on three existing technologies: underground injection, landfills, and thermal treatment under certain conditions. It also incorporates public comments on EPA’s 2020 interim guidance, integrates years of government and private sector work developing and accessing technologies, and highlights innovation and emerging technologies that warrant further evaluation. The new document identifies key data gaps and uncertainties that ongoing research is working to address to achieve efficient destruction of PFAS and minimization of environmental PFAS release. The document calls for actively undertaking more of this important work, including EPA collaborations with the private sector, to inform data-driven decision making that protects public health and the environment.

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