The EPA officially designated two per- and poly-fluoroalkyl chemicals as hazardous substances regulated under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, a move long anticipated by USCC in our two-year-old fight to be exempted from the rule upon its adoption.

A list of specifically exempted entities, including farmers, public landfills and public water treatment facilities, was published alongside the rule in the PFAS Enforcement Discretion and Settlement Policy; compost was not called out in the exemption although the term “other entities” was included as exempted from coverage. At a November 30, 2023 Compost Stakeholder meeting with the EPA’s Regional Support Division (RSD) in the Office of Site Remediation Enforcement with USCC leadership, the division’s lead attorney indicated that compost would not be included in cleanup enforcement for PFAS “passively received” by compost facilities. USCC continues to ask for specific listing as an exempted entity.

“We will continue to fight to be exempted through legislation to be sure composters are exempted as passive receivers,” said Frank Franciosi, Executive Director of a bill introduced by Sen. Cynthia Lummis. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito has pledged not to support a broad bill providing PFAS protections and research offered by Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Sen. Tom  Carper unless a passive receivers exemption is included.

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