210222 EPA Interim Guidance PFAS Disposal Destruction


February 22, 2021


The Honorable Jane Nashida

Acting Administrator

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

7101 M

Washington, DC 20460

Dear Acting Administrator Nashida:

RE: Interim Guidance on PFAS Disposal and Destruction (EPA-HQ-OLEM-2020-0527 FRL- 10017-07-OLEM)

We the undersigned coalition of trade associations and companies appreciate the opportunity to provide comments regarding your proposed Interim Guidance on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) Disposal and Destruction. Our coalition and member companies represent manufacturers and users of PFAS from a variety of sectors including aerospace, automobiles, construction, electronics, traditional and alternative energy, and textiles to medical devices, national security, and public safety.

The coalition urges EPA to continue to promote flexibility in recommending methods that ensure the safe disposal and destruction of PFAS. The guidance should reflect not only a variation of available disposal and destruction options, but what options are the most effective, as outlined by data and research.

While there is a prioritization of methods, the lack of performance data referenced in the interim guidance does not correlate to the prioritization approach or concrete actions to implement the disposal and destruction methods EPA selected. This very prescriptive prioritization of lower uncertainty to higher uncertainty without a basis for the ranking, implies one technology is better than another for all circumstances. For instance, the interim storage option is listed as the least uncertain. However, storing PFAS material from up to 2 to 5 years, without additional guidance on how to do it (e.g., in containment, lining the storage location, distance from water bodies) — on top of significant management and cost burdens — does not offer sufficient information to confirm interim storage as the most protective of the environment.

Anecdotally, an unregulated labeled container does not seem more protective of the environment on a short to medium term basis as compared to a RCRA-permitted hazardous waste landfill or solid waste landfill with strict, regulated impermeable liners. In addition, incineration is listed as the most uncertain disposal option. Per EPA research and other independent studies referenced in our Appendix, incineration can be a safe and efficient mode of PFAS destruction through properly designed, operated, and permitted incinerators. There should be more thorough and transparent explanation of the basis for ranking disposal and destruction methods.

The guidance should also propose additional testing, where deemed necessary, to better reflect the variation in disposal methods and destruction operating parameters, and waste types. We appreciate the opportunity to offer detailed feedback on specific language in the interim guidance in the appendix below.

EPA’s failure to offer clear and concise guidance on the proper disposal of PFAS wastes is leading to a patchwork of inconsistent state standards. If a determination cannot yet be made due to a lack of data, that also needs to be clear and concise. We look forward to working with you to finalize this Interim Guidance to address local concerns and to ensure a consistent approach to treatment and risk communications.

We stand ready to answer any questions you may have.


American Chemistry Council

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers

American Petroleum Institute

National Association of Chemical Distributors

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

210222 EPA Interim Guidance PFAS Disposal Destruction