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EPA Issues Final Guidance to Clarify PFAS Significant New Use Rule

For Release: January 19, 2021

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to make addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment an active and ongoing priority. As part of these efforts, today, EPA is issuing a final guidance document that outlines which imported articles are covered by the agency’s July 2020 final rule that prohibits companies from manufacturing, importing, processing, or using certain long-chain PFAS without prior EPA review and approval.  

For importers of articles that may contain long-chain PFAS as part of a surface coating, this guidance: 

  • Provides additional clarity on what is meant by a “surface coating.”
  • Identifies which entities are regulated.
  • Describes the activities that are required or prohibited.
  • Summarizes the notification requirements of the final rule.

There are no significant changes between the final guidance document and the draft document, which was released for public comment in December.  

The July 2020 final rule is part of EPA’s PFAS Action Plan issued in February 2019. The cross-agency plan is the most comprehensive effort ever to address an emerging chemical of concern. Through the plan, EPA has made significant progress to help states and local communities address PFAS and protect public health. 

Read the final guidance document

Backgroundon Final Guidance Document 

In July 2020, EPA issued a final rule strengthening the regulation of PFAS by requiring notice and EPA review before the use of long-chain PFAS that have been phased out in the United States could begin again. Additionally, articles containing certain long-chain PFAS as a surface coating and carpet containing perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances can no longer be imported into the United States without EPA review.