On August 19, 2021, Massachusetts’s Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Administrative Council voted to add PFAS to its TURA List of Toxic or Hazardous Substances here. Specifically, following a public meeting, the council added to its list “PFAS Not Otherwise Listed,” which includes “those PFAS that contain a perfluoroalkyl moiety with three or more carbons (e.g., –CnF2n–, n ≥ 3; or CF3–CnF2n– , n≥2) or a perfluoroalkylether moiety with two or more carbons (e.g., –CnF2nOCmF2m− or –CnF2nOCmFm–, n and m ≥ 1 ).” The listing is significant in that it imposes regulations on all PFAS chemicals, beyond just the two most studied and regulated PFAS chemicals: PFOA and PFOS. Regulations implementing this change will be formally proposed next month, with written comments due on October 15, 2021.
If adopted, these PFAS chemicals will not be banned; however, Massachusetts businesses that manufacture 25,000 lb/year or otherwise use 10,000 lb/year of qualifying PFAS will be required to submit toxic use reports, pay an annual fee, and develop toxic use reduction plans. Massachusetts action here is part of the increasing push to research and regulate all PFAS, beyond the most notorious manmade chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, that have more clearly established ties to health effects.