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Submit Comments by October 15: Amendments to Add Category of PFAS to TURA List

Public Hearing to be Held on October 15

The TURA Administrative Council voted unanimously on August 19, 2021 to add the Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances Not Otherwise Listed (PFAS NOL) category* to the TURA list of Toxics or Hazardous Substances. The Administrative Council is the governing body of the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) program.

Studies reviewed by the TURA Science Advisory Board show PFAS health effects on the endocrine system, including liver and thyroid, as well as metabolic effects, developmental effects, neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity. PFAS have been detected above the Massachusetts’ Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) of 20 ppt for six specific PFAS in drinking water wells in dozens of towns.

Following the vote, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs filed draft regulations. Written comments will be accepted through October 15, 2021. Written testimony should be submitted via email to [email protected] or via mail to:  Tiffany Skogstrom, Executive Director of the TURA Administrative Council, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02114.

The public hearing will be held virtually on October 15, 2021, 1 to 3 p.m. ​Use this link to access the Zoom public hearing (Meeting ID: 885 2870 7255, Passcode: C5TCLa, Telephone Passcode: 562031).

If the draft regulations for PFAS are adopted, Massachusetts businesses will be subject to TURA program requirements, if they:

• Manufacture or process 25,000 lb/year, or otherwise use 10,000 lb/year, of PFAS NOL
• Do business in TURA covered sectors
• Have 10 or more full time employee equivalents (FTEs)

Companies that meet the criteria above will need to submit toxics use reports, pay an annual fee and develop toxics use reduction plans. TURA does not ban the use of chemicals.

The TURA program, which consists of the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell, the Office of Technical Assistance and MassDEP – supports companies in their efforts to find safer alternatives. This Toxics Use Reduction approach makes it possible to address PFAS contamination at its source, rather than only addressing PFAS after contamination has occurred.

Listing PFAS under TURA will help manufacturers understand how PFAS are being used, identify ways to reduce use and reduce company liability for potential contamination. These activities will strengthen the Commonwealth’s work to reduce the use of PFAS.

*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).