The announcement comes after the EPA announced in June that the chemicals pose a greater danger than previously understood, even in amounts too tiny to be detected.
WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday designated “forever chemicals” that have been used in cookware, carpets and firefighting foams as hazardous substances, clearing the way for quicker cleanup of the group of toxic compounds known as PFAS.
Designation as a hazardous substance under the so-called Superfund law means that releases of PFOA and PFOS that meet or exceed a certain levels would have to be reported to federal, state or tribal officials. The EPA could then require cleanups to protect public health and recover cleanup costs.
PFOA and PFOS have been voluntarily phased out by U.S. manufacturers but are still in limited use and remain in the environment because they do not degrade over time. The compounds, which have been used in consumer products and industry since the 1940s, are …