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Washington State Begins PFAS Alternatives Assessment


 The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) published an alternatives assessment (AA) project summary for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on November 6, 2018 (available here). The assessment is required by legislation concerning the use of perfluorinated chemicals in food packaging, HB 2658, that was signed into law by the governor on March 21, 2018.

HB 2658 amended Washington’s Toxics in Packaging Law (RCW 70.95G) to include the ban on PFAS in food packaging made from paper and paperboard. The ban is scheduled take effect January 2022, but only if Ecology identifies safer alternatives by conducting an AA prior to that date. The AA must follow the guidelines established by the Interstate Chemicals Clearinghouse (IC2) and consider chemical hazards, performance, cost, availability, and exposure.

In conducting the AA, Ecology will use contractor support to gather information and data from institutional and government purchasers, users of food packaging, producers of food packaging, producers of PFAS-free alternatives, researchers, chemical manufacturers, product testing laboratory services, and other interested parties. Comments on the PFAS AA Project Summary can be submitted online until December 4, 2018.

Ecology’s PFSA Chemical Action Plan (CAP) provides the following time line:

  • January/February 2019: post updated chapters and draft CAP recommendations
  • March 2019: host a webinar to review updates, draft recommendations and cost analysis
  • Spring 2019: publish Draft PFAS CAP and hold 60-day public comment period
  • Summer 2019 (estimate): Hold public meetings
  • Fall 2019: finalize PFAS CAP and hold Advisory Committee meeting to review comments
  • December 2019 (estimate): Publish the Final PFAS CAP

Additional information is available in the PFAS AA focus sheet.