The ITRC Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) Team is finishing the development of a framework for anticipating and responding to emerging contaminants, built on lessons learned from the emergence of PFAS and coupled with proactive identification of potential future contaminants. The team laid out the following objectives when developing a series of fact sheets:
- Address how states can track and identify contaminants of emerging concern to better manage them
- Address the properties and traits that lead to identification
- Provide guidance for evaluating these properties.
Contaminants of emerging concern are an issue that often demands an immediate response by state regulatory agencies and requires a clear procedure on how to identify, evaluate, and manage them. Once an emerging contaminant is identified, public concern and interest may become elevated, requiring States to rapidly respond. Regulatory agencies and the regulated community need to more effectively address exposure to emerging contaminants while meeting the expectations of concerned or interested public stakeholders. USEPA has implemented several mechanisms to identify and evaluate the thousands of contaminants worldwide for which there is still much uncertainty in their potential hazard. These efforts at the federal level often generate data and findings that have ripple effects down to the states, but there is no clear guidance or consensus on how states should evaluate or manage this information.