Illinois Bans Burning of PFAS

Posted on 6/14/2022 by Lauren Scott

On June 8, 2022, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a bill prohibiting the incineration of any perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including fire-fighting foams, effective immediately. Since the 1940s, PFAS have been used in a wide range of consumer products and industrial processes for its waterproofing and oil-resistant properties. This has resulted in PFAS contaminating the air, water, and soil.

This law allows exemptions for incineration via thermal oxidizer when operated as a pollution control device or a resource recovery device at a facility using PFAS, as well as some exemptions for medical waste incinerators and landfills.

While PFAS have largely been phased out of production in the US, this class of 5,000-plus man-made substances is not easily broken down in the environment, hence the nickname “forever chemicals.” PFAS have also been linked to a wide range of health defects, such as immune system deficiencies, cancer, birth defects, and liver and kidney toxicity.

Because PFAS cannot be easily broken down, experts have long debated the safest and most effective way to dispose of PFAS. While incineration has shown some promise, the burning process may cause the substances to break down into other dangerous compounds and may inadvertently release additional greenhouse gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon monoxide, and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs).

A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Pritzker last year, citing concerns that the bill’s definition of “incineration” was too broad, and would unintentionally restrict companies from using alternative methods for PFAS disposal, such as thermal oxidation.

New York passed a similar law in 2020 prohibiting the burning of PFAS-containing aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) in certain cities. Researchers found that PFAS incineration at a plant in Cohoes, NY contributed to soil and surface water contamination in the surrounding areas.

EPA Plans Two RCRA Hazardous Waste Rules for PFAS

US EPA plans to propose two RCRA hazardous waste rules to address the environmental impacts of PFAS and facilitate cleanup of sites contaminated with these so-called forever chemicals.

The two forthcoming rules are EPA’s response to New Mexico’s governor, who petitioned the Agency to regulate PFAS chemicals as hazardous waste under RCRA, individually or as a group. The planned proposals respond to the petition and give us insight about how EPA will treat PFAS chemicals under the RCRA hazardous waste regulations in the future. 

RCRA and RCRA Refresher Training—When and Where You Want

US EPA requires hazardous waste professionals to complete annual training on the RCRA requirements.

Lion's RCRA training courses are updated to cover the latest new and revised hazardous waste regulations that generators must know. Get up to speed on the latest cradle-to-grave management standards with Lion's in-person workshop, self-paced online course, or live webinar.

Browse RCRA training options here to find the course that fits your needs, your schedule, and your learning style. 

Tags: chemical management, Clean Air Act, EPA, PFAS

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

The instructor does a great job at presenting material in an approachable way. I have been able to save my company about $30,000 in the last year with what I have learned from Lion!

Curtis Ahonen

EHS&S Manager

Excellent job. Made what is very dry material interesting. Thoroughly explained all topics in easy-to-understand terms.

David Hertvik

Vice President

I tried other environmental training providers, but they were all sub-standard compared to Lion. I will not stray from Lion again!

Sara Sills

Environmental Specialist

I chose Lion's online webinar because it is simple, effective, and easily accessible.

Jeremy Bost

Environmental Health & Safety Technician

I had a positive experience utilizing this educational program. It was very informative, convenient, and rewarding from a career perspective.

John Gratacos

Logistics Manager

The instructor made the class very enjoyable and catered to the needs of our group.

Sarah Baker


I like the consistency of Lion workshops. The materials are well put together and instructors are top notch!

Kevin Pylka

Permitting, Compliance & Environmental Manager

The course was very informative and presented in a way that was easily understood and remembered. I would recommend this course.

Jeffrey Tierno

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Excellent class, super instructor, very easy to follow. No rushing through material. Would like to take his class again.

Lawrence Patterson

EH&S Facility Maintenance & Security Manager

One of the best trainings I have ever received!

Brandon Morfin

EH&S Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Find out what makes DOT hazmat training mandatory for employees who sign the hazardous waste manifest, a “dually regulated” document for tracking shipments.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.