EPA Proposes New PFAS Regulations for Drinking Water

Two years after the EPA published its 2021 decision to regulate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the agency has proposed new federal limits for PFAS in drinking water.

The proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation, announced March 14, would set standards for six PFAS and require public utilities to monitor their water systems for these chemicals and take action to reduce them. The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register and go through the public comment process before being finalized, which the EPA expects to occur by the end of 2023.

The proposal would set limits of 4.0 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and PFOS, two types of PFAS commonly found in drinking water. Four other PFAS — PFHxS, PFNA, PFBS and GenX — would be subject to different maximum contaminant levels based on a hazard index calculation.

These new limits could significantly impact public drinking water systems that are vulnerable to PFAS contamination, manufacturers and users of PFAS, and downstream distributors.

To help with public understanding of the proposal’s impacts, the EPA is holding webinars on March 16 and March 29. A public hearing is scheduled for May 4; registration is required, and April 28 is the last day to register to speak.

Read more about the proposed regulation:

In addition to the proposed new NPDWR on PFAS, EPA is also moving toward finalizing its rule designating PFOA and PFOS as CERCLA “hazardous substances.” This rule would create new reporting obligations for spills and have other impacts, including:

  • Adding more sites to the National Priorities List
  • Increasing costs at sites currently being studied and remediated if the parties are required to address PFOA and PFOS
  • Potentially reopening existing Superfund sites if EPA determines that previously completed remedial actions no longer protect human health and the environment

What Utilities Can Do Now

How Freese and Nichols Can Help

With our team’s expertise and experience in environmental science and water treatment, we can assist you with PFAS regulatory compliance, testing, remediation, planning/funding and program management.

To learn more, contact David Jackson, david.jackson@freese.com, or Viraj deSilva, viraj.desilva@freese.com

More Like This

Most Significant Issues and Concerns Related to PFAS that a Public Works Director Should Know and Plan For

Originally presented at 2021 WEFTEC Conference by Viraj deSilva. Viraj deSilva, PhD, PE, BCEE was invited to speak at the […]

Learn More

Viraj deSilva Appointed Chair of WEF PFAS Task Force

Viraj deSilva was appointed Chair of the WEF PFAS Task Force, a group that has sponsored workshops, shared educational resources, and worked closely with other agencies and organizations such as the EPA, AWWA, SWANA, SAME, AMTA, and NACWA to help lead and promote information about PFAS.

Learn More

Viraj deSilva

What’s in the Latest EPA PFAS Strategic Roadmap Update?

The EPA has released an update to its “PFAS Strategic Roadmap,” the next step toward tighter control over the widespread water contaminant.

Learn More

Viraj deSilva’s PFAS Research Featured in AWWA Water Science and at WEFTEC

Viraj deSilva, PE, PhD, BCEE, contributes to an article in AWWA Water Science reviewing a variety of technologies for management and destruction of PFAS, and is invited to speak at WEFTEC focusing on PFAS issues for public works.

Learn More

PFAS Resources

PFAS (per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are chemicals used in the production of a wide range of everyday products but are now […]

Learn More

Journal AWWA Shares Our PFAS Expertise

Our team explains what to know about treating PFAS for potable reuse water and what to expect in the changing regulatory landscape.

Learn More