The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) released draft interim guidance for addressing groundwater contaminated with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) for public review and comment as part of the PFAS Action Plan. The draft recommendations aim to provide clear and consistent guidance on addressing PFOA and PFOS in groundwater under federal cleanup programs. The information may be used by other Federal, State and Tribal cleanup programs.
“This interim guidance will support actions to protect the health of communities impacted by groundwater that contains PFOA and PFOS above the 70 parts per trillion level and is a potential source of drinking water. This is a critical tool for our State, Tribal, and local partners to use to address these chemicals,” says Andrew Wheeler, USEPA Administrator.
USEPA developed the guidance based on the current scientific understanding of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) toxicity, including PFOA and PFOS health advisories. The recommendations may be revised as new information becomes available.
USEPA has opened a docket for a 45-day public comment period. The draft guidance describes the interim recommendations for screening levels and preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) to inform final cleanup levels for PFOA and/or PFOS contamination of groundwater that is a current or potential source of drinking water. Comments will be accepted here through June 10, 2019.
PFAS are a large group of synthetic chemicals that are found in a wide variety of consumer and industrial products. PFAS manufacturing and processing facilities, facilities using PFAS in production of other products, airports, and military installations are some of the potential contributors to PFAS releases into the air, soil and water. Due to its widespread use and persistence in the environment, most people in the United States have been exposed to PFAS. The USEPA says there is evidence that continued exposure above threshold levels to specific PFAS compounds may lead to adverse health effects.
To access additional PFAS information from the USEPA, visit https://www.epa.gov/pfas.