USEPA Expected to Announce New PFAS Standards

The water industry is anxiously awaiting proposed regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS are known as “forever chemicals” because they persist in the environment without degrading. As of March 2, the White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing the proposed new regulations prior to their expected public release.

USEPA released four drinking water health advisories for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in June 2022 as part of the PFAS Strategic Roadmap. The PFAS health advisories indicate the level of drinking water contamination below which adverse health effects are not expected to occur. Health advisories provide technical information that Federal, State, and local officials can use to inform the development of monitoring plans, investments in treatment solutions, and future policies to protect the public from PFAS exposure.

An American Water Works Association (AWWA) study estimates it could cost $38 billion nationwide to remove enough PFAS to meet the proposed USEPA rule, which some believe may be limited to a level that the forever chemicals cannot be detected. The AWWA-sponsored study considered Federal and State sampling results and estimated that 4% to 12% of water providers across the country will need to treat for PFAS after the new regulation become effective.

AE2S is watching for the new PFAS standards and they will be shared as soon as they are publicly available in a future edition of The Update. If you have questions about treating for PFAS contamination, contact Nate Weisenburger, AE2S Drinking Water Practice Leader.