On June 15, 2022, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted new health advisories for four perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. EPA’s health advisories identify the concentration of chemicals in drinking water at or below which adverse health effects are not anticipated to occur. Health advisories are non-regulatory and reflect EPA’s assessment of the best available peer-reviewed science. Previous advisories for other PFAS compounds in drinking water were on the order of 70 parts per trillion, and resulted in the adoption of similar and lower standards at the state level. The new advisory includes the compounds listed below. Additional state level actions are expected based on this advisory.
- PFOA at 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt)
- PFOS at 0.02 ppt
- GenX chemicals at 10 ppt
- PFBS at 2,000 ppt
EPA has a detailed plan, known as the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, to integrate PFAS into their water supply, waste and remediation regulations, with the proposal of PFAS National Drinking Water Regulations in the fall of 2022 as the centerpiece. In parallel, they are advancing numerous supporting tasks including:
- conducting further health studies;
- developing water treatment technologies;
- issuing an Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule;
- issuing a Toxic Substances Control Act PFAS test order;
- adding PFAS to EPA’s contaminated site cleanup tables;
- publishing draft aquatic life water quality criteria; and
- modifying air and water discharge requirements.