In the October 17, 2022 NJ Register, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) posted interim soil remediation standards for several per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds, using authority provided in NJAC 7:26D Remediation Standards, which does not require public or stakeholder participation. The interim standards are for the direct contact and migration to groundwater exposure routes, and include perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), and hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt (also known as GenX).
NJDEP justifies the need for interim standards for these compounds based on the long-term use of PFAS in industry, firefighting foams, and consumer products, and as a result, these substances have identified in all environmental media, including drinking water supplies. Further, currently available toxicology indicates PFAS are harmful at relatively low concentrations and they bioaccumulate.
The interim standards are applicable immediately, and persons responsible for conducting remediation (PRCR) are required to investigate and remediate these compounds in soil and groundwater. Considering there are thousands of PFAS compounds, a steady stream of interim and final standards for all exposure routes are expected in the future for soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment.