Ground Water Canada

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NGWA applauds U.S. EPA determination to regulate PFAS in drinking water


March 17, 2021
By Ground Water Canada

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Westerville, Ohio – The National Ground Water Association is applauding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent determination to regulate perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in drinking water.

The EPA’s “Announcement of Final Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Fourth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List” was published in the Federal Register on March 3. The determination also indicates additional regulations concerning PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) may be coming.

NGWA has long been an industry leader in providing PFAS research, education, and resources to the public and scientific communities. In 2017, NGWA published Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice, which was one of the first PFAS guidance documents to be released, and has a Groundwater and PFAS resource centre.

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Starting in 2019, NGWA has regularly submitted comments to the EPA advocating for increased federal regulations of PFAS, including regulating PFOS/PFOA in drinking water. In 2020, NGWA joined eight leading water organizations in a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging the EPA to create strong drinking water standards, including the regulation of PFAS.

In submitted comments to the EPA in 2020, NGWA stated:

“NGWA strongly recommends that EPA regulate PFOS and PFOA under the Safe Drinking Water Act as quickly as possible based on the best available data and science currently available to EPA. NGWA believes EPA has sufficient information to make a regulatory determination for PFOA and PFOS now…. NGWA agrees with the preliminary determination of EPA that the PFOS and PFOA may have an adverse health effect on people, are known to occur in public water systems, and present a meaningful opportunity to reduce the health risk for people served by public water systems. EPA must act now.”

Following the announcement, the EPA will initiate the process to propose National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for PFOA and PFOS within 24 months. For this rulemaking effort, in addition to using the best available science, the EPA will seek recommendations from the EPA Science Advisory Board and consider public comment on the proposed rule.

“The move toward regulating PFAS in drinking water and building public confidence in our drinking water is not only a health and safety issue but is also the best way to serve our industry,” said NGWA CEO Terry S. Morse CAE, CIC. “While the process is far from over, we are proud to have played a role in encouraging these actions and look forward to working with the EPA on finalizing the proposed rules.”

As in previous years, NGWA will host an event on the topic: The Fate of PFAS: From Groundwater to Tap Water virtual conference will take place June 22-23.