NRDC Letter and Report to New York on Setting MCLs for PFOA and PFOS


On February 26, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) submitted a letter to Howard Zucker, the Commissioner of the New York Department of Health, during the state Drinking Water Quality Council (NYDWQC) meeting. The letter urges the state to establish Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFOA and PFOS and provides a report on exposure and health risks. In the letter, NRDC makes three requests that New York:

  1. Establish an enforceable MCL for PFOA and PFOS at a combined concentration below 4 – 10 parts per trillion (ppt).
  2. Look closely at the potential harms of feeding infants with breastmilk or formula or of pregnant mothers consuming water contaminated with PFOS and PFOA.
  3. Conduct a comprehensive health assessment of residents in communities found to have elevated PFOA or PFOS concentrations in drinking water to help all state residents understand the health risks associated with these chemicals.

The letter goes on to include the reasons for the recommendations in more detail. It provides information from a report that highlights how PFOA and PFOS have entered the environment; summarizes the threats of PFOA and PFOS to human health; describes the existing legal framework for regulating PFOA and PFOS and its deficiencies; and explains the recommendations to the NYDWQC in more detail.

Visit NRDC’s website to read the letter and report. For more information about the NYDWQC and to view a webcast of the February 26th meeting on PFAS and 1,4 Dioxane that includes estimates of treatment costs for impacted wells and water systems, visit the New York website.