EPA Final Regulatory Determinations for PFOA, PFOS, and Other CCL4 Contaminants Issued but Now Pending Review

This week, EPA announced its final determinations to regulate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water, two of the contaminants on the fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL4). However, the Biden administration has now issued a new Executive Order “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” that will delay and ultimately could change the regulatory determinations and other information provided in the Pre-publication Notice, along with many other recent EPA PFAS actions. This notice, as it currently stands, also includes EPA’s:

  • Determination not to regulate six other CCL4 contaminants (i.e., 1,1-dichloroethane, acetochlor, methyl bromide (bromomethane), metolachlor, nitrobenzene, and RDX).
  • Decision to continue the evaluation of 1,4-dioxane without making a preliminary regulatory determination as it reviews the new TSCA risk evaluation for 1,4-dioxane and considers the upcoming Canadian guideline technical document.
  • Clarification that it is continuing with its previous 2016 decision to delay a final determination for strontium as it further considers additional studies related to exposure.

For PFOA and PFOS, the next step after the regulatory determination is to initiate the process to develop a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for which the pre-publication states that EPA will seek recommendations from the EPA Science Advisory Board, continue further review of new science, collect and review additional state and other occurrence information, and consider public comment. Under the SDWA regulatory development process, EPA has 24 months after publication in the Federal Register to propose a regulation for PFOA and PFOS, but that timeline could be upended by the Biden Administration review. The pre-publication notice also provides more information about EPA’s determinations, responses to public comments, and plans to fast track the evaluation of additional PFAS for future drinking water regulatory determinations if necessary information and data become available. Stay tuned for more information as we await the Biden Administration review.