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Clean Water Action Blog Urging the Use of Existing Clean Water Act Tools to Address PFAS

Clean Water Action has published a blog article entitled, “When it comes to tackling toxic ‘forever chemicals’, the Clean Water Act (CWA) has many powerful, yet underutilized, policy tools.” The article urges President Biden “…to direct EPA to notify states of their existing CWA authority to control PFAS pollution in surface waters, as well as propose new CWA regulations to prevent these toxic chemicals from getting into our nation’s drinking water sources in the first place.” It lays out the options state CWA programs have to address PFAS without federal water quality criteria or effluent standards and provides examples from states that have undertaken such efforts to:

  • Require monitoring and effluent limits in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, and revoke permits.
  • Establish numeric or narrative water quality criteria to protect human health and aquatic life.
  • Use Industrial Pretreatment Program to limit PFAS in municipal wastewater.
  • Collect information on known and suspected PFAS dischargers.

In closing, the blog acknowledges current EPA actions and also recommends that EPA act swiftly to develop federal CWA PFAS regulations in line with the state tools noted above, as well as list PFAS as a toxic pollutant under the CWA and add PFAS to the CERCLA hazardous substance list. For more information, read the blog article here.