ASDWA Calls for EPA to Consider Regulating PFAS Beyond PFOA and PFOS

In a letter sent to EPA on April 25, ASDWA outlined state perspectives and concerns regarding the Agency’s upcoming proposal to regulate PFOA and PFOS, two of the most well-understood per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), in drinking water.

Most notably, ASDWA again recommended that EPA consider including four additional PFAS in the national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR): perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA). The letter states that “if the science, occurrence, and cost/benefit analysis support regulating these PFAS under the [Safe Drinking Water Act] process, ASDWA recommends that EPA do so now rather than waiting to initiate a separate rulemaking.” ASDWA pushed EPA to consider including these four additional PFAS in previous comments made to the Agency for the Fourth Regulatory Determination, where EPA made the decision to regulate PFOA and PFOS.

ASDWA laid out multiple considerations and concerns for a possible treatment technique versus a maximum contaminant level. The Association noted that although a treatment technique could remove additional PFAS, it is currently unclear how this approach would be implemented. Additionally, ASDWA’s letter recommended EPA:

  • Utilize all of the Agency’s regulatory and non-regulatory authorities to prevent PFAS from entering drinking water sources;
  • Allow flexibility in the selection of a specific treatment technology (or technologies) for compliance with any NPDWR;
  • Review and consider the data, guidelines, and standards of states already regulating PFAS;
  • Use a monitoring approach similar to the Standardized Monitoring Framework for regulated volatile organic chemicals or synthetic organic chemicals;
  • Include an option for states to utilize monitoring waivers; and
  • Develop robust risk communication tools and resources to be released before the proposal of the NPDWR.

EPA intends to propose the PFAS NPDWR this fall and finalize the rule by the fall of 2023.