EPA Announces Three New Actions to Address PFAS

On April 28, EPA announced three actions the Agency is taking to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). All three actions were included in EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.

  1. Screening Method for the Determination of Adsorbable Organic Fluorine (AOF) in Aqueous Matrices by Combustion Ion Chromatography (CIC). This new method can screen for organofluorines (molecules with a carbon-fluorine bond, such as PFAS) in water at the one part per billion level. EPA notes that this method tells the user that organofluorines are present within the sample, but it does not identify which ones, nor does it quantify them all with the same level of accuracy.
  2. Memo titled, Addressing PFAS Discharges in EPA-Issued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permits and Expectations Where EPA is the Pretreatment Control Authority. Included in this memo are instructions for monitoring provisions, analytical methods, the use of pollution prevention, and best management practices to address discharges of PFAS. The Agency also plans to release guidance to states to address PFAS in NPDES permits in the future.
  3. Draft Recommended Aquatic Life Ambient Water Quality Criteria for PFOA and PFOS. EPA released a pre-publication for Draft Aquatic Life Criteria for both PFOA and PFOS. The Agency notes that states and tribes may use these criteria to develop their own water quality standards, issue permits to address PFAS discharges, and assess the impact of PFAS pollution. Once published in the Federal Register, the public will have 30 days to provide comments.