ASDWA Provides Recommendations for Implementation of EPA’s Proposed PFAS Drinking Water Rule

On May 30, ASDWA submitted comments to EPA in response to the Agency’s proposed PFAS National Primacy Drinking Water Rule (NPDWR). The association’s comments provide numerous recommendations for EPA to address several critical feasibility issues for implementing the rule. Among them, ASDWA recommends that EPA utilize findings from ASDWA’s PFAS Cost of State Transactions Study (PCoSTS) to reevaluate the primacy agency costs portion of the preamble and economic analysis to better reflect the true state burden. ASDWA found that EPA’s estimate for state staff time is inaccurate and underestimated. In particular, ASDWA highlights that the Agency has unrealistic expectations for the time that primacy agencies will spend providing technical assistance to water systems. PCoSTS estimates the primacy agency staff time required for the first year of rule implementation, which includes one-time activities such as regulatory start-up and review and approval of water system treatment plans, as well as the primacy agency staff time that will be required in subsequent years for annual regulatory activities, such as reporting, compliance, and technical assistance.

In addition to utilizing PCoSTS, ASDWA recommends that EPA:

  • Prioritize the development of robust guidance, training, and implementation tools ahead of promulgating the final rule;
  • Work directly with ASDWA and its members on risk communication materials;
  • Address anticipated laboratory capacity issues;
  • Clarify and allow maximum flexibility to use previously acquired state sampling data for determining initial monitoring and waivers;
  • Change the trigger levels to one-half the MCLs for determining compliance monitoring frequency; and
  • Allow flexibility in the compliance deadlines to ensure feasibility, allowing extended compliance deadlines depending on the system size and initial concentration.

ASDWA’s comments emphasize that while ASDWA’s members have outlined significant feasibility challenges in implementing this rule, primacy agencies remain dedicated to partnering with EPA and their water systems to reduce PFAS levels and improve public health protection by complying with this rule.