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US EPA Proposes Primary Drinking Water Regulation for Six PFAS

US EPA Proposes Primary Drinking Water Regulation for Six PFAS

Today, US EPA announced the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) including PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, HFPO-DA (commonly known as GenX Chemicals), PFHxS, and PFBS. US EPA anticipates the regulation to be finalized by the end of 2023. US EPA expects that if fully implemented, the rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.

US EPA is requesting public comment on the proposed regulation. The public comment period will open following the proposed rule publishing in the Federal Register. Public comments can be provided at that time at under Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114. Information on submitting comments to US EPA dockets can be found here.

Two informational webinars about the proposed PFAS NDPWR will be held on March 16, 2023, and March 29, 2023. Registration is required to attend.

A public hearing will be held on May 4, 2023. Registration is required to attend, and the last day to register to speak at the hearing is April 28, 2023. 

The proposed maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) and health-based, non-enforceable maximum contaminant level goals (MCLGs) for these six PFAS are shown below.

The proposed rule would also require public water systems to:

  • Monitor for these PFAS.
  • Notify the public of the levels of these PFAS.
  • Reduce the levels of these PFAS in drinking water if they exceed the proposed standards.

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, US EPA has the authority to set enforceable NPDWRs for drinking water contaminants and require monitoring of public water systems. In March 2021, US EPA published Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Fourth Contaminant Candidate List, which included a final determination to regulate PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. As a part of that final determination, US EPA indicated it would also evaluate additional PFAS and consider regulatory actions to address groups of PFAS.

PFAS tend to co-occur with each other. This regulation will also remove many other PFAS when they co-occur with these six regulated PFAS. US EPA is following recent peer-reviewed science that indicates that mixtures of PFAS can pose a health risk greater than each chemical on its own. Concurrent with the proposed PFAS NPDWR released on March 14, 2023, EPA also announced it is making preliminary regulatory determinations for PFNA, GenX Chemicals, PFHxS, and PFBS in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory development process. US EPA proposes to regulate PFNA, GenX Chemicals, PFHxS, and PFBS using a Hazard Index formula.



Gary Yakub