Those following our newsletters here know that we have multiple posts about the dangers of the ‘forever’ chemicals called PFAs. As with the case of toxic algae, the more we learn the worse it gets regarding human health.
Environmental groups and several states have been urging the EPA to set safe standards for our drinking water. A handful of states have not waited and have set their own standards. Note the absence of Florida in the lists below.
Many states have begun the process of regulating PFAS in drinking water themselves and have adopted enforceable standards or Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFAS in their state. States with enforceable drinking water standards include MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, and VT; and states with proposed standards include AZ, IA, KY, ME, and RI.
Other states have adopted guidance and/or notification levels for PFAS in drinking water. These states include AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, ME, MN, NC, NM, and OH. Source: Safer States website.
For good information on PFAs go to Safer States website.
Read the complete article here in Water Online.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum
Pressure Mounts For National PFAS Standards In Drinking Water
Recent regulatory developments at the federal level appear to suggest that one of the country’s most notorious drinking water contaminants will soon fall under new scrutiny.
The U.S. EPA and legislators representing various states are pushing for stricter limits on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), contaminants that linger for years within drinking water supplies and have been tied to adverse health consequences in consumers. These include potential new rules for PFAS manufacturers and perhaps even a national drinking water standard.
“The Environmental Protection Agency … announced a slate of actions aimed at a class of toxic chemicals called PFAS, including the revocation of Trump-era guidance that it said weakened regulations for the substances,” The Hill reported. “The agency additionally proposed a reporting requirement for manufacturing PFAS chemicals and finalized a rule requiring polluters to report releases of three types of the chemicals.”
The Trump era guidance limited the scope of a 2020 EPA rule that prohibited companies from importing certain items, like automotive parts and furniture, that had PFAS in their surface coatings. And by requiring additional reporting on the release of PFAS, it’s possible the rule will curb the contaminants’ presence in wastewater, thus protecting source and drinking water in the process.
Meanwhile, legislators from around the country, including in Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Mexico, have voiced concern about the presence of PFAS in drinking water, pushing for harsher regulation to prevent this. A recent congressional hearing saw lawmakers advocate for these types of regulations, including an update to the EPA’s years-old health advisory regarding PFAS.
“The EPA drinking water health advisory from 2016 was a great start, but it’s now 2021 and there’s no regulatory certainty for states and our communities,” said New Mexico Environmental Secretary Jim Kenny during the hearing, per ABC 3340. “No person should suffer the negative health effects of PFAS — not in New Mexico or elsewhere.”
The Congressional Environment & Climate Change subcommittee has also recently approved the PFAS Action Act, a bill that would establish country-wide rules to curb the presence of the contaminants.
“The PFAS Action Act would create a national standard for the presence of PFAS in drinking water,” News 10 reported. “It would also classify PFAS as a hazardous chemical which would allow the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up PFAS contaminated sites….”
To read more about how federal laws can dictate the presence of drinking water contaminants, visit Water Online’s Regulations And Legislation Solutions Center.