Reply To: Ask the Expert Session – State & Federal Policies on Private Wells

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Doug Farquhar

– Are there any updates on PFAS regulations in groundwater?
PFAS is the emerging issue regarding drinking water in the U.S. The EPA health-based standard (not regulatory) is 70 ppt.

EPA Response to PFAS
 Health-based standard (not regulatory) of 70 ppt
 Standard has decreased 10x earlier level
 Technology allows for much stricter standard setting
 EPA using SuperFund and Safe Drinking Water Act to require cleanup
 Superfund allows to charge persons liable (i.e., Air Force)
 Feds and States lack a regulatory infrastructure to handle PFAS
 CDC biomonitoring shows majority of US population has PFAS

Several states with former Air Force bases are seeing elevated amounts of PFAS chemicals in drinking water, leading to calls for the DoD to clean up the groundwater. New Jersey has come up with a standard of 13 ppt; New Hampshire is looking at a 20 ppt standard.
 DE HB 8 Amend Drinking Water Code. This Act mandates that the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the Division of Public Health establish maximum contaminant levels for specific contaminants found in drinking water in this state. Such contaminants include PFOA and PFOS, which are man-made chemicals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not established a maximum contaminant levels, but have issued health advisories. The establishment of maximum contaminant levels is essential in order to protect the health and safety of all Delawareans from contaminants in drinking water.
 MI H 4320 (Chap. 201) – U. S. Department of Defense shall reimburse the state for costs associated with PFAS and environmental contamination response at military training sites and support facilities.
 NH H 485 – DES will set drinking water standards and groundwater quality standards (AGQS) for PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonate) to 20 parts per trillion (ppt), as compared to the current AGQS of 70 ppt.
 NY S 4386 – Authorizes the Department of Health to establish maximum levels for perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs) and (PFSAs) perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids in public drinking water.
 NC H 189, S 222 – “GENX” and other emerging contaminants; directs the department of health and human services to establish health goals for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances; directs the department of environmental quality to cooperate with any audit of the NPDES permit program; directs the department of environmental quality to share water quality data with states
 NC H 56 (Chap. 209) – the General Assembly finds that the discharge of the poly-fluoroalkyl chemical known as “GenX” into the Cape Fear River and provides funding for impacted local public utilities for the monitoring and treatment of GenX and to support the identification and characterization by scientists, engineers, and other professionals of GenX in the Cape Fear River.
 VT S 10 (Act No. 55) – Provides that a person who released perfluorooctanoic acid into the air, groundwater, or surface water, or onto the land is strictly, jointly, and severally liable for the costs of extending the water supply of a public water system