EPA Extends Comment Period for PFOA/PFOS Regulatory Determination

(May 1, 2020) – After receiving various requests, on April 30, EPA extended the comment period by thirty days on the proposed regulatory determination for eight contaminants listed on the forthcoming Contaminant Candidate List (CCL), including PFOA/PFOS. The proposed regulatory determination is a step towards the Agency proposing and establishing a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) that would require drinking water systems to treat PFOA/PFOS to specified levels.

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA must now determine the following: 1) that the contaminant may have an adverse effect on public health, 2) the contaminant is known to occur or there is substantial likelihood that the contaminant will occur in public water systems with a frequency and at levels of public health concern, and 3) in the Administrator’s sole judgement, regulation presents a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction.

The proposed regulatory determination mainly concerns drinking water systems; however, there is concern that the regulatory approach EPA takes in this effort could be a preview of how the Agency may tackle PFAS regulations for the wastewater sector in future rulemakings. Specifically, as it pertains to the proposed regulatory determination, EPA is seeking information and data on other PFAS constituents and potential monitoring requirements, as well as regulatory approaches (e.g., to evaluate additional PFAS on an individual basis or evaluate by different grouping approaches or evaluate based on treatment technique).

With this extension, the comment period now closes on June 10, 2020. If members have comments or suggestions on how to respond to EPA’s broader questions on regulating PFOA/PFOS in future rulemakings, please contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.