The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its comprehensive PFAS action plan. The plan lists several short-term and long-term agency solutions to address PFAS in drinking water without implementing burdensome regulations on utilities and businesses.
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are manufactured chemicals that are found in many everyday products, including nonstick pans, cleaning products, paints, and firefighting foam. PFAS are present in the bloodstream of 98 percent of Americans. Competing studies debate whether or not PFAS have negative health effects, and, if they do, at what level they are harmful.
Under the plan announced on Feb. 14, EPA will move forward with the maximum contaminant level process under the Safe Drinking Water Act for two types of PFAS – PFOA and PFOS – and make a regulatory determination by the end of 2019. EPA will also propose to include PFAS in drinking water monitoring under the next Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program.
The plan also stated that EPA will promulgate regulations to include PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances listed under cleanup programs. Meanwhile, EPA will issue interim groundwater cleanup recommendations.
In addition to these monitoring and cleanup efforts, EPA said it will continue to research PFAS, including developing new analytical methods for detecting PFAS and developing new technologies for PFAS removal.
For more information on state and federal actions on PFAS, visit /pfas/.