PFAS Update: DNR and EPA Actions

EPA Announces Rulemaking Plans Related to PFAS

On February 22, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two regulatory actions related to PFAS in drinking water. First, the EPA reissued final regulatory determinations for its fourth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 4), which lists substances that the agency may decide to regulate under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The agency plans to begin the rulemaking process to regulate two PFAS compounds from CCL 4, perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The agency also noted that it is evaluating additional PFAS compounds. This comes after the agency’s announcement in February of last year that it planned to regulate PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

Second, the EPA proposed its fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5), which would require sampling and analysis of currently unregulated substances occurring in public water systems. The rule includes 29 PFAS compounds and would require public water systems to test for those compounds between 2023 and 2025 using agency-approved methods. The EPA published its proposed rule on March 11 and will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days.

DNR Adjusts Default Reporting List for PFAS Compounds

Effective March 1, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that is no longer expects regulated entities and laboratories to sample for or report three PFAS compounds previously included on its default PFAS reporting list. The three compounds (10:2 FTS, PFHxDA, and PFODA) were removed to align DNR’s reporting list with the EPA’s proposed method for PFAS analysis. DNR may still request that a regulated entity sample for and report any PFAS compounds that are not on the default list based on site-specific circumstances. If 10:2 FTS, PFHxDA or PFODA have already been found at a regulated site, the entity should work with DNR to determine if a compound should be included in further sampling.

DNR Launches External Advisory Group, Continues Meetings and Well Sampling in Marinette/Peshtigo

DNR held the first meeting of its PFAS External Advisory Group (PEAG) on Tuesday, February 23. The group is intended to provide the department with feedback on its PFAS initiatives from interested private and public parties, state agencies, and members of the public. Future meetings have yet to be announced.

DNR plans to hold its 13th public listening session regarding PFAS contamination in the Marinette/Peshtigo area on Wednesday, March 17. The virtual session will have two segments, from 12 to 2 PM and from 6 to 7:30 PM. It will include updates from DNR and the Department of Health Services (DHS). DNR also continues its efforts to sample drinking water wells in the town of Peshtigo as part of the Expanded Site Investigation Area beyond the areas already tested for PFAS by JCI/Tyco. The department and its contractor have already tested over 300 wells in Peshtigo since fall 2020 and will do further testing this spring. More information about DNR activities related to the Marinette/Peshtigo area can be found here.

Be sure to follow Hamilton Consulting Group’s PFAS Issue Update page for comprehensive coverage of this complex policy issue.