Pennsylvania PFAS Regulations Become Law
Pennsylvania becomes the latest state to pass PFAS regulations proposed for drinking water standards, as the regulations passed the final hurdle in a lengthy regulatory process with the state Attorney General’s signature of the proposed regulation into law. Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board and Independent Regulatory Review Commission both approved the proposed standards of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 18 ppt for PFOS to conclude 2022. The Pennsylvania PFAS regulations requires water companies and municipalities to regularly monitor water for PFAS, and treat the water if it exceeds the MCLs. Detections at or above these levels will lead to enforcement actions against companies that the state feels contributed to the contamination of drinking water sources.
Now more than ever, the EPA is clearly on a path to regulate PFAS contamination in the country’s water, land and air. These regulations will require states to act, as well (and some states may still enact stronger regulations than the EPA). Meanwhile, individual states are enacting their own PFAS standards, as is reflected in the Pennsylvania PFAS drinking water standards in effect and proposed. Both the federal and the state level regulations will impact businesses and industries of many kinds, even if their contribution to drinking water contamination issues may seem on the surface to be de minimus. In states that already have PFAS drinking water standards enacted, businesses and property owners have already seen local environmental agencies scrutinize possible sources of PFAS pollution much more closely than ever before, which has resulted in unexpected costs. Beyond drinking water, though, the EPA PFAS Roadmap from 2021 shows the EPA’s desire to take regulatory action well beyond just drinking water, and companies absolutely must begin preparing now for regulatory actions that will have significant financial impacts down the road.