States Draft Legislation Following EPA's PFAS Action Plan
Shortly after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s February 2019 release of its PFAS Action Plan, many states are following suit with draft legislation and other actions addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
The California Water Resources Control Board announced that it will not promulgate an MCL for PFAS in the near term and that it will immediately roll out a “PFAS Phased Investigation Plan” to obtain PFAS effluent and drinking water data across the state. Phase I will require source investigation and sampling at airports, landfills, and drinking water. Phase II will cover refineries, bulk terminals, non-airport fire training areas, and 2017-2018 urban wildfire areas. Phase III will cover secondary manufacturers, wastewater treatment plants and pre-treatment plants, and domestic wells.
A previous article summarizes MassDEP’s January 2019 development of a drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS. MassDEP will focus on a subset of PFAS compounds – PFOA, PFOS, PFHxS, PFHpA, and PFNA – which it describes as compounds that are a threat to human health, are detectable, and can be treated with available technology. MassDEP also acknowledged a plan to develop reportable concentrations and cleanup standards for PFAS under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.
The Michigan legislature introduced three bills that would regulate PFAS. The first House bill would require fire departments to report the use of firefighting foam to the Department of Environmental Quality. A second House bill would require the promulgation of occupational safety and health rules addressing the use of firefighting foam concentrate containing PFAS in training and equipment calibration, and best practices for proper use, handling and storage of such materials. A third House bill would require firefighters to be trained on these best practices and prohibitions.
The Minnesota House and Senate each introduced bills that would prohibit a person from “manufacturing, knowingly selling, offering for sale, distributing for sale, or distributing for use in Minnesota food packaging to which PFAS have been intentionally added in any amount.”
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection issued a statewide PFAS directive and information request, which announces a notice of proposed rule amendments concerning PFAS that is to be published in the New Jersey Register on April 1, 2019. The notice will propose establishing MCLs and groundwater quality criteria standards for PFAS, and adding PFAS to the List of Hazardous Substances.
A Vermont Senate bill passed by the Senate on March 13, 2019 proposes to adopt a MCL for PFAS under the Agency of Natural Resources’ (ANR) Water Supply Rule, and would require interim drinking water testing and monitoring. The bill would also require the adoption of surface water quality standards for PFAS and a statewide investigation of potentials sources of PFAS. The bill’s proposed requirement that the ANR report on the management of landfills of leachate containing contaminants of emerging concern is a step down from its initial language, which would have required landfills to treat leachate for PFAS before delivery to a wastewater treatment facility or discharge to the waters of the State.