June 7, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 158


June 06, 2023

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June 04, 2023

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Update: EPA Issues Proposed Rule for PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water

As expected, and as described in our March 15 client alert, EPA today published in the Federal Register its first-ever National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS substances in drinking water.

In this rule, EPA is proposing to set the health-based Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLG) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) at zero, and is proposing enforceable individual Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) of 4.0 parts per trillion (ppt) for each of those two substances.

As noted in our previous alert, the 4.0 ppt MCLs for PFOA and PFOS, if finalized, would be lower than any mandatory state level. For example, Maine has an interim standard of 20 ppt for the six most commonly found PFAS compounds (alone or in combination), which include PFOA and PFOS, and Massachusetts has an enforceable MCL of 20 ppt for the sum of the so-called PFAS‑6 in drinking water.

Like it did in March 2021 for PFOA and PFOS, EPA also is issuing in this rule a preliminary regulatory determination to regulate perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA) and its ammonium salt (also known as a GenX chemicals), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) as contaminants under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA is proposing to use a Hazard Index (HI) of 1.0 as the MCLGs for these four PFAS compounds and any mixture containing one or more of them.

EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulation on May 4, 2023, and the deadline for written comments is May 30, 2023.

©2023 Pierce Atwood LLP. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 88

About this Author

Georgia M. Bolduc Environmental Attorney Pierce Atwood Portland, ME

Georgia Bolduc is an associate in the Environmental Practice Group, where she specializes in a broad array of environmental issues, including due diligence and permitting of renewable energy projects (particularly in the solar space), hazardous and solid waste management, air emissions, wastewater discharges, natural resource issues, and zoning law.

Georgia is a recent graduate of Boston University School of Law, where she was a member of the International Law Journal, secretary of the Energy and Environmental Law Society, and pioneered...

Lisa Gilbreath, Pierce Atwood, Environmental lawyer

Lisa Gilbreath is an associate in the Environmental & Land Use and Energy Infrastructure Development, Acquisition & Financing practice groups. Lisa works on a wide variety of environmental and energy matters, offering clients strategic advice in regulatory, legislative, and judicial proceedings.

In her environmental practice, Lisa assists clients with numerous issues including energy project development permitting, energy and environmental litigation, air quality legislative and regulatory activities, air quality enforcement, hazardous substances and...

(207) 791-1397
Michelle N. O'Brien, Pierce Atwood, environmental attorney

Michelle O'Brien handles environmental and land use permitting and related litigation for various types of developments including residential homes, commercial buildings, waterfront properties, wind turbines, and solid waste facilities. She defends companies in environmental enforcement matters at the federal, state, and local levels. She represents private parties in cost recovery and property damage claims involving releases of oil and hazardous materials, and assists clients with real estate transactions involving contaminated properties.

An accomplished...

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Brian M. Rayback, Pierce Atwood, environmental regulatory lawyer

Brian Rayback focuses his practice on environmental and land use law, with expertise in all aspects of water, air, natural resources, solid waste, and zoning regulation.

Brian provides cost-effective, strategic advice on project permitting, enforcement matters, appeals of agency decisions, regulatory compliance, and legislative issues for property developers and owners, trade associations, utilities, construction companies, and industrial and manufacturing facilities. He regularly appears before federal, state, and local boards and agencies to assist clients in...

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