New Jersey is in the forefront in regulating PFAS substances. In 2007, New Jersey developed non-binding preliminary health-based guidance for drinking water of 40 ppt PFOA and 20 ppt for PFOS. NJDEP conducted a limited state-wide study of PFOA and PFOS in 30 drinking water intakes between 2009 and 2010. Additional drinking water data was gathered under USEPA’s Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule from 2013 to 2015. PFAS data was gathered from the Delaware River by the Delaware River Basin Commission from 2007-2009.

PFNA was the first PFAS for which New Jersey set binding standards, an interim specific groundwater quality criterion (ISGWQC) of 10 ppt on November 25, 2015 (which was struck down by the N.J. Superior Court, App. Div. on December 19, 2017), a final specific groundwater quality criterion (SGWQC) on January 16, 2018 of 10 ppt (which was amended to 13 ppt when the drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL) was issued), and an MCL of 13 ppt in September 2018. With the issuance of the MCL, PFNA also was deemed a “hazardous substance” under the New Jersey Spill Act and ISRA.

On March 13, 2019, NJDEP issued ISGWQC for PFOA and PFOS of 10 ppt, and proposed MCLs of 14 ppt and 13 ppt for PFOA and PFOS and to classify these substances as hazardous substances under New Jersey law in proposed rulemaking on April 1, 2019. Final MCLs and hazardous substance designations for PFOA and PFOS will be issued in the New Jersey Register on April 6, 2020, according to Office of Administrative Law.

As of January 15, 2020, New Jersey responsible parties and Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) are required to answer questions regarding certain “contaminants of emerging concern” including PFAS, in submitting remedial phase reports and work plans. According to NJDEP, “When the site or area of concern under remediation is currently or was formerly occupied by facilities that manufactured, stored, handled, or used contaminants of emerging concern, LSRPs must consider these contaminants during the investigation and remedial action.”

Standards and criteria have not been developed by NJDEP for PFAS in soils, sediments and surface waters.

As of the first quarter of 2019, all public community water systems using a groundwater sources serving a population of 10,000 or less and public non-transient non-community water systems were required to begin monitoring for PFNA. All public community water systems using a surface water source and all public community water systems serving a population greater than 10,000 were required to begin monitoring in the first quarter of 2020. The sample analysis pursuant to USEPA method 527 includes the identification of PFNA, as well as other PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS. Numerous exceedances of the final or proposed MCLs for PFNA, PFOA and PFOS are being reported by water suppliers across the state. See drinking water results at New Jersey Drinking Water Watch.

In addition, on April 1, 2019, NJDEP proposed to add PFNA, PFOA and PFOS as substances to be sampled for in private wells subject to sale or lease under the Private Well Testing Act rules. That proposal is likely to become a final rule in the publication in the New Jersey Register on April 6, 2020.

In New Jersey, as of February 27, 2020:

PFAS Substance ISGWQC (date) ppt Final SGWQC
(date) ppt
MCL (date) ppt Hazardous Substance? (date) Soils, sediments, surface water
PFNA Not applicable 13 (1/16/18)[1] 13 (9/4/18) Yes (1/6/18) None
PFOA 10 (3/13/19) Proposed 14 (4/1/19)[2] Proposed 14 (4/1/19) 2 Proposed (4/1/19)2 None
PFOS 10 (3/13/19) Proposed 13 (4/1/19) 2 Proposed 13 (4/1/19) 2 Proposed (4/1/19)2 None

[1] Promulgated as 10 ppt and amended to 13 ppt on the issuance of the MCL.

[2] Some or all of the April 1, 2019 Proposed Rule is expected to be published as a Final Rule in the April 6, 2020 New Jersey Register.