Earlier this year, the EPA put out its annual Year in Review, summarizing its major accomplishments for 2019 across the full breadth of the agency’s program activities. With respect to PFAS, EPA identified the following key milestones achieved during the year relating to the issuance of its PFAS Action Plan in February 2019, and its subsequent implementation of the plan:
- Drinking Water: EPA in 2019 proposed a regulatory determination under the Safe Drinking Water Act for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water (which was published for public comment in March 2020); published and sought public comment on a request for information to determine if regulation is appropriate for other chemicals in the PFAS family; and validated a new test method to identify additional PFAS compounds in drinking water.
- Site cleanups: EPA in 2019 issued interim guidance on addressing PFOA and PFOS contamination in groundwater under federal cleanup programs, which sets a preliminary remediation goal of 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS when found in groundwater that is a current or potential source of drinking water; and initiated regulatory development process to list certain PFAS as hazardous substances (notice of proposed rulemaking expected in 2020).
- Scientific Assessments: in 2019, EPA was in progress on draft toxicity assessments on PFDA, PFBA, PFHxA, PFNA, and PFHxS, to be issued for public comment in 2020, and on final toxicity assessments for GenX and PFBS.
- Information Development: EPA also sought in 2019 to expand its gathering of information about uses of PFAS in commerce, issuing an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to add PFAS to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and developing a proposed Significant New Use Rule (SNUR), which was published in February 2020) for long-chain PFAS chemicals. NOTE: In December 2019, Congress enacted a law that added PFOA, PFOS, PFNA and GenX to the TRI as of January 1, 2020.
- Research and Grants: EPA also identified 2019 activity in the area of scientific research and awards of research grant funding for PFAS issues.
EPA Region 2, which includes New Jersey, and Region 3, which includes Pennsylvania and Delaware, posted their own year-in-review documents. Key achievements from each in 2019 include:
- In New Jersey, Region 2 collaborated with NJDEP to sample and analyze groundwater at three Superfund sites (so far) for PFAS and other emerging contaminants.
- In Pennsylvania, Region 3 assisted the West Chester Municipal Authority in developing a sampling plan for PFAS and collecting and analyzing samples from environmental media.
We will continue updating as EPA takes more steps under its PFAS Action Plan in 2020.
Click here for more information on how EPA is regulating PFAS.