On February 14, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced $75 million in funding under the Infrastructure Law to go to Pennsylvania to address PFAS and other emerging contaminants in drinking water. The funding is part of EPA’s Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities (“EC-SDC”) Grant Program which is intended to prioritize infrastructure and source water treatment for pollutants, like PFAS and other emerging contaminants, and to allow for water quality testing in small, rural, and disadvantaged communities. EPA also released its Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Implementation Guide which provides states and communities with the information on the EC-SDC grant program and how EPA will administer the grant funds.
EPA’s announcement also stated that EPA is working to propose a PFAS National Priority Drinking Water Regulation (“NPDWR”) in the coming weeks. As previously reported, EPA first announced plans to establish an NPDWR or maximum contaminant level (“MCL”) for PFOA and PFOS in 2021 as part of EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap. In its February 14 announcement, EPA stated that the draft proposed rule is currently undergoing interagency review and EPA will issue the proposed rule for public comment when it clears the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The agency anticipates finalizing the new drinking water standards by the end of 2023.