EPA Finalizes UCMR 5 to Establish Nationwide Monitoring for 29 PFAS

Published On: December 29, 2021By Categories: Newsline

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) to establish nationwide monitoring for 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lithium in drinking water.

The EPA uses the UCMR to address priority unregulated contaminants in drinking water every five years.

The Safe Drinking Water Act as amended requires all drinking water systems serving between 3300 and 10,000 people to participate in UCMR and specifies that a representative sample of systems serving fewer than 3300 people participate, subject to the availability of appropriations and sufficient laboratory capacity.

If the necessary funds are appropriated, the UCMR 5 will significantly expand the number of small drinking water systems participating in the program. The rule requires participating drinking water systems to collect samples from 2023-2025 and report final results through 2026.

The EPA will hold multiple webinar meetings for stakeholders in 2022 regarding UCMR 5 implementation. Dates and times of the upcoming meetings will be posted on the EPA’s website at www.epa.gov/dwucmr/unregulated-contaminant-monitoring-rule-ucmr-meetings-and-materials.

Stakeholders who have participated in past UCMR meetings or those who register to use the Safe Drinking Water Accession and Review System (SDWARS) will receive notification of these events. The purpose of the meetings are to discuss key aspects of the UCMR 5 (www.epa.gov/dwucmr/fifth-unregulated-contaminant-monitoring-rule), including the public water systems subject to UCMR 5 monitoring and the monitoring requirements, groundwater representative monitoring plans, the contaminants to be monitored, laboratory approval and analytical methods, reporting requirements, and best practices for sample collection.

The EPA anticipates hosting the meetings focused on implementation planning in Spring 2022, and the SDWARS and sample-collection meetings in Fall 2022.

NGWA has long been an industry leader in providing PFAS research, education, and resources to the public and scientific communities. In 2017, NGWA published Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice, which was one of the first PFAS guidance documents to be released. It can be found at NGWA.org/PFAS, which is a complete resource center about the groundwater contaminants featuring a FAQs document, a top-10 facts sheet, a homeowner checklist, and more.

NGWA is also once again hosting a conference on this topic, Fate of PFAS: From Groundwater to Tap Water, June 21-22, 2022 in Westerville, Ohio.

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