NGWA Participates in U.S. EPA Summit on PFAS

The National Ground Water Association had a seat at the table when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency kicked off its PFAS National Leadership Summit to discuss per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) with representatives from 40 states on May 22.

NGWA was represented by Government Affairs Director Lauren Schapker and Seth Kellogg, a senior geologist at Geosyntec and NGWA Scientists and Engineers Board of Directors member.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt opened the Summit by highlight the four pillars to be included as a part of an action plan EPA is developing:

  1. EPA will initiate steps to evaluate the need for a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFOA and PFOS. We will convene our federal partners and examine everything we know about PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
  2. EPA is beginning the necessary steps to propose designating PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” through one of the available statutory mechanisms, including potentially CERCLA Section 102.
  3. EPA is currently developing groundwater cleanup recommendations for PFOA and PFOS at contaminated sites and will complete this task by fall of this year.
  4. EPA is taking action in close collaboration with our federal and state partners to develop toxicity values for GenX and PFBS.

Pruitt added the EPA plans to release a PFAS management plan by the end of 2018.

Following the meeting we asked Seth about what attendees indicated they’d like to see from the EPA around PFAS moving forward:

Seth went on to say that PFAS regulation will be up to individual states, and stressed the importance of NGWA sharing its guidance document and knowledge with state partners.

In a brief post-event discussion with Lauren, she outlined some of the regulatory needs and echoed the importance of sharing NGWA’s guidance document and PFAS research:

​​Late in 2017, NGWA published Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice​ to address current concerns. This guidance document, divided into eight sections, details how the potentially hazardous compounds interact with groundwater and soil. Among the topics covered are human and ecological impact, fate and transport, field sampling and analysis, legal and regulatory issues, risk communication, and remediation and treatment.

NGWA will also host PFAS in Groundwater Workshop: The Professional’s Challenge​ on August 14-15 in St. Paul, Minnesota. The event will address the thought processes of practitioners regarding how to apply scientific and legal considerations to sites contaminated with PFAS.