In comments filed to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, NGWA urged swift action to address widespread contamination by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The comments were part of more than 100,000 submitted to the EPA as a part of the federal agency’s efforts to collect information as it prepares to release its PFAS National Management Plan later this year.
NGWA’s comments highlighted several of its core positions on PFAS:
- Need for regulatory certainty: The EPA must enact an MCL for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS).
- Reliance on sound science: Sound science must be an integral part of any regulatory determination.
- Private water wells: Unique challenges are posed by PFAS in private water wells. Technical and financial assistance must be provided to ensure water testing and treatment options are available.
- Risk communication: The EPA must increase its engagement with the public and clearly communicate the human health and ecological risks.
- Sampling: The number of labs able to use the EPA’s required Method 537 needs to increase to ensure local communities and concerned citizens can test their water.
- Remediation: Flexibility must be provided in remediation plans to enable site-specific solutions for PFAS-contaminated groundwater cleanup.
The EPA recently indicated groundwater cleanup guidelines and additional toxicology values for GenX (man-made compound that manufacturing facilities have been known to discharge into the environment) and perfluorobutyrate (PFBA) will be released this fall with a complete National PFAS Management Plan released by the end of 2018. Specific timelines have not been given.
NGWA continues to engage with Congress and related federal agencies to help ensure all efforts to remediate and prevent PFAS contamination in groundwater resources are taken.