U.S. EPA Finalizes PFAS Drinking Water Regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final National Primary Drinking Water Regulation to protect public health from PFAS pollution. Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are human-made chemicals that do not occur naturally in the environment and can cause adverse developmental and immune system effects.   

The final EPA regulation would establish legally enforceable levels for five PFAS in drinking water: PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, and HFPO-DA (also known as “GenX Chemicals”). The rule also sets a limit for mixtures of any two or more of four PFAS: PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and “GenX chemicals.” All public water systems have three years to complete their initial monitoring for these chemicals. They must inform the public of the level of PFAS measured in their drinking water. Where PFAS are found at levels that exceed these standards, systems must implement solutions to reduce PFAS in their drinking water within five years. The limits can be achieved using a range of available technologies and approaches, including granular activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange systems. The rule is intended to give flexibility to drinking water systems to determine the best solutions for their community. 

To help communities comply, EPA is making $1 billion in funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Funding is also available through EPA’s Water Technical Assistance Program to help small, rural, and disadvantaged communities.  

To learn more about the new rule and funding opportunities, click here for the detailed press release. For more detailed information, including a toolkit for communities and webinars on the new rule, click here

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