Search

Proposed: First Federal Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water

Posted on 3/29/2023 by Nick Waldron and Roger Marks

Update 03/29/2023

US EPA's proposed rule to establish enforceable drinking water standards for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) appeared in the Federal Register on March 29, 2023. 

EPA will accept public comments until May 30, 2023 and will hold a public hearing about the proposed rule on May 4, 2023. 

drinking water standards for PFAS from US EPA March 2023

The proposed rule doubles as a "preliminary regulatory determination" that, for four of the six substances—PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and "Gen X chemicals," limits are  EPA decided years ago that PFOA and PFOS should carry a Maximum Contaminant Level or MCL under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

More recently, EPA included PFAS (as a category) on its fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5), released in November 2022.

Once EPA lists a contaminant on the CCL, the agency must determine whether or not to limit the concentration of that substance in drinking water. The statutory criteria behind this "regulatory determination" include potential adverse health effects, the level and frequency of contamination, and ramifications for public water systems. 

See the proposed PFAS drinking water standards here.


(Posted 03/15/2023)

US EPA is proposing drinking water limits for six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The regulation would create the nation’s first-ever national limits for a widely used class of substances nicknamed “forever chemicals” because they do not break down over time.

The proposed rule would establish Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for these PFAS:

  • PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), 
  • PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid), 
  • PFNA (perflouorononanoic acid), 
  • HFPO-DA or “GenX” (hexafluoroproplyene oxide dimer acid), 
  • PFHxS (perfluorohexane sulfonic acid), and
  • PFBS (perfluorobutane sulfonic acid). 

The proposed MCLs for these six PFAS as follows:  

Proposed: First Federal Limits on PFAS in Drinking Water

  • For PFOA, 4.0 parts-per-trillion 
  • For PFOS, 4.0 parts-per-trillion
  • For the other four PFAS, an MCL of 1.0*  

*The MCL of 1.0 is cumulative, based on a Hazard Index (HI) combining various risk factors.

The proposed rule also creates unenforceable health-based level of zero for PFOA and PFOS. 

About National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) 

The Safe Drinking Water Act authorizes US EPA to create National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR). These regulations generally include limits on the concentration in drinking water of certain kinds of substances—microorganisms, organic and inorganic chemicals, disinfectants, and radionuclides. 

Public water systems or PWS (defined in 40 CFR 141.3) must notify customers via specified means whenever they detect a violation of a NPDWR. 

testing water for PFAS

WebinarComplete Environmental Regulations Training

Join a Lion instructor for the next Complete Environmental Regulations Webinar on May 18–19. Get an overview of US EPA’s major air, water, and chemical programs—from the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts to EPCRA, TSCA, Superfund, and more.

Prefer to train right now, at your own pace? Try the interactive online course.

Tags: drinking water, PFAS

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

The instructor had knowledge of regulations and understanding of real-world situations. The presentation style was engaging and fostered a positive atmosphere for information sharing.

Linda Arlen

Safety & Environmental Compliance Officer

I think LION does an excellent job of any training they do. Materials provided are very useful to my day-to-day work activities.

Pamela Embody

EHS Specialist

This was the 1st instructor that has made the topic actually enjoyable and easy to follow and understand. Far better than the "other" training providers our company has attended!

Lori Hardy

Process & Resource Administrator

Excellent. I learned more in two days with Lion than at a 5-day program I took with another provider.

Francisco Gallardo

HES Technician

The instructor kept the class engaged and made learning fun. There was a lot of information to cover but time flew by. I will definitely use Lion in the future!

Chelsea Minguela

Hazmat Shipping Professional

The workshop covered a lot of information without being too overwhelming. Lion is much better, more comprehensive than other training providers.

George Alva

Manufacturing Manager

I can take what I learned in this workshop and apply it to everyday work and relate it to my activities.

Shane Hersh

Materials Handler

I have over 26 years of environmental compliance experience, and it has been some time since I have attended an environmental regulations workshop. I attended this course as preparation for EHS Audits for my six plants, and it was exactly what I was looking for.

Frank Sizemore

Director of Regulatory Affairs

Lion courses are the standard to which all other workshops should strive for!

Brody Saleen

Registered Environmental Health Specialist

The instructor made the class enjoyable. He presented in a very knowledgeable, personable manner. Best class I've ever attended. Will take one again.

John Nekoloff

Environmental Compliance Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Knowing why TSDFs reject loads of hazardous waste—and the exact steps to follow if it happens—can reduce your anxiety and uncertainty about rejection.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.