Another Stop on the PFAS Strategic Roadmap Announced

UCMR 5 Finalized and Additional Testing Planned

While many of us were enjoying our Thanksgiving turkeys and our gingerbread lattes, the EPA was plugging away on the plans laid out in its PFAS Strategic Roadmap. In both November and December 2021, EPA continued to announce actions to monitor and address PFAS human health and environmental impacts.

On November 16, 2021, EPA requested that the agency’s Science Advisory Board review four draft documents containing recent scientific data indicating that the negative health effects of PFOA and PFOS occur at a much lower level than previously understood, and that PFOA is likely a carcinogen. This review will facilitate the development of maximum contaminant level (MCL) goals, as well as primary drinking water regulations for these substances.

On December 20, 2021, the EPA finalized the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5) to establish nationwide monitoring for 29 PFAS in drinking water. The UCMR is a rule that is updated every five years, and is intended to monitor for priority unregulated contaminants in drinking water such as PFAS. The UCMR 5 will be used to gain a better understanding of current levels of PFAS and lithium in drinking water systems across the country and will provide data to EPA and the states that may be used in future regulations. The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), amended in 2018, now requires that all drinking water systems servicing between 3,300 and 10,000 people to participate in the UCMR. Additionally, samples will be collected from a representative number of drinking water systems servicing fewer than 3,300 people. The drinking water samples will be collected from 2023 through 2025, and final results will be reported through 2026.

Additionally, on December 28, 2021, the EPA announced that it was granting a petition from six North Carolina public health and environmental justice organizations to compel companies to conduct testing of certain PFAS. The testing will yield many positive attributes, including a better understanding of PFAS risks in North Carolina, as well as identifying sources of contamination, and overall future accountability. The EPA is planning to require PFAS manufacturers to provide the agency with toxicity data and information on certain categories of PFAS. The EPA will exercise its Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) section 4 order authority to require recipients of test orders to conduct and fund these studies. Furthermore, the EPA will use the information obtained in future actions and regulations to protect human health and the environment.

Apex Associated Press (Apex AP) represents contributions from various authors within the Apex professional community.


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