EQB Proposes to Establish Maximum Contaminant Levels for PFOA and PFOS
On February 26, 2022, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) proposed to amend Chapter 109 of Pennsylvania’s safe drinking water regulations to establish Pennsylvania-specific maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water. This is the first time that Pennsylvania has proposed state-specific drinking water standards. The proposed MCLs are 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 18 ppt for PFOS, well below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Combined Lifetime Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS. The EQB is not proposing to move forward with an MCL for other per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances at this time.
For public water systems required to install treatment, the EQB estimates that it could cost upwards of $434,000 in treatment capital and operation and maintenance costs per year for every million gallons per day and each entry point (the point at which finished water enters the distribution system), although this cost could be much higher. All systems will be subject to initial annual compliance and performance monitoring costs that are estimated at $2,864 per entry point, and ongoing compliance and performance monitoring costs that will depend upon the frequency of sampling (ranging from an estimated $716 to $2,864 per entry point). The rule will apply to all community, nontransient, noncommunity, and bottled, vended retail, and bulk water systems. Once finalized, the state MCLs will also become cleanup standards for groundwater under Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program, commonly referred to as Act 2.
The EQB is accepting comments from interested persons through Wednesday, April 27, 2022.