PFAS Picking Up Steam in Pennsylvania

January 21, 2020
John F. Gullace, Esq. and Shelby L. Hancock, Esq.
MGKF Special Alert - Pennsylvania Forecast 2020

In 2019 Pennsylvania DEP continued to address PFAS contamination in the State through Governor Wolf’s PFAS Action Team.  In April, PADEP’s Bureau of Safe Drinking Water announced its PFAS Sampling Plan, which proposes sampling at more than 300 public water supplies across the State.  In December, the Governor released an initial report and recommendation from the PFAS Action Team, along with the results from the first round of water system sampling.  Only one of the 96 sampled sites tested above EPA’s health advisory level of 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS.  PADEP expects to complete sampling in June 2020 and will continue to periodically release sampling results.  In addition to that sampling, PADEP’s Bureau of Waste Management is expected to initiate its own sampling plan in 2020, mapping landfills across Pennsylvania and proposing a strategy for sampling PFAS in landfill leachate.  

As for proposed regulations, throughout 2019 PADEP worked with the State’s Cleanup Standards Scientific Advisory Board to draft proposed cleanup standards for PFOA, PFOS, and PFBS.  On November 19, 2019, those standards were considered and adopted by the Environmental Quality Board as part of a broader amendment to PADEP’s Land Recycling Program.  The Department is expected to open public comment on the proposed regulations in the coming months, with an estimated implementation of winter 2020-2021.  As we move into 2020, we expect Pennsylvania’s regulation of PFAS to pick up steam.