Chemical Currents provides real-time updates, legal observations, and actionable tips to navigate the constantly evolving legal challenges involving PFAS. In this edition, we discuss EPA’s new drinking water health advisories for PFAS, the EPA’s Emerging Contaminants In Small Or Disadvantaged Communities grant program, and state activity on the PFAS regulatory front.
Look for new editions approximately every two weeks and please feel free to reach out to the King & Spalding team if you have any questions regarding PFAS issues.
Focus on EPA
EPA Slashes Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS
The EPA recently announced new drinking water health advisories for PFAS chemicals under the Safe Drinking Water Act. The advisories for PFOS and PFOA set in 2016 were lowered from 70 ppt to .02 ppt (PFOS) and 0.004 ppt (PFOA)—an over 99.9% reduction. The EPA also added new interim health advisories for two other types of PFAS: 10 ppt for GenX and 2,000 ppt for PFBS.
The EPA stated: “The updated advisory levels, which are based on new science and consider lifetime exposure, indicate that some negative health effects may occur with concentrations of PFOA or PFOS in water that are near zero and below EPA’s ability to detect at this time.”
The EPA’s health advisories are “not to be construed as legally enforceable federal standards” but rather “describe information about health effects, analytical methodologies, and treatment technologies.”
Emerging Contaminants In Small Or Disadvantaged Communities Program Makes $1 Billion Available To Address PFAS
EPA announced that it “is making available $1 billion in grant funding through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help communities that are on the frontlines of PFAS contamination to reduce PFAS in drinking water in communities facing disproportionate impacts.” The funds are the first of a total $5 billion expected to be made available through 2026.
Per the EPA: “The goal of the Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities grant program is to have states, territories, and tribes prioritize grant funding in small or disadvantaged communities to focus exclusively on addressing ECs in drinking water, including PFAS.”
Focus on States
Several states have recently moved forward with legislation addressing PFAS.
Florida’s governor signed into law legislation directing the state Department of Environmental Protection to adopt PFAS standards for drinking water, ground water, and soil by 2025, should the federal EPA not finalize its own standards.
Colorado’s governor signed into law legislation that bans the selling of certain products, such as carpets, cosmetics, and oil and gas products, that include the intentional use of PFAS while setting separate requirements for cookware. The law is set to take effect starting in 2024.
Minnesota launched an interactive dashboard for PFAS testing in drinking water. It provides PFAS testing results for Minnesota’s community water systems. The state currently reports that 106 systems have been tested, 295 are in progress, and 565 have not been tested—representing completed testing for over a third of the systems’ customers.
What We Are Reading