Skip to content

New Federal Rules Regarding PFAS That Can Impact Your Business

There are several important rules finalized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that have the potential to impact your business and/or operations. UES is a national leader in assisting clients with issues pertaining to PFAS. Read more on UES’ PFAS services. 

Final Rule for National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for Six PFAS

On April 10, 2024, the EPA finalized a rule that established Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for six PFAS including:

  • Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)
  • Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS)
  • Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
  • Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA, commonly known as GenX chemicals)
  • Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS)

MCLs are enforceable drinking water standards for public water supply systems.  Individual MCL concentrations were finalized for five PFAS, and a Hazard Index MCL was finalized for an additional four PFAS. Health-based water concentrations, which are used to calculate the Hazard Index, were also established for four PFAS. The new MCLs and health-based water PFAS concentrations are summarized in the table below.

NOTE: All units are in parts per trillion. 

Hazard Index MCL – Health-based concentrations are used to calculate the Hazard Index (HI) and were established for four PFAS. The EPA’s Hazard Index uses the individual measurements of PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and HFPO-DA to evaluate their combined risk. Measurements of the four individual PFAS are divided by their respective health-based water concentrations, which are included in the table above. The four values are then summed to calculate the HI, which is compared to the Hazard Index MCL of 1.  A Hazard Index greater than 1 would be considered an MCL exceedance.

Analytical requirements to test the water for PFAS as set forth in the final rule include EPA Method 533 or Method 537.1 for NPDWR monitoring.  UES has national contracts with certified laboratories nationwide that meet the NPDWR requirements.

Additional requirements for municipalities (public water systems) include completing initial monitoring of their systems by 2027 and then begin ongoing compliance monitoring thereafter. Beginning in 2027, public water systems must include PFAS monitoring data in Consumer Confidence Reports. Starting in 2029, if public water systems have PFAS concentrations that exceed the MCLs in drinking water, they must take action to reduce levels of these PFAS to below MCL values and notify their consumers.

A link to the final rule is providedPFAS FINAL NPDWR

USEPA Designates PFOA AND PFOS as Hazardous Substances under CERCLA

On April 19, 2024, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced the designation of two PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, including their salts and structural isomers, as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund.  This designation empowers federal and state government agencies and third parties to address sites impacted by hazardous substances and seek cost recovery from those parties responsible for a release.  These actions could include the entire costs of clean-up and providing alternative drinking water supplies to individuals and/or communities. 

The designation will also allow USEPA enforcement authority, reevaluation of on-going remedies at active CERCLA projects and even the reopening of historically closed CERCLA projects.  USEPA has indicated it will focus on holding entities responsible that “significantly contributed to the release of PFAS into the environment” such as manufactures, industrial dischargers, federal facilities and other industrial parties.

The designation will also impact the Due Diligence (Phase I Environmental Site Assessments) process that complies with the federal All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) rule in order to qualify for certain CERLCA liability protections.  Since PFOA and PFAS, including their salts and structural isomers have been designated as hazardous substances under CERCLA, they are now considered in-scope and must be considered whey identifying Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) as part of the Due Diligence process following the current ASTM Standard E1527-21.

Finally, any releases of PFOA and PFAS, including their salts and structural isomers at 1 pound or greater must be reported to the National Response Center within a 24-hour period following the release.  

A link to the designation is provided:  EPA Website 

UES can provide assistance:

If you have questions or would like to discuss how these regulations might impact your business, please reach out to our team of PFAS experts.  UES can provide technical assistance and oversight with sampling, monitoring, assessment, reporting and cleanup of PFAS-related releases and contamination. 

Media Contact:
UES Communications Team
4205 Vineland Road, Suite L1
Orlando, Florida 32811