“EPA Moves Closer to Regulating PFAS in Drinking Water”

“The EPA has made an initial determination that it will eventually set legal limits for levels of two key PFAS chemicals in drinking water, the agency announced Thursday.

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, the “preliminary regulatory determination” announced Thursday is the last step before the Environmental Protection Agency proposes limits on the releases of the two chemicals in drinking water and groundwater supplies. That announcement could still be months away.

The chemicals at issue are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), two of many within the class of chemicals called PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Scientists have linked PFAS chemicals—common in nonstick coatings and firefighting foam—to health problems including higher cholesterol, birth defects, and cancer.

EPA’s announcement Thursday, if eventually finalized, would set limits for the first time for PFAS chemicals that would apply to all water utilities across the country. The announcement comes as states have moved to regulate PFAS, many complaining of federal inaction.”

Amena H. Saiyid reports for Bloomberg Environment February 20, 2020.