Interim Recommendations for Addressing Groundwater Contaminated with PFOA and PFOS
These recommendations provide clear and consistent guidance for federal cleanup sites being evaluated and addressed under federal programs, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) and corrective action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The recommendations in this guidance may also be useful for state, tribal, or other regulatory authorities (e.g., federal facility cleanup programs and approved state RCRA corrective action programs); though, many states have promulgated state standards that may be considered ARARs under CERCLA. While EPA is issuing interim guidance, final remedial decisions under CERCLA will be specific to each site to ensure protectiveness, as required by statute.
The guidance recommends:
- Using a screening level of 40 parts per trillion (ppt) to determine if PFOA and/or PFOS is present at a site and may warrant further attention.
- Screening levels are risk-based values that are used to determine if levels of contamination may warrant further investigation at a site.
- Using EPA's PFOA and PFOS Lifetime Drinking Water Health Advisory level of 70 ppt as the preliminary remediation goal (PRG) for contaminated groundwater that is a current or potential source of drinking water, where no state or tribal MCL or other applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) are available or sufficiently protective.
- PRGs are generally initial targets for cleanup, which may be adjusted on a site-specific basis as more information becomes available.
In May 2022, EPA released Regional Screening Levels (RSLs) for PFOA and PFOS. The Agency is in the process of determining the impacts of the RSL updates on the 2019 memo and next steps.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stiven Foster, Office of Land and Emergency Management, Environmental Protection Agency; telephone number: 202-566-1911; firstname.lastname@example.org