SBAR Panel: PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation
Key Dates for this SBAR Panel
- Convening date: 05/24/2022
- Completion date: 08/01/2022
About the Rule
- Title: Per- and polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) National Primary Drinking Water Regulation Rulemaking
- RIN: 2040-AG18
- Docket: not yet available
- Publication Date for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM): The projected publication date will be available in the upcoming semiannual regulatory agenda
What is the Implication of the Proposed Rulemaking on Small Entities?
EPA is developing a proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) in accordance with the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and other applicable statutes. EPA is also evaluating additional Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) and assessing the available science to consider regulations for groups of PFAS. NPDWRs are legally enforceable maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) or treatment techniques that apply to public water systems (PWSs). MCLs and treatment techniques protect public health by limiting the levels of contaminants in drinking water.
A PFAS NPDWR may require PWSs to conduct monitoring to determine the level of PFAS in their drinking water. Some water systems may have to modify or install and maintain drinking water treatment systems based upon the monitoring results. EPA recognizes that requirements of a PFAS NPDWR may present resource challenges, particularly in disadvantaged communities. At this time, EPA has not determined if the proposed NPDWR will have significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small PWSs; however, because EPA may determine that the proposed NPDWR may have significant economic impacts on a substantial number of small PWSs after conducting future analyses, we have elected to move forward with preparing for a potential Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) panel process at this time.
The SDWA, as amended in 1996, requires EPA to determine whether to regulate at least five contaminants every five years; this is known as the Regulatory Determination Process. The Agency must publish a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) and promulgate an NPDWR for a contaminant if the Administrator determines after considering public comments that the following three statutory criteria are met: (1) the contaminant may have an adverse effect on the health of persons, (2) the contaminant is known to occur or there is substantial likelihood that the contaminant will occur in PWSs with a frequency and at levels of public health concern, and (3) regulation of such contaminant presents a meaningful opportunity for health risk reduction for persons served by PWSs. On March 3, 2021, EPA published a final determination to regulate PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
Entities potentially impacted by this proposed rulemaking include all PWSs. A PWS provides water for human consumption through pipes or other constructed conveyances to at least 15 service connections or serves an average of at least 25 people for at least 60 days a year. A PWS may be publicly or privately owned. EPA defines three types of PWSs:
- Community Water System (CWS): A PWS that supplies water to the same population year-round.
- Non-Transient Non-Community Water System (NTNCWS): A PWS that regularly supplies water to at least 25 of the same people at least six months per year. Some examples are schools, factories, office buildings, and hospitals which have their own water systems.
- Transient Non-Community Water System (TNCWS): A PWS that provides water in a place such as a gas station or campground where people do not remain for long periods of time.
EPA considers small entities to be PWSs serving 10,000 or fewer people. EPA does not anticipate that this regulation will affect transient non-community PWSs as they may not be subject to the rule requirements. EPA is specifically interested in engaging with small entities in disadvantaged communities impacted by PFAS in drinking water to ensure that they do not disproportionately bear the burden of potential PFAS risks.
Additional information about the proposed PFAS NPDWR is available on EPA’s web site Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) and Regulatory Determination: Regulatory Determination 4.
How Can I Learn More?
While the opportunity to participate on this Panel may have passed, you will have the chance to submit comments concerning this rulemaking during the standard public comment period commencing after publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.
Semiannual updates about the development status of the rulemaking are available at RegInfo.gov.