Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
Proposed PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation
On March 14, 2023, EPA announced the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA, commonly known as GenX Chemicals), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS). The proposed PFAS NPDWR does not require any actions until it is finalized. EPA expects that if fully implemented, the rule will prevent thousands of deaths and reduce tens of thousands of serious PFAS-attributable illnesses.
EPA requested public comment on the proposed regulation. The public comment period ended on May 30, 2023. EPA's proposed rule received over 120,000 public comments. The public docket can be accessed at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114. EPA also held an informational general overview webinar of the proposed PFAS NPDWR on March 16, 2023, and another informational webinar about the proposed PFAS NPDWR specifically for water utilities and the drinking water professional community on March 29, 2023. On May 4, 2023, EPA held a public hearing on the proposed PFAS NPDWR (supporting documents below).
EPA submitted the final Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for interagency review in winter of 2023. This final rule considers public comments and EPA looks forward to issuing the final rule after interagency review concludes.
EPA is proposing a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) to establish legally enforceable levels, called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs), for six PFAS in drinking water. PFOA and PFOS as individual contaminants, and PFHxS, PFNA, PFBS, and HFPO-DA (commonly referred to as GenX Chemicals) as a PFAS mixture. EPA is also proposing health-based, non-enforceable Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLGs) for these six PFAS.
Proposed MCL (enforceable levels)
4.0 parts per trillion (also expressed as ng/L)
HFPO-DA (commonly referred to as GenX Chemicals)
The proposed rule would also require public water systems to:
- Monitor for these PFAS
- Notify the public of the levels of these PFAS
- Reduce the levels of these PFAS in drinking water if they exceed the proposed standards.
- Federal Register Notice: PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation
Fact Sheet: EPA's Proposal to Limit PFAS in Drinking Water (pdf)
- بيان الحقائق: مقترح وكالة حماية البيئة للحد من استخدام مواد الالكايلات المشبعة وعديدة الفلور في مياه الشرب (pdf)
- 常見問題: PFAS 國家主要飲用水法規》提案常見問答 (pdf)
- 常见问题: 拟议 PFAS 国家主要饮用水条例常见问题和解答 (pdf)
- HOJA INFORMATIVA: Propuesta de la EPA para limitar las PFAS en el agua potable (pdf)
- ИНФОРМАЦИОННЫЙ БЮЛЛЕТЕНЬ: Предложение EPA об ограничении содержания PFAS в питьевой воде (pdf)
- Ang Mungkahi ng EPA na Limitahan ang PFAS sa Iniinom na Tubig (pdf)
- 팩트 시트: 식수 유입 PFAS를 제한하는 EPA 제안서 (pdf)
- Câu Hỏi Thường Gặp: Đề Xuất Quy Định Nước Uống Cơ Bản Quốc Gia PFAS Các Các Câu Hỏi và Đáp Thường Gặp (pdf)
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Proposed PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (pdf)
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Proposed PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Regulation FAQs for Drinking Water Primacy Agencies (pdf)
- Fact Sheet: Understanding the PFAS National Primary Drinking Water Proposal Hazard Index (pdf)
- Press Release: Biden-Harris Administration Proposes First Ever National Standard to Protect Communities from PFAS in Drinking Water
- Chính Quyền Biden-Harris Đề Xuất Tiêu Chuẩn Quốc Gia Đầu Tiên để Bảo Vệ Cộng Đồng Khỏi PFAS trong Nước Uống (pdf)
- 바이든-해리스 정부에서 지역사회를 식수의 PFAS로부터 보호하기 위한 최초의 국가 기준 제안 (pdf)
- Iminungkahi ng Biden-Harris Administration ang Kauna-unahang Pambansang Pamantayan para Protektahan ang Mga Komunidad mula sa PFAS sa Iniinom na Tubig (pdf)
All EPA Technical Support Documents and other supporting information for the Proposed PFAS NPDWR are available for viewing at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114.
- March 29, 2023 Technical Overview of the Proposed PFAS NPDWR
- Technical Overview Webinar Presentation: Proposed PFAS NPDWR (pdf)
- Descripción Técnica Presentación del Seminario Virtual: Propuesta de Regulación Primaria Nacional de PFAS para Agua Potable (pdf)
- Webinar Recording: Technical Overview of Proposed PFAS NPDWR
- March 16, 2023 General Overview Webinar on the Proposed PFAS NPDWR
- General Overview Webinar Presentation: Proposed PFAS NPDWR (pdf)
- Descripción General Presentación del Seminario Virtual: Propuesta de Regulación Primaria Nacional de PFAS para Agua Potable (pdf)
- Webinar Recording: General Overview of Proposed PFAS NPDWR
- May 4, 2023 Public Hearing on the Proposed PFAS NPDWR
- EPA Public Hearing Recording on Proposed PFAS NPDWR
- Grabación del Audiencia Pública en Propuesta de Regulación Nacional Primaria de Agua Potable de PFAS
- EPA Public Hearing Presentation on Proposed PFAS NPDWR (pdf)
- EPA Audiencia Pública Presentación de Propuesta de Regulatión Primaria Nacional de PFAS para Agua Potable (pdf)
- Public Hearing Agenda and Pre-Registered Speaker List (pdf)
Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, EPA has the authority to set enforceable National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWRs) for drinking water contaminants and require monitoring of public water systems. In March 2021, EPA published Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants on the Fourth Contaminant Candidate List which included a final determination to regulate PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. As a part of that final determination, EPA indicated it would also evaluate additional PFAS and consider regulatory actions to address groups of PFAS.
PFAS tend to co-occur with each other. This regulation will also remove many other PFAS when they co-occur with these six regulated PFAS. EPA is following recent peer-reviewed science that indicates that mixtures of PFAS can pose a health risk greater than each chemical on its own. Concurrent with the proposed PFAS NPDWR published on March 29, 2023, EPA also announced it is making preliminary regulatory determinations for PFNA, GenX Chemicals, PFHxS, and PFBS in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act regulatory development process. EPA proposes to regulate PFNA, GenX Chemicals, PFHxS, and PFBS using a Hazard Index formula.
PFAS NPDWR Consultations and Stakeholder Engagements
As required under the Safe Drinking Water Act and other federal Statutes and executive orders, EPA engaged in multiple consultations and stakeholder engagement activities as a part of the development of the proposed NPDWR for PFAS. Key consultations and engagements included:
- Webinar on Preparing Communities to Engage in EPA's Upcoming Proposed PFAS Drinking Water Regulatory Process: EPA held a public webinar on November 2, 2022, to provide information to communities about PFAS in drinking water, actions under the Safe Drinking Water Act to develop the proposed PFAS NDPWR, and how to participate in the rulemaking process and offer EPA input on the proposed rule once it is published.
- Preparing for Engagement in EPA's Upcoming Proposed PFAS Drinking Water Regulatory Process (pdf)
- Preparando para la Participación en el Próximo Proceso de Regulación del Agua Potable de Sustancias de Perflouroalquilo y Polifluoroalquilo (PFAS) propuesto por la EPA (pdf)
Webinar Recording: Preparing for Engagement in EPA's Upcoming Proposed PFAS Drinking Water Regulatory Process (English)
- Grabación del Seminario Web: Preparando para la Participación en el Próximo Proceso de Regulación del Agua Potable de Sustancias de Perflouroalquilo y Polifluoroalquilo (PFAS) propuesto por la EPA (subtÍtulos en Español)
- Science Advisory Board (SAB): EPA transmitted to the Science Advisory Board four draft documents with recent scientific data and new analyses that indicate that negative health effects may occur at much lower levels of exposure to PFOA and PFOS than previously understood. The draft documents presented EPA’s initial analysis and findings with respect to this new information. EPA made these draft documents available to the public to ensure a transparent and robust evaluation of the available information.
- For more information about the these documents or the SAB review, including the SAB's final report, please visit the SAB website.
- Press release: EPA Advances Science to Protect the Public from PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water
- Environmental Justice Considerations for the Development of the Proposed PFAS NPDWR: EPA held two identical virtual public meetings to share information and provide opportunities for communities to offer input on environmental justice considerations related to the development of the proposed PFAS NPDWR. The meetings were held on March 2, 2022, and April 5, 2022.
- Federal Register Notice - Notice of Public Meeting: Environmental Justice Considerations for the Development of the Proposed PFAS NPDWR
- EPA also accepted written public comments in the public docket. The docket can be found at: www.regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114.
- Meeting materials and meeting summaries for both meetings are available in the public docket.
- Regulatory Flexibility Act/Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act: EPA invited small entities, specifically public water systems serving 10,000 or fewer people, to participate as Small Entity Representatives (SERs) for a Small Business Advocacy Review (SBAR) Panel that focused on the Agency’s efforts to develop a proposed PFAS NPDWR. When taking action on PFAS, EPA intends to ensure that small entities, particularly those in disadvantaged communities, are fully engaged in solutions. For more information about the SBAR panel.
- Other Consultations and Engagements: EPA consulted with other stakeholders in 2022, including the National Drinking Water Advisory Council, State and Local Government Officials, Tribal Officials, and others.
To learn more about PFAS and to find important background information to support understanding the details of specific actions EPA takes to address PFAS and other emerging events related to PFAS.