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EPA Takes Action to Address PFAS in Drinking Water

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two actions to protect public health by addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, highlighting the agency’s commitment to address these long-lasting “forever chemicals” that can enter drinking water supplies and impact communities across the United States. The Biden-Harris administration is committed to addressing PFAS in the nation’s drinking water and will build on these actions by advancing science and using the agency’s authorities to protect public health and the environment.

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What Are PFAS and Why Are They an Issue?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of approximately 5,000 anthropogenic fluorinated chemicals whose presence in the environment is becoming of significant interest both in the United States and abroad.  PFAS have been used since the 1940s in numerous industrial and residential products such as Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) for firefighting, metal plating, food packaging, specialty surfactants, non-stick cookware, water-resistant fabrics, and others.

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Latest News: California Sets the Lowest Notification Levels for PFAS in the Country

The California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water (DDW), has accepted the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s (OEHHA) recent recommendation on new lower Notification Levels (NLs) for PFOA and for PFOS. On August 23, 2019, the DDW announced it established notification levels for PFOS and PFOA at 6.5 parts per trillion for PFOS and 5.1 parts per trillion for PFOA. These new levels are set at the lowest levels at which they can be reliably detected in drinking water using currently available analytical detection methods.

More information can be found here.