Proposed Regulations for PFAS in Drinking Water

by | Oct 18, 2022

On October 5, 2022, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) proposed regulations for 23 additional emerging contaminants in drinking water. This proposed rulemaking builds upon New York State’s proactive efforts to address emerging contaminants. Specifically, these efforts aim to address contamination concerns for PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. These regulations would be applicable to all community water systems and non-transient non-community water systems. NYSDOH is accepting comments from the public on the proposed regulations until December 5, 2022.


New Maximum Contaminant Levels

In 2020, New York State set the maximum contaminant level (MCL) at 10 parts per trillion (ppt) each for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). These existing regulations are set forth in Title 10 NYCRR Subpart 5-1. The new proposed rulemaking amends 10 NYCRR Subpart 5-1 and would establish enforceable drinking water standards for four new types of PFAS and the sum of all six regulated PFAS. The full list of MCLs for PFAS that would be established are listed in the table below.

Contaminants Maximum Contaminant Levels (ppt)
Existing MCLs
Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid PFOS 10
Perfluorooctanoic acid PFOA 10
Proposed MCLs
Perfluorodecanoic acid PFDA 10
Perfluoroheptanoic acid PFHpA 10
Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid PFHxS 10
Perfluorononanoic acid PFNA 10
Perfluoroalkyl substance-6¹ PFAS6¹ 30

¹PFAS6 is the sum of PFOS, PFOA, PFDA, PFHpA, PFHxS, and PFNA.


New Notification Level Determination

These proposed rules would also establish new standards and rules for testing, reporting, and public notification. The proposed rulemaking would include the addition of a new table (Table 3B) to 10 NYCRR Subpart 5-1, which would provide notification levels for 19 additional types of PFAS. If the sum of these contaminants is equal to or exceeds the determined notification level, the sample would be considered positive and public notification would be required.


Additional PFAS News—EPA Proposed Rule

On September 6, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the designation of PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”). This rule would increase the transparency around the release of these contaminants and address necessary cleanups. The proposed rule is currently in the public comment period. These actions reflect the growing awareness on the local, state, and federal levels of the need to address PFAS to protect public health.

Walden’s professionals continue to track regulatory changes regarding emerging contaminants to keep our clients up to date with applicable requirements for compliance. If you have any questions on the impacts these regulatory changes may have at your facility, please contact us at 516-559-6976. To learn more, check out one of our recent blogs on PFAS here, and visit Walden’s drinking water webpage here.

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Read about Walden’s drinking water services here, and contact us at 516-559-6976 to learn more.