PFAS

AWWA/AMWA file petition for review of new PFAS rule 

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AWWA and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) on June 7 filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review U.S. EPA’s Final PFAS Drinking Water Rule. 

AWWA and AMWA share EPA’s goal of protecting public health. The associations are concerned, however, that EPA did not rely on the best available science and the most recent occurrence data and used novel approaches as the basis for portions of the rule. The petitioners believe the rule underestimates nationwide costs and adds to affordability challenges without achieving the public health outcomes we all seek.

AWWA/AMWA joint statement (June 7, 2024)
View the Petition (.pdf) (filed June 7, 2024)
FAQ on AWWA/AMWA Petition
Statement of issues (.pdf) (filed July 8, 2024)

Hazard Index Fact Sheet (.pdf)
Costs Fact Sheet (.pdf)

AWWA comments on the PFAS proposal (.pdf)
AMWA comments on PFAS proposal (.pdf)

Media inquiries can be directed to media@awwa.org.

See more background on PFAS below

National Primary Drinking Water Regulations for PFAS

PFAS Table 5-30-24

On April 26, 2024 the EPA published the national primary drinking water regulation (NPDWR) for PFAS. The rule sets drinking water standards for six PFAS and establishes monitoring and public notification requirements for water systems. Systems not subject to reduced monitoring for these compounds will be required to monitor on a quarterly basis and will need to maintain a running annual average (RAA) below the MCL. Systems are required to be in compliance with the MCLs by April 26, 2029. For more information about the requirements of the final rule, see the recent DC Beat and AWWA Advisory. AWWA also released a statement on the rule.

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Correcting PFAS Myths: Misperceptions Risk Higher Clean-up Costs for Water Ratepayers

In a nationwide press conference led by the Water Coalition Against PFAS, public water sector utilities united to address prevalent misconceptions concerning the cleanup of persistent PFAS compounds, and release a comprehensive report that refutes these myths. The report, titled "Correcting PFAS Myths: Misperceptions Risk Higher Clean-up Costs for Water Ratepayers" incorporates evidence from coalition members, definitively revealing that the yearly expenses for PFAS remediation will surpass Congress and EPA's expectations. The study highlights that the projected annual costs for PFAS cleanup could potentially be significantly greater than the current EPA estimates that are guiding regulatory actions.

Read the full report here

Technical Resources

AWWA's Public Communications Toolkit  This kit contains all of AWWA's information on public communication, from talking points to Journal AWWA articles and presentations. 
AWWA Briefing on PFAS  provides information and guidance for water professionals challenged to address this emerging contaminant.
PFAS Cycle Infographic – This infographic provides a visual representation of how PFAS cycle through the environment.
PFAS Treatment – Learn about treatment technologies recognized for providing demonstrated PFAS removal and the requirements for selecting among these technologies. 
PFAS Overview and Prevalence – A summary of PFAS history, use, health concerns, and presence in drinking water supplies. 
PFAS Monitoring, Sampling, Analysis – A summary of PFAS sampling protocols, EPA methods for PFAS analysis, and other analytical methods for PFAS monitoring. 
 
AWWA's Water Science Articles

To read the full text, click on the article links below, then login using the link in the upper right part of the page and following the “Login with AWWA” button. You must be a current member to read the full text.

 
JournalAWWA Articles
 
 
OpFlow Articles
 
 
You may also search additional articles on this or other topics published in the Journal AWWA, Opflow and AWWA Water Science

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February 8, 2024 – US EPA Proposes Listing Nine PFAS as Hazardous Constituents under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

The EPA has proposed listing nine specific PFAS as hazardous constituents under the RCRA law, including:

  1. Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  2. Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS)
  3. Perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS)
  4. Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
  5. Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA)
  6. Perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA)
  7. Perfluorobutanesulfonic acid (PFBS)
  8. Perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA)
  9. Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA)

According to the proposal, EPA has determined that these compounds have been shown in scientific studies to have toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic effects on humans or other life forms. The listing of these compounds as hazardous constituents will require corrective action for remediation of these PFAS as RCRA hazardous waste facilities and is considered a stepping-stone to the agency publishing a rule listing hazardous wastes based on the presence of these compounds.

AWWA submitted comments to the agency highlighting the need for clear regulatory action on PFAS polluters to protect sources of drinking water and the potential impacts to water systems if regulatory certainty is not provided. As noted in the letter, water systems are facing drinking water standards that will require the installation of carbon and ion exchange systems that concentrate PFAS in media that eventually becomes a waste. The EPA’s current PFAS actions together create long-term financial liability under the Superfund program for historical, ongoing, and future releases of PFAS by water systems while EPA’s interim guidance for disposing PFAS wastes does not provide clarity on how to feasibly mitigate those liabilities. The hazardous constituent listing creates more uncertainty for systems by painting a target on wastes that contain these compounds without defining a clear threshold of what levels of these PFAS constitutes a potential concern.

March 20, 2024  Statement for the Record of a Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing entitled “Examining PFAS as a Hazardous Substance."

June 2, 2023 – AWWA's comments on Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) National Primary Drinking Water Regulation Rulemaking

Technical Committee Engagement

AWWA members are recognized globally for their industry expertise and their generosity in sharing that expertise for a better world through better water. AWWA members participate in committee activities, developing conference programs, writing technical manuals, developing standards, creating educational content and contributing to AWWA publications. Committee members primarily interact through conference calls, emails, and face to face meetings at conferences and events. Access more information on volunteering for an AWWA committee.

The following committees are active in addressing PFAS issues:

  • Emerging Water Quality Issues
  • Organic Contaminants Control 
  • Organic Contaminants Research
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