EPA Announces PFAS Action Plan to Protect Public Health
February 20, 2019
As a national environmental consulting and contracting firm specializing in managing hazardous substances, SCS Engineers is helping our clients now. Start by reading The Environmental Dangers of PFAS and Technologies for Removing Them, published in WasteAdvantage magazine for use in the solid waste industry and other industrial applications in support of EPA’s Action Plan.
On February 14, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced EPA’s Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan. The PFAS Action Plan is in response to public interest and input the EPA has received over the past year. EPA’s Action Plan identifies both short-term solutions for addressing these chemicals and long-term strategies for states, tribes, and local communities need to provide clean and safe drinking water to their residents and to address PFAS at the source. These actions include:
Moving forward with the maximum contaminant level (MCL) process outlined in the Safe Drinking Water Act for PFOA and PFOS—two of the most well-known and prevalent PFAS chemicals. By the end of this 2019, EPA states the agency will propose a regulatory determination.
EPA has already begun the regulatory development process for listing PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances and will issue interim groundwater cleanup recommendations for sites contaminated with PFOA and PFOS. The EPA feels this will provide additional tools to help states and communities address existing contamination and enhance the ability to hold responsible parties accountable.
Enforcement: EPA will use available enforcement tools to address PFAS exposure in the environment and assist states in enforcement activities.
EPA will propose to include PFAS in nationwide drinking water monitoring under the next Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program. The agency will also consider PFAS chemicals for listing in the Toxics Release Inventory.
Research: EPA will develop new analytical methods so that more PFAS chemicals can be detected in drinking water, in soil, and groundwater. EPA’s research efforts also include developing new technologies and treatment options to remove PFAS from drinking water at contaminated sites.
Risk Communications: EPA will work across the agency—and the federal government—to develop a PFAS risk communication toolbox that includes materials that states, tribes, and local partners can use to communicate effectively with the public.
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