PFAS

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View PFAS resources, state regulations and the latest updates on what you need to know. Halff is here to help you meet PFAS requirements, from drinking water and wastewater to DoD facilities and more.

| See PFAS information by state:
Arkansas   Florida   Louisiana   Oklahoma   Texas

Overview of PFAS

What are PFAS?  Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large group (i.e., thousands) of man-made chemicals widely used in consumer and industry products due to their water, heat and oil-repellent properties. The carbon-fluorine bond in PFAS is one of the strongest bonds in nature because of the short distance between the atoms. This means the bond breaks down very slowly in the environment.

These unique synthetic chemicals are contained in thousands of everyday products, such as:

• food packaging
• clothing
• cleaning products
• paints
• Teflon (nonstick cookware)
• fire-fighting foam

Learn more in our article: PFAS: The “Forever Chemical” Penetrating the World Around Us

farmer in a hot field drinking water from a plastic water bottle at sunset

PFAS Resources

National regulations

Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): The EPA proposed national drinking water standards for six PFAS in March 2023, and finalized the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) rule in April 2024. The EPA uses the Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) to collect data for contaminants that are suspected to be present in drinking water and do not have regulatory standards set under the SDWA. UCMR 5 requires monitoring for 29 PFAS between January 2023 and December 2025. With the recently promulgated rule, public water systems must monitor for these PFAS and have three years to complete initial monitoring (by 2027), followed by ongoing compliance monitoring.

Table of PFAS information about which water systems does this apply to, and the sample frequency and timing.

PFAS regulations timeline

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): The EPA published a final rule under TSCA that requires all manufacturers and importers of PFAS and PFAS-containing articles in any year since 2011 to report information to the EPA on PFAS uses, production volumes, disposal, exposures and hazards. This rule (40 CFR Part 705) was promulgated in January 2024 and any entity, including small entities, that have manufactured or imported PFAS in  any year since 2011 will have 18 months to report PFAS data (24 months for small importers). Also in the past year, seven PFAS were added to the list of chemicals covered by the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) program, and the EPA finalized a rule that eliminated an exemption that allowed facilities to avoid reporting PFAS information to TRI when those chemicals are used in small (or de minimis) concentrations.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA): The EPA is in the final stages of developing a regulation to list perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances under CERCLA, the nation’s Superfund law. The EPA expects to take final action on this rule in early 2024. In addition, the EPA is updating the Interim Guidance on the Destruction and Disposal of PFAS; however, the DOD provided an updated memorandum in July 2023, which may be used.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): In February 2024, the EPA released two proposed regulations under RCRA that would add nine PFAS chemicals as RCRA Hazardous Constituents and clarify that the RCRA Corrective Action Program has the authority to require investigation and cleanup for hazardous waste, as defined under RCRA section 1004(5), which include emerging contaminants such as PFAS.

Clean Water Act (CWA): The EPA has taken several steps to use Clean Water Act permitting and regulatory authorities to restrict PFAS. In 2023, the EPA released its 15th Effluent Limitations Guidelines Plan (Plan 15) that announced their intent to develop rules to limit PFAS discharges to waterways from PFAS manufacturers, metal finishing, and electroplating and landfills.

 

View information by state:
Arkansas  |  Florida  Louisiana Oklahoma Texas

Arkansas

The State of Arkansas does not have state required testing for PFAS compounds in drinking water. The state is waiting for the adoption of the EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations establishing maximum contaminant levels for 6 PFAS compounds.

The state has 4 Federal facilities where AFFF was used. Previous investigation shows concentrations greater than 1000 ppt of PFAS in groundwater around those facilities. The state has seven facilities reporting detections of PFAS compounds in their drinking water but the detections are below projected MCL and or for compounds not currently monitored.

Interactive Map: PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 5,021 Sites in 50 States (ewg.org)

The Arkansas Department of Health (“ADH”) submitted comments on proposed Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”) National Primary Drinking Water Standards for six PFAS which include:

• Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
• Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)
• Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
• Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFOP-DA)
• Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS)
• Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS)
• (collectively, “PFAS”)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposal was published on March 14th. (See previous blog post.) See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-0W-2022-0114.

The Arkansas agency also incorporates the comments previously submitted by the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators.

ADH, however, does note the following:

• Imperative that the proposed rule provide clear and achievable requirements for PFAS levels in drinking water without being overly burdensome on public water systems
• Further evaluation should be conducted regarding the cost and potential adverse impacts on compliance with other existing drinking water requirements and water system viability (especially for water systems)
• 94.3% of the State of Arkansas’s 703 public water systems that are subject to SDWA jurisdiction serve fewer than 10,000 people (50% of those serve communities with fewer than 1,100 people)
• Small water systems use minimal or conventional treatment processes and have difficulty finding qualified water treatment operators and funding
• Capital/operation costs of installing needed treatment for PFAS is very high compared to conventional water treatment processes
• PFAS treatment process will require proper disposal of waste streams that contain concentrated levels of these chemicals (and others)
• Treatment processes for PFAS are more complicated than existing drinking water treatment processes and will require additional training and certification of drinking water operators
• Drinking water operators with advanced training certification are in short supply

https://www.mitchellwilliamslaw.com/webfiles/ADH%20Comments.pdf

Florida

The State of Florida does have state required testing for PFAS compounds in Drinking Water. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is committed to the protection of the groundwater resources of the state and the public health and safety of their residents. The state has established groundwater and soil cleanup levels in 2020 for the protection of drinking water.

As part of these efforts, DEP’s Division of Waste Management routinely investigates sites where there is known or suspected soil and groundwater contamination statewide.

https://floridadep.gov/waste/waste-cleanup/content/dep%E2%80%99s-efforts-address-pfas-environment

The state has 21 Federal facilities where AFFF was used. With an additional 12 PFAS fire training sites. Previous investigation shows concentrations greater than 1000 ppt of PFAS in groundwater around those facilities. The state has 67 purveyors of drinking water reporting PFAS concentration greater than the projected EPA MCL for NPDWR. The state has 15 cities reporting detections of PFAS compounds in their drinking water but the detections are below projected MCL and or for compounds not currently monitored.

Interactive Map: PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 5,021 Sites in 50 States (ewg.org)

Louisiana

The State of Louisiana does not have state required testing for PFAS compounds in drinking water. The state is waiting for the adoption of the EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations establishing maximum contaminant levels for 6 PFAS compounds.

The state has 4 Federal facilities where AFFF was used.  Previous investigation shows concentrations greater than 1,000,000 ppt of PFAS in groundwater around those facilities. The state has four facilities reporting detections of PFAS compounds in their drinking water greater than the current EPA MCL. Another 17 municipalities where drinking water below EPA MCL and or for compounds not currently monitored.

Interactive Map: PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 5,021 Sites in 50 States (ewg.org)

The Lousiana Department of Health (“LDH”) submitted comments on proposed Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”) National Primary Drinking Water Standards for six PFAS which include:

• Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
• Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)
• Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
• Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFOP-DA)
• Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS)
• Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS)
• (collectively, “PFAS”)

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposal was published on March 14th. (See previous blog post.) See Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-0W-2022-0114.

Oklahoma

The State of Oklahoma does not have state required testing for PFAS compounds in Drinking Water.  The state is waiting for the adoption of the EPA National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) establishing maximum contaminant levels for 6 PFAS compounds.  The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Health does not have regulations but the state has protocols for PFAS sampling in drinking water, air, groundwater, surface water, fish, soil and sediments.

 https://www.deq.ok.gov/land-protection-division/quality-assurance/

The state has 9 Federal facilities where AFFF was used.  Previous investigation shows concentrations greater than 1000 ppt of PFAS in groundwater around those facilities.  The state has 8 cities reporting PFAS concentration greater than the projected EPA MCL for NPDWR.  The state has 20 cities reporting detections of PFAS compounds in their drinking water but the detections are below projected MCL and or for compounds not currently monitored.

Interactive Map: PFAS Contamination Crisis: New Data Show 5,021 Sites in 50 States (ewg.org)

Texas

In Texas, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) oversees regulations related to groundwater and soil contamination, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Here are the key points regarding PFAS regulations in Texas:

1. Protective Concentration Levels (PCLs):

○ The Tier 1 PCLs serve as the default cleanup standards in the Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP).
As of May 2023, the Tier 1 PCLs for soil and groundwater are in effect.1
○ These PCLs guide remediation efforts to address PFAS contamination.

2. Tier 2 PCLs:

○ Site-specific inputs can be used to calculate Tier 2 PCLs.
○ These PCLs are based on the specific conditions of a contaminated site.

3. Surface Water RBELs:

○ For human health and aquatic life, the TCEQ provides surface water risk-based exposure limits (RBELs).
These RBELs help assess PFAS impacts in surface water1.

4. Federal Regulation:

○ Currently, PFAS are not regulated under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
No enforceable maximum contaminant level (MCL) has been established for PFAS at the federal level.2

5. State-by-State Regulations:

In the absence of federal standards, several states, including Texas, have initiated their own processes to regulate PFAS in groundwater.3

Remember that regulations may evolve over time, so it’s essential to stay informed about any updates or changes. For official and detailed information, you can refer to the TCEQ’s current chapters under Title 30 of the Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC) on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.4

 

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