EPA Establishes First National Drinking Water Standards for PFAS Protection (EPA)

EPA Establishes First National Drinking Water Standards for PFAS Protection

Thursday, April 11th, 2024 Legislation & Regulation Life & Health Technology

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized the first-ever national drinking water standards targeting per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as ’forever chemicals’. This significant regulatory milestone is expected to protect approximately 100 million people by reducing exposure to these substances, which have been linked to serious health risks including cancers and liver damage. The new rules will help prevent thousands of deaths and reduce the incidence of numerous severe illnesses.

These standards are a key element of the EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, which utilizes the agency’s full regulatory authority to combat PFAS pollution. Alongside this groundbreaking rule, the EPA has announced an allocation of nearly $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding is dedicated to assisting states and territories with PFAS testing and treatment in public water systems and supporting owners of private wells in managing contamination.

The announcement was made in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a community deeply affected by PFAS pollution. This move highlights the ongoing federal commitment to addressing this critical public health issue, with the new regulations set to drastically cut PFAS levels in drinking water using achievable technologies such as granular activated carbon, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange systems. The standards set enforceable limits for several specific PFAS compounds and offer a strategic response to a long-standing environmental challenge, reflecting the EPA’s commitment to safeguarding public health and advancing environmental justice.

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