Read the full article by Insider NJ

“Last week, the Department of Environmental Protection submitted their proposed rule for setting maximum contaminant limits on PFOA and PFOS to the Office of Administrative Law. PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctanesulfonic acid) belong to the PFAS family of forever chemicals. The rule was proposed last year and would have expired if it was not submitted to OAL by April 1 of this year.

‘The State of New Jersey has stood up for public health and against forever chemicals. New Jersey has now adopted one of the strictest standards in the nation for PFOA and PFOS. This is a big step forward towards protecting public health from toxic forever chemicals. By adopting these standards, DEP is protecting the roughly 1.6 million people who are exposed to these chemicals in New Jersey. These standards will be easily implemented by water purveyors. This is especially critical because New Jersey is one of the most affected states in the county, with over 500 water systems in the state contaminated with PFAS,’ said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. ‘What the DEP has done is important. They should be sharing this news proudly instead of adopting this rule quietly.’

The rule submitted by the DEP is one of the strongest in the nation. It would require drinking water from private wells and public utilities to contain no more than 14 parts per trillion for PFOA and 13 ppt for PFOS. This is far stronger than the 70 ppt guideline set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

‘This is an important milestone. New Jersey has the fourth-highest levels of these forever chemicals in the nation. It is important that the DEP is moving forward with these health-based standards of 14 ppt for PFOA and 13 ppt for PFOS because the federal limits are too weak. These chemicals are particularly dangerous because they bioaccumulate in a person’s body and cause significant health problems like cancer and a weakened immune system. While it is good that DEP is moving forward in setting stricter standards for these chemicals, we believe that the standard should be lowered to a more protective 5 ppt,’ said Tittel.

Last year, the NJDEP issued a PFAS ‘Directive’ to test, treat, and remove chemicals from soil and water. The ‘Directive’ was to five chemical companies accused of contaminating many areas of NJ with PFAS chemicals. The DEP recently made a statement saying that it will take years to resolve NJs dispute with these companies and address PFAS contamination throughout the state…”