Read the full article by Lisa Whitley Coleman (EHS Daily Advisor)

“The EPA continues to make addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the environment a top priority. In its latest announcement, the Agency revealed two new steps in its aggressive battle to mitigate PFAS in drinking water.

‘First, EPA issued a memorandum detailing an interim National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting strategy for addressing PFAS in EPA-issued wastewater permits,’ according to an Agency press release. ‘Second, EPA released information on progress in developing new analytical methods to test for PFAS compounds in wastewater and other environmental media. Together, these actions help ensure that federally enforceable wastewater monitoring for PFAS can begin as soon as validated analytical methods are finalized.’

The interim approach applies to areas where the EPA is the permitting authority on NPDES permits and includes three states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New Mexico); the District of Columbia; most U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico; Indian Country; and certain federal facilities. In these areas, permit writers are advised to include ‘PFAS monitoring at facilities where these chemicals are expected to be present in wastewater discharges, including from municipal separate storm sewer systems and industrial stormwater permits,’ according to the EPA.

The recommendation applies to PFAS that have ‘validated EPA analytical methods for wastewater testing,’ which the EPA will continue to make available as they are finalized. ‘The agency’s interim strategy also encourages the use of best management practices where appropriate to control or abate the discharge of PFAS and includes recommendations to facilitate information sharing to foster adoption of best practices across states and localities,’ according to the Agency…”