PFAS Statement

April 2024

 

On April 10, 2024, as part of the EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap, the Biden-Harris Administration issued the first-ever national, legally enforceable drinking water standard to protect communities from exposure to harmful per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as ‘forever chemicals.’ (https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/biden-harris-administration-finalizes-first-ever-national-drinking-water-standard)

 

Exposure to PFAS has been linked to deadly cancers, impacts to the liver and heart, and immune and developmental damage to infants and children.

 

PFAS are manmade substances not naturally found in the environment.  Since the 1940’s they have been used to repel oil and water and resist heat, which makes them useful in everyday products such as nonstick cookware, stain resistant clothing, carpeting,  and firefighting foam.

 

The EPA has established legally enforceable levels for several PFAS known to occur individually and as mixtures in drinking water. This rule sets limits for five individual PFAS: PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHxS, and HFPO-DA (also known as “GenX Chemicals”). The rule also sets a limit for mixtures of any two or more of four PFAS: PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and “GenX chemicals.”

 

  • For PFOA and PFOS, EPA has set a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG), a non-enforceable health-based goal, at zero. This reflects the latest science showing that there is no level of exposure to these contaminants without risk of health impacts, including certain cancers.

 

  • EPA has set enforceable Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) at 4.0 parts per trillion for PFOA and PFOS, individually. This standard will reduce exposure from these PFAS in our drinking water to the lowest levels that are feasible for effective implementation.

 

  • For PFNA, PFHxS, and “GenX Chemicals,” EPA has set the MCLGs and MCLs at 10 parts per trillion.

 

  • Because PFAS can often be found together in mixtures, and research shows these mixtures may have combined health impacts, EPA is also setting a limit for any mixture of two or more of the following PFAS: PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and “GenX Chemicals.”

 

The EPA estimates that between about 6% and 10% of the 66,000 public drinking water systems subject to this rule may have to take action to reduce PFAS to meet these new standards. All public water systems have three years to complete their initial monitoring for these chemicals. They must inform the public of the level of PFAS measured in their drinking water. Where PFAS is found at levels that exceed these standards, systems must implement solutions to reduce PFAS in their drinking water within five years.

 

In 2017, the West View Water Authority (WVWA) participated in statewide sampling and analysis efforts.  WVWA sampled both its raw and treated water at the Neville Island Water Treatment Plant.  The analysis included perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) as well as other chemicals associated with the PFAS family.  The results indicated trace amounts of PFOA.  The remaining chemicals of the PFAS family were at non-detectable levels.

 

Additional analysis conducted since the 2017 statewide program typically yielded results below the limit.  Currently, the WVWA is conducting a pilot study on an alternative carbon designed for the removal of all chemicals associated with the PFAS family.