On April 1, 2019, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) proposed drinking water standards for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) that are significantly more stringent than the federal health advisory of 70 ppt. DEP proposed a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 14 ppt for PFOA and 13 ppt for PFOS.

PFOA and PFOS – two chemicals in a larger chemical family known as “per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances” (PFAS) – were widely used for decades in a variety of industrial and consumer applications due to their resistance to heat, water, and oil. In recent years, as detection methods have improved, the chemicals have been found in an increasing number of sites across the country. Due to voluntary phase-outs, the two compounds subject to the most regulatory interest — PFOA and PFOS — are no longer manufactured in the United States, with limited exceptions.

NJDEP’s proposed rulemaking also seeks to add PFOA and PFOS to NJDEP’s List of Hazardous Substances and to set limits for groundwater quality criteria standards to be used in site remediation activities. In the meantime, the interim specific groundwater quality criteria for PFOA and PFOS are currently set at 10 ppt.

Click here to read the full GT Alert.