The Environmental Protection Agency issued a notice on March 11 that it will require a number of water systems to sample for a list of PFAS compounds and lithium in order to assess the occurrence of these substances. If the occurrence data indicate that the substances are widespread in water supplies, the EPA will make a determination to regulate them, which would require establishing an maximum contaminant level (MCL) for them.

The EPA is proposing a Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) rule that would require public water systems to collect national occurrence data for 29 per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lithium. This proposed rule would require all community and non-transient non-community water systems serving 3,300 or more people, and a representative sample of smaller water systems, to conduct monitoring. PFAS and lithium are not currently subject to national primary drinking water regulations, and the EPA is proposing to require the collection of drinking water occurrence data to inform regulatory decisions. This proposal fulfills a key commitment in EPA’s 2019 Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Action Plan by proposing the collection of more drinking water occurrence data for a broader group of PFAS. EPA is also announcing two online public meetings to discuss this proposal of the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5).

EPA is offering a virtual meeting twice during the public comment period. For more details on the meeting and to register, click here.

“EPA proposes that public water systems monitor for PFAS and lithium between 2023 and 2025.”

Kelly Collins, Managing Principal, Geology/Hydrogeology

About the experts

Kelly Collins is Managing Principal, Geology/Hydrogeology, for Brown and Caldwell. She is based in Denver, Colorado, and is a geologist and hydrogeologist with nearly 20 years of experience.

Subscribe to BC Water News to receive more articles like this GET STARTED