July 20, 2021
Authored by: Tom Lee, John Kindschuh and Dave Brankin
In the absence of federal cleanup standards for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) in groundwater, several states have started the process of regulating PFAS in groundwater themselves. As a result, states have adopted a patchwork of regulations and guidance standards which presents significant compliance challenges to impacted industries. This client alert explores the current landscape of state regulations regarding the guidance, notification, and cleanup levels for PFAS – typically perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (“PFOS”) and perfluorooctanoic acid (”PFOA”) – in groundwater.
Federal Health Recommendations and Advisory
Although no legally binding standards have been issued at the federal level, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has issued two influential documents: (1) Interim Recommendations to Address Groundwater Contaminated with PFOA and PFOS; and (2) a Lifetime Drinking Water Health Advisory Level of 70 ppt for PFOS and PFOA. While EPA’s health advisory level is non-binding, and is primarily intended to address drinking