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National Drinking Water Regulation Proposal May Be Pushed to 2023  


Those anticipating the EPA’s promised end-of-year drinking water regulations may have to wait for the new year.  Per EPA’s rulemaking webpage, the agency’s anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWR), including a proposal to regulate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water, is now projected for March 2023.

The EPA first announced plans to establish NPDWR for PFOA and PFOS in 2021 as part of the “PFAS Strategic Roadmap” and had indicated it would propose a limit for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water by the end of 2022 (EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap: A Year of Progress). On March 3, 2021, EPA announced its final regulatory determination to regulate PFOS and PFOA under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and on October 6, 2022, the EPA submitted notice  to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of the agency’s intention to develop a proposed national primary drinking water regulation for PFOA and PFOS. 

Despite the delay, the EPA remains on track to meet the SDWA’s mandatory deadlines.  The SDWA at 42 U.S.C. §300f et seq. (1974) requires the EPA propose a regulation within 24 months of publishing its final determination to regulate PFAS in the Federal Register (i.e., by March 2023) and finalize the regulation within 18 months of publishing the proposal (i.e., anticipated by September 2024, per EPA’s rulemaking webpage).  In the region, both Pennsylvania and Delaware have proposed MCLs for PFOA and PFOS and New Jersey has had MCLs for PFOA, PFOS and PFNA for several years.


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