U.S. EPA Releases First-Ever Final PFAS Drinking Water Rule

Water being poured into a cup.

On April 10, 2024, U.S. EPA issued the first-ever, national drinking water standard for a group of chemicals commonly referred to as “PFAS” or “forever chemicals”. PFAS generally refers to a family of chemicals known as “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances” that commonly are found in household and consumer goods, such as stain-resistant furniture coverings and carpets, non-stick cookware, and rain-resistant clothing, to name just a few.  

U.S. EPA’s new final rule, issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act, sets the following standards or “maximum contaminant levels” (MCLs) for certain listed PFAS compounds in drinking water: 


Limit or MCL (parts per trillion) 

PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) 

4.0 ppt 

PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonic acid) 

4.0 ppt 

PFNA (perfluorononanoic acid) 

10.0 ppt 

PFHxS (perfluorohexane sulfonic acid) 

10.0 ppt 

HFPO-DA (hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid) (aka “GenX Chemicals”) 

10.0 ppt 

This regulation's impact will be felt by the 39 states that do not have PFAS standards of their own, including Ohio. Based on an investigation by the
Dayton Daily News, at least 15 water systems in Ohio contain PFAS levels that exceed the new limits of this new rule. Litigation over the new rule and the new standards is likely to occur especially with respect to the scientific basis for the 4.0 ppt limit.              

Public drinking water systems will have five (5) years to comply with the new standards and will have three (3) years to complete initial monitoring for these substances. The new rule was recently published in the Federal Register and will go into effect on June 25, 2024.


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