EPA Issues Guidance for PFAS Groundwater Contamination with Draft Interim Recommendations

The U.S. EPA has released draft recommendations for addressing groundwater contaminated with PFAS. The draft guidance specifically addresses perfluoroctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctane sulfonate (PFOS) at contaminated sites falling under federal cleanup programs. 

The guidance provides screening levels and preliminary remediation goals (PRGs) for PFOA and PFOS in groundwater that is currently or potentially a drinking water source. The interim recommendations provide the following guidance:

  • Screening sites using a screening level set to a Hazard Quotient of 0.1 for PFOA or PFOS individually, which is currently set at  40 ppt (ng/L);

  • Using a PRG of 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS in groundwater where no other state or tribal maximum contaminant level (MCL) exists;

  • Groundwater being used as a drinking water source with PFOA and/or PFOS over 70 ppt should be addressed by responsible parties.

PRGs are initial targets for cleanup, which are often adjusted on a site-specific basis during a remediation investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS). This guidance applies to PFAS contamination being evaluated and addressed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA/Superfund) and corrective action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).It should be noted that this guidance issued by the EPA does not apply to emergency orders issued under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The draft recommendations are open for public comment until June 10, 2019.

Merit is a national leading PFAS environmental laboratories, analyzing soil, wastewater, groundwater, drinking water, and other sample matrices. Merit is certified for the analysis of PFAS by ISO/IEC 17025. Analytical method certification for PFAS includes drinking water by EPA 537 rev. 1.1 and wastewater | groundwater | surface water by ASTM D7979 with Isotopic Dilution. Please contact Merit Laboratories for assistance on your PFAS testing needs.