On November 17, 2022, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (“IRRC”) approved the Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board’s (“EQB”) new safe drinking water maximum contaminant levels (“MCLs”) for perfluorooctanoic acid (“PFOA”) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (“PFOS”) under the Pennsylvania Safe Drinking Water Act regulations at 25 Pa. Code Chapter 109.  The regulations will establish MCLs of 14 ng/L for PFOA and 18 ng/L for PFOS.  The new regulations will also, among other things, establish monitoring, sampling and analytical requirements, and acceptable treatment technologies for achieving compliance with the MCLs.

The final MCL regulations will now head to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General (“OAG”) for legal review.  Pending OAG’s review, the regulation becomes effective and compliance is required when it is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin unless another date is specified.

One key secondary effect of this regulation, if finalized, is that the MCLs will also become the new medium-specific concentrations (“MSCs”) for PFOA and PFOS in groundwater under the Pennsylvania Land Recycling and Environmental Remediation Standards (“Act 2”) regulations, which incorporate promulgated MCLs under the Chapter 109 regulations.  See 25 Pa. Code § 250.304(c).  Last year, EQB and IRRC approved new groundwater and soil standards for PFOA, PFOS and PFBS.  Finalization of the MCLs will reduce the current PFOA and PFOS Act 2 groundwater standards from 70 parts per trillion (“ppt”) to 14 and 18 ppt, respectively.

The regulatory documents can be obtained at the following links: