Sep 05, 2018

New Jersey Sets MCL For PFNA in Drinking Water

The east coast state has become the first state to set a MCL for PFNA in drinking water

New Jersey sets drinking water standard for PFNA
New Jersey sets drinking water standard for PFNA

New Jersey has become the first state to adopt a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) in drinking water. The new standard was published Sept. 4 by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in the New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Act rules. The new standard is 13 ppt for PFNA in New Jersey drinking water.

Water utilities that serve a population of 10,000 or fewer must begin monitoring for PFNA and treat to below 13 ppt beginning in the first quarter of 2019, while utilities that serve larger populations will have until the first quarter of 2020 to make the change, as reported by the Press of Atlantic City.

“PFNA has largely been a regional issue along the Delaware River in southern New Jersey resulting from past discharges by a specialty polymers plant,” said DEP Spokesman Larry Hajna. “These systems have taken steps to address the contamination through taking wells offline, installing treatment and/or increased monitoring.”

PFNA falls under the category of chemicals known as polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals struggle to break down in the environment and the human body. Additionally, PFNA is linked to liver and immune function, cholesterol levels, development of fetuses, and even increase risk for certain types of cancer. Recently, they have been found in 37 New Jersey public water systems above the new limit.

New Jersey also adopted a MCL for 1,2,3-trichloroprane of 30 ppt.