Dec 16, 2019

Massachusetts Drafts New PFAS Regulation Limits

Massachusetts has set new PFAS regulations that are likely to go into effect in 2020. 

drinking water

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has released new draft regulations to limit per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals in drinking water. 

The regulations will set the combined limit for six PFAS chemicals at 20 ppt, reported WBUR.

The chemicals were found in 28 of 37 municipal water systems that provided test results to the state DEP,  according to the News&Observer. Twelve of those exceeded the proposed standards. 

"Based on what we know, we believe these six are the right six," said Massachusetts DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. "We obviously will continue to engage with the scientific community and others to make sure that we have the most up-to-date information, and we'll continue to use that information as we develop the rule."

The regulations will be open for public comment on Dec. 27 and likely go into effect in 2020, according to WBUR

"We think ultimately the science will show that the standards should be even tighter, but this will certainly improve the protection of public health and it opens a process to insure that all these toxic chemicals can be out of our drinking water," said Brad Campbell, president of the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF)

CLF originally filed the petition that initiated the process to set state standards for PFAS chemicals, reported WBUR.

"The DEP rule set standards for six of these compounds but there are dozens more that need to be addressed," Campbell said.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker also announced tougher cleanup standards for PFAS chemicals in soil and groundwater, requiring the cleanup of any groundwater that could be used as drinking water if the total concentration of six PFAS chemicals reaches 20 ppt. 

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