EPA Considering Revised Effluent Limitations Guideline Relating to PFAS

April 8, 2021

Read the full article by Matthew H. Griffin & Daniel J Deeb (MPR News)

"Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a preliminary step toward requiring limits on some National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) discharges of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into surface water. On March 17, EPA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking pursuant to the Clean Water Act (CWA), which seeks public comment on data EPA has collected about certain PFAS discharges to surface water and requests additional information about businesses that make or use these substances (the ANPRM). The public has until May 17, 2021, to submit comments.


State and federal policymakers have turned their attention to PFAS in recent years because these substances — found in a broad range of commercial and consumer products such as weather-proof caulking and anti-grease pizza box coating — appear not to break down through natural processes and may cause harm to humans with accumulated exposure. In 2019, EPA adopted a PFAS Action Plan, which aimed to coordinate and prioritize action across the programs that EPA administers. While the Action Plan contemplates the development of technology-based discharge limits, known as effluent limitations guidelines or ELGs, as an area for further study and review, they were not among the Action Plan’s immediate priorities, which included expanding how companies report their use of PFAS and determining whether drinking water standards for PFAS are necessary."