(September 11, 2019) – As public and political attention continues to mount over per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), NACWA is forming a workgroup of member public utilities to help provide guidance to other clean water agencies and is also launching a PFAS resources website.
The workgroup consists of select member utilities that have already been faced with state regulatory and legislative actions and requests. The workgroup’s mission is to help member utilities that have not yet witnessed similar PFAS questions to ultimately best prepare their utility on regulatory, legislative, and legal responses, as well as to effectively communicate with the media and public on the complexities of the PFAS issue. In addition, the workgroup will help pull together a consortium of relevant peer-reviewed scientific research and information to assist members in their understanding of this quickly evolving issue.
The current frenzy over PFAS also continues to be a major driver in how state regulatory authorities are addressing these emerging contaminants, absent federal action. Michigan and Maine continue to lead the nation in various efforts to determine PFAS concentrations in wastewater effluent and biosolids. Other states are beginning to request municipal utilities voluntarily sample or establish screening levels for PFAS in wastewater effluent, biosolids, and residuals incineration.
NACWA continues to advocate that state regulatory authorities and legislatures understand that the clean water community is a passive receiver of PFAS constituents and not a source. Although public clean water utilities support source reduction and pollution prevention in the case of PFAS, those that manufacture these chemicals should be responsible for any needed remediation and the ultimate elimination of PFAS from uses that pose threats to the public and environment.
The Association’s new PFAS website will provide another tool for members, with key background on the issue, actions that NACWA is taking, and resources that may be helpful to utilities in addressing PFAS concerns. NACWA will continue to add to the website as additional resources and information become available.
If members have questions, please contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs at 202-533-1839.