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EPA Holds Stakeholder Event on Biosolids PFOA/PFOS Risk Assessment; NACWA Convenes Biosolids Committee

Nov 20, 2020

(November 20, 2020) – EPA held a two-day stakeholder event November 10 and 12 to brief state regulatory authorities, tribes and wastewater utilities on the Agency’s efforts to-date to define the biosolids problem formulation for PFOA and PFOS—two of the more commonly understood and researched PFAS constituents.

In a general risk assessment framework, conducting a problem formulation is the first part and helps characterize the risk pathways (who is at risk, where is the risk, and what is at risk) and how exposure occurs.

The stakeholder event had close to 200 participants and sought input from stakeholders. While this was an informal meeting and an informational sharing and gathering event, a more formal notice and comment regulatory process will occur if EPA decides federal regulatory limits for biosolids are needed. NACWA continues to work with EPA in this space and will keep members apprised as this process continues.

In a related development, NACWA convened its Biosolids Management Committee in a virtual event on November 16 and welcomed a new co-chair, Matt Bond, Deputy Director, Engineering and Smart Sewer, with Kansas City Water. The Committee discussed a variety of key issues including PFAS but also covered the use of biosolids for land restoration from forest fires and a recent comment letter to the US Department of Agriculture on organic foods.

EPA’s Biosolids team, Liz Resek and Elyssa Arnold, also joined the meeting to brief members on EPA’s progress with the PFOA/PFOS problem formulation as well as a recent October 29 EPA webinar on PFAS research in biosolids (note: while the recording of EPA’s webinar is not yet available, the PowerPoint slides can be accessed here and here).

If members have questions, please do not hesitate to contact Emily Remmel, NACWA’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.

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