New EPA Interim Recommendations Addressing Groundwater Contamination Issued

The Environmental Protection Agency is taking steps toward addressing groundwater contamination concerns by making interim recommendations designed to provide clear and consistent guidance. This new action is specifically designed to address groundwater contaminated with PFOA and PFOS for federal cleanup sites that are being evaluated under federal programs including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund). 

“These interim recommendations provide the environmental industry with some guidance for evaluating these emerging risks,” said James Hogan, President & CEO of The ELAM Group. “However, our clients will continue to face uncertainty until widespread adoption of PFOA and PFOS standards occurs.” 

Some quick takeaways from this EPA Guidance include: 

  • Using a screening level of 40 parts per trillion (ppt) to determine if PFOA and/or PFOS is present at a site and may warrant further attention.
    • Screening levels are risk-based values that are used to determine if levels of contamination may warrant further investigation at a site.
  • Using EPA’s PFOA and PFOS Lifetime Drinking Water Health Advisory level of 70 ppt as the preliminary remediation goal (PRG) for contaminated groundwater that is a current or potential source of drinking water, where no state or tribal MCL or other applicable or relevant and appropriate requirements (ARARs) are available or sufficiently protective.
    • PRGs are generally initial targets for cleanup, which may be adjusted on a site-specific basis as more information becomes available.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Hogan at The ELAM Group; james.hogan@elamusa.com