By MACIE J. H. CODINA and
RALPH A. DEMEO, Esq.,
Guilday Law Firm
EPA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:
An MCL is an enforceable regulatory level for public drinking water systems established as close as is feasible to the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG), taking costs into consideration.
On March 14, 2023, the EPA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to set the individual Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) of four parts per thousand for PFOS and PFOA, along with perfluorooctane sulfonic acid and perfluorooctanoic acid.
The EPA also proposes to regulate the mixture of hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid and its ammonium salt, HFPO-DA or GenX Chemicals; perfluorobutane sulfonic acid, PFBS; perfluorononanoic acid, PFNA; and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, PFHxS, using a Hazard Index approach. For these PFAS, water systems would use an established approach called a hazard index calculation, defined in the proposed rule, to determine if the combined levels of these PFAS pose a potential risk.
While the EPA estimates the monetary benefits of setting a low MCL will slightly outweigh the costs of treating PFAS/PFOA-related injuries, the recent passing of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide $9 billion to invest in drinking water systems impacted by PFAS and other emerging contaminants.
The EPA has vowed to ensure that states, tribes, and communities get their fair share of this federal water infrastructure investment – especially in disadvantaged communities. The EPA is requesting public comment on the proposed regulation.
The public comment period will open following the proposed rule publishing in the Federal Register. Public comments can be provided at that time at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: EPA-HQOW-
To date, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) has not elected to pursue formal rulemaking to develop PFAS standards for soil, groundwater, surface water, or sediments. Instead, it is widely anticipated that the FDEP will await the EPA’s final rule and likely propose that rule as it’s PFAS
standard for groundwater. The FDEP has until January 1, 2025, for its proposed standard.
Multidistrict Litigation/City of Stuart Bellwether Trial:
This month, all eyes are on the City of Stuart Bellwether Trial. The City of Stuart v. 3M Company, et al., case was set for trial June 5, 2023; however, the Court has granted the Parties Joint Motion for Continuance which gives Parties 21 days or until June 26 to reach a binding settlement agreement or else the case will promptly be rescheduled for trial.