Pennsylvania DEP Moves to Limit PFAS in Drinking Water

November 18, 2021

On November 16, 2021, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) announced that a draft rule on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) standards for the state’s public water systems has been approved by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB). The EQB approved the PADEP proposed rule to set maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) of PFAS to be protective of adverse developmental and immune system effects with a vote of 17 to 2.

Under the proposed rule, Pennsylvania’s MCLs will be stricter than the United Sates Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA’s) Health Advisory Level (HAL) for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  The rule proposes MCLs of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA, and 18 ppt for PFOS while the current HAL is 70 ppt combined for the two constituents. The proposed MCLs are based on various factors including health effects (as determined by Drexel University’s PFAS Advisory Group), occurrence data (generated under PADEP’s PFAS Sampling Plan), technical limitations, treatability/available treatment technologies, and costs and benefits.

CEC is closely monitoring developments regarding PFAS. If you have other questions related to PFAS regulations throughout the U.S., please contact Steve Maxwell at or at 888.267.7891.

About the Author

Steve Maxwell

Steve Maxwell, LSRP, P.G., is a Senior Project Manager in CEC's Environmental Engineering and Sciences Practice at our Philadelphia office. His areas of expertise are in environmental forensics, sediment assessment, tidal marsh hydrodynamics, sediment ecological risk assessment, site assessment, and site remediation.

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