State Water Board Holds Informational Meeting on PFAS

  • by Heather Engel
  • Mar 6, 2019
  • Water News

The State Water Resources Control Board held an informational meeting today featuring a panel of speakers discussing Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS).

The goal of the informational meeting was to inform the State Water Board and public about PFOA and PFOS, which are part of the group of chemicals referred to as Perflouroalkyl Substances (PFAS). PFAS are man-made chemicals used to create a number of industrial and consumer products. They are commonly found in carpets, water-proof clothing, upholstery, cleaning products, fire-fighting foams and metal plating for cookware. Manufacturing of PFAS began in the 1940s. They are no longer manufactured in the United States, but are still used globally on products imported into the country.

Presenters included Corine Li, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, who provided an overview of the EPA’s Action Plan, and Melanie Marty, PH.D., with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), who provided an overview of OEHHA’s Evaluation of PFAS. Speakers also provided an overview of the potential sources of the chemicals and their potential risks to drinking water.

In June 2018, OEHHA recommended interim notification levels for PFOA based on liver toxicity, as well as cancer risks, and for PFOS based on immunotoxicity.

After independent review of the available information on the risks, the State Water Board’s Division of Drinking Water established notification levels at concentrations of 13 parts per trillion for PFOS and 14 parts per trillion for PFOA. These levels are consistent with OEHHA’s recommendations. Water Board staff presented the phased investigation Action Plan, which includes site investigations at high risk locations and requires testing of drinking water systems.

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