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Water utility associations challenge EPA PFAS Drinking Water Limits in court

  • Water utility associations challenge EPA PFAS Drinking Water Limits in court

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Two water utility associations filed a petition in federal court on Friday, seeking to challenge the data, science, and procedures the EPA employed in establishing national limits on PFAS levels in drinking water.

The American Water Works Association and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, which collectively supply drinking water to millions of Americans, contested an April rule by the Environmental Protection Agency that sets parts per trillion limits on five per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). They also raised concerns about the agency's unconventional method of regulating mixtures of three of these substances and a sixth, perfluorobutanesulfonic acid.

“We are concerned, however, that EPA did not use the best available data and appropriate processes in developing the PFAS regulation. For example, we question the use of a novel ‘Hazard Index’ in place of a Maximum Contaminant Level for mixtures of certain PFAS, and the issuing of a preliminary determination to regulate certain PFAS simultaneously with the proposed rule.”

The statement stresses that the rule significantly underestimates nationwide costs, does not take into account the latest PFAS data, and will add to affordability challenges for many households without achieving the public health outcomes seeked.

AMWA and AWWA ask a court to verify that EPA constructed the PFAS regulation according to the letter and spirit of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which would give EPA an opportunity to revisit any components of the rule that fell short.

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