On July 24, 2019, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) proposed drinking water standards for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  The DOH set the maximum containment level (MCL) for both PFOS and PFOA at 10 parts per trillion (ppt), the same level recommended by the Drinking Water Quality Council.  Should the proposed rule become final, the MCLs will apply to all public water supplies regulated by the DOH.  Before the DOH can finalize the rule, there will be a period of public comment, which lasts 60 days from the date of this notice.

If the rule is finalized, it will distinguish New York State as having the strongest MCL for PFOA and PFOS among the few states to have promulgated one.  The next strictest MCLs have been proposed by New Jersey and New Hampshire, which set MCLs for PFOA and PFOS between 12 and 15 ppt.1 Vermont has proposed setting an MCL of 20 ppt for PFOA and PFOS.

New York’s proposed MCLs are far stricter than the non-enforceable, non-regulatory health advisory of 70 ppt that EPA published in 2016.  However, EPA is set to announce a federal MCL sometime this year that will almost certainly be stricter than the 2016 health advisory.  For more information about EPA’s PFAS Action Plan and PFOA/PFOS generally, please see our client update.

  1. New Hampshire has proposed setting an MCL of 12 ppt for PFOA and 15 ppt for PFOS.  New Jersey has proposed a slightly less restrictive MCL for PFOA (14 ppt) and a slightly more protective MCL for PFOS (13 ppt).