Re: Setting Public Drinking Water and Groundwater Standards for PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, & PFHxS (Env-Dw 700-800; Env-Or 603.03)

Based on our analysis of the Summary Report and incorporation of new exposure models, we suggest the following MCLs be adopted by NHDES:

  • PFOA: <1 ppt (and no more than 3 ppt) based on application of the new transgenerational toxicokinetic model for PFOA exposure proposed by MN Department of Health (MN DH), and either selecting the effects on the mammary gland as the critical endpoint or applying additional uncertainty factors to account for these effects (See Appendix 1).

  •  PFOS: 13 ppt based on application of the new transgenerational toxicokinetic model for PFOS exposure proposed by MN DH and selecting the immunotoxic effects as the critical endpoint (See Appendix 2).

  • PFNA: 1 ppt based on the application of exposure estimates specific for infants, the application of additional uncertainty factors to account for the short duration of exposure in the selected critical study, and use of a more representative half- life (See Appendix 3).

  • PFHxS: 30 ppt based on application of the new transgenerational toxicokinetic model for PFOS exposure proposed by MN DH and a more representative value for the volume of distribution (See Appendix 4).

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Mindi Messmer
Michigan sets new health screening limits for 5 types of PFAS

In the meantime, state health officials no longer will be using federal health advisory guidelines for PFAS, which previously only targeted PFOS and PFOA at a combined 70-parts-per-trillion when found in drinking water.

The new health screening levels for drinking water in Michigan are:

  • PFOA: 9-ppt

  • PFOS: 8-ppt

  • PFNA: 9-ppt

  • PFHxS: 84-ppt

  • PFBS: 1,000-ppt

“We intentionally designed them to be conservative,” said Jennifer Gray, a state toxicologist, after the presentation. That includes choosing modifying factors that would result in a minimal risk to the most vulnerable population: fetuses and babies, because of transmission through the placenta and breastmilk.

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Mindi Messmer
NYS Drinking Water Quality Council Moves to Regulate PFAS

Much was revealed at yesterday’s meeting. NRDC announced that, in light of new studies that have emerged about the dangers of PFOA and PFOS even at extremely low levels, we are recommending that New York State set a combined maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFOA and PFOS at a level between 2 and 5 parts per trillion (ppt). This is an update from the recommendation we included in a February 2018 petition to the Council of 4 to 10 ppt, which we amended in light of new information about the harmfulness of these chemicals at even very low levels. NRDC consultant Dr. Judith Schreiber explained further during an interview with Spectrum News.  

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Mindi Messmer

“New Jersey is leading the way in addressing an issue of national importance by setting the first drinking water standards in the nation to protect the public from the health risks of these chemicals,” Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe said. “We will continue to take strong actions to protect the health of our residents and the quality of our drinking water supplies.”

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Mindi Messmer
Michigan will draft PFAS standards for public drinking water

“All Michiganders deserve to know that we are prioritizing their health and are working every day to protect the water that is coming out of their taps,” Whitmer said.

According to Whitmer’s office, the state’s PFAS team, MPART, will form a science advisory workgroup to review existing and proposed “health-based” drinking water standards from around the country.

The goal is to establish maximum contaminant levels, or MCLs, for PFAS compounds that public supply operators would be required to comply with under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The workgroup will present “public health goals” for PFAS in drinking water by July 1. The proposed regulations should be ready by Oct. 1, after which they’ll go through a more typical state rule-making process.

According to the DEQ, the workgroup will consider standards for the compounds PFOA, PFOS, PFBS, PFHxS and PFNA — the last of which is regulated at 13 parts-per-trillion (ppt) in New Jersey. That’s the only existing state PFAS drinking water standard in the country.

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Mindi Messmer