It seems we are all waiting and watching for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish its final rule on PFAS in drinking water. The agency said they expected to publish in February of 2024. However, at a recent gathering in Eau Claire, WI, EPA Administrator Michael Reagan said the agency is committed to finalizing the rule before the end of the year.

That may not count as official notice, but it would not be a surprise if the final rule were to be published in 2023. The agency is undoubtedly eager to focus on other actions outlined in the 2021-2024 PFAS Strategic Roadmap before the clock runs out. In the meantime, there are still plenty of PFAS headlines worth taking note of.


TSCA Reporting Rule Impacts Clothing RetailersUntitled design (9)

Much of the focus of the recently finalized Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) rule has been on manufacturers of PFAS and products containing PFAS. However, this rule also covers importers of articles containing PFAS. An article published by The Fashion Law points out the incredible impact this could have on retailers who import clothing or textiles from other countries.


Second Round of UCMR 5 Data Published

In October, the EPA released a second round of data from the testing mandated under the Fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5). As noted in the agency’s fact sheet, the data released to date represents approximately 15% of the total results the EPA expects to receive over the next three years. The data can be accessed through the agency’s UCMR 5 Data Finder tool.


Connecticut Ban on PFAS in Food Packaging Takes Effect

At the end of this month, Connecticut’s ban on intentionally added PFAS in food packing goes into effect. The state law defines PFAS as chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon. i.e., a carbon atom in which all hydrogen atoms have been replaced by fluorine. The law only applies to packaging that comes into direct contact with the food or beverage.


FAA Approves FFF for Aviation Emergencies

In recent years, airports have been moving away from AFFF, the aqueous film-forming foam used to fight chemical fires, to newer fluorine-free foams (FFF/F3) for training exercises. However, these films were not deemed adequate for fighting aviation emergencies. Then, in early 2023, the DOD published a new specification (MILSPEC) for F3. These specifications paved the way for foam manufacturers to produce formulations for qualification by the DOD.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was expected to adopt the new MILSPEC for Part 139 airports. Many commercial airports were already using F3 for training exercises, but FAA approval of the DOD MILSPEC would allow commercial airports to use F3 for aviation emergencies. As anticipated, the FAA announced a transition plan to F3 on October 13, 2023.


DOD Requires Draft Method 1633

In August, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued a memorandum stating that for analysis other than drinking water compliance, Draft Method 1633 must be used for all DOD projects. Other methods may be used for screening, but they must be approved by a DOD project representative. In the Fourth Draft of Draft Method 1633, the EPA stated that it anticipates publishing the final method before the end of the year with final criteria for analyzing leachate and solid matrices.


Faster, More Affordable PFAS Testing of Solid and Non-Potable Liquids

PFAS analysis, especially when mandated for regulatory compliance, often requires specific test methods. However, there are many other scenarios where PFAS testing is warranted but a specific test is not mandated. Test Method ASTM D8421/EPA 8327 can provide faster results at a lower price than more procedurally complex methods like Draft Method 1633. To learn more, watch our webinar on-demand: A Deep Dive into EPA 8327 / ASTM D8421.


Will PFAS Leave Hunters Out in the Cold This Season?Untitled design (8)

Based in Minnesota, Pace® is surrounded by people who look forward to their annual resupply of venison or hitting the ice to do some fishing once temps get cold enough. Unfortunately, a study conducted by the EPA in March found elevated levels of PFOS in fish across the country. In addition, Maine and Michigan have issued warnings about PFAS in deer and other game. State officials and other organizations interested in having local game and fish tested can contact Pace® to learn more about our testing services for biota.


Closed Landfill Declared Superfund Site Due to PFAS Contamination

In an event that is almost certain to be repeated many times across the country if the EPA designates PFOA and PFOS hazardous substances under CERCLA, a closed landfill in the Southeast corner of New York state has been declared a Superfund site. The landfill in Hurley, New York (pop: 6,178) was opened in the mid-1960s when landfills were not required to be lined. PFOA and PFOS were detected in on-site groundwater monitoring wells, a leachate collection tank, surface water, and sediment samples adjacent to the site. These compounds were also detected in private drinking water wells nearby.


Landfills a Major Source of PFAS in Rhode Island Water Systems

Speaking of landfills, after state officials grew concerned over elevated levels of PFAS in Rhode Island water systems, they conducted a study to determine the source of the contamination. The primary sources identified in the report include previously identified Superfund sites (several landfills), other landfills and dump sites, wastewater treatment facilities, fire stations, and textile mills.


We’re Here for You!

The PFAS news cycle will likely accelerate as 2023 wraps up and we head into 2024. If you have questions about any of the regulations or how PFAS analysis can help, reach out to us. We’d love to hear from you!  

Questions or Comments?