On August 23rd the State Water Resources Control Board released public notice of updated Notification Levels (NLs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water. The Water Board’s decision to lower NLs for these “forever chemicals” was not unexpected, but did generate some concern over unintended consequences of the plan. The new NLs are set at 5.1 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 6.5 ppt for PFOS. There has been no change to the Response Levels (RLs) for these contaminants. The original media release from the Water Board is as follows:
Harmful algal blooms made it into mainstream news this month following the death of dogs that reportedly that came into contact with the toxic blue-green algae that commonly grows in lakes and ponds during hot summer months.
The recent canine deaths and warning signs posted near water bodies from North Carolina to California demonstrate that current conditions are ideal for rapid cyanobacterial growth.
In response to Govenor Newsom’s signing of SB 200 establishing the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, the State Water Resources Control Board authorized use of $241.5 Million for a program aimed at addressing California’s current drinking water quality challenges. As the Water Board’s media release states:
Making State and National news, there is no doubt that PFAS is top of mind for water experts and consumers alike. To provide you with an updated snapshot of the many moving parts of this complex issue, let’s take a look at what’s currently in the PFAS pipeline:
This month Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to establish the Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund, which aims to improve access to safe drinking water for residents in disadvantaged communities. Approximately 1 million Californians currently lack access to safe drinking water, the vast majority of whom live in small rural communities that rely on private drinking water wells or poorly maintained water systems contaminated by harmful constituents such as arsenic, nitrates, and 1,2,3-TCP.
This month Babcock Labs held a sold-out TEAM Event on PFAS regulatory updates and monitoring insights. Our guest speakers, Southern California Section Chief Jeff O’Keefe (Division of Drinking Water, State Water Resources Control Board) and Drinking Water Practice Leader Rob Little (Woodard & Curran) shared their expertise and answered attendee questions. During his presentation, Mr. O’Keefe reminded attendees that Phases II and III of the State Board’s Phased Investigation Approach are forthcoming, planned for Summer and Fall of this year.