As of January 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requiring all public water systems (PWS) serving more than 3,300 people to sample for PFAS. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of synthetic fluorine compounds used in many consumer products. These toxic compounds can take decades or longer to break down and are difficult to remove from the environment. The EPA has been eyeing PFAS for years, but this most recent sampling requirement is a big step toward national regulation.
The fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5), released in December 2021, is a way for the EPA to gather baseline data about under-studied substances. Although PFAS are not yet federally regulated, under the UCMR 5 qualifying PWS will need to carefully sample their water for 29PFAS compounds sometime between 2023 and 2025. For more information about UCMR 5 requirements and a specific timeline for PWS, check out the EPA’s helpful fact sheet.
Visit our Emerging Environmental Contaminants page to learn more about potential threats like PFAS and contact GeoEngineers’ regulatory experts.