January 17, 2019

MassDEP to Act on Petition to Regulate Entire Class of PFAS

Holland & Knight Energy and Natural Resources Blog
Dianne R. Phillips

As described in a prior blog post, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) held a public meeting on Jan. 16, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. ET at MassDEP's Boston office to consider the "Petition for Rulemaking to Establish a Treatment Technique Drinking Water Standard for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)" filed by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Toxics Action Center pursuant to MGL c. 30A, § 4 and 310 CMR 2.00. The public meeting lasted over three hours and a recording was made available on the MassDEP YouTube channel.

During the meeting, presentations were made by MassDEP, CLF and the Toxics Action Center. The petitioners seek adoption of a treatment technique standard for drinking water which is protective of the public, which petitioners believe should be 1 part per trillion (ppt) for each PFAS compound as a class. Alternatively, they request MassDEP to immediately adopt an enforceable standard of 20 ppt for the sum of the five PFAS compounds for which MassDEP has already issued guidance albeit at 70 ppt. Lastly, petitioners seek increased transparency, community involvement and additional sampling data so the public can be advised as to the risks in their communities. MassDEP has recently published a complete set of UCMR3 data from 2013 to 2015 on the PFAS webpage and additional data can be found on the EEA Portal by searching for PFAS. A map showing the places where testing has occurred, along with exceedances of the MassDEP OSRG guideline is also shown on the webpage.

In addition to the presentations by MassDEP and the petitioners, approximately 40 members of the public representing various, diverse interests and positions spoke, both supporting the petition and opposing the petition. MassDEP will accept written comments through the close of business on Jan. 17, 2019, and it plans to issue its decision on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, which will be posted on the PFAS webpage along with any written comments received.

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