(Sacramento) – Today, the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) released updated guidelines for all local water agencies regarding the detection and reporting of the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water systems. The Board also announced it plans to request the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to begin developing public health goals for PFOA and PFOS.
“I commend the Water Board for taking action on these two ‘forever chemicals’ to ensure we have safe and clean drinking water,” said Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens). “My community is ground-zero for chemical wastelands and I appreciate the Water Board recognizing and taking action to lower the notification levels on both PFOA and PFOS.”
Prior to today, notification levels for PFOA were 14 parts per trillion (ppt) and 13 ppt for PFOS. Both notification levels have been reduced to 5.1 ppt for PFOA and 6.5 ppt for PFOS, which are the lowest detectable levels possible. Water systems must then report these test results to the Water Board and per my recently passed AB 756, they must also include PFOA and PFOS test results in their annual drinking water report provided to customers.
The Water Board will also be requesting the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment to begin the process of establishing a public health goal for both PFOA and PFOS in order to establish maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). Once MCLs are established, the Water Board will have authority to take action to ensure wells that exceed the MCL will not be used until the water can be appropriately treated.
“With the establishment of lower notification levels for PFOA and PFOS, we must now undertake the process of understanding the scope of the problem and work to find ways to pay for the clean-up of our water supplies,” said Garcia.
If you would like to know more about this issue, Assemblymember Garcia is hosting a free screening of “The Devil We Know,” a documentary about a group of citizens that challenge a powerful corporation to be more environmentally responsible, highlighting the dangers of toxic chemical PFAS.
For more information on the screening, including location and times, click here.