On December 5, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a memorandum to EPA Regional Water Division Directors related to addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) discharges in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. This important step is designed to monitor and reduce PFAS discharges to surface waters.
The EPA memorandum provides PFAS-related guidance to those states that issue NPDES permits. Specifically, it describes steps that permit writers can implement to reduce discharges of PFAS to the environment.
The EPA guidance includes specifics related to four key areas:
- industrial direct dischargers
- publicly owned treatment works (POTWs)
- biosolids assessment
- public notice for draft permits
In negotiating with their NPDES permit authority, industries can expect PFAS analysis and reporting requirements for discharges, implementation of PFAS-specific best-management practices into permit language, and development of PFAS effluent limits.
The EPA guidance also outlines similar steps applicable to POTWs and their industrial user permit programs, with the objective of making meaningful reductions in PFAS introduced to POTWs and biosolids.
The EPA news release as well as a link to the guidance may be found at: https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-issues-guidance-states-reduce-harmful-pfas-pollution
The “rubber is finally meeting the road” as we see the agency moving from study of PFAS to regulating it directly as part of permitting programs.
Please contact Adam Weissman (email@example.com) or Bry Roberson (firstname.lastname@example.org) with technical or regulatory questions regarding PFAS compliance questions, including NPDES discharges, BMPs, or pollution prevention.