EPA Continues its Journey Down the PFAS Road(map)

On December 5, 2022, the U.S. EPA issued a memorandum entitled, Addressing PFAS Discharges in NPDES Permits and Through the Pretreatment Program and Monitoring Programs. The memorandum “provides EPA’s guidance to states and updates the April 28, 2022 guidance to EPA Regions for addressing PFAS discharges when they are authorized to administer the NPDES permitting program and/or pretreatment program.” The memorandum reaffirms EPA’s focus on its PFAS Strategic Roadmap commitments, recommending a number of steps permit writers can implement “to reduce the discharge of PFAS.”

For applicable industrial direct dischargers, including industry categories known or suspected to discharge PFAS as identified on page 14 of EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap:

  • Effluent and wastewater residuals monitoring using draft analytical method 1633 of the 40 PFAS parameters detectable by draft method 1633
  • Best Management Practices for discharges of PFAS, including product substitution, reduction, or elimination of PFAS, as detected by draft method 1633
  • Best Management Practices to address PFAS-containing firefighting foams for stormwater permits
  • Permit limits, including site-specific technology-based effluent limits (TBELs) for PFAS discharges developed on a best professional judgment basis for facilities for which there are no applicable effluent guidelines, as well as water quality-based effluent limits (WQBELs) as derived from state water quality standards

For all publicly owned treatment works (POTWs), including those that do not receive industrial discharges:

  • Effluent, influent, and biosolids monitoring
  • Industrial user inventory updates
  • Control mechanisms such as Best Management Practices or local limits for industrial users
  • Other pollution prevention measures

The memorandum also makes recommendations regarding biosolids assessments for POTWs, as well as enhanced public notification procedures for draft permits with PFAS-specific conditions.

To view EPA’s related news release, please click here

Please contact our experienced environmental team with any PFAS-related questions.

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