EPA Issues Guidance on PFAS in Wastewater

On November 30, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an interim National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program for addressing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in wastewater permits. The strategy advises EPA permit writers to consider including PFAS monitoring at facilities where these chemicals are expected to be present in wastewater discharges, including from municipal separate storm sewer systems and industrial stormwater permits.

In coordination with the interim NPDES permitting strategy, EPA updated the status of analytical methods needed to test for PFAS in wastewater. EPA is developing analytical methods in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense to test for PFAS in wastewater and other environmental media, such as soils.

The agency released a list of 40 PFAS chemicals that are the subject of analytical method development. This method would be in addition to Method 533 and Method 537.1 that are already approved and can measure 29 PFAS chemicals in drinking water. EPA anticipates that multi-lab validated testing for PFAS will be finalized in 2021.