PFAS Update XIV: New from EPA — Method 533, Groundwater Cleanup Recommendation and More!


PFAS Update XIV: A New EPA Method and Groundwater Cleanup Recommendation, as PFAS Continues to Make Headlines

As we keep you informed about the immense volume of news about PFAS and emerging contaminants detection, proposed legislation, and community outcry, this fourteenth edition of the SGS PFAS Update also brings important EPA news to environmental professionals of both a new method to detect PFAS in drinking water and interim recommendations on addressing contaminated groundwater.

It’s also worth noting that in addition to stories covering both national and global PFAS and emerging contaminants issues, we present stories from 17 states – more than one-third of the United States! Every month the list grows and wherever you are located, you’re bound to find relevant news to your region.

SGS continues to lead the way with the capacity, expertise, facilities and the track record to provide the fast and accurate analysis you need for total compliance on PFAS and emerging contaminants analysis. We’re always here to help.

Get all the details here on PFAS and all emerging contaminants analysis, and why SGS delivers what you need every step of way.

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Additionally, SGS offers the full realm of environmental, health and safety analytical services at multiple laboratories across the United States and Canada for soil, water, air, tissue, serum and bulk materials. SGS is your one-stop for all your environmental analytical needs.

To find out how we can best help you with your PFAS analysis, call +1 800 329 0204 or email We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Wishing you a Happy New Year!



U.S. and Global

Sources: White House, CDC, in Dispute Over Crucial Study on Toxic PFAS
A multimillion-dollar federal study on toxic chemicals in drinking water across the country is facing delays due to a dispute within the Trump administration, according to several sources involved in the study or who have knowledge of the process.

EPA Considering Second Round of National PFAS Testing
Water suppliers across the nation could be required to sample for man-made “forever chemicals” in an attempt to gauge just how prevalent the contaminants are in drinking supplies.

Defense Negotiators Drop PFAS Language from Bill Over Objections
Negotiators have agreed to leave out two provisions to regulate “forever chemicals” in order to move a defense authorization bill to the finish line, drawing anger from members whose districts are most affected by the pollution.

Method 533: Determination of PFAS in Drinking Water By Isotope Dilution Anion Exchange Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry
This is a solid phase extraction (SPE) liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method for the determination of select per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water.

Interim Recommendations for Addressing Groundwater Contaminated with PFOA and PFOS
These recommendations provide clear and consistent guidance for federal cleanup sites being evaluated and addressed under federal programs, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund) and corrective action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

EPA Pursues Data for Possible TRI Listing of Some PFAS
In its February 2019 Action Plan for PFAS, the EPA said it planned to consider listing some PFAS under the federal Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) (Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and Section 6607 of the Pollution Prevention Act (PPA)). The Agency has now taken the first step in that process by asking the public for information that will aid in making a listing decision.

New Research Reveals Prenatal Exposure to PFAS is Associated with Lower Birth Weight
A new study evaluated the association between early pregnancy exposure to eight PFAS compounds respectively and birth weight in 1,533 mother child pairs in the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal, Mother and child, Asthma and allergy (SELMA) study, specifically focusing on differences according to sex of the child.

State Moves Forward with Plans to Address PFAS Contamination in Dillingham
A year after PFAS was first detected in Dillingham wells, the state and a consulting firm are taking steps to address the situation.

Toxic PFAS Levels Spike in South-side Tucson Well Testing Area
By far the highest levels of the PFAS family of toxic compounds ever found in the Tucson area have turned up in a swath of the south side’s aquifer, directly north of an Air National Guard base adjoining Tucson International Airport.

San Jose Water Company Shut Off Wells Contaminated with PFAS Chemicals
WASHINGTON. D.C. — As a famous actor took center stage during a Capitol Hill hearing last month to demand stricter regulations of ‘forever chemicals’ in water, a longtime San Jose water company revealed that it has tested positive for those contaminants.

Orange County Water District Launches the Nation’s Largest PFAS Pilot Program to Identify a Local Treatment Remedy to Remove PFAS From Groundwater
The Orange County Water District (OCWD) today announced the launch of its pilot program that will test various treatment options for PFAS. While the levels of PFAS in Orange County groundwater wells are relatively low, OCWD and its retail water agencies are exploring long-term solutions to ensure that water supplies continue to meet all state and federal water quality standards.

State Environmental Team Responding to Firefighting Foam Spill in Southington, Possible PFAS Contamination
The state emergency chemical spill team responded Monday to a firefighting foam spill, possibly containing hazardous PFAS chemicals, at the Smiths Medical building in Southington.

Follow the Leader? Maine’s Strict Stance on PFAS and Biosolids Land Application Sets the Stage for Further State Regulation
As the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), Congress, and state regulatory agencies continue to push forward with PFAS regulations, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has taken a bold stance regarding PFAS and the land application of biosolids.

‘Forever Chemicals’ are Found in MWRA Fertilizer, Drawing Alarm
But recent tests of the fertilizer, which has been sold for nearly 30 years, have caused concern. They show levels of toxic chemicals known as PFAS, which have been linked to low infant birth weights, kidney cancer, and a range of other diseases.

Mass. Sets New Limits on Toxic PFAS Chemicals
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has released new draft regulations to limit toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water supplies. The regulations will set the combined limit for six PFAS chemicals at 20 parts per trillion.

1.9 Million Michigan Residents Drink Some PFAS as Evidence Mounts About Its Dangers
At least 1.9 million Michigan residents who have been exposed to PFAS in their drinking water remain plunged into a world of uncertainty. They wonder how much PFAS they’ve consumed, for how long, and what it’s meant for their health. These residents fear for their families and distrust the water flowing out of their faucets.

Meet Michigan Residents Affected by PFAS In Their Drinking Water
There’s more to managing PFAS contamination than identifying it in drinking water. Scientists are working on understanding still more adverse health effects from the chemicals, while governments determine policy. Litigation is playing a part in paying for solutions. Yet woven into every instance of poisoned water are people.

State, Townships Near $69.5M Settlement with Wolverine Shoe Maker Over PFAS Contamination
A former Rockford shoe factory that for decades used potentially health-harming PFAS compounds, causing widespread environmental contamination nearby, is nearing a $69.5 million settlement with the state of Michigan and Plainfield and Algoma townships.

Minnesota Joins Intensifying Hunt for PFAS
On November 21, 2019, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced that it would expand its search for PFAS sources beyond known contaminated areas—mainly the east side of the Twin Cities—to waters in Dakota, Olmstead, Stearns and St. Louis counties in Minnesota.

New Hampshire
Reaction Strong to Eased Regulations on PFAS Contamination
A co-founder of Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water is outraged at a judge’s ruling that temporarily shelves strict new regulations on groundwater PFAS contamination.

New Jersey
Cancer-Linked PFAS in NJ Drinking Water Need Greater Regulation: Pallone
A New Jersey congressman and environmentalists are urging the federal government to take action to protect millions of New Jersey residents from a group of chemicals found in more than 500 drinking water supplies across the state.

New York
Governor Signs Bill Banning Products with Chemical 1,4 Dioxane, Starting in 2020
Household cleaning products with the chemical 1,4-dioxane will no longer be sold in the State of New York under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Air Force Tests Clarkson Plasma Reactor to Degrade, Destroy PFOS, PFOA in Ground Water
POTSDAM — Civilian researchers completed a two-week field demonstration recently using innovative plasma technology from Clarkson University to degrade and destroy PFOS and PFOA in groundwater.

Schumer: Add PFAS Provisions to Defense Bill
CITY OF NEWBURGH — U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling for a slate of provisions to be added to a 2020 defense bill that would address PFAS contamination by the Department of Defense and prevent further pollution in waterways.

North Carolina
North Carolina Scientists, Policymakers take on PFAS
Toxicologists, policy analysts, industry and community representatives, and North Carolina state legislators met Oct. 23-24 in Durham for a summit on PFAS… Research shows possible links between some PFAS and a variety of negative health outcomes, such as increased cholesterol levels, increased risk of thyroid disease, and reduced fetal growth.                                    

Air Force Researchers Develop New Weapon to Cleanse Water
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — As the state gears up for wider testing of public water systems for potentially harmful chemicals, civilian researchers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base believe they may be closing in on a new weapon in the battle against toxic water.

Coraopolis Drinking Water Shows PFAS Contamination Among Highest in Pennsylvania, But Below Federal Advisory
Drinking water from the Coraopolis Water and Sewer Authority showed PFAS contamination among the highest levels found in the state, though still below the federal health advisory level, according to test results released Thursday by the Department of Environmental Protection [DEP].

Chincoteague Drinking Water: Feds to Investigate if it’s been Contaminated for Decades
In 2017, when NASA found a toxic chemical was contaminating wells supplying the town of Chincoteague’s drinking water, the town’s rapid disconnection from the affected wells meant water flowing to the community was perfectly clean. Now, however, a federal agency is investigating whether the practices that led to the contamination could have made Chincoteague water unsafe for decades prior to the discovery.

West Virginia
W. Va. Democratic Lawmakers Announce Plans to Tackle PFAS Chemicals
A group of Democratic West Virginia lawmakers announced plans Monday to introduce legislation to regulate a group of toxic, man-made fluorinated chemicals.

PFAS Warning Signs to be Posted Along Starkweather Creek in Madison
Anyone going near Starkweather Creek in Madison will soon see signs warning about the presence of man-made chemicals known as PFAS that have been found in the creek.