4 The record articles

Updated PFAS Regulations in Pennsylvania Have Been Approved. How will it Affect You?

Posted: November 22nd, 2021

Authors: Luke Z. 

On November 20, 2021, an amendment to Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling Program (i.e., Act 2) came into effect following the approval of PA’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) on September 23, 2021.  In the amendment to 25 Pa. Code Chapter 250, PA Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) fulfills its obligation to review new medium-specific concentrations (MSCs), keep up with new scientific information, and propose new regulations whenever necessary. PADEP updated its list of MSCs under the Statewide Health Standard, which includes the addition of three new contaminants: Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), and Perfluorobutane Sulfonate (PFBS), all members of the Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Acid (PFAS) family of compounds addressed in the 2018 publication from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) regarding revised Lifetime Health Advisory Levels (HALs) of PFOS and PFOA in groundwater.

The new MSCs for the three new PFAS contaminants are as follows:

Contaminant MSC in Soil (mg/kg) MSC in Groundwater (µg/L)
PFOA 4.4 (residential)

64 (non-residential)

PFOS 4.4 (residential)

64 (non-residential)

PFBS 66 (residential)

960 (non-residential)

10 (residential)

29 (non-residential)

The amendment affects remediators of contaminated sites or commercial/industrial facilities with the potential to release PFAS substances into soil and groundwater.  U.S. EPA specifically mentions PFOA and PFOS as being typically found in contaminated sites near facilities manufacturing textiles, food packaging, and other material such as cookware resistant to water, grease, and stains. Industries and remediators will need to consider the new listed contaminants and updated MSCs, especially in contaminated sites near these industries.

Given the breadth of this amendment (it includes multiple adjustments of MSC levels, new contaminants, and a variety of administrative changes), changes to remediation costs as a result of this amendment are difficult to predict.  Regardless, facilities and remediators in Pennsylvania should familiarize themselves with these updated standards to ensure an administratively complete and technically compliant Act 2 closure.  The regulated community should use these new MSCs as a guide to address new contamination risks and consider expanding the scope of remediation and analytical activities to address the changes in this Act 2 amendment.

If you have any questions on PFAS and how the final rule will affect your facility, feel free to contact your ALL4 project manager or Luke Zhu at lzhu@all4inc.com for more information.


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