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On December 5, EPA released its guidance on Addressing PFAS Discharges in NPDES Permits and Through the Pretreatment Program and Monitoring Programs. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program was established by the Clean Water Act to address water pollution at its source by regulating discharges to waters of the United States. The memo outlines important monitoring and pollution reduction requirements for Publicly Owned Treatment Works, industrial facilities, and stormwater discharges nationwide. This guidance reflects goals and actions previously outlined in the PFAS Strategic Roadmap to reduce PFAS discharges into waterways.

Specific to public water systems (PWS), EPA recommends that NPDES permitting authorities provide notification to potentially affected downstream PWS of draft permits with PFAS-specific monitoring, best management practices, or other conditions. AMWA has consistently urged EPA to work to stop PFAS at its source before entering waterways, and this guidance represents a step toward that goal. This guidance just includes steps that can be taken currently using existing authorities. EPA continues to work towards revising Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs) and developing water quality criteria to support limits to PFAS discharges in NPDES permitting.