Washington, DC, March 14, 2023- Today, EPA released its pre-publication version of proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation of PFOA and PFOS, as well as PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and GenX. This proposal is complex, encompassing an MCL and hazard index approach, with thousands of pages for review and comment.
The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) CEO Tom Dobbins stated, “AMWA intends to provide EPA a robust set of comments to help strengthen the rule and ensure decisions are made with the best available science while taking costs into account, as required under the Safe Drinking Water Act.”
AMWA strongly supports sound, science-based regulation that protects public health. The association will be reviewing the proposed rule, the supporting information, and other relevant documents, like the Science Advisory Board’s report titled, “Review of EPA’s Analyses to Support EPA's National Primary Drinking Water Rulemaking for PFAS,” to assess the analysis EPA used to determine what to regulate and at what levels.
Dobbins continued, “AMWA is concerned about the overall cost drinking water utilities will incur to comply with this proposed rulemaking.” EPA estimates that the quantified capital and O&M costs for this rulemaking will be $772 million. For comparison, AMWA member Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s estimated capital cost for its treatment was $43 million, and its annual operating cost was $3-5 million.
AMWA will be working with other experts to examine EPA’s cost benefit analysis to ensure the accuracy of this estimate and explore additional estimates of social benefits. “Ultimately, without more federal support for upgrading current treatment technologies, average Americans will have to pay the cost of further treatment through higher rates for their water,” Dobbins added.
While it took the Office of Management and Budget five months to review the proposed rule, EPA is providing only a 60-day public comment period. AMWA will be requesting an extension to 90 days to ensure well thought-out, constructive feedback on the proposal.
The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) has been the unified and definitive voice for the nation’s largest publicly owned drinking water systems for over 40 years. AMWA's membership serves more than 160 million people with safe drinking water.