Safe Drinking Water Act Rules, Private Well Testing, Ground Water Quality Standards, and Related Requirements for PFOA and PFOS

Rules proposed 4/1/2019, Adopted 3/31/2020, and went into effect 6/1/2020

Set a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 14 ppt for PFOA and 13 ppt for PFOS in drinking water. The MCLs apply to public community and public noncommunity water systems.

The Department of Environmental Protection adopted amendments to the New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) rules at N.J.A.C. 7:10 to establish, as recommended by the New Jersey Drinking Water Quality Institute (Institute), a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) of 0.014 micrograms per liter (µg/l) and an MCL for perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) of 0.013 µg/l.

Monitoring Requirements

“Public community and public noncommunity water systems are required to routinely monitor for contaminants for which MCLs have been established and to treat water when there is an exceedance of an MCL. Public community water systems are water systems that have at least 15 service connections used by year-round residents, or regularly serve at least 25 year-round residents. Public noncommunity water systems include public nontransient noncommunity and public transient noncommunity water systems. Public nontransient noncommunity water systems do not serve year-round residents but do serve at least 25 of the same individuals for more than six months of any calendar year. Examples include schools or office parks that have their own water source.”

“Department is also adopting amendments to the Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) rules at N.J.A.C. 7:9E to require testing of private wells subject to sale or lease and to amend the SDWA rules to require testing of newly constructed wells for public noncommunity water systems and nonpublic water systems for PFNA, PFOA, and PFOS.”

“The Department is adopting amendments to the Ground Water Quality Standards (GWQS) at N.J.A.C. 7:9C to establish a specific ground water quality standard for PFOA of 0.014 µg/l and a specific ground water quality standard for PFOS of 0.013 µg/l. The Department previously established a specific ground water quality standard for PFNA on January 16, 2018 (see 50 N.J.R. 334(a)). Once adopted, the new ground water quality standards for PFOA and PFOS will also serve as the remediation standards for cleanup of contaminated ground water in accordance with N.J.A.C. 7:26D-2.2(a).
Further, and in accordance with the New Jersey Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NJPDES) rules at N.J.A.C. 7:14A, the Department is adopting the addition of PFNA, PFOA, and PFOS to the Permit Application Testing Requirements/Pollutant Listings and the Requirements for Discharges to Ground Water.”

  • Action Agency(ies): New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Water Resources Management Division of Water Supply and Geoscience
  • Policy Champions: Eric Benson, New Jersey Campaign Director, Clean Water Action
  • Read the full policy language

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