ANR Adopting Emergency PFAS Rules

16 July 2018

On July 10, 2018 the Vermont Department of Health has issued a new Health Advisory for five per or polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).  Those substances include:  perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluoro-octane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA).  As a result of this Health Advisory and several known PFAS exposures the Agency of Natural Resources is adopting two emergency rules to regulate these substances.  The Investigation and Remediation of Contaminated Properties Rule is being amended to list these PFAS as hazardous materials and the Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy is being amended to adopt an enforcement standard of 20 parts per trillion for these substances.  Like the standard for PFOA and PFOS, the 20 ppt enforcement standard applies to the sum of these substances (e.g. if PFOA = 3 ppt; PFOS = 10 ppt; and PFNA = 8 ppt then the sum of PFAS = 21 ppt and standard has been exceeded).  The following industries may be impacted by these proposed rulemakings:  wire coating facilities; semi-conductor manufacturing; battery manufacturing; users of firefighting foams; solid waste landfills; electroplaters; specialty and performance coatings; capacitor manufacturing; aircraft turbine manufacturing; impregnated/coated paper products; plastic injection molding; plastic extrusion; paint manufacturers; car washes; and tanneries.

In light of the known human exposures to these constituents, we are not opening a comment period to these rules but are immediately opening a pre-rulemaking public comment period for the permanent changes that will be proposed to the Investigation and Remediation of Contaminated Properties Rule and Groundwater Protection Rule and Strategy.  If you have comments, please email them to: chuck.schwer@vermont.gov.  This pre-rulemaking comment period will close on 8/17/2018.