Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

PFAS Draft Final Response Plan

The PFAS Draft Final Response Plan and additional information are available here

PFAS Data

Data are received and updated on a periodic basis when they are received from the laboratories.

As the science surrounding per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continues to develop, so has technical guidance and regulation.  No federal maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS exists, however, US EPA has established a lifetime health advisory for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) of 70 parts per trillion (ppt).  Recent analysis of data acquired under the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule program found numerous detections nationwide of PFOA and PFOS .  Many of the public water systems with detections of PFOA and PFOS have taken action to reduce these levels. 

In May 2019, Act 21 (S.49), an act relating to the regulation of polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinking and surface waters, was signed by Governor Scott.  This new law provides a comprehensive framework to identify PFAS contamination and to issue new rules to govern acceptable levels in surface water and drinking water.

If you have a detection for any of the PFAS-related compounds, contact the Division to discuss the next steps. Systems with confirmed entry point results above the 20 ppt standard, will be required to post a Do Not Drink Notice to all users and pursue treatment or other permanent means to provide drinking water below the standard. Prior to installing any treatment, drilling or altering a well, or making any change to the water system that affects either the quality or quantity of water, a Construction and/or Source Permit will need to be obtained.

1 nanogram per liter (ng/L) is equal to 1 part per trillion (ppt).

2020 PFAS Sampling: The Vermont Water Supply Rule is currently being revised to incorporate the regulations of PFAS.  The Rule is expected to go into effect in spring of 2020.  In the proposed rule, all NTNC and Community water systems are required to sample for PFAS in 2020.  Monitoring results received from the 2020 sampling will be used to determine future monitoring requirements.  This approach is similar to initial monitoring requirements for organic chemicals within the standard monitoring framework and will provide a baseline of monitoring data necessary to assess the presence of PFAS at each system. As of January 30, 2020, the sampling requirements included in the proposed Rule are:

  • If 2020 PFAS sample is non-detect (i.e. ND or < 2.0 ng/L) for all 5 regulated PFAS compounds, sampling may then be decreased to once every 3 years. Furthermore, if 2 consecutive 3-year monitoring results indicate non-detects, sampling frequency may be decreased to once every 6 years. 
  • If regulated PFAS are detected above 2 ng/L but less than 15 ng/L, annual monitoring continues. If regulated PFAS are detected above 15 ng/L, quarterly monitoring will be required. 
  • If regulated PFAS are detected above 20 ng/L, quarterly monitoring and a confirmation sample is required. 
  • If regulated PFAS are confirmed above 20 ng/L or detected above 40 ng/L in a sample, immediate Do Not Drink required.

PFAS Do Not Drink public notice template

For systems awaiting confirmation sample results (which may take in excess of 30 days) following an initial sample result above the 20 ng/L standard must post public notice using the PFAS interim public notice template

Required Water Quality Monitoring for PFAS

The monitoring schedule entry point(s) to distribution will be identified for each water system and posted online.  Water systems must sample according to their monitoring schedule.  The water system will be responsible to coordinate with the laboratory to ensure samples can be analyzed within the method hold time.  Samples must be collected at every entry point to the distribution system which is representative of each source after treatment, per the water system’s monitoring schedule.  There may be more than one entry point per water system.  If water is drawn from more than one source and the sources are combined before distribution, a sample shall be collected at an entry point to the distribution system where water is representative of all permitted sources supplying that entry point.  Composite sampling among multiple entry points is not allowed. 

Samples must be submitted to a laboratory that is certified by the Vermont Department of Health for analysis of drinking water in Vermont. The list of certified laboratories can be found here

SAMPLE COLLECTION INFORMATION - Updated January 31, 2020

PFAS sampling data results may be scanned and submitted by email to ANR.DWpfasdata@vermont.gov. Please note that only PFAS data may be submitted to this email address.  All other data must be submitted to the Division through US mail or fax.

Important Links and Information

PFAS Press Releases
The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation General PFAS Information
Proposed Drinking Water PFAS Rulemaking Documents
Information on Construction and Source Permits
Guidance from the Vermont Department of Health on PFAS in Drinking Water
EPA PFAS Website
ASDWA PFAS Lab Testing Primer Version 2
Method 537.1 Determination of PFAS in Drinking Water by LC/MS/MS, 2018
PFAS Fact Sheets Including Technical Guidance by ITRC

List of Laboratories Certified for Drinking Water Analysis by the Vermont Department of Health
Draft PFAS Response Plan

 

 

 

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