Regulations

EPA Proposed Rulemaking - Designation of PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under CERCLA (Superfund)

Click here for PMAA submitted comments

Click here for the proposed rulemaking

Click here for EPA News Release

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EPA Issues Final List of Contaminants for Potential Regulatory Consideration in Drinking Water, Significantly Increases PFAS Chemicals for Review
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the Final Fifth Drinking Water Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5), which will serve as the basis for EPA’s regulatory considerations over the next five-year cycle under the Safe Drinking Water Act. This update includes a substantial expansion of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), an important first step towards identifying additional PFAS that may require regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act.   The October 28, 2022 ‘pre-publication’ version is on the webpage and will appear in the Federal Register shortly.  Factsheets can also be found on this webpage.

A year ago, EPA published the PFAS Strategic Roadmap, outlining an Agency-wide approach to addressing PFAS in the environment. Today’s announcement strengthens EPA’s commitment to protect public health from impacts of PFAS and support the Agency’s decision-making for potential future regulations of PFAS. In addition to a group of PFAS, the Final CCL 5 includes 66 individually listed chemicals, two additional chemical groups (cyanotoxins and disinfection byproducts (DBPs)), and 12 microbes.

More information on the final Fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5).

EPA will evaluate all the contaminants on the CCL 5 to determine which contaminants have sufficient information to allow the Agency to make a regulatory determination. For those contaminants that lack sufficient information, EPA will encourage research to provide the information needed to determine whether to regulate the contaminant.

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PMAA submits comments on Public Utility Commission (PUC) Proposed Rulemaking dealing with application requirements of PUC-regulated utilities for acquisitions, mergers, and transfers.

Click here for PMAA’s comments. 

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EPA Lead Service Line Inventory Guidance Released
On August 4, 2022 EPA released guidance for water utilities to help identify lead pipes that connect drinking water service to homes and other buildings and to develop and maintain inventories of these service lines. 

Given the many benefits of Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR), EPA encourages water systems to begin LSLR as soon as possible, regardless of the stage of their inventory development. This is due to the many benefits of the LSLR but also water systems should focus on inventory of lead service lines so that systems will be able to access funding when it becomes available in 2024.

Read more >>

Source: EPA

For a guide to where the money is headed for lead requirements, check out US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s implementation memo here.
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Water Quality Standards for Manganese and Implementation (25 Pa. Code Chapters 93 and 96)

The rulemaking sets a science-based manganese standard of 0.3mg/L as a Water Quality Criteria for Toxic Substances to protect public health and environment and make the point of compliance for the standard at the point of discharge (not intake) into a river or stream.

On November 18, 2022, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) withdrew its final-form regulation for Water Quality Standards for Manganese and Implementation. Prior to this, in October, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) disapproved the final-form rulemaking under Section 7(a) of the Regulatory Review Act. In addition, previously, Republicans on both the Senate and House Environmental Committees voted to recommend the IRRC disapprove the regulation. 

DEP will now have to decide whether to withdraw the regulation entirely or make changes to satisfy the concerns raised by the Commission or to resubmit the same regulation and hope for a different result.

Some of IRRC’s primary concerns with the final-form regulation were:
- DEP did not comply with the intent of Act 40 of 2017,
- DEP did not adequately document the expected compliance costs to all industries, 
- IRRC agreed with industry representatives that technology may not be available to treat to the standard DEP has in 
  the regulation.

Since the regulation has been withdrawn, for now, DEP’s existing water quality criterion for manganese to protect the PWS use (1.0 mg/L) continues to apply in all surface waters (i.e., at the point of discharge).

More on the Manganese Rulemaking:

Click here for the final-form regulation and IRRC's disapproval letter

Click here for PMAA’s comments on the rulemaking

Click here for comments on the rulemaking from the AWWA-Water Utility Council (of which PMAA is a member).

Click here for the PA Environment Digest Blog (November 28th) report

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EPA PFAS Information

EPA Health Advisories for PFAS

EPA Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Factsheet for Public Water Systems

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PFAS Rulemaking

IRRC No. 3334 Environmental Quality Board #7-569: Safe Drinking Water PFAS MCL Rule was unanimously approved.

Elliot stated the regulation sets maximum contaminant level goals and maximum contaminant levels for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), including requirements for monitor and reporting, public notification, consumer confidence reports, best available treatment technologies, and analytical requirements. She noted the commission received comments from the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and Clean Water Action, both of which supported the regulation.

Lisa Daniels, acting deputy secretary, of the Office of Water Programs, DEP, explained per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of synthetic chemicals that have been in many products for decades, which has resulted in a high level of pollution and exposure. She stated the chemicals dissolve in water, are persistent in the environment, and accumulate in humans and animals. She stated the presence of PFAS is related to numerous health effects, such as high cholesterol, birth defects, liver toxicity, thyroid disease, kidney disease, liver toxicity, and others. She noted the regulation applies to public water systems, as the department does not have the authority to regulate private water sources such as wells. She explained the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently communicated that they pushed back their rulemaking process regarding PFAS to March 2023 and likely would not fully establish the rule for several years. Daniels said DEP worked with several professionals to create their regulations to improve health protection.

David Mittner, acting director, Bureau of Safe Drinking Water, DEP, Dawn Hissner, chief, Division of Operations, Monitoring and Training, Bureau of Water Standards and Facility Regulation, DEP, and Leda Lacomba, assistant counsel, DEP, were present for questions.

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) issued their comments on the Safe Drinking Water PFAS MCL proposed rulemaking.

For background and public comments on the proposed rule, click here.

PA Environmental Quality Board PFAS Proposed Rulemaking in PA Bulletin click here

DEP press release click here.

Environmental Quality Board met on November 16th approving (17-2) Safe Drinking Water PFAS MCL Rule.

August 2, 2021:

DEP’s Public Water System Technical Assistance Center Board (TAC) met July 29, 2021on a pre-draft regulation setting a state Maximum Contaminant Level and MCL Goals for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

DEP recommended a Maximum Contaminant Level of 14 ppt (parts per trillion) for PFOA and a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 8 ppt.

DEP recommended a Maximum Contaminant Level of 18 ppt for PFOS and a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 14 ppt.

Pennsylvania’s current health advisory is 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

The TAC Board recommended the pre-draft regulation move forward through the regulatory process.

Click here for the TAC Board's comment letter.

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Biosolids General Permit Extensions Announced

The General Permit for the Beneficial Use of Biosolids by Land Application (PAG-07 and PAG-08) has been extended.

PMAA’s comments on DEP’s Pre-draft Proposed Revisions to DEP General Permits PAG-07 and PAG-08 (Biosolids).

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State Revolving Loan Funds

The 2022 Intended Use Plans for Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Funds (SRFs) were published in the PA Bulletin and are available for public comment. This funding includes Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Grants providing $50 billion to EPA to strengthen drinking water and wastewater systems, particularly lead service line replacements and emerging contaminants. For more information, click here.

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Combined Sewer Overflow Proposed Rulemaking

The proposed rulemaking amends the schedules of compliance for combined sewer overflow (CSO) discharges under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits. Specifically, Section 92a.51(a) allows CSO dischargers to implement Long Term Control Plans (LTCPs) to continue beyond the 5-year NPDES permit renewal.

EPA has expressed concerns that the DEP’s practice of approving LTCP implementation schedules exceeding 5 years is inconsistent with the existing language in § 92a.51(a) that requires compliance within 5 years. To resolve the inconsistency, this rulemaking proposes to amend § 92a.51(a) to allow the Department to approve NPDES permits for CSO dischargers with compliance schedules beyond the 5-year period currently established in the regulations, but not longer than the implementation period in the discharger’s approved LTCP.

Click here for the proposed rulemaking in the PA Bulletin. Public comment period ended March 1, 2022.

Click here for PMAA’s comments to DEP’s Proposed Combined Sewer Overflow Rulemaking.

Click here for the final rulemaking unanimously adopted by the EQB on November 15, 2022, and supporting documents.

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Amended Phase III Chesapeake Bay Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) and the Wastewater Sector submitted to EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Pennsylvania’s final WIP 3 did not demonstrate how the Commonwealth would meet its Bay Restoration goals for nitrogen and sediment pollution reduction. Click here for a copy of the EPA’s letter.

Read CBF's Statement on EPA Analysis here.

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In July 2021, DEP’s Public Water System Technical Assistance Center Board (TAC) met on a pre-draft regulation setting a state Maximum Contaminant Level and MCL Goals for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

DEP recommended a Maximum Contaminant Level of 14 ppt (parts per trillion) for PFOA and a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 8 ppt.

DEP recommended a Maximum Contaminant Level of 18 ppt for PFOS and a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal of 14 ppt.

Pennsylvania’s current health advisory is 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.

The TAC Board recommended the pre-draft regulation move forward through the regulatory process.

Click here (TAC Board meeting July 29, 2021) for DEP’s presentation and the pre-draft regulation.

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Development of Environmental Regulations in Pennsylvania
Municipal authorities, as well as other units of local government, are subject to numerous regulations, which form the basis for a wide variety of permitting, record-keeping and reporting, compliance monitoring and assessment and, in some cases, enforcement activities. Most of these activities center on environmental and public health protection.

All regulations must be reviewed and approved, both as proposed and final rule making, by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) which normally meets monthly.

Prior to developing or revising a regulation, DEP programs typically discuss such changes with one or more Advisory Committees. PMAA has member representatives on several of DEP’s Advisory Committees.

The entire process by which any DEP regulation is proposed, reviewed and finalized is quite lengthy and complex and is governed by the PA Regulatory Review Act. It is not unusual for this process to take up to two years. The Regulatory Process flowchart outlines the procedure.

On-line access to all state environmental regulations is available at PA Code Online and are listed as various Articles and Chapters under Title 25: Environmental Protection. On-line access to all state environmental regulations being proposed are available at PA Bulletin.

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Technical Guidance
While Pennsylvania’s environmental regulations are numerous and complex, DEP has found it necessary to further clarify the intent of many regulations through development of supplemental technical guidance documents. Like regulations, development of a technical guidance generally involves going through a public participation process (including use of advisory committees).