On this page:
(1) June 29, 2022 ACWA comments on the Draft Ambient Water Quality Criteria Recommendations for PFOA and PFOS.
ACWA noted their general support for development of these aquatic life criteria and marine/estuarine benchmarks, and EPA’s sense of urgency in preparing and releasing draft criteria for priority PFAS. States determined that the derived values appear consistent with the quantitatively-included aquatic toxicity data EPA utilized. However, due to the drafts not meeting Minimum Data Requirements (MDR) for 304(a) criteria but noting EPA’s expectation that all MDRs will be met in the near future, ACWA found it difficult to determine whether the draft values are protective in the field, and found EPA’s excursions from the 1985 Guidelines For Deriving Numerical National Water Quality Criteria For The Protection Of Aquatic Organisms And Their Uses (“1985 Guidelines”) problematic for many would-be state implementers. In ACWA’s comments, states provided technical advice to increase the scientific defensibility and “implementability” of the draft criteria, related to communications and outreach; consistency of studies’ quantitative inclusion/exclusion in the criteria derivation; the draft criteria’s conformity with the 1985 Guidelines; Bioaccumulation Factors used in the derivation; state and Tribal implementation; and, the provided marine/estuarine benchmarks. ACWA also provided the following overarching comments:
- Request that EPA re-release the draft criteria for comment if new data are incorporated and/or the criteria change prior to finalization;
- Request that EPA work with states and Tribes in updating the 1985 Guidelines if any update is to occur;
- Request that EPA develop PFAS communication and action planning with state Co-Regulators;
- Request that EPA and the federal family invest in surface water PFAS activities (i.e., toxicity research and management, monitoring, and source control) to close data gaps that delay publication of state and federal water quality criteria and prevent states from fully addressing their unique PFAS challenges;
- Indicated states’ appreciation for the marine/estuarine benchmarks included in the draft criteria, but requested EPA (1) release the benchmarks in separate documentation, and (2) provide greater clarity about what “benchmarks” are in the CWA context;
- Request that EPA revise the criteria prior to finalization or in the future to address PFOA/PFOS precursors, as well as parameters which influence the toxicity and bioavailability of PFOA/PFOS; and,
- Request that EPA build on existing co-regulator cooperative federalism processes to share more about criteria under development with states between a criterion’s Problem Formulation phase and release of the corresponding draft criteria, particularly for priority constituents like PFAS analytes.
The original comment period was extended by 30 days for a total of 60 days, closing on July 2, 2022.
(2) Any future comments related to 304(a) Criteria for any PFAS analytes/groupings will appear on this page.
ACWA Letter 304aPFOA PFOS ALC_June 29 2022