Sep 16, 2020

Illinois EPA to Begin PFAS Testing of Community Water Supplies

Illinois EPA will begin testing all Illinois community water supplies for PFAS

community water

Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim announced plans to conduct a statewide investigation into the prevalence and occurrence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water. 

The investigation will test all 1,749 community water supplies in Illinois, according to RiverBender. The data accumulated will aid in the development of future Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) regulatory standards for PFAS. 

The investigation is expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete, reported RiverBender.

“Our statewide drinking water investigation will produce essential data on these emerging contaminants, which will allow us to identify areas where action must be taken to reduce human health risks associated with these chemicals in drinking water,” said Director Kim. “Illinois EPA is committed to a transparent process and will publish confirmed sampling data online as it becomes available. The data will also be used to support the development and promulgation of maximum contaminant level standards for PFAS in Illinois.”

If PFAS chemicals are detected in concentrations above laboratory minimum reporting levels (MRL), the Illinois EPA will return to collect confirmation samples. The analysis will include 18 PFAS chemicals, according to RiverBender.

A comprehensive webpage to inform the public about Illinois EPA’s Statewide PFAS Investigation Network will include background, exposures, health effects, minimum reporting levels and regulatory status of these emerging contaminants. As more data becomes available, it will be posted to the webpage.

Illinois EPA is also preparing to file proposed groundwater quality standards with the Illinois Pollution Control Board for five PFAS chemicals.

“When MCLs exist for a contaminant, the Illinois EPA will compare analytical results to the MCL to determine if any additional actions are needed to respond to potential contaminant concerns,” said the Illinois EPA. “Where no MCL exists, the Illinois EPA must turn to reference levels like U.S. EPA's Lifetime Health Advisory and others developed based on current health and toxicity data.”

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