In June 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new lifetime health advisories for four PFAS, and in September 2022, issued a proposed rule change that would lower the allowable level of two of these chemicals in drinking water from 70 parts per trillion (ppt) to just 4 ppt. Localities across the country are now focusing on how to bring their levels to safe limits. In a meeting with Prince William County Service Authority CEO Calvin Farr, it became clear that it was critical to keep these chemicals out of our waterways in the first place, and that a regional approach was needed.
I then sponsored a Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) resolution to formalize regional collaboration on the matter. The language below was approved unanimously at the April NVRC Commissioners Meeting.
NVRC RESOLUTION Resolution No. P23-28 PATRON: Kenny Boddye DATE: April 27, 2023
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING NVRC TO PARTICIPATE IN PFAS EDUCATION EFFORTS
WHEREAS, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a final regulatory determination to regulate perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as contaminants under Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA); and
WHEREAS, EPA is also proposing a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) and health-based Maximum Contaminant Level Goals (MCLG) for Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and their mixtures, as well as for PFOA and PFOS. EPA is proposing individual MCLs of 4.0 nanograms per liter (ng/L) or parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and PFOS; and
WHEREAS, the Occoquan Reservoir is an integral part of the drinking water supply system for northern Virginia, supplying nearly 40% of the raw water treated by Fairfax Water for distribution to nearly one in four residents of northern Virginia who obtain their water from public utilities; and
WHEREAS, voluntary water quality monitoring undertaken by Fairfax Water and the Prince William Service Authority has indicated that raw and treated water may experience slight excursions of the proposed MCL; and
WHEREAS, currently, the most cost-effective solutions to prevent PFAS chemicals from being released into the environment is by minimizing the use of PFAS containing products and through source control of everyday products such as grease resistant food packaging, waterproof, water-resistant, or stain-resistant clothing, shoes, furniture, waterproofing sprays, makeup, deodorant, sunscreens, and many other common consumer products containing PFAS;
WHEREAS, the Northern Virginia Regional Commission (NVRC) coordinates the Northern Virginia Clean Water Partners (NVCWP) in cooperation with Northern Virginia jurisdictions, water and sanitation authorities, businesses, and public schools to pool funding together towards a public outreach and education campaigns; and
WHEREAS, the NVRC coordinates the Northern Virginia Waste Management Board (NVWMB) which is composed of solid waste managers and public works directors from each of NVRC’s member jurisdictions, with the primary objective to promote regional approaches, technical recommendations and solutions to recycling and waste management issues in Northern Virginia;
WHEREAS, the NVRC coordinates the Occoquan Nonpoint Source Pollution Program (ONSPP) which is composed of NVRC’s member jurisdictions watershed managers and the regions drinking water Authorities and who’s primary function is to enhance and preserve water quality within the water supply watershed for nonpoint source pollution in order to provide safe drinking water for the present and future residents of northern Virginia;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that NVRC authorizes the Executive Director to coordinate with the NVCWP, the NVWMB and the ONSPP to create and implement new social media, outreach and educational strategies that will provide resources for homeowners and businessowners about the risks of PFAS exposure, how to reduce their PFAS exposure, and how they can prevent the release of PFAS to the environment.