Advance Notice Details:
In accordance with R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-35-2.5 and the PFAS in Drinking Water, Groundwater, and Surface Waters Act, R.I. Gen. Laws § 46-32-1 et seq. (PFAS Act), as amended in June 2023, advance notice is hereby given that the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) proposes amendments to the rules and regulations for Public Drinking Water (216-RICR-50-05-1) for the regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water.
The PFAS Act contemplates the filing of two different rules—(1) a rule regarding adoption of the interim drinking water standard of 20ppt as an MCL (a final version of which must be filed by June 1, 2024), and (2) a rule regarding the regulation of PFAS as a class or subclass (initial public review for which must begin by February 1, 2024 and a final rule which must be published by June 30, 2025).
RIDOH is proposing to file one rule that satisfies both of those requirements. Specifically, CDWQ is proposing to establish a final MCL of 20ppt for the total of the 6 PFAS contaminants identified in the PFAS Act: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), and perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA). RIDOH believes that regulating these 6 PFAS constitutes regulating PFAS as a class/subclass based on the data and information RIDOH has collected from water systems in the State to date and the analysis it developed a few years ago to support draft regulations that were never published. RIDOH's data indicate that those 6 PFAS are the only PFAS detected in Rhode Island drinking water at levels that are expected to significantly impact human health. RIDOH believes that regulating the 6 PFAS named in the statute is the best approach to reduce human health risks from PFAS.
RIDOH chose an approach to regulating PFAS that extends the interim drinking water standard for PFAS of 20ppt established in PFAS Act because public water systems have had to work to come into compliance with the interim standard and it does not make sense to make them meet a new set of rules at this time. EPA is expected to publish a final rule for PFAS by the end of 2023 or early 2024, which RIDOH will need to adopt within three years after publication.
A community review of the proposed regulation will be held. Members of the public are welcome to attend and provide comments and time will be allotted during the meeting to hear concerns and answer questions pertaining to the proposed regulation.