Skip to main content
DRINKING SOURCE

Public Comments Requested on NYS Department of Health PFAS Standards for Drinking Water

By December 1, 2022No Comments

SUBMIT YOUR COMMENT ON NYSDOH DRAFT PFAS DRINKING WATER STANDARDS  

You have through December 4th to submit a comment. 

  • HOW TO MAKE A COMMENT:  

Comments must be made in writing and must be submitted to the agency that is proposing the rule. Address your comments to the agency representative whose name and address are printed in the notice of rulemaking. No special form is required; a handwritten letter will do.  

Katherine Ceroalo DOH, Bureau of Program Counsel, Reg. Affairs Unit, Room 2438, ESP Tower Building, Albany, NY 12237, (518) 473-7488, email: regsqna@health.ny.gov 

In October of 2022, NYS Department of Health proposed draft regulations pertaining to drinking water standards. The draft regulations would establish drinking water standards for 23 PFAS chemicals. Currently only 2 are regulated (PFOS and PFOA).  

PFAS, or Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a large, diverse class of man-made chemicals. There are over 9,000 PFAS compounds. They do not naturally break down. When contamination of groundwater or drinking water sources occurs, it can create serious problems for the environment and human health.  

Here are some talking points you can use for your public comment: 

  • Urge the DOH to set PFAS drinking water standards as close to zero as technologically feasible. The science is clear: according to the US EPA and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, there is no safe level of PFOA, PFOS or similar PFAS in our drinking water. The DOH should establish individual PFAS Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs)  between 2 and 4 ppt and lower New York’s current MCLs for PFOA and PFOS. Lower the proposed combined PFAS MCL from 30ppt to 20ppt or lower.  
  • On Election Day, New Yorkers voted overwhelmingly for the Environmental Bond Act – we want stronger clean water protections, not weaker ones, and now the administration has more resources than ever to make that a reality.  We urge the DOH to strengthen proposed regulations on toxic PFAS chemicals in drinking water. New York has positioned itself as a national leader on PFAS and we urge you to continue to be at the forefront of protecting drinking water and public health by strengthening this proposal.  
  • According to calculations by Environmental Advocates NY, at least half a million New Yorkers are currently exposed to dangerous PFAS contamination. Our state has never had more resources to enact the most health protective PFAS standards. The Environmental Bond Act includes hundreds of millions of grant dollars to help water utilities install treatment technology, as does the state’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act and federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. You can get PFAS out of our water and keep water affordable – we don’t have to choose between one or the other.                           

Regulating PFAS in public drinking water supplies is one step forward toward getting a handle on the larger PFAS pollution issue that is occurring worldwide. We encourage all New Yorkers to educate themselves on PFAS and engage in meaningful ways to accelerate solutions.  

  • Participate in the public process – submit your comment to the DOH today! 
  • Demand greater producer responsibility – learn what consumer products contain PFAS and prioritize the use of alternatives 
  • Support the passing of other PFAS legislation that protects our water  
  • Learn about your drinking water source and consider in-home PFAS treatment – If you are on well water, get your water tested today! https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/pfasinprivatewells.htm   
  • Support testing and pre-treatment requirements from point sources 
  • Support data accessibility to statewide PFAS drinking water supply results 
  • Support investment in treatment and filtration technologies for all Waste Water Treatment Plants and Drinking Water Suppliers.  

Learn more about PFAS and Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper surface water sampling: https://bnwaterkeeper.org/pfas-pfoa-pfos/ 

Sources:  

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-announces-new-drinking-water-health-advisories-pfas-chemicals-1-billion-bipartisan

https://www.nationalacademies.org/news/2022/07/new-report-calls-for-expanded-pfas-testing-for-people-with-history-of-elevated-exposure-offers-advice-for-clinical-treatment

1 https://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/water/drinking/emerging_pfas_publicwater.htm 

Leave a Reply