EPA pushing for new PFAS requirements in drinkable water

Treating PFAS in southern Arizona
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 6:38 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - New standards could be on the way across the country when it comes to treating forever chemicals that contaminate water, also known as PFAS.

The EPA is proposing to limit the amount of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances in drinkable water to the lowest level that can be reliably measured.

The agency is pushing for a strict limit of four parts per trillion when it comes to water testing for two types of PFAS, PFOA and PFOS.

Tucson Water officials say they are heading in the right direction when it comes to treating the water as they have been requiring a lower level than that for years.

A whole list of health issues can come from PFAS ranging from birth defects to cancer. Most of the PFAS come from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Tucson International Airport.

“We’ve invested in this PFAS issue for several years now and we’re actively testing on a nearly daily basis water across our system, across our wells, throughout the community to make sure we’re ahead of any impacts PFAS may be presenting itself,” Tucson Water Director John Kmiec said.

It could still take years and possibly even decades to fully clean up the chemicals, especially in Tucson water doesn’t just empty into the ocean like in other places.