Preliminary PFOA & PFOs Regulatory Determinations for Drinking Water

On February 20th, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water. These actions implement the EPA’s PFAS Action Plan, which helps to address per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

PFOS and PFOA both feature on the EPA’s Contaminant Candidate List. The EPA has placed addressing these contaminants high on their priority list to ensure safe water across the nation. Their PFAS Action Plan includes taking steps to monitor, detect, research, and reduce PFAS in states and local communities. To determine if your water has PFOS and PFOA, the professionals at Hague Quality Water of Maryland have the tools to perform a thorough water test and will present you with effective water treatment solutions.

The Safe Drinking Water Act

Unregulated contaminants in drinking water are a public health risk to people who rely on that water for drinking, showering, and doing other routine tasks. For this reason, the EPA’s Safe Water Drinking Act regulates dangerous contaminants. With the Safe Water Drinking Act, the EPA will research drinking water contaminants and inform the public.

The EPA must publish a Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) every five years. The CCL lists contaminants that occur or may occur in drinking water, and the EPA considers public comments before they issue a final list. Then, they use Regulatory Determination to decide which contaminants to regulate.

What are PFAS?

PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are the main ingredient in AFFF fire-fighting foam and pose a danger to the environment and drinking water. In fact, AFFF contaminated water has been linked to serious health problems such as asthma, child development issues, liver diseases, and even cancer. Even though the government has phased out the use of AFFF, the damage has already been done: PFAS have been found in the drinking water of Gambrills, Maryland (the same state where Fort Meade Army Base is located), two sites in the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, and a South Branch of the Potomac River in West Virginia. The presence of PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” is a source of concern for residents in those areas who fear the six-state Chesapeake Bay watershed may also be contaminated.

According to the EPA, PFAS exposure can lead to adverse health effects over time.

You can find PFAS in:

  • Food that has been packaged, processed, or grown with PFAS
  • Commercial household products
  • Drinking water located near certain facilities
  • Living organisms like fish, animals, and humans

Most people have been exposed to PFAS at some point in their lives. These chemicals may relate to:

  • Effects on the immune system
  • Cancer
  • Low infant birth rates
  • Thyroid hormone disruption

An effective water filtration system can help you protect yourself and your family from these adverse reactions to contaminants in your water. The experts at Hague are equipped to help you choose a filtration system that will work best for your water.

The PFAS Action Plan

Some select actions that the EPA is taking to control PFAS include:

Drinking Water

The EPA is gathering and studying information about other chemicals in the PFAS family. They issued initial decisions on regulating PFOA and PFOS in February, and they are committed to following the Safe Water Drinking Act.


The EPA guided federal cleanup programs for addressing contaminated groundwater in December 2019. They have also begun the process of listing PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances.

Toxics Regulations

The EPA issued a proposal on February 20, 2020, to limit new uses of long-chain PFAS. They want to ensure that businesses cannot manufacture or import PFAS chemicals in surface coatings without review.


The EPA announced the availability of $4.8 million for funding new research on PFAS in agriculture. The agency continues to:

  • Collect and assess PFAS toxicity information
  • Develop new methods for testing PFAS in drinking water
  • Develop models to understand how PFAS impacts people and the environment
  • Develop ways to test air and emissions
  • Develop tools to help clean up contaminated facilities

Keep Your Water Clean

You and your family should have drinking water you can trust. Filtered water hydrates you, has positive health effects, and improves your skin and hair. At Hague Quality Water of Maryland, we perform the water treatment and testing that you need to keep your water clean.

Soften your water with the Hague WaterMax® BEQ system and get rid of any chlorine taste, sediment, and other water problems. We can help you save on bottled water and cleaning supplies when you can drink water from your tap. Call us at (410) 757-2992 today for a free estimate and learn how we can improve water filtration in your home.

NOTE: Free water tests are for new customers to determine water quality and treatment solutions.

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