The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has approved maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) of 14 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and 13 ppt for PFOS in drinking water. The limits, which will also act as groundwater cleanup standards and designate the PFAS as hazardous substances in the state, are two of the most stringent levels in the country and are set much lower than U.S. EPA’s non-enforceable lifetime health advisory of 70 ppt.
DEP in 2018 set an MCL of 13 ppt for PFNA in drinking water and has been testing New Jersey public water systems. The testing measures contamination of all three PFAS analytes and has so far shown an average of 10 percent of the state systems contaminated by one or more of the compounds. The agency expects this trend to continue but has new mechanisms for enforcement, given the new guidance.
The PFOA and PFOS MCLs will be in effect once published in the New Jersey Register.