Press Release

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OEC Statement on U.S. EPA’s First-Ever National Standard to Limit PFAS in Drinking Water

Columbus, OH — Today, the U.S. EPA proposed the agency’s first national drinking water standard to limit the amount of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, in drinking water across the country.

Public water systems would be required to monitor and treat for six types of PFAS chemicals, if this proposal is finalized. According to the U.S. EPA, those chemicals are:

  • PFOA and PFOS: These chemicals would be regulated as individual contaminants and at a level that public water systems could measure with certainty at 4 parts per trillion (ppt).
  • PFNA, PFHxS, PFBS, and GenX Chemicals: These chemicals would be regulated as a mixture using the hazard index calculation, meaning that any combination of these four chemicals would be measured together to determine their collective risk to drinking water.

The hazard index calculation that the U.S. EPA is proposing for this larger set of PFAS will go a long way toward protecting human health from the thousands of “forever chemicals” that threaten Ohioans’ drinking water. 

In response, the following statement can be attributed to Pete Bucher, Chief of Staff for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):

Regulating some PFAS at 4 parts per trillion is a good start toward protecting our nation’s drinking water. Based on numerous studies, we believe these standards should be more stringent, but we also understand that the U.S. EPA is taking into account what can feasibly be measured right now. To better protect our drinking water, public health and the environment, it’s imperative that the U.S. EPA acts urgently to regulate all PFAS—including those found in surface water, a primary source of drinking water.

“While the U.S. EPA’s proposed drinking water regulations are a great step toward protecting public health, surface water regulations must be enacted to properly protect watersheds and ecosystems as well. Surface water is a primary source of drinking water, and therefore, the agency needs to regulate all PFAS to fully protect drinking water, public health and the environment.”


The OEC first began working on PFAS in April 2018 when we submitted a petition to the agency urging them to regulate PFAS under the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act. Since then, the OEC has consistently emphasized the importance of ensuring people are protected from these chemicals in their water and that PFAS is regulated as a class, instead of one by one. We’ve also advocated to the Ohio EPA since that time to both regulate and do testing to understand where PFAS is in Ohio.

Learn more about PFAS and the OEC’s work to protect Ohioans’ drinking water on our website.


Marisa Twigg, Ohio Environmental Council | 614-487-5837

Experts for Comment:
Pete Bucher, Chief of Staff
Chris Tavenor, Associate General Counsel