Both Massachusetts and Vermont indicate they will take steps to regulate Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in drinking water by establishing drinking water standards. Such regulation is in response to a petition from several environmental groups requesting regulation of these substances. Specifically, in December of 2018, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed petitions with five New England states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire) to establish a treatment technique standard or adopt a drinking water maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFAS as a class or for individual PFAS chemicals. The CLF urged the adoption of a temporary standard to protect public health in the interim while new regulations are being developed. Specifically, CLF recommended adoption of a 20 ppt standard for PFAS as a class.
In Vermont, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) has decided not to regulate PFAS as a class, but instead establish separate standards for five PFAS chemicals. The same is true in Massachusetts where the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has also decided to forego standard setting for PFAS as a group. Jon Groveman, Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) Policy and Water Program Director, is quoted as saying “VNRC is pleased that ANR has taken a step to address the risk posed by PFAS chemicals in drinking water.” The Massachusetts DEP action came after holding a public meeting to review the petition and accept comments, including comments from the Toxics Action Center.