Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — long used in consumer and industrial products —  have recently been in the news and the subject of increased regulatory attention, resulting in proposed and implemented regulation on both the state and federal level. PFAS have been used in a variety of products including, fabric protectants, nonstick coatings on cookware, and fire-fighting foams.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) released proposed draft amendments to Class I and Class II groundwater standards in Illinois last week, including adding, for the first time, standards for PFAS. This marks the start of a process allowing for stakeholder and other public input on the proposed amendments.

The Illinois proposal includes groundwater standards for the five PFAS chemicals: Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid (PFBS), Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid (PFHxS), Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), and Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS), as follows.

Constituent Standard (mg/L)
Perfluorobutane Sulfonic Acid (PFBS) 0.14
Perfluorohexane Sulfonic Acid (PFHxS) 0.00014
Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA) 0.000021
Perfluorooctanoic    Acid (PFOA) 0.000021
Perfluorooctane  Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) 0.000014

It also includes a combined PFOA and PFOS standard of 0.000021 mg/L.

The proposed amendments are currently in pre-publication draft form, with the IEPA requesting comments by January 31, 2020. Following its receipt of initial comments, the IEPA will submit its proposal to the Illinois Pollution Control Board, triggering a process for further public review and comment prior to promulgation of a final rule.