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EPA Announces New Health Advisory Levels for PFAS + $1B in Funding

On June 15, 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new interim health advisory levels for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), final HAs for hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) dimer acid (GenX) and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS), and $1 billion in grant funding to respond to PFAS challenges.  

Drinking Water Health Advisories

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), EPA issues health advisories for contaminants that are not subject to legally enforceable federal standards. Health advisories provide information about a contaminant’s health effects, analytical methodologies, and evolving treatment technologies. EPA maintains health advisories for approximately 200 contaminants and has updated interim and final health advisories for four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals. Interim health advisory levels for PFOA and PFOS, which replace EPA’s 2016 Final Health Advisory Levels, are presented in Table 1. Final health advisory levels for GenX and PFBS are presented in Table 2.   


PFAS Chemical

2016 Final Health Advisory Level (parts per trillion [ppt])1

2022 Interim Updated Health Advisory Level (ppt)2







1 Individually or combined.
2 Values may be revised based on the outcome of the PFAS Science Advisory Board (SAB) review. 


PFAS Chemical

Final Health Advisory Level (ppt)

GenX Chemicals




What Do the New PFAS Health Advisory Levels Mean for Industry?

The new health advisory limits will remain in place until EPA issues legally enforceable federal standards, such as the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) or required treatment technologies under the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation. Continuing progress on the Strategic PFAS Roadmap, EPA is expected to propose National Drinking Water Regulations for PFOA and PFOS in Fall 2022.

While industry has been voluntarily phasing PFOA and PFOS out of operations and commerce for years, the chemical nature of all types of PFAS makes them persistent in the environment, meaning environmental monitoring and remediation work needed to address these chemicals will be ongoing. Other PFAS continue to be used in consumer and commercial products. The new health advisory levels serve as more stringent benchmarks for industry and drinking water providers to meet. Notably, the Interim Updated Health Advisory Levels are several orders of magnitude lower than the previous 2016 Final Health Advisory levels for PFOA and PFOS (see above table) and analytical reporting limits using EPA’s current drinking water analytical methods 537.1 or 533.   

If water sampling results indicate PFOA, PFOS, GenX chemicals, or PFBS are present in drinking water above health advisory levels, water systems may consider conducting additional sampling to assess the level, scope, and localized source of contamination. EPA also recommends water systems work with state authorities to assess available state requirements or guidance.

New Funding Available: Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Program

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, $5 billion is set aside to address emerging contaminants in drinking water. Of that amount, $1 billion is now available via the Emerging Contaminants in Small or Disadvantaged Communities Grant Program for states and territories to address PFAS in drinking water.

Additional information on eligible grant applicants and projects can be found here. EPA instructs states and territories interested in applying for grant funding to submit a letter of intent by August 15, 2022.

Register for EPA’s Informational Webinar

EPA is hosting a public webinar on June 23, 2022, to provide additional information.


If you have questions about the new health advisory levels or need assistance in monitoring or remediating PFAS chemicals, connect with us. Our team has experience reducing risk related to PFAS and is available to help monitor and reduce concentrations of PFAS in water. We are skilled in interpreting PFAS analytical results in terms of potential impacts on human health or the environment concerning exposure to PFOS, PFOA, GenX, and PFBS, as well as other PFAS compounds.

We also have experience supporting clients in applying for grant funding and can assist with letters of intent as well as preparing and submitting full grant applications.

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