EPA Announces New Draft Method to Test for 40 PFAS Compounds

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced in a press release on Thursday that it published a draft for the first validated PFAS test, developed in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense. The test uses a laboratory analytical method and can test in eight different substances including wastewater, groundwater, fish tissue, and soils. 

EPA Administrator Michael S. Reagan said the method has given the EPA a broader understanding of PFAS and helped it understand how to prevent human exposure. The press release explained that up to this point those testing for PFAS have needed to use either EPA methods or in-house laboratory procedures for PFAS tests, but this new option will be available. The EPA and DOD will continue studying the method through 2022 for final approval.

Specifically, the EPA cited that it could be used in implementing National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits since it provides all of the necessary control procedures under the Clean Water Act. It noted that it is not required for compliance with the Clean Water Act at this point, but that it is now recommended for use with permits and could become required through future rule making. 

Draft Method 1633, the proposed test, tests for 40 different PAS compounds, building on other methods which test for 24 or 29. It was developed through the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program.  

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Environment and Energy Resilience Richard Kidd said, “this is one of many examples of strong EPA – DoD Collaboration on issues of national importance. Currently the Department is working with EPA, other federal agencies, academic institutions, and industry on over 130 PFAS-related research efforts, and we expect further progress in the future.”