Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State has adopted a first-in-the-nation drinking water standard for emerging contaminant 1,4-Dioxane, setting the maximum contaminant level of 1 part per billion for 1,4-Dioxane. The Governor also announced maximum contaminant levels for emerging contaminants PFOA and PFOS in New York's drinking water, which are among the lowest in the U.S. for PFOA and PFOS at 10 parts per trillion. These announcements follow a public comment period and approval by the Public Health and Health Planning Council.
The State's recommended levels for PFOA and PFOS are significantly lower than the U.S. EPA's current guidance levels of 70 parts per trillion. Any potential health effects of concern for these contaminants primarily results after a lifetime of exposure to 70 ppt, not exposure over short periods of time. While EPA does not have guidance on 1,4-Dioxane, in accepting the Drinking Water Quality Council's recommendations, DOH used the best available science to determine a similarly protective level of 1 ppb. Establishing such highly protective MCLs and requiring every public water system to regularly test and monitor, regardless of size, will ensure that contaminant levels never rise to the point of causing a public health risk.
Through cooperative efforts among state agencies, New York will conduct monitoring at Superfund, brownfield, potential firefighting foam hot spots, and inactive landfill sites to determine whether PFAS impacts are detectable. The State will build upon its work to date to address emerging contaminants through a suite of legal and regulatory actions coupled with swift on-the-ground response for sites where contamination is detected. In addition, the Drinking Water Quality Council will oversee evaluation of new and unregulated contaminants to safeguard public health.