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PFAS Action Plan for Drinking Water

PFAS Action Plan for Drinking Water

On Dec. 2, 2019 the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) and Ohio Department of Health (ODH) released a statewide action plan to analyze the prevalence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Ohio’s drinking water.

Under the plan, Ohio EPA coordinated testing for close to 1,550 community and non-transient non-community public water systems for six PFAS chemicals: PFOA, PFOS, GenX, PFBS, PFHxS, and PFNA. 

There are currently no national drinking water standards for PFAS compounds. The establishment of national drinking water standards, called Maximum Contaminant Levels or MCLs, is under consideration by United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). In 2016, U.S. EPA set Health Advisory Levels (HALs) of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA and PFOS. In 2019, Ohio’s action plan included the use of these HALs for PFOA and PFOS and established action levels for four additional chemicals in the PFAS family, including GenX, PFBS, PFHxS, and PFNA.

As emerging contaminants, the science is continuing to evolve for PFAS. In 2021, U.S. EPA released new toxicity assessments for PFBS and GenX, which included new reference doses for these contaminants. Upon review of these assessments, it was determined that the action levels established within Ohio's PFAS action plan for PFBS and GenX would need to be revised. The revised values can be seen in blue in the table below. 

For details about the derivation of Ohio's action levels information can be found in the PFAS - Technical Information and Supporting Documentation summary. 

PFAS Chemicals*

PFOA

PFOS

GenX

PFBS

PFHxS

PFNA

Action Level in parts per trillion (ppt)

>70 single or combined with PFOS
 
>70 single or combined with PFOA
 
> 21 >2,100 > 140 > 21
*PFOA (Perfluorooctanoic Acid), PFOS (perfluorooctane Sulfonate), GenX (HFPO dimer acid), PFBS (perfluorobutanesulfonic acid), PFHxS (perfluorohexane sulfonic acid), and PFNA (perfluorononanoic acid).

It is important to note, the most recent data does not indicate an exceedance of the revised action levels for PFBS or GenX at any public water system in Ohio. 

The state continues to review the latest science related to PFAS to protect public health in Ohio. To read the Ohio PFAS Action Plan, please download the document attachment in the upper right-hand corner of this page.