Government Affairs Committee Update


  • Updates to Idaho HHWQC for Arsenic: The updates to Idaho’s human health criteria for arsenic were negotiated under Docket No. 58-0102-1801 and published as a proposed rule under Docket No. 58-0102-2201. The pending rule was adopted by the Idaho Board of Environmental Quality on May 26, 2022, and will be submitted to the Idaho Legislature for review during the 2023 legislative session. The pending rule includes the rule as initially proposed along with revisions in Subsections 210.01.b., Footnote k, and 210.03.e. and is available here. Once the pending rule is approved by the Idaho Legislature, DEQ will submit the rule to EPA for review.


  • OR House Agriculture, Land Use, and Water Committee Bill (introduced as a Committee bill on January 19th) to Fund a PFAS Biosolids Fate and Transport Study by an Oregon State University research team (which will involve OR ACWA, ACWA members, and DEQ). This bill was developed as a proactive approach the OR legislature can take to building PFAS science and data in Oregon on which to build future policy decisions, as opposed to a reactive or pre-emptive land application restriction approach that is being taken in some other states. The state general fund appropriation request of $500,000 would need to be augmented by some local funding contributions and in-kind participation from wastewater utilities across Oregon. (The estimated total cost of the planned 2-year study is about $540,000.)The study would characterize targeted PFAS compounds in: 

  • Biosolids from representative wastewater treatment facilities 

  • Soils from locations at distinct ecoregions – Coastal; Willamette Valley; Columbia Plateau; High Desert; Southern Oregon 

  • Crop plants / uptake – wheat; grass/alfalfa; timber; cattle feed 

Study authors are looking to match class B biosolids with agricultural sites around the state that will be representative of the different regions and crops. 

  • House Bill 3231 (introduced by Representatives Helm & Owens) to improve water reuse implementation in Oregon would fund and direct DEQ, in consultation with WRD, and other stakeholders, to address regulatory barriers and develop technical assistance resources to support new and expanded beneficial reuse/recycling and land application of reclaimed wastewater in Oregon. HB 3231 would provide approximately $500,000 in general funds for the biennium to accomplish this work. 

  • Washington (state) PFAS Biosolids Senate Bill 5245 has had a public hearing February 3 before the Environment, Energy and Technology Committee, with testimony from representatives from NW Biosolids, Coalition for Clean Water, and Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts (WASWD). The amended bill extends the date by 1 year to December 30, 2026 for Ecology to establish pollutant limits for PFAS chemicals in biosolids. The amended bill also provided clarification of the definition of bulk solids. The bill must be voted out of the Senate by March 8 to remain alive for the session. Ecology has provided a fiscal impact for costs to implement the bill, which might cause the bill to stall. Follow the bill here. 

  • Department of Ecology has published Preliminary drafts of Municipal Stormwater Permits as part of their reissuance process and soliciting comments through March 23, 2023. Read more here.


  • In case you missed it! EPA has taken the following actions on PFAS in the last three months: 

  • EPA Region 10 is announcing an upcoming virtual listening session on EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap for Region 10 communities on March 15, 2023, and inviting members of the public to attend and to speak. This engagement session will provide information about EPA’s ongoing work under the PFAS Strategic Roadmap and what it means for Region 10 communities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The session will provide opportunities for communities to share feedback directly with EPA Regional and program leaders to inform the implementation of the actions described in the Roadmap 

  • EPA Region 10’s virtual Regional community engagement session will be held via Zoom on March 15, 2023, from 6:00pm - 8:00pm Pacific Time. For more information and to register for the community engagement session on Zoom.

  • The EPA released “A Year of Progress Under EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap” a report that underscores key actions taken by the agency during the first year of implementing the PFAS Roadmap. “EPA continues to deliver on its promise to confront PFAS and protect the health of people and communities across the nation,” said Radhika Fox, Assistant Administrator for Water and Co-Chair of EPA’s Council on PFAS. “Today’s progress report highlights how much we have accomplished in the first year of implementing the PFAS Roadmap. The report also signals important actions the agency will take in the year to come, including our work to invest $10 billion from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in solutions to protect communities from emerging contaminants like PFAS.” READ MORE. 

  • The USEPA has issued a guidance memo to states for dealing with PFAS in NPDES permits through monitoring and control requirements.  

  • For POTWs (and their industrial users): 

  • Require quarterly testing of influent, effluent and biosolids; use draft Method 1633.  

  • Update industrial user (IU) inventories to include all IUs that are in industry categories “expected or suspected of PFAS discharges” as listed in the memo. 

  • Require IUs to do quarterly PFAS monitoring. 

  • Develop best management practices (BMPs) or local limits for IUs “where authority exists.”  

  • Where legal authority for controls on IUs doesn’t exist, POTWs should encourage PFAS pollution prevention, product substitution and good housekeeping practices at IUs. 

  • Take actions to address PFAS in biosolids, including using draft Method 1633 to test biosolids for PFAS, taking actions to reduce PFAS discharges from IUs, and regular monitoring of biosolids to validate PFAS reductions. 

  • For industrial direct dischargers: 

  • Require quarterly testing for PFAS for certain categories (including airports, landfills, paper facilities, metal finishing/electroplating operations, and organic chemicals and plastics plants), using draft Method 1633.  

  • Permit applications that do not include PFAS information may not be complete, and States should consider requiring additional PFAS information if necessary before issuing the permits.  

  • “Certain industrial processes may generate PFAS-contaminated solid waste or air emissions not covered by NPDES permitting and permitting agencies should coordinate with appropriate state authorities on proper containment and disposal to avoid cross-media contamination. EPA’s draft analytical method 1633 may be appropriate to assess the amount and types of PFAS for some of these wastestreams.” 

  • Permits should include PFAS BMP requirements “when the practices are “reasonably necessary to achieve effluent limitations and standards or to carry out the purposes and intent of the CWA.”  Those BMP provisions can include product substitution requirements. 

  • Permits for stormwater discharges should include BMPs to address aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) issues, including prohibiting the use of AFFFs other than for actual firefighting, eliminating PFOS and PFOA -containing AFFFs, and requiring immediate clean-up in all situations where AFFFs have been used. 

  • Permits may need to include site-specific technology-based PFAS effluent limits (for industries without PFAS effluent guidelines), and must include water quality-based PFAS effluent limits as needed to ensure compliance with water quality standards (including narrative criteria).  (This was not stated in the earlier memo.) 

  • For both industrials and POTWs, EPA recommends that State permitting agencies notify downstream public water systems regarding draft NPDES permits with PFAS conditions.

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