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Water utilities urge regulators to scrap new PFAS limits

December 9, 2021 GMT

A group of Wisconsin water utilities are urging the state Department of Natural Resources to scrap plans to impose limits on PFAS chemicals in drinking water, saying the agency hasn’t thought through the costs.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported Thursday that the Municipal Environmental Group’s water division submitted comments to the DNR on Tuesday saying the state should wait for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to impose federal standards.

The DNR’s policy board is expected to vote on February on rules that would establish a combined limit of 20 parts per trillion for PFAS chemicals in drinking water. The rules also would require testing municipal and some private water supplies. Systems that exceed the limit would have to install filters or drill new wells.

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The DNR estimates the regulations would cost businesses and local governments about $5.6 million in the first year and about $3.9 million annually going forward.

The EPA isn’t expected to implement federal PFAS standards before 2026. By then it would be too late for the state to spend about $150 million in funding allocated through the new federal infrastructure law, said DNR Environmental Management Division Administrator Darsi Foss.