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DEC Releases DRAFT Guidance Values to Advance New York State's Regulation of Emerging Contaminants PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-Dioxane

Release of draft TOGS documents for public comment.

***Public Comment Period Extended to December 6, 2021***
On October 6, 2021, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released new water quality guidance values (GVs) that will advance the State's regulation of the emerging contaminants Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), and 1,4-Dioxane (1,4-D).

The new guidance values are established in a draft addendum to Technical and Operational Guidance Series (TOGS) 1.1.1: Ambient Water Quality Standards and Guidance Values and Groundwater Effluent Limitations.1 The draft addendum (PDF) is supplemented by the release of a draft revision to TOGS 1.3.7: Analytical Detectability and Quantitation Guidelines for Environmental Parameters (PDF) and a new, draft TOGS 1.3.13: Permitting Strategy for Implementing Guidance Values for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-Dioxane (PDF).

TOGS 1.3.7 will guide the selection of analytical testing methods in situations, such as when monitoring emerging contaminants, where methods approved by State and/or Federal oversight bodies are limited or unavailable. TOGS 1.3.13 establishes how the GVs for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-D will be applied to State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permits to optimize environmental protection and minimize financial impacts. Guidance detailed in TOGS 1.3.13 will take effect when the GVs are issued.

The proposed GVs are shown in the table below. The New York State Department of Health (DOH) Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for finished drinking water, adopted in August 2020, are displayed for informational purposes.

Proposed Guidance Values
Chemical DOH - Finished Drinking Water DEC - Raw Water Source
Adopted MCLs Human Health Aquatic Life
Chronic Acute
PFOA 10 ppt 6.7 ppt N/A N/A
PFOS 10 ppt 2.7 ppt 160 ppb (fresh)
41 ppb (saline)
710 ppb (fresh)
190 ppb (saline)
1,4-Dioxane 1 ppb 0.35 ppb 18,000 ppb (fresh)
7,000 ppb (saline)
160,000 ppb (fresh)
63,000 ppb (saline)

NYSDEC's GVs are below the DOH's MCLs for PFOA, PFOS, and 1,4-D, to provide an extra margin of safety. The proposed GVs were derived by procedures established in Title 6 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations (NYCRR) Part 702. These lower values complement DOH's finished drinking water MCLs by ensuring they are not exceeded.

Available Documents

Linked below are the draft TOGS documents available for public comment. Also provided are the facts sheets detailing the derivation of the proposed GVs.

Public Comment on the Draft TOGS

NYSDEC encourages public comment on the draft guidance documents. The 30-day public comment period commenced on October 6, 2021. Written statements may be submitted to NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, 4th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-3500, ATTN: Michelle Tompkins or by email to Written statements must be submitted to the NYSDEC by 5:00 p.m. on December 6, 2021. The previous comment deadline was November 5, 2021.

1 TOGS 1.1.1 was last issued in June 1998, with addenda in 2000 and 2004 to add protection for specific chemicals. TOGS 1.1.1 is the DOW's mechanism to establish guidance values.

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