May 2020

New Jersey Approves PFAS Drinking MCLs, Now What? 

While COVID 19 was dominating the daily newsfeed, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) quietly approved one of the nation’s strictest drinking water limits on PFAS. Although the new regulations have yet to take effect, when they do, New Jersey will be only the second state, behind New Hampshire, to establish regulated drinking water Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for PFAS. With the federal government lagging-behind in the establishment of regulated standards, states are left alone to develop their own policies to regulate these chemicals, a process leaving them open to challenges, legal and otherwise, regarding their authority to establish and enforce PFAS standards.  Consequently, the road to regulating PFAS is fraught with uncertainty, which is why New Jersey’s approach for establishing their proposed MCLs could set the standard for other states looking to establish their own PFAS standards.

Why Monitor Differential Pressure for Vapor Intrusion?

USEPA and others in the vapor intrusion field have been evaluating a variety of Indicators, Tracers, and Surrogates (ITS) to assess their use in predicting the best time to collect representative indoor air samples for vapor intrusion studies (Schuver, et. al., 2018). The idea is that if a predictive combination of easily obtainable, low cost ITS can be identified, they could be used to improve the collection of actionable analytical data at a lower cost. In this article, I will review the usefulness of one such indicator – sub-slab to indoor air differential pressure.  

Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents

As the result of an October 9, 2019 Executive Order, EPA is in the process of placing all of its active guidance documents into a single guidance document portal on the agency’s website. Although convenient to have all the guidance in one central location, don’t believe for a minute that this is about improving the user’s experience. Instead, as made clear through the President’s Executive Order, this and the other requirements of Executive Order are aimed at cracking down on the use of guidance as regulation and the general over reliance on guidance. 

Widely Utilized EPA Regional Screening Levels Updated for May 2020

EPA recently updated its widely utilized Regional Screening Levels (RSLs). The updated RSLs (dated May 2020) replace the November 2019 version. The May 2020 update includes RSL changes for approximately 20 compounds including dibenzofuran, naphthalene and tetrahydrofuran. To find out how to stay apprised of updates to the RSLs, read more…

Ohio EPA Issues Revised Groundwater Sampling Chapter of Technical Guidance Manual for Review and Comment

Ohio EPA recently released, for public review and comment, the groundwater sampling section of the Technical Guidance Manual (TGM) for Hydrogeologic Investigations and Ground Water Monitoring. To see what changes have been made and how to comment, read more…

EPA Inspector General Concludes Further Efforts Needed to Uphold Scientific Integrity Policy at EPA

On May 20, 2020, the U.S. EPA Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report of its 2018 agency-wide survey of EPA staff to determine whether the EPA 2012 Scientific Integrity Policy is being implemented as intended. The report indicates general (nearly 50 percent) dissatisfaction by EPA staff of the implementation of the policy and that further efforts are needed to uphold scientific integrity policy at EPA. For more on this, see the Inspector General’s full report

Coming Soon

  • Verifying Monitoring Well Integrity Using Downhole Camera
  • State Hazardous Wast Dashboard Released on ECHO website

Upcoming Events

June 3, 2020: Colton Creal and Henry Stahl will be presenting “Concepts and Fundamentals of Sampling and Leak Testing“, Webinar Intrusao de Vapores. Guest speaker will be Mort Schmidt, a Cox-Colvin retiree. Special Guest Alexandre Picchi from ConAm.

June 17, 2020: Craig Cox and Laurie Chilcote will be presenting in a webinar: VI: Soil Gas Sampling with EnviroClass from 12-1:30.