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EPA/OW RIN: 2040-AF93 Publication ID: Fall 2020 
Title: Regulatory Determinations for Contaminants Including Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS) 

The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires EPA to make regulatory determinations on at least five contaminants on the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) every five years. The CCL is a list of contaminants that are currently not subject to any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking water regulations but are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems. A regulatory determination is a decision about whether or not to begin the process to propose and promulgate a national primary drinking water regulation for an unregulated contaminant. Before EPA can issue a final regulatory determination, it must propose a preliminary regulatory determination to present EPA's supporting rationale about whether the specific statutory criteria for regulating a contaminant have been met. On March 10, 2020, the EPA published a notice which proposed to make positive regulatory determinations for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and to make negative determinations for six contaminants (1,1-dichloroethane, acetochlor, methyl bromide, metolachlor, nitrobenzene, and RDX). The notice also presents an update on three other contaminants (strontium, 1,4-dioxane, and 1,2,3-trichloropropane). Proposing a regulatory determination enables the public to provide the EPA with information critical to regulatory decision making towards protecting public health and communities across the nation.

Agency: Environmental Protection Agency(EPA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Fully or Partially Exempt 
CFR Citation: None     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 42 U.S.C. 300f et seq., Safe Drinking Water Act   
Legal Deadline:
Action Source Description Date
Final  Statutory  Publication of the final determinations by January 2021 (SDWA, section 1412(b)(1)(B)(ii)).  01/04/2021 

Overall Description of Deadline: See additional information below for complete legal description.

Statement of Need:

The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act Amendments require that every five years EPA makes determinations of whether to regulate no fewer than five contaminants included on the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL). EPA is preparing its 4th regulatory determination. Addressing public health concerns related to per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is a priority for EPA. As stated in the PFAS Action Plan, EPA is committed to making a regulatory determination for two PFAS, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), two of the most studied PFAS substances. Finalizing a regulatory determination is the next step in the maximum contaminant level (MCL) rulemaking process under the Safe Drinking Water Act. EPA will consider comments received from the public on the Agency’s preliminary  regulatory determination in EPA’s decision making towards protecting public health and communities across the nation

Summary of the Legal Basis:

The preliminary regulatory determination will be published pursuant to section 1412(b)(1)(B)(ii) of the 1996 SDWA, 42 U.S.C. 300g-1(b)(1)B)(ii).


None anticipated.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

None anticipated.


The EPA will evaluate potential human health risks in the draft regulatory determinations.

Action Date FR Cite
Other  03/10/2020  85 FR 14098   
Final Action  01/00/2021 
Additional Information: Publication of the final determinations by January 2021. (SDWA requires that regulatory determinations be made every 5 years. SDWA, section 1412(b)(1)(B)(ii)). The last determination (RD3) was published in January 2016.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Richard Weisman
Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Water
Mail Code 4607M, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW,
Washington, DC 20460
Phone:202 564-2822