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State of Vermont Plan

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protection of human health and aquatic life from PFAS risks. Evaluate aquatic organism tissue concentrations as alternative to water column human health criteria. 2020-2023 8 Rule-Making Process File with the Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules (ICAR) the proposed update to the Environmental



State of Vermont Plan
Deriving Ambient Water Quality Standards for the Emerging Chemicals of Concern
Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances PFAS
TABLE OF CONTENT
Introduction 4
Overview of this Plan 4
What are PFAS Chemicals 6
Surface Water Quality Standards 7
Overview 7
Designated Uses of Water Bodies 7
Establishment of Water Quality Criteria 8
Challenges in Managing PFAS via Surface Water Quality Standards 10
Establishment of Water Quality Standards for PFAS as a Class or Subgroups 12
Management of PFAS as a Class of Compounds 12
Proposal for Managing PFAS as a Class or Subgroups 12
Setting Water Quality Standards Protection of Human Health 13
Human Health Water Quality Standards Criteria Purpose 13
Steps for Deriving Water Quality Criteria based on Human Health 14
Data Needs for Deriving Human Health Criteria 15
Setting Water Quality Standards Protection of Aquatic Life 17
Aquatic Life Water Quality Standards Criteria 17
Steps for Deriving Aquatic Life Criteria 17
Data Needs for Deriving Aquatic Life Criteria 18
Recreational Contact 21
Summary of Data Needs Resource Constraints Estimated Costs and Conclusions and
Recommendations 22
Conclusions Recommendations 25
Bibliography 27
Executive Summary
Act No 21 of 2019 requires the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources ANR to develop a plan for the
adoption of surface water quality standards for certain per and polyfluoroalkyl substances PFAS by
January 15 2020 Additionally Act 21 requires that ANR file a final rule to adopt surface water quality
standards for certain PFAS no later than January 1 2024 i
Sec 5 VERMONT WATER QUALITY STANDARDS PER AND POLYFLUOROALKYL
SUBSTANCES
a On or before January 15 2020 the Secretary of Natural Resources shall publish a plan for public
review and comment for adoption of surface water quality standards for per and polyfluoroalkyl
substances PFAS that shall include at a minimum a proposal for standards for
1 perfluorooctanoic acid PFOA perfluorooctane sulfonic acid PFOS perfluorohexane
sulfonic acid PFHxS perfluorononanoic acid PFNA and perfluoroheptanoic acid
2 the PFAS class of compounds or subgroups of the PFAS class of compounds
b On or before January 1 2024 the Secretary of Natural Resources shall file a final rule with the
Secretary of State to adopt surface water quality standards for at a minimum perfluorooctanoic acid
perfluorooctane sulfonic acid perfluorohexane sulfonic acid perfluorononanoic acid and
perfluoroheptanoic acid
This plan describes the framework that ANR uses to establish surface water quality standards and how
this framework may apply to the development of state specific water quality standards to protect both
human health and aquatic life from PFAS Developing water quality standards for PFAS would represent
ANR s first undertaking to establish water quality standards for a group of chemical contaminants that
currently are not included in the Environmental Protection Agency s EPA Clean Water Act Section
304 a National Recommended Water Quality Criteria This plan also outlines potential challenges data
gaps and potential costs associated with developing Vermont specific standards in the absence of EPA
established PFAS criteria
In summary in light of the technical logistical and resource driven challenges in deriving Vermont
specific PFAS water quality criteria ANR recommends against developing Vermont specific criteria for
the PFAS identified in Act 21 at this time The plan outlines a three phased approach to meet Act 21 s
directive This approach proposes to integrate the question as to whether to establish surface water
quality standards for a class or subgroups of PFAS into the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
ANPR process pertaining to the regulation of PFAS as a class or subgroup within the Water Supply
ANR makes the following recommendations
1 Initiate State fish contaminant monitoring for PFAS to evaluate the impacts of PFAS on aquatic
resources and provide data in support of a fish consumption advisory and future numeric standard
Currently Vermont has limited data on PFAS concentrations in surface water and in fish tissues
In order to further understand the scope of harm that PFAS presents to human health and natural
resources the ANR will propose a testing program for PFAS as a part of the third statewide
sampling plan expected to be issued in July 2020 Sampling done as a part of this plan will be
coordinated with other states and regionally to maximize the value of the data
2 Establish Human Health Criteria Using Fish Tissue Concentrations
The State has sufficient data to establish fish consumption advisories for Vermont regulated
PFAS Fish consumption advisories have been used in the past with other contaminants of
concern to limit exposure to known contaminants The data needed to implement this approach is
available and ANR will use data gathered in the monitoring program to issue advisories when the
monitoring data warrants
In order to establish a numeric water quality standard for the Vermont regulated PFAS the ANR
would need to develop toxicity data for several of the Vermont regulated PFAS PFHxS PFHpA
and PFNA and develop bioaccumulation factors for all Vermont regulated PFAS The estimated
costs associated with developing this information ranges from 2 8 million to 5 9 million
3 Establish programs to control PFAS sources to wastewater treatment plants
In light of the pervasive nature of PFAS contamination in industrial and commercial
applications the State should develop programs to identify the sources of PFAS discharges to
wastewater treatment plants and explore options for eliminating the use of PFAS or treating
prior to discharging to a wastewater treatment facility
The ANR proposes to develop a working group consisting of Agency experts municipal
wastewater treatment facility operators and outside experts with expertise in industrial and
commercial processes that use PFAS to develop educational and outreach materials for
wastewater treatment facilities commercial and industrial PFAS users and state regulators on
what processes use PFAS what alternatives exist for PFAS and how to effectively treat PFAS
The ANR also proposes to test additional wastewater treatment facilities influent and effluent
for the presence of Vermont regulated PFAS and provide technical assistance to municipalities
to identify PFAS sources and tools to manage them
4 Work with federal and state partners to develop aquatic biota criteria for PFAS
EPA has developed an Action Plan for PFAS ii that includes research to support development of
ambient water quality criteria for aquatic life for PFOA and PFOS by 2022 Once EPA has
developed ambient water quality criteria they could be utilized as a foundation to modify
Vermont s Water Quality Standards
The ANR and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services NHDES have been
working closely as each Agency develops a plan to adopt ambient water quality criteria for
aquatic life This shared sense of commitment will continue as each state develops plans and
source control strategies to help manage the threats of PFAS into the future
Introduction
Overview of this Plan
Act 21 requires ANR to issue a plan by January 15 2020 Act 21 2019 iii to develop surface water
quality standards for five PFAS perfluorooctanoic acid PFOA perfluorooctane sulfonic acid
PFOS perfluorohexane sulfonic acid PFHxS perfluorononanoic acid PFNA and
perfluoroheptanoic acid PFHpA hereinafter collectively referred to as Vermont regulated PFAS
The Act also requires ANR to adopt these PFAS standards through the state s formal rule making process
by January 1 2024 This plan is developed to meet the requirements of Act 21
The remainder of Chapter One provides background on PFAS chemicals what they are how they
are used their chemical properties and associated risks pertaining to human health and the
environment Table 1 of this chapter below provides an overview of tasks and associated
timelines including those required by Act 21 that would be involved in the development of
Vermont specific surface water quality standards for PFAS These steps are further discussed in
subsequent chapters of this plan
Chapter Two provides background on the process for establishing water quality standards at both
the state and federal level
Chapter Three outlines the regulatory and resource related challenges in adopting state specific
PFAS criteria in the absence of federal water quality criteria and more generally
Chapter Four addresses a requirement of Act 21 to propose water quality standards for the class
of compounds or subgroups of the PFAS class of compounds This chapter includes a proposal
by ANR to implement three phases with respect to the question of managing PFAS as a class or
subgroups pertaining to water quality standards
Chapter Five describes the steps to establish PFAS specific human health water quality criteria
for purposes of a state specific surface water standard and current data needs associated with
implementing those steps
Chapter Six describes the steps to establish PFAS specific aquatic life water quality criteria for
purposes of a state specific surface water standard and current data needs associated with
implementing those steps
Chapter Seven summarizes Vermont s data needs resource constraints and conclusions and
recommendations associated with development of surface water quality standards for PFAS
Chapter Eight is a bibliography of information resources referenced during the development of
Table 1 ANR Timeline for the Development of Vermont Water Quality Standards Pertaining to PFAS Act 21 Requirement
No Category Task Description Timeline
1 Plan Development Collaborate with NH other states tribes and research institutions in development and implementation of this On going
Monitoring plan
Collaborate with NH to monitor progress of other states and EPA in water quality standards development
2 Plan Development Publish public draft plan to adopt surface water quality standards for five PFAS and PFAS class subgroups February 1
3 Plan Development Publish final plan to adopt surface water quality standards including public response to public comments June 1 2020
Evaluation of Publish for public notice and comment an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on the regulation of PFAS as August 1 2020
4 PFAS as a Class or a class or subclasses under the Water Supply Rule and Vermont Water Quality Standards for Water
Subgroups Supply Rule
Evaluation of Submission of including response to public comments either a Proposed Water Supply Rule to regulate PFAS March 1 2021
5 PFAS as a Class or as a class or subclasses with Secretary of State and confirm similar proposed update to Environmental Protection deadline
Subgroups Rule Chapter 29A Water Quality Standards or b Notice of decision not to regulate PFAS as a class or pertains to
subclasses under the Water Supply and Environmental Protection Rules Water Supply
Evaluation of If ANR proposes update to Water Supply and Environmental Protection Rules by March 1 2021 Task 5a above December 31
6 PFAS as a Class or file final proposed rules regarding the regulation of PFAS as a class or subclasses 2021
7 WQS Development Continue to collaborate with NH and seek opportunities to work with other states on plan implementation for the 2020 2023
protection of human health and aquatic life from PFAS risks Evaluate aquatic organism tissue concentrations as
alternative to water column human health criteria
Rule Making File with the Interagency Committee on Administrative Rules ICAR the proposed update to the Environmental
8 Process Protection Rule Chapter 29A Vermont Water Quality Standards to include PFAS 2023
9 Rule Making File the proposed Environmental Protection Rule Chapter 29A Vermont Water Quality Standards with Secretary 2023
Process of State
10 Rule Making Hold public hearings to receive comments on the Proposed Update to the Environmental Protection Rule Chapter 2023
Process 29A Vermont Water Quality Standards
11 Rule Making Publish response to public comments on Proposed Update to the Environmental Protection Rule Chapter 29A 2023
Process Vermont Water Quality Standards
12 Rule Making File the Proposed Update to the Environmental Protection Rule Chapter 29A Vermont Water Quality Standards 2023
Process with the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules LCAR
Rule Making File a final update to the Environmental Protection Rule Chapter 29A Vermont Water Quality Standards with the January 1 2024
13 Process Secretary of State
What are PFAS Chemicals
Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances PFAS are a large group of human made chemicals that have been
used in industry and in many consumer products for decades to manufacture household and commercial
products that resist heat oil stains grease and water PFAS have been used in many consumer products
including non stick cookware stain resistant furniture and carpets waterproof clothing microwave
popcorn bags fast food wrappers pizza boxes shampoo cosmetics and dental floss PFAS also have
been used in certain firefighting foams and various industrial processes Because of their widespread use
many PFAS have been found in our environment and are expected to be found in virtually every human
Some of these PFAS are known to have toxic effects and pose health risks even at very low levels
PFAS can be found in drinking water food indoor dust and in the workplace While some PFAS
chemicals are no longer used in manufacturing many consumer products likely still contain PFAS
Food wrappers pizza boxes Paints varnishes and sealants
Microwave popcorn bags Firefighting foam
Baking papers Cosmetics
Nonstick cookware Metal plating with corrosion prevention
Pet food bags Wire manufacturing with coating insulation
Water stain resistant fabrics leather Industrial plastics resins and molds
Stain resistant carpets and upholstery
Cleaning products
PFAS pathways to the environment include industrial manufacturing and disposal of products containing
PFAS Liu 2013 EPA 2017b p 1 iv v vi PFAS are generally stable and persistent in the environment
Because they do not easily breakdown into simpler molecules PFAS contamination will remain for a
long time and human and environmental exposure to PFAS will continue to be a concern Ritscher et al
2018 vii Perfluoroalkyls are particularly mobile in soil making groundwater vulnerable to contamination
ATSDR 2015 viii
Once in the human body PFAS can pose several health related risks even at very low levels The
Vermont Department of Health VDH reports that exposure to PFAS has been associated with the
following health impacts
Affecting the growth learning and behavior of infants and older children
Lowering a person s chance of getting pregnant
Interfering with the body s natural hormones
Increasing cholesterol levels
Affecting the immune system and
Increasing the risk of cancer VDH 2019 p 2 ix
Vermont currently has in place drinking water health advisories x groundwater enforcement standards
and direct contact soil standards for five specific PFAS compounds PFOA PFOS PFHxS PFNA and
Surface Water Quality Standards
The principal objective of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act commonly referred to as the Clean
Water Act or CWA xi is to restore and maintain the chemical physical and biological integrity of the
Nation s waters xii To meet this objective the CWA directs states xiii and eligible tribes xiv to adopt water
quality standards which are then incorporated into state and tribal laws accordingly As discussed
further below states establish these standards by describing the desired condition of water bodies and the
means by which that condition will be protected or achieved States and tribes establish specific water
quality standards to protect both human health and aquatic life in these waters Establishment of human
health and aquatic life criteria is discussed further in Chapters 5 and 6
Water quality standards are comprised of three main parts
1 Designated Uses desired uses of a waterbody e g swimming fishing boating aquatic life
2 Water Quality Criteria often referred to as ambient water quality criteria or AWQC numeric
measures and or narrative criteria that are used to determine if the designated uses are being
attained EPA 2017a p 2 xv Types of criteria that can be adopted include aquatic life human
health and recreational
3 Antidegradation Policy a policy that preserves high quality waters and prevents all water quality
from being degraded below levels needed to meet designated and existing uses
Further discussion of the designated uses and water quality criteria components of surface water quality
standards follows A discussion of the antidegradation policy component of water quality standards is not
relevant to the purpose of this plan and therefore is not further discussed herein
Vermont s current Water Quality Standards can be found in the Environmental Protection Rule Chapter
29A and the Vermont Water Pollution Control Regulations xvi ANR conducts a review of its Water
Quality Standards with public meetings and comment periods a minimum of once every three years xvii
Designated Uses of Water Bodies
Water quality standards describe the desired condition of a water body and the means by which the
condition will be protect or achieved All of Vermont s surface waters are classified based on their
designated condition or use Classifications include Class A 1 A 2 B 1 or B 2 xviii A majority of
Vermont s waters are Class B 2 Water quality standards are adopted to protect human health and
aquatic life of these waters by controlling pollutants entering them If water quality criteria are exceeded
in a waterbody one or more of the designated uses are not being attained
Table 3 below describes Vermont s water body classification system
Table 4 below outlines types of designated uses for Vermont s water bodies
Table 3 Classifications to Support Designated Uses for Vermont Surface Waters
Classification Statutory reference 10 V S A 1252
Class A 1 Waters in a natural condition that have significant ecological value
Waters that are suitable for public water source with filtration and disinfection or
other required treatment character uniformly excellent
Waters in which one or more uses are of demonstrably and consistently higher
quality than Class B 2 waters
Most Vermont water bodies Waters that are suitable for swimming and other
primary contact recreation irrigation and agricultural uses aquatic life and
Class B 2 aquatic habitat good aesthetic value boating fishing and other recreational uses
and suitable for public water source with filtration and disinfection or other
required treatment
Table 4 Designated Uses for Vermont Surface Waters
Topic Designated Uses
Aquatic Life Wildlife Aquatic life and wildlife that may utilize or are present in the waters
Aquatic Habitat Aquatic habitat to support aquatic life wildlife or plant life
Primary Contact The use of waters for swimming and other primary contact
Recreation recreation
Recreation Boating The use of waters for boating and related recreational uses
Recreation Fishing The use of waters for fishing and related recreational uses
Aesthetic Condition The use of waters for the enjoyment of aesthetic conditions
Public water source The use of the water for public water source
Agriculture The use of water for irrigation of crops and other agricultural uses
Establishment of Water Quality Criteria
A great deal of scientific research goes into establishing water quality criteria EPA is required by the
CWA to provide recommended water quality criteria for several chemical pollutants referred to as the
National Recommended Water Quality Criteria xix or 304 a Criteria Recommendations The 304 a
Criteria Recommendations are the result of multidisciplinary task groups public input and peer review
The recommendations are well researched and vetted by the scientific and regulated community EPA
2017a p 2 xx
The process for state adoption of a new or updated EPA water quality criteria is rigorous and typically
occurs during the Triennial Review of the state s water quality standards EPA 2014b The process
typically involves the following steps xxi
1 An evaluation of recent EPA CWA Section 304 a Criteria Recommendations if any xxii
2 Review of data on the effects of pollutants of concern
3 A process to receive public input including a public hearing xxiii
4 A submittal of the review to EPA
5 A formal state administrative rule making process
6 A submittal of the final new or revised water quality standards to EPA for review and approval
EPA must approve a state s proposed standards before those standards can be applied by the state in
discharge permits and other regulatory actions xxiv
States may also establish state specific water quality criteria for certain chemical pollutants in order to
protect designated uses of water bodies in the state xxv These criteria may be based on
1 EPA s 304 a Criteria Recommendations numeric criteria
2 EPA s 304 a Criteria Recommendations that reflect localized conditions numeric criteria
3 Numeric criteria based on other scientifically defensible methods which must be at least as
protective as the 304 a Criteria Recommendations xxvi or
4 A state derived narrative criteria if numeric criteria cannot be determined EPA 2000 p iii xxvii
Though states can establish state specific water quality criteria states typically are reliant on EPA
guidance for setting toxic criteria given the complexity of the science and analysis and the high cost of
development involved in doing so Therefore States and tribes infrequently establish new surface water
quality standards for a pollutant when there is no EPA 304 a Criteria Recommendation for that pollutant
Challenges to developing state specific surface water quality standards for chemicals likes PFAS are
outlined below in Chapter 3 A more detailed description of the process for adopting a state specific
surface water quality standard is outlined in Chapters 5 and 6
Challenges in Managing PFAS via Surface Water Quality Standards
To date EPA has not established a 304 a Criteria Recommendations to address PFAS Without federal
criteria states are on their own to develop surface water quality criteria and underlying human health and
aquatic life values As of 2017 only two states Michigan and Minnesota have adopted surface water
quality criteria Michigan derived its human health and aquatic life values for PFOS in 2014 the human
health values for PFOA in 2011 and aquatic life values for PFOA in 2010 Minnesota s criteria for
PFOS and PFOA are specific to Lake Calhoon and the Mississippi River MNDH 2019 xxviii
The development of state specific PFAS surface water standards would be ANR s first effort to establish
state surface water quality standards for a group of chemical contaminants for which EPA 304 a Criteria
Recommendations have not been established Some of the significant challenges to developing Vermont
criteria to manage PFAS in surface waters are discussed below
1 No federal PFAS standards exist While EPA has issued a drinking water health advisory EPA
2016a xxix of 70 ppt for lifetime exposure for the sum of two compounds PFOA and PFOS the
lack of CWA 304 a Criteria Recommendations for PFAS and other media based standards places
the burden on states to invest the significant resources required to develop surface water quality and
other health related standards to protect public and environmental health from the risks associated
with PFAS In addition relying on EPA s drinking water health advisory to help inform surface
water quality standards is not advised here as EPA s 70 ppt threshold is set too high and is not
sufficiently protective of human health xxx
2 Additional information is needed related to PFAS risks Much of the existing research on PFAS
has focused on PFOA and PFOS specifically In part based on the information related to PFOA
and PFOS some U S manufacturers have voluntarily phased out use of these compounds but
instead have begun to rely on other PFAS compounds EPA 2019 xxxi There are over 4 700
PFAS xxxii currently manufactured and approximately 600 PFAS in commercial use today CRS
2019 xxxiii Due to the lack of comprehensive regulation of this class of compounds there is limited
data available on the usage of these compounds including types and quantities in Vermont that
may be posing risks Vermont currently regulates five PFAS based on the characteristics expected
to be exhibited by each member of this group However there may be potential health effects
associated with other PFAS or mixtures of PFAS that would be helpful to more fully understand
prior to establishing compound specific water quality standards xxxiv xxxv Additionally evolving and
growing science on human and environmental health effects from PFAS exposure will require
periodic re evaluation of state standards over time Bartell S J 2018 p 14 xxxvi
3 Additional information is needed to derive aquatic biota and human health criteria As discussed
later in this plan in order to derive aquatic biota criteria for purposes of establishing a surface water
quality standard EPA requires toxicity testing data for at least one species of freshwater animal in
at least eight different families There may be enough data to satisfy this minimum data
requirement for PFOA and PFOS To the extent PFAS are not regulated as a class or by subgroups
additional aquatic toxicity testing may be necessary for the other three Vermont regulated PFAS
PFHxS PFHpA and PFNA It will require significant resources and time to address these
toxicity data gaps Specific data related challenges are further discussed below
4 There is no federal standard methodology for sampling surface waters EPA has approved
laboratory Method 537 version 1 1 Method 537 1 to measure some PFAS analytes in drinking
water only Some laboratories have modified EPA Method 537 to test for surface water fish and
other environmental media However most of these modified methods developed by private
laboratories are proprietary
5 Contaminants of Emerging Concern necessitate evaluation of alternative approaches Contaminants
of Emerging Concern or CECs are chemical pollutants or substances that are known to be present
in the environment whose presence warrant evaluation but that are not typically part of a state s
water quality monitoring program and or may not have in place regulatory standards to control their
release PFAS are considered a CEC EPA 2008 pp 1 2 EPA 2017b ASTHO 2019 xxxvii xxxviii
As described in EPA s draft White Paper on aquatic life criteria for CECs these chemicals
present challenges in applying EPA s 1985 methodology to establish aquatic life criteria xl Many
CEC s are extremely potent and these very low biologically active concentrations present
substantial challenges for analytical determinations associated with lab based effects or field
monitoring of in situ exposures
Chapters 5 and 6 discuss the process that ANR may follow to adopt a water quality standard for PFAS
Establishment of Water Quality Standards for PFAS as a Class or
Management of PFAS as a Class of Compounds
Act 21 directs ANR to include in this plan a proposal for PFAS water quality standards for the PFAS
class of compounds or subgroups of the PFAS class of compounds
Some chemicals are members of the same family or group and have been shown to exhibit similar
toxicological properties It may be appropriate to regulate such chemicals as a class or group even though
each individual chemical may differ in the degree of toxicity EPA 2019 In such cases the reported
concentrations of each member of the group may be converted based on risk based values for the index
chemical of the group ANR typically relies on EPA published guidance for establishing toxicity values
for members of a chemical class family or group for classes of chemicals such Dioxins Polychlorinated
Biphenyls PCBs and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons PAHs Additionally ANR typically relies
on EPA and the World Health organization WHO published guidance on regulation of these compounds
as a class However no such guidance exists for PFAS as a class
ANR does not have the capacity to conduct the types of scientific and technical analyses that are normally
provided by EPA or WHO to evaluate regulating PFAS as a class at this time However as the next
section addresses ANR outlines an approach to regulate PFAS as a class or subgroup
Proposal for Managing PFAS as a Class or Subgroups
ANR proposes implementation of the following three phases to manage PFAS as a class or subgroups
pertaining to water quality standards
Phase I Closely monitor the progress made on the EPA PFAS Action Plan Note The priority
actions in the Plan are currently written to evaluate a select set of individual PFAS chemical by
chemical which will take decades and alone is not an effective way to manage PFAS as a class
Phase 2 Closely monitor the work by the National Toxicology Program NTP and the Agency
for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ATSDR to evaluate PFAS as a class The NTP has
published a framework for evaluating PFAS as a class using computational toxicology methods
Patlewicz et al 2019 xli These methods recognize that a chemical by chemical approach will
not result in meaningful data to support regulation of PFAS as a class The NTP approach starts
with two lists of 75 PFAS that are evaluated for structural similarities and potency of biological
response The NTP plans to select anchor PFAS upon which to build classes or subclasses of
PFAS xlii This work involves hundreds of NTP and EPA scientists and reflects a level of effort
and resources that ANR could not independently invest in a similar process
Phase 3 Integrate the process to consider regulating water quality standards as a class or
subgroups of PFAS into the advance notice of proposed rulemaking ANPR process under the
Water Supply Rule Act 21 2019 xliii This strategy will allow ANR to gain information relevant
to setting standards for PFAS as a class It also offers the state the opportunity to more fully
evaluate this question of regulating classes or subclasses of PFAS across media types
Setting Water Quality Standards Protection of Human Health
As discussed in Chapter 2 EPA develops surface water quality criteria under Section 304 a of the CWA
to protect human health and aquatic life These criteria are used in developing surface water quality
standards to protect the designated uses of surface waters The CWA requires states to adopt water
quality criteria for toxics that have EPA published criteria and whose presence or discharge will interfere
with a surface water body s designated uses xliv
As discussed in Chapter 3 since no federal criteria have been established for PFAS in EPA s 304 a
Criteria Recommendations Vermont would need to develop its own criteria based on other scientifically
defensible methods EPA strongly encourages states to rely on EPA published methodologies when
deriving state water quality standards EPA sees these methodologies as important to enhance the
scientific basis of the water quality criteria while affording states and tribes flexibility to address unique
water quality issues and risk management decisions EPA 2000 xlv
Sections 5 1 5 2 of this chapter describe the steps to establish PFAS specific human health water quality
criteria A human health water quality criterion is the highest concentration of a pollutant in water that is
not expected to pose a significant risk to human health EPA 2000 xlvi These criteria would be used to
protect designated uses pertaining to human ingestion of water and or fish or other water based exposure
from these surface waters For example the criteria would protect a water body s designated uses
pertaining to drinking water and recreational fishing
Chapter 6 describes the steps to establish PFAS specific aquatic life criteria to protect and allow for the
propagation of fish and wildlife EPA 1 n d xlvii An aquatic life criterion for toxic chemicals are the
highest instream concentration of a pollutant or water conditions that are not expected to cause a
significant risk to organisms EPA 2 n d xlviii A narrative aquatic life criterion is a description of the
desired condition of water bodies that would avoid negative conditions To develop this standard ANR
may rely on relevant EPA methodology to derive criteria for the protection of aquatic life EPA 2010 xlix
Table 8 VT Data Collection Needs to support Development of PFAS Water Quality standards
Criteria Spatial Scope Description of Sampling
Human Health Criteria Fish State wide Water column and fish tissue
Consumption sampling at lotic and lentic sites
Human Health Criteria Water State wide Water column and fish tissue
and Fish Consumption sampling at lotic and lentic sites
Human Health Criteria Fish State wide Fish tissue sampling
Tissue Concentration
Recreational Screening Levels State wide Site specific sediment and or
for Surface Water Sediment water column sampling
Human Health Water Quality Standards Criteria Purpose
Deriving ambient water quality criteria for the protection of human health requires information about the
pollutant s toxicological endpoint that is how dangerous the substance is and how the substance affects
human health such as toxicity to kidney thyroid liver or immune system function Deriving human
health criteria also considers the pathway of human exposure to these pollutants how humans are
exposed to these pollutants The human health criteria are used to limit the pollutant in surface waters to
ensure that exposure to the pollutant from exposure from activities like ingesting water and consumption
of fish will not result in human intake of that pollutant at levels high enough to reach the toxicological
endpoint of concern The human health criteria are based on chronic health effects data but are intended
to also be protective against adverse effects that may occur as a result of elevated acute or short term
exposures Through the use of conservative assumptions with respect to both toxicity and exposure
parameters the criteria should provide adequate protection over a lifetime of exposure but also be
protective for special subpopulations who may have higher water and or fish intake rates
Human health water quality criteria address the primary route of PFAS exposure for humans which is
through ingestion of contaminated water and food Studies have documented absorption of two PFAS
compounds perfluorooctanoic acid PFOA EPA 2016b l and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid PFOS
EPA 2016c li from ingestion of contaminated food or water across a wide array of organisms
Therefore PFAS contamination of surface water particularly if it is a source of drinking water or habitat
for game fish can be a source of exposure for humans and wildlife The major exposure from
recreational contact with surface water such as swimming is through incidental ingestion
Steps for Deriving Water Quality Criteria based on Human Health
As described above the water quality criteria for the protection of human health are designed to minimize
the risk of adverse effects occurring to humans from chronic lifetime exposure to substances through the
ingestion of drinking water and consumption of fish obtained from surface waters
Establishing human health criteria for the five Vermont regulated PFAS would likely involve the
following steps
1 Determine methodology to use for deriving human health criteria
2 Confer with VDH regarding additional toxicity assessments expected to be released by EPA by
2020 EPA 2019 lii
3 Confer with the VDH to determine appropriate fish consumption rates considering EPA s
Estimated Fish Consumption Rates for U S Population EPA 2014a liii EPA s Human Health
Ambient Water Quality Criteria 2015 Update EPA 2015 liv or VDH fish consumption advisory
ingestion rate
Note Fish consumption rate data are essential in developing water quality standards and play an
integral role in developing fish consumption advisories Protecting specific sensitive populations
such as pregnant women and young children or highly exposed population subgroups such as
tribes in subsistence fishing may require a modification of the general EPA default parameters
body weight drinking water intake in liters per day and fish consumption rate or intake in
grams per day used to describe human exposure to the pollutants of concern
4 Evaluate existing data from peer reviewed articles and government reports to assess the potential to
derive bioaccumulation factors BAFs that reflect the concentration of PFAS in tissue of aquatic
organisms such as fish EPA 2003 lv
Note Aquatic organisms can take up and retain pollutants of concern from their surroundings
including the water its food source and sediment bioaccumulation The extent of
bioaccumulation depends on the species of aquatic organism and chemical of concern
Bioaccumulation for some chemicals can be quite high which can cause human health risks from
eating fish exposed to these chemicals even if pollutant concentrations in the water are low enough
to pose no health risks from drinking the water Studies are reporting the bioaccumulation potential
of some PFAS to be significant Birnbaum 2019 lvi
Currently there are no nationally representative bioaccumulation factors BAFs for the five
Vermont regulated PFAS BAFs are necessary to derive human health criteria also referred to as
water column criteria for bioaccumulative pollutants such as PFAS The criteria are used to limit


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Number 7.1 - EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION AND MERIT BONUS AWARDS ...

Number 7.1 - EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION AND MERIT BONUS AWARDS Effective Date: December 15, 1995 Revised Date: September 18, 2001 Applicable To: All Classified employees and Exempt employees who are not covered by Policy 7.2 or included in an approved Exempt Pay Plan, and who are employed by the Executive Branch of the State of Vermont.

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Department of Human Resources Strategic Plan

Department of Human Resources Strategic Plan

State of Vermont Department Strategic Plan Page 4 OUR ROLE The Department provides leadership in organizational effectiveness as follows: Strategic Partner: Aligns human resource strategies and practices with organizational goals and priorities and the delivery of services to the citizens of Vermont.

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STATE OF VERMONT Consulting Services

STATE OF VERMONT Consulting Services

Consulting Services The State of Vermont (State) is soliciting proposals for consulting services to review potential ... 2016 Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, ...

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STATE OF VERMONT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Consulting Services

STATE OF VERMONT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Consulting Services

STATE OF VERMONT REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS Consulting Services The State of Vermont ... 2016 Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, available at http://energyplan.vt.gov)

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Comprehensive Energy Plan - Vermont General Assembly

Comprehensive Energy Plan - Vermont General Assembly

Comprehensive Energy Plan Team Effort State Government • Public Service Dept. • Agency of Natural Resources • Agency of Transportation

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Draft Vermont State Rail Plan - Welcome to VTrans

Draft Vermont State Rail Plan - Welcome to VTrans

Draft Vermont State Rail Plan Public Meeting July 15, 2015 ... passenger rail services –Ethan Allen Express ... 214 Rail Bridges as of April 2015.

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State of Vermont Plan

State of Vermont Plan

VERMONT AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES . Prepared for the Vermont General Assembly in Accordance with No. 21 of the Acts and Resolves of 2019 (Session 2019). State of Vermont Plan . Deriving Ambient Water Quality Standards . for the Emerging Chemicals of Concern: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

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VERMONT UNIFIED STATE PLAN FOR WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND ...

VERMONT UNIFIED STATE PLAN FOR WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND ...

The State of Vermont is submitting Unified Plan (a State Plan or Plan) to meet the requirements of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Public Law No. 113–128. The Plan includes the six required WIOA programs the Youth, Adult and Dislocated Worker Programs —

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Revised State Template for the Consolidated State Plan The ...

Revised State Template for the Consolidated State Plan The ...

The Vermont State Plan as presented to the public is available be following this link. 6 A. Title I, Part A: Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) 1. Challenging State Academic Standards and Assessments (ESEA section 1111(b)(1) and (2) and 34 CFR §§ 200.1−200.8.)2 Standards Vermont s Education Quality Standards specify seven Curriculum Content Areas and the ...

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