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On May 19, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a lifetime health advisory (HA) level of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and/or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). The HA does not include other PFAS compounds and is only applicable to exposure to PFOS/PFOA via the consumption of drinking water. The HA is non-regulatory and not enforceable. Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Department of Defense (DoD) uses the toxicity data from the HA to establish priorities for responding to PFOS/PFOA in off-installation public and private drinking water from DoD activities. Between 2013 and 2017, the Air Force conducted world-wide sampling of drinking water at all Air Force installations where the Air Force provides the drinking water.
The Air Force has released results for both untreated and treated drinking water samples associated with DoD purveyor and non-DoD purveyor drinking water systems. Water samples were analyzed using EPA Method 537 at DoD accredited laboratories. The data include water results from surface and groundwater sources. However, these untreated water samples do not represent drinking water provided to the public. Drinking water quality information for the associated drinking water systems can be found here and will be provided in the annual water quality reports (i.e. Consumer Confidence Reports) located on the individual Air Force installation webpages and in EPA’s National Drinking Water Contaminant Occurrence Database. The sampling data also include PFAS compounds detected by EPA Method 537 for which there are no EPA thresholds or HA limits. These data are provided for information only. At Air Force installations where PFOS/PFOA were sampled above the EPA’s HA level, immediate actions have been taken, on and off installations, to ensure that no one is drinking water above the HA where the Air Force is the known source. Additionally, the Air Force has worked with those respective communities to identify and implement solutions for alternative drinking water.