EPA released a Preliminary Plan 15 to regulate Waste Water Pollution

17 Sep 2021

On Sep 8, 2021, EPA released a Preliminary Plan 15, that identifies opportunities for better public Health protection and the environment protection through regulation of waste water pollution.

Preliminary Plan 15 announced to take three new rulemaking to reduce the contaminants, mainly PFAS and nutrients, from industries. The preliminary plan is an effort by the EPA to reduce harmful PFAS (perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances) levels found in wastewater treatment plants. The goal of this plan is to regulate PFAS chemicals entering public sewage treatment plants by establishing permissible levels for PFAS at one facility.

The three new rulemakings will be initiated after conducting several studies as mentioned in Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 14.

The agency has warranted revised Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELG) and pre-treatment standards, to address PFASA and Nutrient discharges for:

  • Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers category from facilities manufacturing PFAS.
  • Metal Finishing category from Chromium electroplating facilities.
  • Meat and Poultry Products category

In particular, Preliminary Plan 15 proposes the following actions:

  • to set new limitations for the Organic Chemicals, Plastics, and Synthetic Fibers industries to address the discharge of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the PFAS manufacturing plants.
  • to set new limitations for the Metal Finishing category to address PFAS discharges from chromium plating operations.
  • to complete a detailed study of the Meat and Poultry Products and set new discharge standards for the industry.
  • to publish a proposed Supplemental Rulemaking for the Steam Electric Power Generating industries.
  • to initiate a detailed studies of PFAS discharges from the Landfills and Textile Mills industries.

In addition, EPA’s Preliminary Plan 15 contains the results of studies of multiple industries, such as Metal Products and Machinery, Explosives Manufacturing, and Landfills, as well as an update on the PFAS Multi-Industry Study.

PFAs stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. Its called Forever chemicals, because it gets accumulated in nature and Human body.

EPA had already indicated in March, they have plans to regulate PFAS discharge, calling it a potential future rule making.