DPW Maintain Compliance With Proposed EPA Regulations for PFAS

On March 14, 2023 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals have been in use since the 1940s in a variety of industry and consumer products such as nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing and firefighting foam. EPA is accepting public comments for the proposed regulations and, based on those comments, will finalize the regulations. Water utilities, such as the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW), will have 3 years to comply with the regulations.

 “I am proud to say that DPW has been working proactively to protect this region’s drinking water” said Dr. Jason Mitchell, DPW Director. “DPW will continue to work with our neighbors to maintain the health of our regional water supply.”

In November, The City of Baltimore filed a lawsuit against over 20 manufacturers of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) and certain "forever chemicals" used in those products. The City joined thousands of other plaintiffs in AFFF-related litigation. Over 100 public entities have commenced similar actions against the AFFF and PFAS manufacturers named in the City's case. Baltimore seeks to hold DuPont, Chemours, 3M, and others accountable for knowingly allowing the City's waterways and water systems to encounter these substances.

To proactively prepare for the new regulations, DPW has coordinated with the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to collect and analyze water samples from the City’s three drinking water treatment plants – Montebello 1, Montebello 2, and Ashburton. Below are the 2022 sampling results, which confirm PFAS levels below EPA’s proposed action threshold.


EPA Proposed Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) (parts per trillion, ppt)

Result (parts per trillion, ppt)

Montebello 1 & 2











1.0 (unitless) Hazard Index

< 1.0

< 1.0




These results confirm that the City’s drinking water continues to be of high quality. DPW will remain vigilant to ensure we do not deviate from this standard. A key factor in maintaining quality is continued partnerships with surrounding counties and non-governmental stakeholders who directly impact the health of our source water, namely Liberty, Loch Raven, and Prettyboy Reservoirs. DPW, along with our partners, is committed to maintaining safe and reliable source water for this region, for generations to come.


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