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From our Friends at the Coastal Federation

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Protect North Carolina’s Groundwater From Harmful “Forever Chemicals”

The Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources is accepting comments on proposed revisions to the N.C. Groundwater Quality Standards through March 16, 2021.

 We need your help urging the state to protect groundwater – which roughly ¼ of North Carolinians rely on for drinking water – from dangerous "forever chemicals" including GenX and other industrial PFAS compounds.

The NC Environmental Management Commission (EMC) has proposed a new standard for two of the many PFAS that threaten groundwater across the state. But the available science supports – and other states have adopted – stronger groundwater standards, not just for these two toxics but for other similar toxics. Even low levels of "forever chemicals" can harm the liver, kidneys, thyroid, and immune system, and interfere with the development of children exposed in the womb and through their mother’s milk.

We need you to ask the EMC to issue strong standards that will truly protect our groundwater. Comments may be submitted by email to Ms. Bridget Shelton at All comments must be received by March 16, 2021 to be considered in the review of the proposed changes.


Here are some talking points as guidance:

  • I'm writing to urge you to set strong PFAS standards that will protect families that rely on well water for their drinking water. The standard you have proposed – 70 parts per trillion for the sum of PFOS and PFOA – is not strong enough to protect human health and our environment. Other states have adopted groundwater or drinking water standards that are much lower: 8 ppt, 10 ppt, 16 ppt, 20 ppt for the sum of PFAS.

  • Please set North Carolina's standard at the lowest possible level, and no higher than 20 ppt for the sum of these toxic chemicals.

  • I urge you to step up to protect all community members from these dangerous chemicals by setting the lowest possible groundwater standard for PFOS and PFOA. They are persistent and bioaccumulative toxics, which don’t break down easily in the environment and also build up in people and animals. Exposure to PFOS and PFOA harms human health and the natural environment.

  • I urge you to adopt strong standards that will protect groundwater from "forever chemicals" including PFOS and PFOA. Community members that have been exposed to PFAS can suffer health consequences.

  • The EMC should take action to ensure that contaminated groundwater is cleaned up to the fullest extent possible.

  • The proposed rule is not strong enough and will not adequately protect health. I urge you to protect our state’s drinking water.

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