On November 22nd, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) published updates to the Chapter 250 regulations for environmental investigations and remediation under Pennsylvania’s Act 2 voluntary cleanup program. The rulemaking includes changes to many Statewide Health Standards based on new scientific information, and adds groundwater and soil standards for PFOA, PFOS and PFBS – three common PFAS chemicals.
According to the DEP, the changes for soil standards include decreases for approximately 83% of the values and increases for 17% of the values. For groundwater, the changes reflect a decrease for approximately 92% of the values and an increase in approximately 8% of the values. Lowering the values may indicate a more stringent cleanup is required at a site and increasing the values may indicate a less stringent cleanup is required at a site.
Changes to the Regulations and standards can be found here: http://www.pacodeandbulletin.gov/Display/pabull?file=/secure/pabulletin/data/vol51/51-47/1920.html
Some significant changes include:
- The Statewide Health Standard for benzo(a)pyrene in soils. The change in the standard from 0.58 ppm to 4.2 ppm will have significant impacts on sites containing historic fill or minor petroleum residuals, alleviating or reducing the need for soil remediation.
- Standards for three PFAS chemicals in groundwater and soils. Cleanup standards for PFOA, PFOS and PFBS have formally been added to the lists of Statewide Health Standards.
- Lead and Vanadium. New standards for lead and/or vanadium in soil are not included in these changes, as they are planned to be addressed under separate rulemaking, hopefully within the next year. For now, they remain unchanged.
- Professional Seal – Reports submitted to satisfy Act 2 requirements must be sealed by a licensed Professional Geologist or Engineer for work that provides geologic or engineering analysis and/or opinions.
Note that many of the changes in the Act 2 direct contact soil standards will also carry over to Pennsylvania’s Clean Fill standards.