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North Carolina has begun the process of regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) in drinking water and groundwater.  This client alert reflects the status of PFAS regulations in North Carolina as of November 16, 2021

Drinking Water Regulations

Summary:  The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (“NC DHHS”) has set a health goal for GenX in drinking water at 140 parts per trillion (“ppt”).  According to NC DHHS, the health screening goal is protective for all individuals, including the most vulnerable populations.  Drinking water well sampling for GenX compounds began in 2012 on a limited basis near the Cape Fear River, and has significantly expanded to include testing in nearby areas.

Health Advisory                

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NC Department of Environmental Quality (“NCDEQ”) GenX Information

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GenX Surface Water Sampling Sites (including an interactive map with numerous sampling results)

Visit GenX website

Groundwater Regulations


  • There is an Interim Maximum Allowable Concentration of 2,000 ppt for PFOA.
  • The North Carolina Division of Water Resources (“DWR”) has proposed a rule that, if promulgated, would establish the maximum concentration of PFOA and PFOS (combined) in groundwater at 70 ppt. 

Regulation, 15A NCAC 02L.0202 (expressed in µg/L)

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Proposed Standard

Managing Emerging Compounds in Water and Groundwater Triennial Review and Rulemaking



EPA GenX Chemicals Human Health Toxicity Assessments, dated October 2021:

For more information on PFAS chemicals, and the regulatory and litigation risks that they pose, please visit our PFAS webpage.  If you have a question about how to manage PFAS risk in North Carolina, or any other jurisdiction, please contact Tom Lee, John Kindschuh, Elyse Voyen, or any other member of our PFAS team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.

This document provides a general summary and is for information/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does it constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action.