PFAS Information

Poly- and Per- Fluoroalkyl Substances or “PFAS” are a class of chemical compounds that are considered to be “emerging” contaminants that have, over the last few years, caught nationwide attention.  Since the 1950s many commonly used products have been manufactured with or from PFAS due to their unique chemical and physical properties related to chemical repellency, chemical and physical stability, and friction reduction.  PFAS are used in a wide range of industries, consumer products, and firefighting applications, and the class consists of over 4700 different chemical compounds registered under the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry.

Despite the long history of use, relatively little is known about these compounds and how they may impact human health or the environment.  Currently, analytical methods are only able to detect 20 to 30 PFAS compounds and of these, toxicological and carcinogenic data is still limited. (1)  However, known PFAS are under review by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a possible hazardous waste designation.  Depending on EPA’s determination regarding PFAS compounds, MDEQ may be required to adopt applicable federal regulations for the State of Mississippi.

Potential Impacts from PFAS to the State of Mississippi:

Across the country, states with PFAS manufacturers have been at the forefront of evaluating and determining potential health risks from exposure to PFAS.  Fortunately, the State of Mississippi has not been a major producer of PFAS and currently does not have any PFAS manufacturers operating.  However, like other states, Mississippi has a wide range of industry that uses PFAS.  MDEQ is currently evaluating industrial and commercial usage of PFAS in the State and reviewing common areas of concern (e.g., landfills, fire training facilities, wastewater treatment plants) that may need additional evaluation in the future.  Mississippi also has multiple military and federal facilities that are being assessed for PFAS due to historical uses and activities on-site.  MDEQ will continue to monitor actions being taken by the federal government at these federal facilities.

EPA’s PFAS roadmap outlines the federal process forward to regulating PFAS, and MDEQ will continue to prepare for any actions that may be warranted once federal regulations on PFAS are finalized.  The EPA PFAS roadmap can be found here.

Groundwater Assessment Remediation Division (GARD) and the Mississippi Brownfield Program

GARD will continue to review new information related to PFAS as it arises and update this page as necessary.  For more in-depth information on PFAS, please check out the Interstate Technology and Resource Council’s PFAS Fact Sheets here.