Understanding Fate and Transport of PFAS to Develop Good Conceptual Site Models of AFFF Impacted Facilities

Wednesday, August 9, 2017: 10:40 a.m.
Ian Ross, Ph.D. , Arcadis, Manchester, United Kingdom
Jeff Burdick , Arcadis, Newtown, PA
Erika Houtz, Ph.D. , Arcadis, San Francisco, CA
Jeffrey McDonough , Arcadis, San Francisco, CA
Jonathan Miles , Arcadis, Leeds, United Kingdom
Jake Hurst , Leeds, United Kingdom

Background/Objectives. Poly- and Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are used in a wide range of industrial applications and commercial products due to their unique surface tension and levelling properties.. PFAS are also major components of firefighting foams known as Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF). The PFAS group of compounds consists of both perfluorinated compounds, where all carbons are saturated with F atoms, and polyfluorinated compounds, where both fluorine saturated carbons and carbons with hydrogen bonds are present. The understanding of the fate and transport of these compounds in the environment is complex and challenging and will be discussed.

Results/Lessons Learned. The concepts of “biological funneling” and “dark matter” show that PFAS behave significantly differently to other contaminants and existing conceptual site models (CSM) need to be adapted to adequately understand the fate and transport of these contaminants. Examples of CSMs from AFFF impacted sites will be presented.

Ian Ross, Ph.D., Arcadis, Manchester, United Kingdom

Jeff Burdick, Arcadis, Newtown, PA

Erika Houtz, Ph.D., Arcadis, San Francisco, CA
Erika Houtz, Ph.D., a project engineer at Arcadis with a focus on emerging contaminants, has seven years of experience analyzing poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), and characterizing their fate in the environment. She developed the total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay as a way of measuring difficult-to-detect PFAS compounds. Houtz holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jeffrey McDonough, Arcadis, San Francisco, CA
Jeffrey McDonough is a senior environmental engineer at ARCADIS U.S. He has extensive experience with in situ remediation, specializing in design and implementation of tracer tests for remediation applications. McDonough has overseen dozens of successful in situ tracer and bioremediation applications across the country. His current interests include design of innovative tools to streamline and simplify in situ remedies.

Jonathan Miles, Arcadis, Leeds, United Kingdom

Jake Hurst, Leeds, United Kingdom