Total Oxidisable Precursor Assay: Exposing the Potential for Ongoing Contamination by PFAS Compounds Through Biotic and Abiotic Weathering Process
Katrina Zwambag and Tammy Andrews
The objective of this presentation is to better familiarize consultants on the TOP assay methodology, the potential for hidden PFAS on site and the application.
There are hundreds of chemicals that can be classed as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Accredited laboratories typically determine approximately 30 of these specific chemicals. In many fire-fighting foams and other products containing PFAS, the bulk of these chemicals may be tied up in more complex molecules including polymeric compounds. Traditional PFAS analysis only targets the key analytes and therefore may or may not greatly underestimate the presence of PFAS in the environment. The total oxidisable precursor (TOP) assay and the determination total organic fluorine have been suggested as means of exposing the presence of these underlying cryptic PFAS compounds. TOP assay is an empirical test run under fixed conditions of reagents and temperature through strong oxidation. Without measuring the hidden PFAS compounds the potential for ongoing contamination as these compounds go through weathering processes breaking down to common PFAS compounds is a large liability. Numerous oxidation trials have been performed in order to obtain a deeper knowledge of the TOP assay. This includes the impact of concentration plus the differences between first generation and modern foams. Case studied on first generation and modern firefighting foams will be graphically represented and discussed. In addition case studies on field samples that show difficulties in showing complete oxidation through the TOP assay will be displayed with key components in obtaining full oxidation processes. The mass balance issues will be presented to interpret case study results. A large discussion point in support of TOP assay is the mobility of PFAS compounds and therefore the ongoing contamination. Potentially re-applications of aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) and even fluorine free training foams may contribute to remobilizing existing PFAS compounds due to the affinity for organic matter and the re-introduction of solvents in the contamination site. This evaluation concludes with the case to expand analytical suites to cover other PFAS that may arise from weathering that might include some oxidation and hydrolysis and, ideally, to have better models for predicting environmental endpoints of AFFF degradation. Katrina Zwambag, Interim LC/MS Manager, Environmental Waterloo Laboratory, ALS Environmental Katrina Zwambag began her career with ALS Environmental 10 years ago and has progressed from lab analyst, to LC/MS department manager. Katrina has been an integral part of each department she has worked in, providing many lab efficiency improvements. She is also proficient and knowledgeable in many analytical techniques performed in the laboratory. Her knowledge in organic compounds and applicable instrumentation is extensive. Katrina is responsible for the day-to-day coordination of the LC/MS department including method validation, quality control and maintenance of instrumentation.
The Bioaccumulation of PFAS in Earthworms From Sorbent Amended Soils
1, Jinxia Liu 1, Gabriel Munoz 2, Mélanie Desrosiers 3, Sebastien Sauve 2 1McGill University 2University of Montreal 3Centre d'expertise en analyse environnementale du Québec, Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate the effectiveness of different sorbents on various soils on reducing the uptake of PFAS in earthworms.
The use of aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) for putting out flammable liquid fires has introduced per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into different environmental media, including soil. Soil stabilization using sorbent amendment has demonstrated potential in reducing PFAS leaching from contaminated soil and bioavailability. However, the behaviours of PFAS following the amendments have to be further evaluated to validate this approach. The uptake by earthworms (Eisenia fetida) following amendment will be studied as it is a widely used means to assess bioavailability in soil. Three different amendments will be used for this study: pine shavings derived biochar; coal based activated carbon (F-400); and, a modified clay adsorbent. Three surface soils collected in Montreal were selected for varying soil properties. A mixture of representative PFAS including four perfluorolkyl sulfonates (PFSAs), six perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs), three (n:2) fluorotelomer sulfonic acids, and 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonamidoalkyl betaine (6:2 FTAB) will be used to spike the soils at relevant concentrations. Spiked soils will be amended with 4% sorbent to which the earthworms will be exposed to for an uptake phase test until steady-state is reached. This study will examine and discuss the relationship between the different factors that contribute to the reduction of bioaccumulation of PFAS. The findings will allow the determination of appropriate amendments for different soil types and PFAS, and establish cost-effective materials for stabilizing PFAS in the soil. Julie Jarjour, Environmental Engineering Student, McGill University Julie Jarjour has a background in agricultural and environmental engineering. She has been involved in PFAS related research projects including the migration of PFAS from textiles and the bioaccumulation of PFAS in earthworms. She is currently conducting research for her master's thesis on the bioaccumulation of PFAS in earthworms from sorbent amended soils.
Toxicological Response of Chironomus dilutus to Six Perfluoroalkyl Compounds
Chris McCarthy and Henry Yee
The objective of this presentation is to present the results of ongoing research into the ecotoxicity of understudied but frequently detected PFAS with the hopes of providing insight to contaminated site assessments.
A multi-facetted bioassay study was conducted on six different per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) with the intent of obtaining data to evaluate relative or proportional toxicity between the substances. The six substances were selected from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Third Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR3) list, the Health Canada (January 2017) Drinking Water Screening Values, and available Environment and Climate Change Canada guidance documents. Two of the substances, perﬂuorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perﬂuorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are well studied. The other four substances (Perfluorononanoic Acid [PFNA], Perfluorobutanesulfonic Acid [PFBS], Perfluorohexanesulfonic Acid [PFHxS], and Perfluoroheptanoic Acid [PFHpA]) are commonly detected in groundwater, particularly near aqueous film-forming foam releases (AFFF), but far less is known about their toxicological potential. 10-day acute range finding tests and 20-day chronic definitive renewal bioassays were run on all six compounds using the freshwater midge, Chironomus dilutus. Exposure doses were established above and below environmentally relevant concentrations. Measurement endpoints included: percent larval survival; larval growth; and number of larvae, pupae, and, emergent adults at test termination. Results from the 10-day acute survival tests were used to inform dosing for the 20-day chronic growth tests. Dose response curve fitting was performed for each compound. Additional statistical analysis was performed to assess the relationship between the more toxic PFOS and the other compounds. Results are in concert with previous work showing PFOS to be the most toxic PFAS. A second round of chronic testing will be performed as a follow on to investigate potential additive and synergistic toxicity. Organisms will be exposed to mixtures containing differing proportions of the six compounds, based upon ratios of detected concentrations in field collected data. Results of this work will be considered in conjunction with other ongoing work testing the same compounds and mixtures to look for patterns of similarity among differing classes of organisms. Chris McCarthy, Practice Lead for Ecological Risk Assessment, Jacob Since 2011, Chris McCarthy has led CH2M’s (now Jacob) ecological risk assessment practice with a staff of approximately 30 individuals of differing backgrounds and experience levels. He directs risk teams in evaluating the likelihood and magnitude of adverse effects to non-human biota exposed to contaminants at hazardous waste sites and working with engineers on risk management strategies. Chris has experience evaluating a wide variety of contaminants including PFAS, hexavalent chromium, mercury, arsenic, radionuclides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and Dioxins, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Since 2016, Chris has been engaged with PFAS related work including: a research grant on PFAS ecotoxicity; making a requested presentation to the sediment management workgroup (SMWG); chairing a PFAS ecological risk session at the SETAC North America annual meeting; making presentations on PAFS research at regional, national, and international SETAC meetings; and, publishing a peer reviewed manuscript on the available information for PFAS ecological risk assessment. Most recently, Chris has authored the ecological risk assessment section and is a member of the ecotoxicity writing workgroup for the forthcoming Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC) PFAS guidance document. He is also on the ITRC PFAS training team.
PFAS Treatment of Soil: A Focus on Cost-Effective Desorption
1, Roger Richter 2, Timothy Fitzpatrick 3, Bill Diguiseppi 1, Katie Rabe 1 1Jacobs 2Iron Creek Group 3SGS
The objective of this presentation is to discuss available soil remediation technologies and present data developed for thermal soil treatment.
Background/Objectives. Recent studies indicate that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are relatively common in association not only with fire training areas, as would be expected, but in proximity to aviation hangars, municipal fire stations, wastewater treatment plants, landfills, industrial facilities, and transportation crash sites. Across Canada and the US, increasing regulatory scrutiny and public awareness has resulted in numerous jurisdictions issuing screening levels, guidance levels, or mandated clean-up standards in soil and groundwater. The widespread usage and occurrence also has the potential to impact military sites, public utilities, private brownfields, and general province-led clean-up projects. Construction, demolition, and redevelopment projects at these sites frequently involve impacted soil excavation and removal. Given the likelihood of encountering PFAS-impacted soil, consideration of a remedial strategy is important. Thermal treatment of soils impacted by PFAS compounds is a promising technology, however the optimal treatment temperature and time, as well as associated economics have not been thoroughly evaluated. Approach/Activities. This presentation provides a review of available soil treatment technologies including in-situ stabilization/sequestration and soil washing. The presentation is focused recent efforts of thermal desorption at low to moderate temperature ranges. Study 1 was conducted from 400-650 ºC between 60 and 80 minutes, and demonstrated 89% to >99.99% removal. Study 2 was conducted between 250 and 350 ºC using longer residence times (up to 8 days) and showed >99.4% removal. Results and lessons learned from previous and recent thermal studies (including future work, data gaps) will be summarized, as well as general cost information/competitiveness with the limited existing technologies non-thermal soil remediation technologies that have been demonstrated. Scott Grieco, Principal Engineer and North American Practice Leader for Emerging Contaminants, Jacobs Dr. Scott Grieco is a Principal Engineer and the North American Practice Leader for Emerging Contaminants with Jacobs. His area of expertise is treatment of emerging contaminants and persistent environmental compounds. He has 26 years of experience in treatability testing, system evaluations, and process design. Scott has practiced in the field of emerging contaminants (ECs) for last eight years. He has completed bench, pilot, and full-scale of ECs, including groundwater, soil, municipal drinking water, and landfill leachate for PFAS. He is also a Visiting Professor at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry. He has a BS in Chemical Engineering, MS in Environmental Engineering, and PhD in Bioprocess Engineering and is a registered Professional Engineer in New York.
Investigation of PFAS Contamination from Land-Applied Industrial Compost and AFFF Sources
1, Martin Gavin 2, Jake Hurst 1, Erika Houtz 3, Benjamin Kapfenberger 2, Thomas Held 4 1Arcadis UK 2Arcadis Canada Inc. 3Arcadis US 4Arcadis Germany GmbH
The objective of this presentation is to show investigation of indirectly introduced PFAS contamination through the application of sludges and fertilizers on a previously non-contaminated area. Focus lies on presenting results and lessons learned from the investigation.
Background/Objectives. A large area of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) impacted soil was discovered as a result of composting activities some ten years ago. Industrial sludge was blended with composted soil and applied to agricultural land as fertilizer to a depth of 30 cm, resulting in PFAS contamination over 3.7 km2. The fertilizer comprised mainly polyalkylyphosphates (PAPs) and some fluorinated polymers. PAPs were not able to be measured as no commercial analyses are currently available. Soil and groundwater contained high concentrations of perfluoroalkyl carboxylic and sulfonic acids, suggesting that the original contamination has already undergone biotransformation to the persistent perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs), but the concentrations of the remaining residual precursors were not estimated. Hence, the total oxidizable precursor (TOP) analysis was used to investigate the soil. The composted soil contamination is overlain in certain areas by a second PFAS contamination originating from the usage of aqueous film forming foams (AFFF). In this area, the PFAS distribution differs from the industrial sludge-related contamination. Approach/Activities. The results of the TOP assay analysis of the PAPs impacted soils showed that substantial amounts of precursors still remained in the soil, but the groundwater was nearly free of precursors. These results were confirmed by the adsorbable organic fluorine (AOF) analysis. In the AFFF impacted area significant concentrations of precursors were detected in groundwater and it is hypothesized that hydrocarbon surfactants also occurring in AFFF created a strongly reducing biogeochemical environment, conserving the aerobically transformable precursors, whereas in the rest on the area, oxidizing conditions allowed a fast and nearly complete biotransformation of the precursors to PFAAs immediately after transport into groundwater. Results/Lessons Learned. The remediation of PFAS contaminated soil is only needed to the extent that rainwater infiltration of the low contaminated soil left in place will not cause an exceedance of the intervention values for groundwater set by regulators. Since the extent of the contaminated area soil is large infiltration will lead to a PFAS accumulation in groundwater passing the contaminated area. Nevertheless, in the beginning of the project it was not known at what rates and over what time the PFAS would be transported from soil to groundwater and at what rates the precursors would be biotransformed to the persistent PFAAs. Hence, a study was initiated to determine site-specific sorption coefficients. These sorption coefficients were used in a contaminant transport model to calculate the plume extension and to predict the influence of future soil remediation measures. For the site a provisional feasibility study was conducted to investigate treatment alternatives, including effective proven technologies and also innovative but not yet mature remediation technologies. In order to finalize the feasibility study, a research and development project was initiated to develop a better model that predicts PFAS sorption and release and determines the rate of the microbial production of PFAAs from precursor-contaminated soil. Martin Gavin, National Market Manager, Government Sector, Arcadis Canada Inc. Martin Gavin has more than 20 years of experience in construction and remediation planning throughout Canada. Since 2001, Martin has worked as an engineer and site manager in contaminated sites in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Martin held numerous senior roles on the Cape Breton Development Corporation (CBDC) closure program which focused on closing and rehabilitating the mining legacy of the former operations and land holdings in Cape Breton. As Senior Project Manager and Director for the Giant Mine Remediation Project in NWT, Martin was responsible for remediation planning, regulatory approvals and implementation of this large scale federal government remediation projects valued in the hundreds of millions. As an active member of the Program Management Technical Advisory Committee (PMTAC), he provided technical direction on rehabilitation activities for projects throughout Canada’s North.
Management and Treatment of Spent Firewater Contaminated with High Concentrations of PFAS
Bill Malyk, Katy Falk, Kevin Olness
The objective of this presentation is to discuss the management and mitigation of potential risks and liability associated with the disposal of spent firewater contaminated with PFAS at an active US military air station.
Introduction. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have emerged globally as high-priority and high-profile contaminants. While the primary focus until recently has been on perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), primarily in drinking water, several countries and State regulatory authorities have expanded their reach to include guidelines and promulgated rule around other PFAS and other pathways. Additionally, it is expected that further scrutiny will be placed on management and disposal of aqueous film-forming foams (AFFF) and spent firewater and regulations will continue to evolve to include other PFAS as research into the potential health impacts of this chemical class develops. The evaluation of spent firewater and rinse water generated from cleaning firewater storage systems is being completed in an effort to develop a more robust, cost-effective, and efficient method to evaluate spent firewater at military installations. Methods. The project is being completed in two phases beginning with an initial treatability evaluation to monitor the effectiveness of treating PFAS using a mobile treatment train system to concentrations below respective U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lifetime health advisory (LHAs) and regional screening levels (RSLs). The mobile treatment system will be modified based on the initial evaluation and used to treat the remaining impacted spent firewater in stored in underground tanks at the site as well as rinse water generated during cleaning of the tanks. The initial treatability evaluation study will be conducted on the most highly concentrated spent firewater, a 40,000 gallon spent firewater underground storage tank (UST), including water generated from triple rinsing of the UST, which is estimated to be up to 20% of the tank volume. Applying the initial treatment method at the UST with the highest concentration of PFAS will provide the best indication as to the future success of the method in treating water in other USTs. The highest concentrations are currently identified as >6 ppm for PFOS. Treatment system sampling includes analysis of the EPA 537.1 Modified list of 26 PFAS analytes to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment method in removing both short- and long-chain PFAS compounds relative to the respective criteria. Additional analysis will include oil and grease (O&G), dissolved sulfides, flash point, cyanide, and dissolved metals to ensure treated water meets all requirements for discharge to the sanitary sewer. In the second phase, the results of the initial treatability test may be utilized to optimize or modify the treatment process (e.g., increase in media bed sizes, vessel changeouts, reductions in flowrate to increase empty-bed contact time (EBCT), etc.). Any modifications will be implemented following the initial treatment evaluation or prior to implementing the treatment method at any of the remaining spent firewater USTs. An additional 360,000 gallons of spent firewater is planned for treatment. The mobile trailer-mounted treatment system will consist of parallel (lead and standby) treatment vessel trains mounted onto a flatbed trailer to allow mobilization from one UST to other USTs as needed. Each treatment train (lead and standby trains) will consist of the treatment media vessels in series:
Two vessels with organoclay to remove oil and grease.
Three vessels with granular activated carbon (GAC) to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). Some PFAS will also be removed by the GAC.
Five vessels with ion exchange (IX) resin vessels to remove PFAS compounds.
Each treatment train will be preceded by a dual-bag filter system which will be used upstream of the treatment media train to remove suspended particulates from the wastewater stream prior to their entry into the treatment train. The treated water will be held temporarily in two separate 10,000- or one 20,000-gallon steel frac holding tanks located downstream of both treatment trains. The treated water will be stored temporarily onsite until characterization sampling data and batch discharge permits are obtained for each batch of treated water prior to discharge into the sanitary sewer. Results and Conclusion. The results of the treatability work that will be executed starting in January 2019 will be presented. Data presented will include:
System performance and batch discharge sample results collected on the basis of the specified treated volumes for PFAS compounds.
Results of tank washing efficiency to determine the effectiveness of the triple rinse process in removing PFAS from storage tanks.
Challenges faced, modifications evaluated and implemented for treatment of the remaining water.
Best management practices for efficient managing and minimizing risks associated with spent firewater storage and disposal.
Bill Malyk, Principal Engineer, Wood Bill Malyk is a Principal Engineer with over 27 years experience in managing industrial water and wastewater treatment projects. Bill is the PFAS water treatment subject matter expert for Wood. His areas of expertise include treatment selection and design, operational troubleshooting and economic evaluation for water and wastewater treatment systems. Bill’s experience encompasses a wide array of industries and treatment systems. He brings to each project an extensive knowledge of waste treatment system selection, design and operation both in physical/chemical systems and in biological treatment systems. His experience has been developed working on projects in North and South America, United States, Australia, Europe, Africa, India, and China.
Investigation and Remediation of Multiple PFAS Source Zones at an Airport to Safeguard an at Risk Water Supply
1, Benjamin Kapfenberger 1, Ian Ross 2, David Atkinson 2, James Lemon 2, Jonathan Miles 2, Jake Hurst 2, Erika Houtz 3, Jeff Burdick 3 1Arcadis Canada Inc. 2Arcadis UK 3Arcadis US
The objective of this presentation is to highlight the requirement to understand the history of AFFF use at airports and airfields as multiple sources zones are typical. The presentation focuses on the identified source zones and the remedial approaches including results.
Guernsey, a British Crown Dependency, is located in the English Channel between England and France and represents one of the Channel Islands. Concentrations of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were detected in the surface waters which are used to source drinking water supply for the Island’s population. The affected catchment area, which includes one of the Island’s principle water supply reservoirs, collects surface water and groundwater from within the vicinity of the islands airport. The airport was identified as a potential source for the PFAS contamination detected. The objectives of the project were to investigate: the extent of PFAS impacts within the airport and the surrounding environment; whether the existing conditions were likely to deteriorate further; and, ultimately to identify an appropriate solution protected to safeguard the Island’s water supply into the future. As an immediate step a detailed desk based review and preliminary risk assessment was completed, looking at historic uses of aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) foam at the airport through records of aircraft accidents, training procedures, and material storage. The outcome of this study identified eleven potential source locations which required further assessment. Site investigations followed, including extensive soil, groundwater and surface water sampling, which identified PFAS impacts at seven of these locations. Following detailed fate and transport modelling, four of these location were considered to require remedial action. All investigation works were undertaken on an active airport without disruption to operations. On completion of the investigation activities a bespoke water treatment system was designed, which incorporated the installation of two below ground capture trenches across the airfield to intercept PFAS impacted groundwater. The water treatment system also collects and treats impacted surface water. With a capacity to treat up to 20 litres of water per second, the system is ensuring that concentrations of the PFAS are below drinking water criteria, prior to discharge into the wider catchment area. Following the installation of the water treatment system, soils identified to be contaminated with PFAS in the four source zones across the airport were excavated and contained within a purpose built soil bund. The soils are encapsulated so as to isolate them entirely from the local environment, whilst also acting an acoustic barrier to mitigate noise pollution from the airfield operations. The project highlighted the requirement to understand the history of AFFF use at airports and airfields as multiple sources zones are typical. The treatment solution reduced PFAS concentrations in the drinking water supply whilst also removing the risk of further leaching from the main source areas by isolating the contaminated material as part of wider redevelopment scheme. Martin Gavin, National Market Manager, Government Sector, Arcadis Canada Inc. Martin Gavin has more than 20 years of experience in construction and remediation planning throughout Canada. Since 2001, Martin has worked as an engineer and site manager in contaminated sites in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Martin held numerous senior roles on the Cape Breton Development Corporation (CBDC) closure program which focused on closing and rehabilitating the mining legacy of the former operations and land holdings in Cape Breton. As Senior Project Manager and Director for the Giant Mine Remediation Project in NWT, Martin was responsible for remediation planning, regulatory approvals and implementation of this large scale federal government remediation projects valued in the hundreds of millions. As an active member of the Program Management Technical Advisory Committee (PMTAC), he provided technical direction on rehabilitation activities for projects throughout Canada’s North.
PFAS Investigations in Atlantic Canada
Susan Barfoot and Lynn Pilgrim
The objective of this presentation is to discuss ESAs and risk-based approaches at PFAS sites in Atlantic Canada, to bring forward lessons learned, and to offer suggested next steps and open up discussion to have more alignment in the management of PFAS sites.
Objectives. Widespread and long-term use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) for firefighting training activities has resulted in releases of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that have the potential to pose a significant risk to human health and environmental receptors. The understanding of the short- and long-term effects of PFAS is still being researched, analytical methods are varied and evolving, and regulatory and policy guidance is still evolving. All of these factors create challenges for understanding the true risk posed by this persistent chemical. PFAS project experience at a variety of sites has led to an in-depth understanding of PFAS impacts in all media that may exist on and off site. Approach/Activities. Assessing PFAS through a contaminated sites management process, including a phased approach and standard risk assessment principals (as done with other contaminants), will produce a defensible outcome for informing next steps and further actions. This is of paramount importance for sites that include not only on-site, but off-site receptors that may be directly impacted by PFAS contamination (e.g., drinking water wells, areas of ecological significance). The assessment process must continually be re-evaluated based on regulatory changes and stakeholder concerns to ensure a holistic approach is applied that considers not only the on-site considerations but a broader conceptual site model that includes all potential sources, receptors and pathways within the affected area. This presentation will include case studies specific to the Atlantic Region, describe how challenges are being dealt with in planning and carrying out site investigations, discussion on managing off-site impacts and the “outside in” approach to risk assessment and present lessons learned. The goal is to offer some suggested next steps and open up discussion to have more alignment in the management of PFAS sites. Susan Barfoot, Senior Environmental Engineer and Project Manager, Wood Susan Barfoot is a Senior Environmental Engineer and Project Manager with Wood in St. John’s, NL. Susan has 18 years of experience conducting environmental site assessments, Tier II and III Human health risk assessments, ecological risk assessments, remedial options review and analysis, risk management planning and remediation for various contaminants of concern, including petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, PAHs, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and PFAS, in a variety of media at sites throughout Atlantic Canada. Susan also has five years of experience working with the Provincial Government of NL where she was responsible for regulatory review of impacted sites in the province to ensure they were managed in accordance with Provincial guidance, policies and regulations and provided technical and advice with respect to impacted site management. This invaluable combination of regulatory knowledge and practical application has provided Susan with the opportunity to provide value to her customers, most recently applying federal guidance to the management of impacted Federal sites. Susan has also shared her experience with her peers as an active member of the Atlantic PIRI committee since 2009.
Detailed Site Investigation for PFAS Using Advanced Analytical Tools
1, Adam Dawe 2, John Vogan 3, Erika Houtz 4, Allan Horneman 3, Jeff Mcdonough 3 1Arcadis UK 2Arcadis Canada Inc. 3Arcadis 4Arcadis US
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate the benefits of using advanced analytical tools to identify PFAS during site investigations and describe how to interpret the data and where best to apply such advanced tools.
Assessments of multiple areas associated with fire training activities using high resolution sampling methods and employing the total oxideable precursor (TOP) assay in the unsaturated zone are presented to show the relevance of precursors in developing conceptual site models for sites impacted with firefighting foams. Preliminary assessment of one site showed that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) were present in groundwater, at mg/L levels, due to frequent historical applications of aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs). At this location multiple long and short chain perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) and 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate are regulated in drinking water. Thus, the distribution of AFFF-derived PFAA precursor that may form 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate and PFAAs are considered of significant importance at this site. The objectives of the investigations were to characterize the area to determine the distribution of both PFAAs and PFAA precursors in soil and groundwater in relation to biogeochemical parameters, lithology and distribution of other organic compounds. In order to develop a more robust site conceptual model, further objectives were to determine if the presence of organic materials enhanced PFAA precursor sorption and to determine the extent to which redox conditions have influenced PFAA precursor transformation. Groundwater and soil samples were characterized for PFAS using a targeted analyte list as well as TOP assay and adsorbable organofluorine (AOF) to indirectly measure total PFAS. The PFAS distribution in soils was assessed in relation to total organic carbon and particle size distribution. Groundwater was characterized for major anions, including fluoride, cations, total organic carbon and biogeochemical parameters. The PFAS distribution was measured in the lithology at multiple horizons to target distinctly different zones such that both migratory and non-migratory horizons were assessed for PFAS content. The vertical and horizontal delineation of PFAS at this site will be presented in relation to the site’s hydrogeology and lithology. The results showed that nearly 98 percent of total PFAS mass in soils was estimated to occur within the top 1.8m of unsaturated soils. It’s clear that unsaturated soils as many sites will likely represent ongoing sources of PFAAs as precursors transform, with seasonal rainwater increases and fluctuations in the groundwater facilitating table leaching of PFAS from source areas. Field derived partitioning coefficients were determined for individual PFAS and total PFAA precursors in relation to localised biogeochemical conditions. Ratios of PFAA precursor concentrations to PFAAs were determined in different redox zones of the site and, after controlling for mass flux, were used to determine PFAA precursor susceptibility to biotransformation in the presence of multiple types of terminal electron acceptors. Lessons learned on how to selectively utilize advanced characterization tools to provide the most value in determining the location of contaminant mass will be discussed. The use of TOP assay, was important to identify contaminant mass location and concentrations. The data quality objectives for TOP assay data interpretation will be detailed, as described in the draft Queensland Department of Environment and Science (formerly Department of Environment and Heritage Protection) guidance documents, to enable an understanding of how and why to potentially apply the TOP assay. Ian Ross, Senior Technical Director and Global, In Situ Remediation Technical Lead/Global PFAS Lead, Arcadis UK Ian Ross, Ph.D., is a Senior Technical Director and Global, In Situ Remediation Technical Lead/Global PFAS Lead at Arcadis from Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. His focus for the last four years has been on solely on PFAS after initially working on options for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) management in 2005 after the Buncefield Fire in the UK. He has was part of the team authoring and reviewing the CONCAWE PFAS guidance document and has published several articles on PFAS analysis, site investigation and remediation, including a recent book chapter on PFASs management. He has been focussed on the bioremediation of xenobiotics for over 26 years as a result of three applied industrially sponsored academic research projects. At Arcadis he has worked designing and implementing innovative chemical, physical and biological remediation technologies. He has evaluated the fate and transport, biodegradation potential and treatment options for contaminants including hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, nitroaromatics, PFAS, lindane (hexachlorocyclohexane), polychlorinated biphneyls (PCBs), Aldrin, Dieldrin and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). He has experience with multiple physical, chemical and biological treatment technologies and has won several national and international remediation awards for designing their application.
Preliminary Laboratory Treatability Studies for PFAS-impacted Water
Ryan Thomas, Fred Taylor, Sophia Dore, Donald Pope, Jennifer Wasielewski
The objective of this presentation is to provide a strategic overview of existing, novel, and integrated remediation technologies, along with the associated challenges and risks that need to be managed to deliver a successful project addressing short- and long-term performance and effectiveness. Results from bench-scale studies involving activated carbon, ion exchange resin, and advanced oxidative and reductive treatments will be evaluated and compared in terms of feasibility, effectiveness, and economics.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of anthropogenic compounds that are commonly found in drinking water, surface water, groundwater, soil, and landfill leachate. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a health advisory limit of 70 ng/L for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) for drinking water while some states have more conservative action levels. Treatment technologies to destroy PFAS are not proven effective or economic, while technologies that remove PFAS from waste streams are generally fully demonstrated. Numerous challenges are associated with PFAS sampling, analytical detection, and remediation. Innovative remediation technologies are necessary to provide options for PFAS treatment, particularly at complex sites where other contaminants are present and can inhibit treatment by competing for binding sites or reagents. Some parameters affecting successful treatment of PFAS include inorganic compounds, chemical oxidant demand (COD), pH, and secondary contaminants such as organic compounds. The most common current technologies for PFAS treatment in water and leachate involve sorption of the PFAS onto media such as activated carbon or ion exchange resin creating a waste stream that must be further treated (e.g., thermal regeneration). Alternate technologies that destroy PFAS are currently being investigated. This presentation will provide a strategic overview of existing, novel, and integrated remediation technologies, along with the associated challenges and risks that need to be managed to deliver a successful project addressing short- and long-term performance and effectiveness. Results from bench-scale studies involving activated carbon, ion exchange resin, and advanced oxidative and reductive treatments will be evaluated and compared in terms of feasibility, effectiveness, and economics. Design considerations being explored in the studies include length of contact time required in order for adequate PFAS treatment, various oxidants used for destructive mechanisms, and water quality requirements for effective treatment. Ryan Thomas, Environmental Scientist, Innovative Technology Group, GHD Dr. Ryan Thomas is a member of the Innovative Technology Group at GHD based in Niagara Falls, New York. He has helped develop PFAS fact sheets and technical regulatory guidance for the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC). He has provided guidance on acceptable and prohibited items in addition to helping to establish GHD PFAS sampling protocols. Ryan is a co‑leader to both GHD North America's PFAS Steering Committee and ITRC’s Fate and Transport, Physical and Chemical Properties, and Site Characterization subgroup. Additionally he assists in the setup and performance of treatability studies on groundwater and soil samples, which include analyses such as inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES), ultraviolet-visible (UV/Vis) spectroscopy, and GC. Ryan also contributes to remedial technology assessments, which include a review of site data in order to assess remedial options, evaluate existing treatments, and make recommendations.
CFB Comox, Fire Fighting Training Area, PFAS Delineation and Water Treatment: A Case Study
1, Mark Edwards 1, Dave Osguthorpe 2, Pamela Cushing 3, Marie Goulden 3, Andrew Smith 2, Ruby Pennel 2, David Kettlewell 1 1SNC-Lavalin Inc. 2Public Services and Procurement Canada 3Department of National Defence
The objective of this presentation is to present a case study for delineation of contaminants of concern, including PFAS in soil, sediment, groundwater, and surface water, at the FFTA of CFB Comox, Lazo, BC. Additionally, the efforts and outcomes of mobilizing, setting up and pilot testing a water treatment system to remediate PFAS contaminated water from a detention pond at the FFTA will be presented.
Between September 2018 and March 2019 a Phase III Environmental Site Assessment to delineate previously identified hydrocarbon, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), metals, and per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in soil, sediment, groundwater, and surface water at the fire fighting training area (FFTA) of CFB Comox in Lazo, BC was completed. The objective of the work was to delineate PFAS and other contaminants of concern (COCs) to allow for remediation planning and risk assessment activities. To support remediation efforts, an assessment of an existing multi-phase extraction remediation system that was no longer being used at the Williams Lake airport was requested, and it was relocated to CFB Comox to implement surface water treatment and pilot testing at the FFTA. This presentation will review various configurations of the water treatment system to identify a simple and effective use of the equipment in order to reduce concentrations of PFAS in surface water migrating from the site. Recommendations will be made for ongoing water treatment system at the FFTA and potentially expanded wastewater treatment for other areas of CFB Comox. The FFTA at CFB Comox operated from the late 1960s until circa 2009. Fire training exercises were conducted on a gravel-surfaced area surrounded by a gravel ring-road, which drained to a retention pond to the northeast. Training exercises utilized aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) containing PFAS until approximately 2002. Three additional areas of environmental concern (AECs) at the FFTA included storage and use of hydrocarbons, waste oil, and wastewater. Environmental investigations have been carried out at the FFTA since 2002, with PFAS first tested in samples from the FFTA in 2014. Dry summer conditions and wet saturated winter conditions observed at the FFTA increase the risk of surface water runoff and potential off-site migration. In this case study, presenters will review the history of environmental investigations at the FFTA, describe the unique physical environment of the area and associated challenges, review the sampling and analysis plan for delineation of the COCs, outline methodologies and precautions for sampling PFAS, and describe the results of the investigation. They will also summarize the results of surface water treatment activities and pilot testing of the water treatment system along with potential next steps for the site. Doug McMillan, Senior Project Manager, SNC-Lavalin Inc. Doug McMillan is a Senior Project Manager with SNC-Lavalin Inc. with over 18 years of experience in contaminated site assessment and remediation projects in Western Canada. Doug has managed and executed a wide range or projects for federal and regional government clients addressing contamination in soil, groundwater, soil vapour, surface water, and sediment at upland, intertidal, and marine locations. Doug has coordinated large teams of professionals to provide integrated environmental and infrastructure services.
Bench Scale Study of Stabilization of PFAS-Impacted Soils
1, Matt Pourabadehei 1, David Liles 2, Jeff McDonough 2, Ian Ross 3, Danielle Toase 4 1Arcadis Canada Inc. 2Arcadis US 3Arcadis UK 4Arcadis Australia
The objective of this presentation is to present the results of a soil stabilization bench scale test for PFAS-impacted soils.
As part of a larger project for a federal government department, a bench scale study was conducted on per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS)-impacted soils obtained from a site in Northern Canada. Soil was transported from Northern Canada to a laboratory in North Carolina, USA. The bench scale study tested three different stabilizing agents including a powdered reagent consisting of an activated carbon and aluminum hydroxide mixture (henceforth referred to as the powder reagent); an organoclay; and, a powdered activated carbon and polydiallyldimethylammonium chloride mixture (PAC/PolyDADMAC), at different ratios (0.5%, 2.5% and 5.0%). The powder reagent and organoclay bind and immobilize PFAS to their surfaces via chemical/physical sorption. PAC/PolyDADMAC is a polymeric organic coagulant that promotes complexation between the PFAS and soil particles. The polymer (PolyDADMAC) coats the PAC particles to enhance adsorption capacity of the soil particles. In this bench scale test, one sonicated and one unsonicated mixture were tested, based on research by Kurt Pennell (Brown University). All three reagents are considered stabilizing agents, as they do not destroy the PFAS. The PFAS remain in the soil, bound to the stabilizing particles and the risk of their availability will be managed, following treatment. The impacted soil was mixed with the selected stabilizing agents and deionized water in a test tube. Following centrifugation, a water sample was submitted for total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay analysis. Preliminary results were very similar for all three stabilizing agents. Each reagent was more effective at adsorbing the longer chain PFAS than shorter chain PFAS. The 2.5% sonicated PAC/PolyDADMAC mixture was most effective at adsorbing the shorter chain PFAS, followed by the 5% powder reagent. The organoclay additive was most effective at adsorbing perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), which is currently regulated in Canada. Overall, the increased reduction observed between the 2.5% ratio and 5% ratio did not appear to merit the additional cost of the stabilizing agent. Based on the preliminary results, the 2.5% organoclay mixture was selected as the best option for further testing. This was based on its ability to adsorb PFOS, its availability in North America and its reported longevity. A larger batch of soil, stabilizing agent and water have been mixed. This batch will undergo leaching environmental assessment framework (LEAF) method leachate testing (Method 1314) at an outside laboratory. The leachate will be analyzed for TOP assay. Results are expected in early 2019 and will be included in the presentation. Stephanie Joyce, Project Manager, Arcadis Canada Inc. Stephanie Joyce is a Project Manager with Arcadis Canada Inc., located in their Ottawa Office. She has over 14 years of experience in environmental consulting, specializing in environmental site assessments, long-term monitoring and regulatory applications. Stephanie has completed over 60 Phase I, II and III Environmental Site Assessments, in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Ontario. Her clients have included primarily federal, territorial and municipal government departments. Recent project responsibilities have included project manager for the preparation of guidance documents for conducting assessments of former fire-fighting training areas for PFAS impacts and the evaluation and demonstration of PFAS remediation technologies. She is currently managing a bench scale study evaluating soil stabilization technologies.
Remediation Strategies for PFAS-Impacted Sites
Shona Lawson, Kelly Gurski, Leah Palmer
Department of National Defence
The objective of this presentation is to provide information on implemented remediation options for PFAS-contaminated sites. These options may prove to be effective for implementation at other PFAS-contaminated sites.
We have implemented a combination of remedial strategies for two adjacent contaminated sites with impacted soil and groundwater. The primary contaminants of concern are per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS). Site one is a historic firefighting training area (FFTA) and the second site is a historic landfill. The remediation options included the insertion of a fiberglass lining in ~500 meter section of degraded stormwater line that outfalls to a bog. This was to prevent contaminates infiltrating from both sites. A trial with granular activated carbon filtration system to treat impacted groundwater was the remedial option carried out at the second site. The stormwater liner remediation option has proven to be successful to date, and further lining work for manholes and another ~100 meter section is planned for completion in 2019. Preliminary results from the filtration system indicate this may be an effective remediation option for groundwater impacted with PFAS and other contaminants. Shona L. Lawson, Environment Officer, Department of National Defence Shona L. Lawson, M.Sc., B.Sc., RPBio., PBiol., has 20+ years of work experience in the environmental sciences. Shona has worked for federal and provincial governments, private industry and First Nations organizations. She is an Environment Officer with the Department of National Defence. She manages and implements a variety of environment programs at a operational Royal Canadian Air Force Base including but not limited to contaminated sites. Kelly Gurski, Deputy Environment Officer, Department of National Defence Kelly Gurski, B.Sc. Environmental Sciences, has 20+ years of work experience in the environmental sciences. He has worked for federal and provincial governments, private industry and with First Nations organizations. Kelly is a Deputy Environment Officer with the Department of National Defence. He manages and implements a variety of environment programs at an operational Royal Canadian Air Force Base. Kelly has a key role in the management of contaminated sites. Leah Palmer, Environment Technician, Department of National Defence Lean Palmer, B.A., has 6+ years as an Environment Technician with the Department of National Defence, at an operational Royal Canadian Air Force base. Leah plays an integral role in the management of contaminated sites and implementation of associated projects.
Beyond Engagement: The Role of Teamwork, Accountability and Transparency in Improving Relationships with Indigenous Partners and Building Trust in Government
1 and Tara Chisholm 2 1Indigenous Services Canada 2Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
The objective of this presentation is to share experiences in proactive, meaningful engagement with First Nation partners.
Shannon Park Remediation, Addition to Reserve and Economic Development Project Shannon Park was the site of a Mi'kmaw community that was destroyed by the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Shannon Park later became a Department of National Defence (DND) residential community from the 1950s to the early 2000s. Following the community’s decommissioning in 2004, a portion of the property was transferred to Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)/Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) in anticipation of creating an urban reserve for the Millbrook First Nation. Millbrook is presently leading a proposed mixed residential and commercial development at Shannon Park should the property become part of their reserve land base. Departmental Addition to Reserve policy requires land to meet the environmental standards for its intended use. Hydrocarbon and metal impacts exceeding Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines (CCME) soil and groundwater residential standards were identified in three locations at the site. This presentation will discuss how proactive, sustained, and respectful engagement with Indigenous partners can advance both immediate remediation goals as well as build long-term working relationships and trust. It will also present some of the challenges posed when both policy and established technical practices are considered in remedial solutions. This type of engagement has wider applicability with increasing public awareness of emerging contaminants. The potential presence of emerging contaminants can raise concerns for impacted Indigenous communities and stakeholders. Amy Deveau, Environment Officer, Indigenous Services Canada Amy Deveau is an Environment Officer with Indigenous Services Canada. She is originally from Meteghan, NS and graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a B.Sc. in Biology in 2007. She also holds a M.Sc. in Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria where she worked with Kwakwaka'wakw Elders to document traditional ecological knowledge and analyze an edible species of seaweed for heavy metals. Amy has been working with the Atlantic Regional Office of Indigenous Services Canada since 2015.
Considerations for Investigation of PFAS in British Columbia
Lindsay Paterson, SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd.
The objective of this presentation is to provide an overview of the British Columbia regulatory framework and associated considerations for conducting PFAS investigations on lands under provincial regulatory jurisdiction.
The British Columbia Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (BC ENV) released numerical standards (regulatory limits) for per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS) in soil and water in November 2017 as part of the Stage 10/11 amendments to the British Columbia Contaminated Sites Regulation (BC CSR). In conjunction with the release of the numerical CSR standards, new analytical methods for PFAS in soil and water were also released by BC ENV. This presentation will review considerations for conducting PFAS investigations on lands under provincial regulatory jurisdiction, including: the specific commercial and industrial activities to which the BC CSR standards apply; the derivation of the soil and water standards and exposure pathways and receptors considered in the development of the standards; the performance-based requirements of the BC Environmental Laboratory Manual methods for PFAS in soil and water and how these may differ from standard analytical packages offered by commercial laboratories; and, triggers for notification to BC ENV and other aspects of the BC Environmental Management Act and BC CSR that federal custodians should be aware of when undertaking PFAS investigations. Lindsay Paterson, Senior Soil Scientist at SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. Lindsay Paterson is a Senior Soil Scientist at SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. in British Columbia.
Development of an Integrated Soil and Water System for Treatment of PFAS Impacted Source Areas
Colin Morrell, CleanEarth Technologies
The objective of this presentation is to walk through the challenges and process followed to develop the integrated physical/chemical and water treatment system for the treatment of PFAS impacted source areas.
The presentation will outline the results of bench-scale testing that was used to develop a two stage physical/chemical soil and water treatment system designed to solubilize the per- and polyflouroalkyl substances (PFAS) to the aqueous phase with subsequent downstream treatment of the process water. The challenges encountered and lessons learned from the lab-scale effort will be discussed and an outline of how these challenges were addressed in the integrated soil treatment system will be presented. The system design is based on laboratory scale treatment trials conducted on PFAS impacted soils from a number of locations in Australia. These laboratory treatment trials were the first step in the development and de-risking of the PFAS treatment system scheduled to be trialed in Australia in the first quarter of 2019. The integrated treatment train results in low levels of total PFAS and leachable concentrations in the treated soil. Soil treatment results will be presented as mass removal as measured by the total oxidisable precursor (TOP) assay and total organic fluorine (TOF) and by comparison to the Australian National Environmental Management Plan criteria. Colin Morrell, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, CleanEarth Technologies Colin Morrell is the Senior Vice President of Research and Development at CleanEarth Technologies with experience in the assessment and remediation of contaminated sites. Colin leads CleanEarth’s PFAS team, which is focused on development and delivery of PFAS remediation solutions. Development of solutions is being driven through a range of mechanisms including agreements with vendors, internal and external research, laboratory trials and university partnerships primarily in the areas of enhanced soil washing.
Managing Risks and Prioritizing Resources at PFAS Contaminated Sites
Douglas Smith and Dylan Galt
The objective of this presentation is to share knowledge with respect to effectively prioritizing resources to address PFAS contamination at sites.
The recognition of emerging contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalky substances (PFAS) present unique challenges to making informed decisions. In a time of such regulatory uncertainty and rapidly evolving science regarding the risk of PFAS, industry and decision makers are looking for effective strategies to determine the potential liabilities and to develop effective and pragmatic solutions. Critical to making informed decisions, is the need to understand the issue from several perspectives, and consider not only the toxicology of PFAS constituents, but also the release mechanisms, site characteristics (i.e., topography and geochemistry), and potential risk exposure pathways through which PFAS may transported from operations through the environment. The risks to human health and the environment are still the subject of much research, and only limited information are available on the toxicity of most PFAS compounds (including short-chained compounds, which are common substitutes). To exacerbate these challenges, the widespread media coverage, high level of public interest and elevated level of regulatory scrutiny means that the timeframes are compressed and a flexible approach is required to inform organizations in the decision-making process. Presently, the options to effectively treat wastewater or groundwater for PFAS are limited. While granular activated carbon (GAC) can separate PFAS from the effluent stream, this technology is likely ineffective as a polishing treatment approach that is capable of attaining the very low groundwater criteria being adopted by many regulatory jurisdictions for large volumes of impacted groundwater. Further, the persistence of PFAS and the high solubility mean that even minor future PFAS releases at the site could offset years of treatment effort. This presentation will provide an overview of the multi-disciplinary considerations, including source identification, PFAS toxicity, investigation, fate and transport, human health and ecological risk assessment, and regulatory/community uncertainty. Risk mitigation measures will also be discussed, including opportunities for product substitution, development of best management plans to control releases, development of an environmental management plan to protect receptors, targeted treatment and remediation, and stakeholder engagement. Douglas Smith, Senior Environmental Geologist and Senior Project Manager, GHD Douglas Smith is a Senior Environmental Geologist with more than 16 years of consulting experience. This includes 13 years in North America and almost three years of experience in Australia. As a Senior Project Manager, Doug works with clients to deliver pragmatic and risk-based solutions to address conventional contaminants and emerging contaminants such as PFAS. Doug’s remediation experience includes in-situ stabilization, excavation, disposal, capping and containment projects, and groundwater remediation programs.
Framework for Human Health Risk Assessment of Federal Sites Impacted with PFAS
Sue-Jin An, Nicole Somers, Thalia Zis, Christine Levicki, Luigi Lorusso
The objective of this presentation is to share Health Canada's framework for human health risk assessments at federal contaminated sites impacted with PFAS to allow for consistent assessments based on current information.
Background. Health Canada develops guidance on human health risk assessment (HHRA) of federal contaminated sites. In recent years, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been the focus of much attention due to their persistence in the environment and their unique chemical properties. These substances are thermally and chemically stable, resistant to biotic or abiotic degradation (except in cases of precursor transformations), and have been found in areas distant from their originating sources. PFAS surfactants have seen widespread use as coating ingredients for textiles, paper products and cookware, and in aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) for firefighting activities where suppression of hydrocarbon fuel fires is required. Many of the ongoing PFAS investigations conducted at federal contaminated sites have been associated with firefighting training and maintenance activities. The need for tools to help assess potentially impacted sites became apparent when these substances were detected in soil and water as a result of historical and current activities. Objective/Approach. As the science pertaining to PFAS and contaminated sites is growing rapidly, Health Canada’s Contaminated Sites Division has developed a framework to guide undertaking of HHRAs for federal sites impacted with PFAS. The poster will outline Health Canada’s recommended HHRA methodology for PFAS-impacted federal sites, and will provide an overview of the following: site characterization including off-site considerations; contaminant identification including consideration of PFAS precursors; identification of people that may be exposed and how they may be exposed; and, assessment of toxicity and risk. The poster will include Health Canada’s human health screening values for PFAS in soil and groundwater, and will also present options on how to assess individual PFAS for which no established screening or toxicity reference values are available. Thalia Zis, Environmental Specialist, Contaminated Sites Division, Health Canada Thalia Zis is an Environmental Specialist with Health Canada’s Contaminated Sites Division, and provides expert support to custodial departments under the FCSAP program. Thalia reviews environmental site investigations and human health risk assessments for federal contaminated sites, and is involved in the development of Health Canada guidance. Thalia has been with Health Canada since 2016. Prior to coming to Health Canada, she worked in environmental consulting for over ten years, where she specialized in human health risk assessment for contaminated sites.
Post Deposit Monitoring Approaches for Measuring Environmental Concentrations and Effects of Drugs, Pesticides and Antibiotics Used in the Canadian Aquaculture Industry
1, Nicole MacDonald 1, Cory Dubetz 2, Lisa Macdonald 1, Colin McVarish 1, Ian Bryson 1, Jason Bernier1 1CBCL Limited 2Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The objective of this presentation is to share information from a literature review on the toxicity of approved and emerging therapeutants to non-target organisms and international therapeutant monitoring programs with the objective of identifying scientifically appropriate approaches for monitoring the fate of these therapeutants once released into the environment.
Aquaculture is an established practice worldwide and is becoming a large-scale commercial industry in Canada, with approximately 45 different species commercially cultivated. As our reliance on aquaculture grows, it is essential that we identify and understand the potential risks and implications to the health of the environment. The use of various therapeutants (i.e., drugs, pesticides and antibiotics) are sometimes necessary to treat fish inflicted with pests or pathogens. There are approximately a dozen therapeutants currently approved for use in Canada and several that are emerging candidates for future approval. Within Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada have recently issued the Aquaculture Activities Regulations (AAR) and the Aquaculture Monitoring Standard under the Fisheries Act, which primarily focuses on biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) monitoring. In Canada, research is currently underway to better understand non-target species sensitivities to therapeutants to inform considerations for monitoring that could be included under the AAR. We conducted a literature review on the toxicity of approved and emerging therapeutants to non-target organisms and international therapeutant monitoring programs with the objective of identifying scientifically appropriate approaches for monitoring the fate of these therapeutants once released into the environment. This report will serve as a resource to inform decisions on the safe use and monitoring of therapeutants used by the Canadian aquaculture industry. Carrie Bentley, Senior Environmental Scientist, CBCL Limited Carrie Bentley works as a Senior Environmental Scientist at CBCL Limited in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She has 14 years of experience working and living in three Canadian provinces: Prince Edwards Island (PEI), Alberta and Nova Scotia. Carrie specializes in fisheries and wildlife biology, environmental assessments, regulatory permitting and aquatic toxicology. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Biology, with Honours and a Masters of Science in Biology at the University of Prince Edwards Island (UPEI). Her Master’s thesis was titled, “Assessing the Toxicity of Prince Edward Island Stream Sediments Using Asian Medaka Embryolarval Bioassays”. Carrie worked at UPEI in the biology department for several years and had the opportunity to conduct research on the sublethal impacts of environmentally relevant mixtures of pesticides, used in PEI agriculture, to fish (Oryzias latipes). Carrie has worked in the consulting industry for most of her career and has gained experience in project management, regulatory permitting leading ecological field studies and environment assessments. Her most recent experience at CBCL Limited has been a co-author on two reports focused on post-deposit monitoring approaches for measuring environmental concentrations and effects of drugs, pesticides and antibiotics used in the Canadian aquaculture industry.
PFAS Precursors: Identifying Potential Future Site Liability
Terry Obal, Heather Lord, Pasquale Benvenuto
The objective of this presentation is to educate attendees on emerging compound behaviour and the risk of future liability in remediating PFAS contaminated sites.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous, persistent, anthropogenic chemicals that bioaccumulate in both humans and biota. The toxicity of certain PFAS such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) has been observed in animal studies. The potential for deleterious effects in humans is suspected, and continues to be studied. As anthropogenic compounds, PFAS contamination is typically released into the environment directly. There is evidence in the literature that PFAS may also be formed in-situ from the transformation of “precursor” compounds that may also be present at the site as contaminants, but are not measured as part of the routine testing. Common PFAS precursor compounds include fluorotelomer alcohols and fluorotelomer sulfonates. Precursor transformation to “end product” PFAS has important implications for remediation efforts. By focusing on the removal of target PFAS only, without consideration for potential PFAS precursors on site, transformation of these precursors to target PFAS of concern may occur over time, resulting in potential liability in the future. When testing routine samples for PFAS, the presenting laboratory currently reports results for a comprehensive list of known PFAS end products and precursor compounds, in a diverse range of environmental matrices. However, this single test does not measure the potential for PFAS formation due to transformation of precursor compounds over time to the regulated end products. One approach to measure potential PFAS formation in water and soil is to apply the total oxidizable precursors (TOP) assay. This assay has been commercialized, based on a previously published method, to measure the potential magnitude of PFAS precursor impacts that may exist in contaminated soils and water. This presentation discusses the TOP assay detailing the sampling requirements, how to interpret the results and examining its advantages and constraints.  Houtz, E.F. and Sedlak, D.L. (2012), Environ. Sci. Technol., 46, 9342-9349 Terry Obal, Chief Science Advisor, Maxxam Analytics Dr. Terry Obal is the Chief Science Advisor at Maxxam Analytics. Terry’s mandate is to ensure that Science@Maxxam and its value are fully available to our customers, regulators and the public. This mandate is achieved through the development and validation of new methods and processes at Maxxam, and providing strong technical representation, consultative support and expert opinions to Maxxam clients. Over the last five years, Terry has led the development and commercialization of robust, reliable and defensible methods for the determination of PFAS in a diverse range of environmental matrices. Terry has over 30 years of experience in analytical chemistry, laboratory management and environmental chemical consulting. He holds B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry. He is currently: the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Environmental Industry Association (ONEIA); Vice-Chair of the Federation of Canada’s Professional Chemists (FCPC); and is an Ontario Chartered Chemist (C.Chem.) through the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario (ACPO).
Enhanced In-Situ Bioremediation of TCE at the Former Gloucester Landfill Site
1, Jeff Roberts 1, Sandra Dworatzek 1,Lynn Warner 2, Clayton Truax 3, Stephanie Joyce 4 1SiREM 2Transport Canada 3Public Services and Procurement Canada 4Arcadis Canada
The objective of this presentation is to discuss the use of enhanced in-situ bioremediation for addressing TCE contaminated groundwater at the former Gloucester Landfill site and to discuss the use of this innovative technology for remediating chlorinated solvent sites in Canada.
The former Gloucester Landfill is located on Transport Canada property adjacent to the Ottawa International Airport approximately 10 km south of Ottawa. Between 1969 and 1980 liquid wastes were disposed at the site; primarily organic solvents in glass containers which were then combusted (Jackson et al., 1989). This disposal method led to contamination of a glacial outwash aquifer with chlorinated solvents including tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA) and 1,4-dioxane. Dehalococcoides (Dhc) are the only microbes known that are capable of the complete sequential dechlorination of PCE through TCE, dichloroethene (DCE) and vinyl chloride (VC) to non-toxic ethene. Bioaugmentation can be used to introduce Dhc microbes to groundwater. A bioaugmentation culture, KB-1® has been developed in Canada that includes the Dhc microbes and is on the domestic substances list for groundwater remediation in Canada. At Gloucester Landfill, a bioremediation pilot test was commenced in 2013 to primarily address TCE which was present at the hundreds of parts per billion level in groundwater. Baseline testing indicated a low abundance of Dhc at most locations, suggesting insufficient numbers of these key microbes for effective TCE bioremediation. Enhanced bioremediation using an electron donor (EHC-L) and bioaugmentation with KB-1® were selected for an in-situ pilot test. Gloucester Landfill was the first federal facility to be bioaugmented with KB-1® when 20 liters (L) of the culture were applied in October 2013. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) tests were used to assess the establishment of the Dhc population at the site after bioaugmentation. This testing indicated 107 Dhc/L in an injection location three months after bioaugmentation, in contrast, Dhc was not detected in downgradient wells, most likely due to site hydrogeology. A second application of KB-1® was performed in September 2014. The electron donor substrate was changed to better suit the site hydrogeology and additionally, the hydraulic gradient at the site was increased via groundwater pumping. After the second bioaugmentation, clear benefits beyond the injection locations were observed. By November 2016, Dhc was detected in three downgradient monitoring wells in the 107-108/L range indicating a strong dechlorinating population was present downgradient of the injection area. Based on the successful pilot test, full-scale remediation efforts at the site are currently being planned. With a groundwater temperature that ranges from ~8-11°C, Gloucester Landfill is characteristic of many sites in Canada where groundwater is relatively cold (i.e., 10°C). The experience at Gloucester where Dhc were established at high abundance in cold groundwater is consistent with observations at other bioaugmented cold groundwater sites in Canada, Sweden and Alaska. The effective establishment of a robust Dhc population, using a federally approved bioaugmentation product, at this complex site bodes well for use of this approach at other federal facilities. This presentation will focus on the Gloucester Landfill case study and discuss lessons learned that can be applied to using enhanced bioremediation at other sites in Canada. Phil Dennis, Senior Manager, SiREM Phil Dennis has over 25 years of experience working in the fields of molecular biology, microbiology and environmental remediation with a focus on microorganisms that help to clean up our groundwater. Phil holds a Masters of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto and an Honours B.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Genetics from the University of Guelph. Phil is a founding member of SiREM, an industry leader in bioaugmentation and remediation testing, where as a Senior Manager he focuses on research and development, and management of molecular genetic testing services.
Granular Activated Carbon Treatment of Drinking Water and Groundwater for Removal of PFOA: 12 Years of Successful Operation
Bjorn Cuento and Chris Walker
The objective of this presentation is to share experience with long-term drinking water treatment for PFAS.
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) is an environmentally persistent surfactant that has been detected in a wide range of media including surface water and groundwater supplies that serve as sources of drinking water. At public water utility locations in the Ohio River Valley, treatment systems using granular activated carbon (GAC) have successfully operated since 2006 to remove PFOA. In some instances, the GAC treatment was integrated into public drinking water systems with existing treatment systems. Smaller-scale GAC treatment systems were used for residential drinking water treatment and for point source groundwater treatment at a closed solid waste landfill. Other viable water treatment technologies are available for PFOA, but none are presently available that can be practically applied and address the high flow conditions at public utilities. To date, a total of ten GAC treatment systems are in operation at eight public water utility locations. An eleventh is in the design stage and is anticipated to be operational by the end of 2019. Bjorn Cuento, Project Engineer, AECOM Bjorn Cuento has worked as a project manager, project engineer, project estimator, health and safety officer, and quality control inspector for diversified environmental engineering and construction work. He has worked as an engineering professional for environmental consulting and remedial construction projects. Bjorn is experienced in site characterization; conceptual site modeling; remedial design; remedial action; water, soil, and air media monitoring; and, facility operations and maintenance. He has been involved with project management, design, work plan preparations and revisions, safety orientations, project hazard analysis, and construction. Bjorn is familiar with state, local, and federal regulations including US Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, US Environmental Protection Agency, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), Toxic Substances and Control Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Best Practices and the Role of Quality Assessment Parameters in PFAS Analysis
Bharat Chandramouli, Million Woudneh, Richard Grace
The objective of this presentation is to discuss best practices in PFAS analysis using multiple years of quality control data from a commercial laboratory.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous in the environment from multiple industrial sources such as aqueous film forming foams (AFFF) for firefighting and household sources such as food packaging and waterproofing coatings. Some perfluorinated carboxylic (PFCA) and sulfonic (PFSA) acids such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) are persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative in animals and have been linked to a number of health concerns including bladder cancer in humans, thyroid disruption, liver toxicity and other toxicological measures. Widespread PFAS contamination from the use of AFFF presents a complex remediation challenge due to the persistence and diversity of PFAS present. Site characterization and comprehensive assessment of remediation success requires a variety of accurate and reproducible measurement tools. Isotope dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has become the standard for PFAS measurement due to its sensitivity, specificity and the use of stable-isotope surrogate standards to improve accuracy. However, the lack of acceptable standard methods for PFAS measurement leads to use of inconsistent procedures and data quality measures. In this study, we summarize best practice on PFAS sampling, storage and analysis, using 15+ years of internally generated PFAS quality control data to assess the role of surrogate recovery, laboratory background, peak asymmetry, transition ratios and more in determining PFAS data quality. We summarize best practices in sample handling, storage and analysis and discuss paths forward on harmonizing quality parameters to optimize sample data quality. Bharat Chandramouli, Senior Scientist, SGS AXYS Bharat Chandramouli, Ph.D. is a senior scientist with over 15 years of experience in the development, validation and application of techniques to measure persistent organic pollutants and contaminants of emerging concerns including PFAS. He is a published author of peer-reviewed articles and chapter contributions on PFAS topics. Bharat has worked with SGS AXYS since 2008 to develop, validate PFAS methods, and to analyze PFAS data from various field applications.
PFAS Sampling and Analysis to Support Site Remediation: Current Science
Terry Obal, Maxxam Analytics
The objective of this presentation is to educate attendees on current science and practices supporting sampling and analysis for PFAS.
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and related per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) continue to receive increasing attention from environmental practitioners and regulatory bodies as compounds of environmental concern around the world. Requirements for PFAS analyses in Canada and the United States continue to increase at an extraordinary rate. More recently, a growing number of jurisdictions around the world are migrating from “provisional” water and soil quality standards to “regulated” standards for selected PFAS compounds, as new toxicity information becomes available. Over the past five years, there have been lessons learned in the measurement of PFAS contamination in the environment. New science surrounding this group of compounds supports a more practical approach to sample collection when considering potential sources of field contamination. Yet it also reinforces the need for greater vigilance in other areas of the sampling regime (e.g., the use of PFAS-free water). From the perspective of the testing laboratory, the list of PFAS being routinely analyzed continues to grow with over 30 compounds being measured at this laboratory. PFOA replacements, such as GenX, ADONA and F53B are gaining attention as potentially toxic and more mobile PFAS. This presentation will highlight current science surrounding PFAS measurement in support of site remedial activities, including: practical and reasonable approaches to sample collection; expanded PFAS lists reported by the laboratory including PFAS replacements; and, mitigating future liability through the determination of total oxidizable precursor compounds (TOP assay). Terry Obal, Chief Science Advisor, Maxxam Analytics Dr. Terry Obal is the Chief Science Advisor at Maxxam Analytics. Terry’s mandate is to ensure that Science@Maxxam and its value are fully available to our customers, regulators and the public. This mandate is achieved through the development and validation of new methods and processes at Maxxam, and providing strong technical representation, consultative support and expert opinions to Maxxam clients. Over the last five years, Terry has led the development and commercialization of robust, reliable and defensible methods for the determination of PFAS in a diverse range of environmental matrices. Terry has over 30 years of experience in analytical chemistry, laboratory management and environmental chemical consulting. He holds B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry. He is currently: the Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Environmental Industry Association (ONEIA); Vice-Chair of the Federation of Canada’s Professional Chemists (FCPC); and is an Ontario Chartered Chemist (C.Chem.) through the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario (ACPO).
A Conservative Approach to PFAS Cross Contamination and the Benefits of Pre-Mobilization Testing
Samuel Bartlett, Katherine Davis, Rosa Gwinn
The objective of this presentation is to present results of pre-investigation PFAS sampling and provide a reasonable but conservative stance on managing PFAS cross contamination.
Cross contamination is a concern for any per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) sampling program. Available sample collection guidance documents typically recommend a prohibitive approach to reduce the risk of cross contamination. By prohibiting the use of items that are known or suspected of containing PFAS, the risk of contaminating a sample is removed. Certain items can be confidently excluded based on their characteristics, such as items with water- or stain-resistant properties. Items such as personal care products or commonplace sampling materials can be more challenging to discern which is further complicated if the formulations are proprietary or unknown. A prohibitive approach can be problematic for personal protective equipment (PPE) as the exclusion of certain PPE can present health and safety concerns and put staff at risk if a suitable non-PFAS replacement does not provide a comparable level of protection. Similarly, alternative sampling materials that are known to be PFAS-free can result in logistic issues or increased project costs simply based on the suspected presence of PFAS. A more conservative and discerning approach is warranted to control project costs and protect field staff while preserving PFAS data quality by reducing and mitigating PFAS cross contamination. Performing PFAS testing on suspected articles before mobilizing for a field event has proven to be an inexpensive and effective method to determine the potential for PFAS cross contamination. By testing an item suspected of containing PFAS, a project team can make an informed decision whether to prohibit or allow the use of that item, and that information can be used to inform future projects. This pre-investigation sampling has been used on a number of items including PPE and various sample collection materials and the results and sampling methodology will be shared as a part of this presentation. Samuel A. Bartlett, Environmental Engineer, AECOM Samuel A. Bartlett has worked as an Environmental Engineer for AECOM for over six years. He is a member of the AECOM PFAS Leadership team assisting with business development with federal clients, specifically the United States Navy. Samuel was published in the Spring 2018 Wiley Remediation Journal with his co-author Dr. Katherine Davis on the topic of managing and mitigating PFAS cross contamination. He received his B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2012.
Interstate Technical Regulatory Council: Capitalizing on a Public-Private Coalition to Develop a Central PFAS Clearinghouse
1, Virginia Yingling 2, Bob Mueller 3 1Wood 2Minnesota Department of Health 3New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
The objective of this presentation is to share how the ITRC PFAS team was established, define key elements for collaboration success, provide an overview of the technical documents that have been completed, as well as share how to become involved with the ITRC PFAS Team.
The Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) is a public-private coalition working to reduce barriers to the use of innovative air, water, waste, and remediation environmental technologies and processes. In January 2017, the ITRC established a Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Team to produce concise technical resources that will help regulators and other stakeholders improve their understanding of the current science regarding PFAS. The scientific community’s understanding of PFAS sources, site characterization, environmental fate and transport, analytical methods, and remediation is growing rapidly. However, there is no central clearinghouse available that presents this information in a manner readily accessible to those other than subject-matter experts. As a result, there is a gap in the broad technical understanding necessary for informed and expedited decisions by regulators and policy makers. ITRC, with the help of more than 350 PFAS Team members from industry, academia, regulatory agencies across the US and internationally, has developed a series of fact sheets, each synthesizing key information for one of the following core subjects: (1) naming conventions and physical and chemical properties; (2) regulations, guidance, and advisories; (3) history and use; (4) environmental fate and transport; (5) site characterization considerations, sampling precautions, and laboratory analytical methods; (6) remediation technologies and methods; and, (7) aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). The first three fact sheets were published in November 2017, the second three were published in March 2018, and the AFFF fact sheet was published in October 2018. The project team is now working toward developing a risk communication toolbox, a technical-regulatory guidance document, and an internet-based training course, which will provide links to pertinent scientific literature, stakeholder points of view, technical challenges and uncertainties, and the necessary breadth and depth not given by the fact sheets. Shalene Thomas, Emerging Contaminant Program Manager and Global PFAS Work Group Lead, Wood Shalene Thomas, the Emerging Contaminant Program Manager and Global PFAS Work Group Lead for Wood, has more than 20 years of experience in environmental consulting, including more than 10 years of experience supporting government and industrial clients with PFAS. As the PFAS Work Group Lead for Wood, she oversees fate and transport (F&T), investigation, risk assessment, and remediation PFAS Technical Task Forces in expanding the practice and state of science. Her experience includes toxicological evaluation of and technical response to risk-based PFAS regulatory criteria, PFAS risk communication, management and oversight of human health and ecological risk assessments, as well as management of PFAS projects for various state, federal, and international clients. She has served as a technical advisor for more than 100 PFAS project sites in the US, Australia and Canada. She is currently serving as the co-lead for the Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) Fact Sheet as part of the PFAS Interstate Technology and Regulatory Counsel (ITRC) Team as well as member of the regulatory task force.
The Lifecycle of a PFAS Project
AnnieLu DeWitt, Clean Harbors Environmental Services
The objective of this presentation is to illustrate each step in the PFAS project lifecycle from analytical testing to deposition of spent media.
The analytical stage of any per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) project is critical since it can determine the rest of the path of the whole project. Testing methods are evolving and the list of compounds is increasing. The choice of laboratory for testing for the PFAS compounds, as well as the parameters that will directly influence what treatment path is chosen is paramount. Communication is key between the many parties involved in the project to set achievable project objectives. The projects are complex and varied due to the nature of the compounds and the industries where they have been utilized for the last 70 years. Therefore, the approach to the project is determined by reviewing and considering the unique aspects of each application. The pre-treatment that is often required is as important to the outcome as the actual PFAS treatment method for complex waste streams. This presentation will review factors encountered throughout all stages of the project from analytical review to final deposition of spent media. The experience of these projects have led to the development of the questions we ask during the approach development stage that are useful for all types of PFAS treatment projects. AnnieLu DeWitt, National Technical and Sales Lead, Emerging Contaminant and Water Treatment Program, Environmental Services Group, Clean Harbors AnnieLu DeWitt is the National Technical and Sales Lead for the Emerging Contaminant and Water Treatment Program for the Clean Harbors Environmental Services Group. AnnieLu brings her 25 years of experience in the environmental laboratory and remediation fields to Clean Harbors to assist clients in interpreting their analytical results to evaluate their options for treatment utilizing varied medias and pre-treatment equipment to achieve project objectives. Having worked as a gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and, most recently, as a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) chemist for PFAS compounds, she believes in the importance of evaluating the project as a whole, from suggesting the most valuable testing methods at the beginning of the project that help determine the best treatment trains and medias for complex waste streams to informing clients on their options for final deposition of their spent media. AnnieLu DeWitt holds a BS in Chemistry-Geology from Bridgewater State University.
Synthetic Media as a Sustainable Treatment Solution for PFAS
1, Steve Woodard 1, Vicki Pearce 2 1Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies 2Conscia Pty Ltd.
The objective of this presentation is to demonstrate the effectiveness and sustainability of resin in remediating PFAS in groundwater.
Background. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have emerged as high priority contaminants for management around the world. PFAS are highly water-soluble, have low volatility, and are recalcitrant to chemical oxidation; biological treatment and other common remediation approaches. Innovation is required to successfully and sustainably treat these compounds. Granular activated carbon (GAC) can effectively adsorb PFAS from water, but frequent carbon change-outs limit the sustainability of this technology. Also, GAC is not as effective at removing the shorter-chain and branched PFAS which are attracting increasing focus from researchers and regulators. Synthetic media (resin) technology shows significant advancement in treating total PFAS, while generating considerably less waste. When combined with on-site regeneration of the resin, this technology is sustainable and cost effective. Objectives/Approach. A comparative trial using groundwater from the same location was performed using GAC and resin as the two treatment media. Both GAC and resin pilot trains used vessels in series: four GAC vessels with 5-minute empty bed contact time (EBCT) per vessel, for a total system EBCT of 20 minutes, and three resin vessels with 2.5-minute EBCT per vessel, for a total EBCT of 7.5 minutes. Bed volumes (BVs) were equal for each vessel; flows were adjusted to achieve the desired EBCTs. Routine samples from both trains were analyzed for perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and 21 other PFAS compounds. Both the GAC and resin processes operated for an initial loading cycle to evaluate PFAS breakthrough. The resin process operated further with alternating cycles of PFAS loading and regeneration to evaluate the effectiveness of regenerating the resin. Results/Discussion. The resin system demonstrated faster kinetic removal efficiency and significantly higher treatment capacity than GAC. Compared at 5 minutes EBCT, the Sorbix A3F resin treated over eight times as many BVs as F400 GAC before PFOS was observed at detectable concentrations, and five times as many BVs before PFOA was observed at detectable concentrations. Similarly, Sorbix demonstrated higher treatment capacity for all other PFAS compounds in the groundwater matrix. The primary reason Sorbix outperformed GAC is its dual mechanism of PFAS removal. Sorbix is essentially an adsorbent with ion exchange functionality, and the resin takes full advantage of the unique properties of PFAS compounds. Sustainability is another key advantage of Sorbix resin over GAC. Successful in-vessel regeneration of the resin was demonstrated to near-virgin conditions during the pilot. Unlike GAC, this eliminates the need to transport the spent media off site for regeneration/disposal. On-site recovery and reuse of the spent regenerant solution via distillation was also successfully demonstrated. The residual still bottoms, containing concentrated PFAS in a brine solution, were then super-concentrated onto a very small volume of Sorbix resin for thermal destruction. Dale Wynkoop, Global Director of Sales and Applications, Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies Dale Wynkoop is the Global Director of Sales and Applications of ECT2 (Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies). ECT2 is an equipment company focused on developing and commercializing treatment technologies for emerging, difficult-to-treat contaminants. Dale’s responsibilities include: business development, marketing and new product development. Dale has been in the water treatment industry since 1993 and joined ECT2 in 2017 to lead the commercialization of ECT2’s Synthetic Media technologies for the sustainable treatment of PFAS, 1,4-dioxane, and other emerging contaminants. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1988.
Accelerated Deployment and Start-up of Ion Exchange Groundwater Treatment System Addresses PFAS Contamination in Stormwater at an Australian Air Base
1 and Vicki Pearce 2 1Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies 2Conscia Pty Ltd
The objective of this presentation is to discuss the challenges associated with treating PFAS in stormwater.
Background/Objectives. Historical use of aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Williamtown in New South Wales has resulted in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination of groundwater and stormwater, both of which migrate off base. After defining the nature and extent of PFAS contamination, the Australian Department of Defence (Defence) requested the supply and operation of a PFAS water treatment system to manage contaminated stormwater flowing offsite. This presentation describes Defence’s approach to manage the PFAS contamination in stormwater at RAAF Williamtown, including the accelerated design, fabrication, overseas transport, start-up and operation of the system. The project was complicated by the evolving PFAS regulations in Australia during fabrication and installation. Approach/Activities. Defence retained services in March 2017 to supply and operate a 3.2-L/sec treatment system to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ion exchange resin-based technology. The sum of all PFAS compounds measured in the stormwater averages 9.1 µg/l. The treatment system was originally designed to comply with the then national drinking water standard where the sum of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorohexane sulfonate (PFHxS) had to be less than 0.5 µg/l, and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) less than 5.0 µg/l. The modular treatment system was installed in a 12.2 metre shipping container for ease of transport and installation, and includes pre-treatment filters to remove suspended solids, iron and total organic carbon (TOC). PFAS removal is performed by a set of lead and lag vessels that contain Sorbix A3F regenerable anion exchange resin. The entire design/fabrication/shipping/installation process was expedited to minimize the time required to initiate PFAS remediation. A RAAF C-17 cargo plane was used to transport the modular system from the United States to Australia, shaving a month off the transport time. The unit arrived at the Williamtown base on May 28, 2017 and was fully operational in less than a month. Results/Lessons Learned. The Phase 1 stormwater treatment system began operation in June 2017 and was fully commissioned in early July. Two polish resin vessels, each containing Sorbix LC1 resin, were added during system installation to address the new, appreciably more stringent PFAS drinking water guidelines for Australia and New Zealand, where the sum of PFOS and PFHxS is now 0.07 µg/l, and PFOA less than 0.56 µg/l. The importance of pre-treatment when managing stormwater was critical to the success of the system, as was management of iron in the influent water. The system has been operating continuously and successfully since start-up in June 2017. There have been no detections of any PFAS in the treated effluent. Defence has recently requested that the system be upgraded to increase its capacity to 8 L/sec. Andy Bishop, Chief Operating Officer, Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies Andy Bishop is the co-founder of ECT2 (Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies). ECT2 is an equipment company focused on developing and commercializing treatment technologies for emerging, difficult-to-treat compounds. Andy’s responsibilities include directing engineering and project management efforts for the company’s product line. Andy has 19 years of experience in water and wastewater treatment. His focus is currently on delivering innovative technology and design-build solutions for the treatment of 1,4-dioxane, perfluorinated compounds, and other emerging compounds.
Installation, Operation and Start-up of World’s First Regenerable Resin System for PFAS Removal
1 and Vicki Pearce 2 1Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies 2Conscia Pty Ltd.
The objective of this presentation is to discuss the side-by-side trial of resin technology and GAC to treat PFAS contaminated groundwater.
Background/Objectives. The United States Air Force Civil Engineering Center (AFCEC) is conducting on-going response activities to remove and remediate groundwater impacted by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at the former Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire. The two primary PFAS compounds found at the site are perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) at combined concentrations (PFOA+PFOS) above the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Health Advisory Level (HAL) of 0.07 micrograms per liter (µg/l). AFCEC responded by contracting to conduct a side-by-side pilot test in 2016, comparing the performance of regenerable ion exchange (IX) resin and bituminous granular activated carbon (GAC). The regenerable resin system was selected for full-scale application, based on system performance and a lower overall lifecycle cost than GAC. Approach/Activities. A 200-gpm system was provided to meet the primary project objective of producing treated water with combined PFOS plus PFOA concentrations below the 70 ng/l HAL. The full-scale IX resin system was installed from fall 2017 through spring 2018. The PFAS removal system includes bag filters to remove suspended solids, back-washable GAC pre-treatment filtration to remove iron, two parallel trains of lead-lag regenerable IX resin vessels for PFAS removal, an in-vessel regeneration system to strip PFAS from the IX resin, a distillation system to recover and reuse the regenerant solution, a PFAS super-loading system to further reduce PFAS waste volume, and two parallel, single-use IX resin vessels for PFAS polishing. The polish vessels contain a blend of IX resins, tailored to the general water chemistry and PFAS species and their relative concentrations. Results/Lessons Learned. The PFAS remediation system has treated more than 9 million gallons of groundwater having a total influent average PFAS concentration of 70 µg/l. The effluent quality from the IX resin system has been consistently non-detect for all 13 monitored PFAS compounds, including the short-chain species, readily achieving compliance with the 70 ng/l HAL target. The system has been operated in the 40- to 70-gpm range since start-up, somewhat less than the design flowrate. This has been done to accommodate higher than anticipated influent iron concentrations and a lower than anticipated capacity of the groundwater recharge trench system. The resulting extended empty bed contact times (EBCTs) in both the back-washable GAC pre-treatment vessel and the IX resin vessels has resulted in better than projected PFAS removals. Also, the resin regeneration schedule has been modified to accommodate the lower flowrate by removing one of the two parallel trains from service. This has allowed the resin vessels to be loaded closer to design values. Five successful resin regenerations have been performed to date. Operational modifications have been made to address and correct minor challenges with the distillation system, and regenerant recovery and super-loading processes have proven successful. The original super-loading media is still operational, having removed and concentrated greater than 99.99 percent of the recovered PFAS mass, and therefore no PFAS waste has needed to be hauled off site to date. Steve Woodard, President, Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies Steve Woodard is the President and co-founder of ECT2 (Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies). ECT2 is an equipment company focused on developing and commercializing treatment technologies for emerging, difficult-to-treat contaminants. Steve’s focus is currently on commercializing Synthetic Media technologies for the sustainable treatment of PFAS, 1,4-dioxane, and other emerging contaminants. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Purdue University in 1992.
Moving Beyond Carbon for More Effective Removal of PFAS from Water
1 and Vicki Pearce 2 1Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies 2Conscia Pty Ltd.
The objective of this presentation is to explore the rationale for moving from GAC-based water treatment technology to resin based technology to sustainably treat PFAS contaminated groundwater.
Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was first detected in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire public water supply in May 2004. The level was above the Provisional Health Advisory level of 0.2 ug/l set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The City immediately shut down the affected well, and the contamination was traced to two other water supply wells, the Smith and Harrison wells. Since then, the EPA’s provisional Health Advisory has been updated to a lifetime Health Advisory Level (HAL). Eleven additional per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorobutyrate (PFBA), perfluorobutane sulfonate (PFBS), Perfluoro-n-pentanoic acid (PFPeA), perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), perfluoroheptanesulfonic acid (PFHpS), 6:2 fluorotelomer sulfonate (FTS), 8:2 FTS and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), for which there are no HALs established, were also detected in the three wells. In September 2016, the City installed two granular activated carbon (GAC) vessels to remove PFAS from the Smith and Harrison wells. It was subsequently decided that a side-by-side pilot test would be conducted to compare the effectiveness of Sorbix LC1 ion exchange (IX) resin versus Filtrasorb400 (F400) GAC. The objectives of the test were to: (1) compare the ability of Sorbix LC1 IX resin and F400 GAC to remove PFAS from the Haven well; (2) compare system sizing and design parameters to be used in the preparation of the full-scale treatment system technology evaluation; and, select the best PFAS-removal technology for full-scale implementation, based on lifecycle cost comparison and risk considerations. The pilot system was designed and fabricated to pump directly from the Haven Well using a peristaltic pump. The skid was double sided, supporting resin columns on one side and GAC columns on the other. Each of the two sides had a forward flowrate of 112 gallons per day and four columns in series, each with a 1.5-inch diameter, a 30-inch media bed height and a 2.5-minute empty bed contact time (EBCT). This setup facilitated the comparison of four different EBCTs; 2.5, 5, 7.5 and 10 minutes. The influent total PFAS concentration averaged 3.5 ug/l over the course of the yearlong pilot test. The IX resin substantially out-performed the GAC on all 12 PFAS that were present at detectable levels. The GAC column was operated until PFOA + PFOS breakthrough reached 0.07 ug/l at the 10-minute EBCT. This occurred at approximately 13,000 bed volumes (BVs). By contrast, the IX resin effluent from the shortest (2.5-minute) EBCT column remained well below the 0.07 ug/l HAL, even after treating more than 171,000 BVs. These results clearly demonstrate the appreciably higher treatment capacity and faster kinetics associated with Sorbix LC1 IX resin, compared to F400 GAC. Based on the results of the comparative pilot test, the City selected Sorbix LC1 IX resin for full-scale implementation to remove PFAS from the Haven water supply. The full-scale design includes two stages of IX resin vessels, operated in lead-lag configuration, each vessel having a 5-minutes EBCT. A single stage of GAC was included in polish position as a supplemental, risk management measure, based largely on the fact that City residents were already accustomed to GAC. Steve Woodard, President, Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies Steve Woodard is the President and co-founder of ECT2 (Emerging Compounds Treatment Technologies). ECT2 is an equipment company focused on developing and commercializing treatment technologies for emerging, difficult-to-treat contaminants. Steve’s focus is currently on commercializing Synthetic Media technologies for the sustainable treatment of PFAS, 1,4-dioxane, and other emerging contaminants. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Purdue University in 1992.
The Application of an Additivity Analysis to Provide Transparent and Scientific Rationale for the use of an Additive Approach in Drinking Water Quality Guidelines
Sarah Labib and Richard Carrier
The objective of this presentation is to present how additivity was considered in developing guideline technical documents for PFOS and PFOA.
Health Canada is responsible for assessing the health risks to Canadians associated with exposure to chemicals in drinking water and establishing Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Although Canadians are exposed to multiple chemicals simultaneously (i.e., mixtures), risk assessment efforts are focussed on the safety of individual chemicals. Considerations of potential health effects caused by exposure to mixtures need to be incorporated into risk assessments, but how this can be achieved is not clear. We explored the use of an additivity analysis, modified from the World Health Organization’s recently published framework for the risk assessment of chemical mixtures in source and drinking waters, as a method to provide justification for the grouping of chemicals for risk assessment. Considerations addressed included the nature of exposure, the likelihood of co-exposure, and toxicological considerations (including health effects). As test substances we used perfluorosulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), two substances used in various industrial/commercial applications, and for which drinking water guidelines are currently being developed. The results of the analysis showed that PFOS and PFOA are: (1) structurally similar; (2) used in similar applications/processes; (3) co-occur in Canadian drinking water (i.e., co-exposure likely); (4) eliminated from the human body very slowly (i.e., internal co-exposure likely); and, (5) exposure to both is associated with similar health effects in humans and experimental animals. Based on the systematic evaluation of exposure and toxicological information, the grouping of PFOS and PFOA for risk assessment, and the implementation of an additive approach, is appropriate in the interest of human health protection. Health Canada has used the results of this additivity analysis to implement an additive approach for a drinking water guideline for the first time. Richard Carrier, Section Head of Chemical Division, Water Quality, Water and Air Quality Bureau, Health Canada Richard Carrier is the Section Head of Chemical Division, Water Quality, Water and Air Quality Bureau at Health Canada in Ottawa.
Effective Treatment of Emerging Contaminants in Clay and Silt Using Electrokinetic Techniques
Evan Cox, David Reynolds, James Wang, Leah MacKinnon, Mark Watling
Geosyntec Consultants International Inc.
The objective of this presentation is to highlight the success of new innovative remediation options for treating emerging contaminants in clay and silt using electrokinetic techniques linked to bioremediation and chemical oxidation. The presentation will focus on case studies and techniques relevant to Canadian federal contaminated sites.
Contaminants in clays and silts are long-term sources of pollutants to groundwater, requiring costly remediation and monitoring over many decades. Significant advances have been made in the past few years in the area of electrokinetically (EK) enhanced amendment delivery to treat contaminant source areas in low permeability and highly heterogeneous subsurface materials. EK is an innovative approach that uses electrokinetic mechanisms to promote migration of amendments through clays/silts through electromigration, electroosmosis and/or electrophoresis. EK approaches are not dependent on hydraulic conductivity and can therefore achieve uniform and rapid distribution of amendments in clays and silts. Amendments can include electron donors (e.g., lactate), electron acceptors (e.g., nitrate), and/or bacteria (e.g., Dehalococcoides, Dehalobacter) for in-situ bioremediation (EK-BIO), or oxidants such as permanganate or thermally-activated persulfate for in-situ chemical oxidation (EK-ISCO and EK-TAP, respectively). Of particular relevance is that these EK techniques can used to treat emerging contaminants such as 1,4-dioxane, perchlorate, sulfolane and selected per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) constituents. This presentation will discuss how and where each of these EK remediation technologies were applied and will present in-depth results from multiple recently completed case studies. Evan Cox, Senior Principal Remediation Scientist, Geosyntec Consultants International Inc. Evan Cox is a senior principal remediation scientist at Geosyntec Consultants International Inc. with more than 28 years of demonstrated experience in the development and application of innovative in-situ remediation technologies for emerging contaminants in subsurface environments. He works with private sector interests and government research programs to develop innovative in-situ treatment technologies, and to demonstrate and validate their use at field scale for widespread commercial use. Evan has been actively involved in development, demonstration and validation of novel in-situ electrokinetic techniques to treat contaminant source areas in low permeability and heterogeneous materials. As part of his in-situ remediation research, development, and implementation work, he has authored over 50 professional publications and articles regarding the degradation of hazardous contaminants in subsurface environments, and has co-authored multiple guidance documents and educational courses for Environmental Protection Agencies.
Analytical Methodology in Determination of PFAS Contamination: Sediment, Surface Water, and Fish Tissue
Harry Behzadi, SGS
The objective of this presentation is to share procedures for fish tissue sampling and analysis of sample extracts for perfluorinated organics by LC-MS/MS.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of synthetic fluorinated chemicals used in many industrial and consumer products, including defence-related applications. They are persistent, found at low levels in the environment, and bio-accumulate. Studies have shown these compounds are being detected more often in surface water, sediments and/or bioaccumulated in fish tissue. Because the longer chain PFAS compounds have a greater affinity for fish than other environmental matrices, certain compounds are often found in fish tissue, but not in the water or sediment. More generally, PFAS is the compound that has generated the most concern in fish due to its frequent occurrence in the environment, its bioaccumulation in fish tissue, its potential human health risk, and the availability of health effects information needed to develop fish consumption advisories. In this presentation, we describe an overview of extraction and clean up procedures for fish tissue samples, including sample size, reagent and label isotopes used in this method. We also go over analysis of sample extracts for perfluorinated organics by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and how the MS is run at unit mass resolution in the Multiple Reaction Monitoring (MRM) mode. Further, the LC-MS/MS quantitation and calibration are discussed in more details to include the multi-level standards and their acceptance criteria, PFAS identification criteria such as retention time and primary and secondary ions used for each compound, and finally QA/QC requirements and their acceptance limits. In summary, PFAS compounds are widely distributed in many bodies of water all over the US due to historic and current industrial activities, as well as the presence of military facilities. These compounds are of concern because they do not break down in the environment, bioaccumulate in humans and biota, and may pose risks to human health. Harry Behzadi, Ph.D., Vice President, Business Development North America, SGS Dr. Harry Behzadi is currently Vice President of Business Development for SGS-EHS North America. Most recently he was the Vice President of Operations, for TestAmerica Inc Eastern region and prior to that responsible for west . before joing SGS. He was VP of operations, and Corporate Technical Director for Accutest Laboratories, Inc. Since 1994, Dr. Behzadi had spearheaded growth and expansion of Accutest Corporation in the Southeast and beyond to the West Coast. He started Southeast division in 1995 and developed the lab from a handful of employees to one of the largest environmental laboratory in the South with staff 90+ strong. He began his career over 30 years in pharmaceutical industry and since then he has been responsible for laboratory management, analytical method development, professional training and QA/QC in both the environmental and pharmaceutical industries. He has navigated multiple laboratories through certification and NELAP accreditation process, Dept. of Defense and Various Fortune 500 companies. His expertise encompasses all aspects of the environmental testing business including technical and operations management, new method development, acquisitions, operations integration, sales and business development.