Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Resource Center

GZA implements a cautious and iterative environmental and health risk approach in evaluating the potential presence of PFAS.  We collect PFAS-specific field samples using qualified laboratories and PFAS specific sampling procedures. We take these precautions because of the ultra-low PFAS reporting requirements and the potential risk of cross-contamination which could lead to false positive results. We work with industry, attorneys, water suppliers, governmental agencies, and real estate developers.

 

PFAS are a class of man-made chemicals that have been found to be widespread in the environment and has public health, ecological and financial impacts.   

Sources of PFAS may include: Fire-fighting foams used at military bases, airports, fire-training centers, and accidents; Leachate from landfills; Biosolids and effluent discharges from wastewater treatment facilities; Industrial manufacturing discharges, permitted or unpermitted, from electroplating, aerospace, electronics, or automotive facilities; and a range of Consumer Products including car waxes, water repellents, cookware, stain-resistant materials, cosmetics, and food packaging. 

 

GZA’s approach to PFAS mitigation:

Risk management - GZA can help you assess whether, and when, you should test for PFAS; manage the ever-changing regulatory process from investigation to remediation; evaluate potential exposure pathways; and develop a sound scientific approach for mitigating environmental and health hazards. 

Experience - GZA has considerable experience investigating PFAS migration pathways, identifying the sources of these complex chemicals, and developing a sound science-based and fiscally responsible approach.  Our senior practitioners participate in the development of national guidance documents and are actively involved in shaping future policy.

Stakeholder support – GZA will be your responsible technical advocate, providing experienced and qualified personnel to help you address the regulatory, public relations, and technical challenges surrounding PFAS.  

Industry

Current and former industrial sites with a history of manufacturing products with PFAS (e.g., Teflon®) face rapidly changing regulatory requirements. 

Today these compounds have been identified as emerging contaminants that now require manufacturers to identify PFAS on TRI reports and to include PFAS analyses for effluent discharges. Previously closed disposal sites may be reopened to address PFAS contamination, and the past disposal of PFAS-containing products, as non-regulated waste, could result in future litigation issues.  GZA has worked over the decades with industrial clients to help them understand and comply in a cost-effective manner with the many environmental regulations that have been promulgated since the 1970s, acting as a strong advocate on their behalf.  

Expertise
  • Site characterization
  • Soil remediation
  • Groundwater remediation 
  • Air and groundwater fate & transport modeling
  • Permitting and regulatory support.  
  • Ecological risk assessment.
Legal

GZA provides specialists in toxicology, geology, hydrogeology, fate and transport modeling, and environmental remediation.  

Our team stays up to date on the latest regulatory requirements and evolving treatment technologies for PFAS. We are here to help from forensic analyses to litigation.

Expertise
  • Toxicology 
  • Litigation Support
  • Forensic analyses 
  • Analysis of air dispersion pathways
  • Groundwater modeling
Water Supplies

The pervasive nature of PFAS, combined with parts-per-trillion drinking water action limits, may have impacts to public and private water supplies in many communities. 

GZA’s Team can assist in the development of well head treatment, the evaluation of how PFAS is entering the well field, the development of approaches for controlling future PFAS contamination, and, if necessary, the identification of a new water supply source. 

Read our case study on the development and permitting of an artificial recharge system at New Hampshire's Spruce Hole Aquifer.

Expertise
  • Site characterization
  • Groundwater modeling
  • Plume delineation and migration pathways 
  • Artificial recharge
State, Federal, & Municipal

PFAS has directly and indirectly affected local municipalities, states, and federal agencies.  

Municipal potential impact areas may include landfills, water supplies, wastewater treatment facilities, leaching fields, incinerators, and the application of firefighting foam (training site, accidents, and structure fires).  GZA has worked in all these areas and can provide sound technical advice using applicable regulations to provide cost effective solutions.  

Expertise
  • Integrating regulation into cost effective solutions
  • Stakeholder communication
  • Permitting
  • Source identification through forensic analyses
  • Site characterization and remediation
  • Development of alternative water supply sources 
     
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Here to Help With Your New Project

 

Richard Desrosiers, PG, LEP
Associate Principal, PFAS Initiative Lead

 

 

 

Mark Westra
Associate Principal, Great Lakes Lead