Emerging Contaminant Investigation and Monitoring
Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of synthetic compounds that are resistant to heat, water, and oil. They are used in hundreds of products including nonstick cookware, food packaging, waterproof clothing, fabric stain protectors, lubricants, paints, and firefighting foams such as aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF). PFAS are persistent, resist degradation in the environment, and are bioaccumulative.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed lifetime health advisories for drinking water containing two PFAS: perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and/or perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).
AFFF use by the military—from the early 1970s, the Department of Defense (DoD) purchased and used AFFF containing PFOS and/or PFOA for firefighting and firefighting training activities. AFFF use at military installations may have included aircraft hangars, plane crash and fire emergency response sites, firefighting equipment testing areas, fire trucks and/or emergency vehicles wash racks/areas, waste water treatment plants, waste lagoons, and other AFFF storage areas.
As industry leaders and prime contractors in PFAS and emerging contaminant science, SES companies provide a full complement of services related to the investigation and treatment of a broad list of PFAS, including PFOS and PFOA.
We have established an in-house core team of professional engineers, geologists, and scientists who are dedicated to supporting our emerging contaminant program. Our experts are keenly aware of the dynamic regulatory environment that surrounds emerging contaminants and have strong relationships with regulatory agencies that help our clients navigate the regulatory process. We routinely monitor and evaluate changing state and federal regulations and advisories to ensure our clients are aware of any updates that may affect planning and site response actions.
Our Emerging Contaminant Services include:
- Preliminary Assessments
- Site Inspections and Investigations
- Risk Screening and Evaluation
- Pathway Analysis
- Potable Well Surveys
- Response Actions
- Community Relations Support
- Groundwater and Drinking Water Remediation
Site Inspections of AFFF Areas, Multiple Sites, US Air Force (USAF) Bases (2015 – 2021). Aerostar SES LLC (ASL) is conducting a PFAS Preliminary Assessment at 1 USAF base and Site Inspections at 148 AFFF areas on 22 USAF bases to determine if a release of PFAS may have occurred in groundwater, soil, surface water, and sediment per EPA Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Site Inspection guidance. Expanded Site Inspections (ESIs) were conducted at five bases to further evaluate the nature and extent of contamination. Clients: USACE, Omaha District and AFCEC
AFFF Removal/Replacement, Various Naval Bases (2019–2020). SES Civil and Environmental LLC (SCE) is completing task orders to remove AFFF from firefighting vehicles and concentrate tanks within hangars, and to triple-rinse the tanks and connected piping, and to containerize the recovered concentrate and rinsate. Client: NAVFAC Southeast
PFAS Groundwater Remediation, Former AFB (2017–2020). ASL completed the design-build of a 1,000-gpm capacity, granular activated carbon (GAC) groundwater treatment system that was brought online in August 2018 to treat PFOS and PFOA in groundwater being discharged into surface water. The GAC treatment system is effectively reducing PFOS and PFOA to concentrations below state surface water discharge criteria. Clients: USACE, Omaha District and AFCEC
Expanded Site Inspection, Former AFB (2017–2020). ASL conducted an ESI to determine the nature and extent of PFAS impacts from former fire training areas and their impact on downgradient drinking water wells. Deep groundwater well clusters (>400 ft below ground surface [bgs]) were evaluated for vertical and horizontal extent to support conceptual site model development and risk screening evaluation. Client: AFCEC
PFAS Release Determination, Delineation, and Remediation at Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Installations (2015–2018). ASL conducted PFAS Site Inspections at 19 former USAF BRAC bases and 183 AFFF areas. ESIs were conducted at 4 former bases to further determine the extent of contamination. Project tasks included laboratory audits and proficiency testing, evaluating human health and ecological receptors, conducting potable well surveys, supporting USAF base’s Restoration Advisory Board and other public meetings, and implementing mitigation measures. ASL designed and installed >200 whole home treatment systems and sampled more than 500 private wells for PFAS, in response to potential contamination. Client: AFCEC
Site Investigations of AFFF Use on Various USAF Bases in the Eastern US (2015–2019). ASL conducted PFAS Preliminary Assessments at two USAF bases and PFAS Site Inspections at 188 AFFF areas on 19 USAF bases to determine if PFAS was present in groundwater, soil, surface water, and sediment per EPA CERCLA Site Inspection guidance. Clients: USACE, Savannah District and AFCEC
Site Investigations of AFFF Use on Various USAF Bases (2013–2014). SES Construction and Fuel Services LLC (SCF) identified and investigated areas at 10 installations and 40 AFFF areas. The Site Inspections evaluated aircraft maintenance hangars, areas where spray tests were performed, oil/water separators, fire stations, crash sites, foamed runways, AFFF storage areas, and drainage ditches and basins. Clients: USACE, Savannah District and AFCEC