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Groundwater and PFAS


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EPA releases draft toxicity assessment for two PFAS chemicals; seeks public input

Nov 16, 2018, 07:02 AM by Pat Levak
Release of the draft toxicity values provides an opportunity for NGWA to provide comments during a 60-day public comment period.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released draft toxicity values for chemicals known as GenX and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS) — chemicals in the PFAS family used as replacements for PFOA and PFOS.

GenX and PFBS were seen as potentially safer alternatives to PFOA and PFOS, but the draft toxicity values proposed highlight exposure to these alternatives is also harmful.

The draft toxicity values provide EPA’s best assessment as to how much of the chemicals are acceptable before adverse health impacts may occur. Assessing toxicity represents the first step in determining whether additional action to protect public health should be taken.

The EPA announced it does not have plans to regulate these chemicals at this time, but will provide the information to state, tribal, and local governments to help them take any local action necessary.

Release of the draft toxicity values provides an opportunity for NGWA to provide comments during a 60-day public comment period reinforcing the Association’s message that more federal regulatory certainty is needed for certain PFAS chemicals, including PFBS and GenX.

If interested in working with NGWA to prepare comments, or if you would like information on how to submit your own comments, to the EPA, please contact NGWA Director of Government Affairs Lauren Schapker at lschapker@ngwa.org.

NGWA Guidance Document

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NGWA published Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice, a guidance document on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The guidance document, created by 36 NGWA volunteers who spent 1100 hours on it over 12 months, is a comprehensive eight-part piece exploring the potentially hazardous, and widely discussed, compounds in groundwater and soil. NGWA published the document to identify the known science and knowledge related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) compounds. It summarizes the fate, transport, remediation, and treatment of PFAS, as well as current technologies, methods, and field procedures.

NGWA PFAS Experts

seth-kelloggSeth Kellogg, PG, a senior geologist at Geosyntec Consultants,​ was elected to the board of the Scientist and Engineers Section of National Ground Water Association (NGWA) in 2016.  She has 25 years of experience in evaluating complex contaminant hydrogeology and groundwater-surface water interactions, including large groundwater and sediment sites in New York and New Jersey.  As per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have emerged as environmental concerns, she has been working with NGWA to advance the industry’s understanding and implementation of best practices.  She has presented and published on the technical and regulatory challenges of PFAS contamination, including co-authoring NGWA’s “Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice” (NGWA 2018). In May 2018, Ms. Kellogg was recommended by members of the NGWA Board of Directors and to represent NGWA at the United State Environmental Protection Agency National Leadership Summit on PFAS.  Ms. Kellogg’s leadership on PFAS has also included several presentations educating industry professionals on the fragmented PFAS regulatory framework, PFAS characterization challenges, and the complexities of PFAS fate and transport.  She is currently serving as a program advisor and facilitator for NGWA’s PFAS in Groundwater Workshop (August 2018).


lauren-schapkerLauren Schapker, NGWA Government Affairs Director manages the Association’s government affairs program focusing on legislative and regulatory impacts around a number of key issues, including PFAS and other emerging contaminants, infrastructure, natural resources, and energy. In addition to policy, Lauren also oversees the sweeping grassroots and political engagement efforts of NGWA. Prior to joining NGWA, she served as director of government and political affairs for the Portland Cement Association, where she focused on energy and infrastructure issues.  Schapker also spent several years at Xenophon Strategies, a boutique public affairs firm, where she focused on representing local governments and municipalities with transportation and infrastructure needs.​​