Groundwater and PFAS


EPA releases draft groundwater clean-up guidelines

Apr 26, 2019, 10:33 AM by Pat Levak
Recommended standard for PFOA and PFAS is 70 ppt.

As a part of its PFAS Action Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released draft groundwater clean-up guidelines on April 25 for two types of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS — PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate).

The EPA set a standard of 70 parts per trillion (ppt) for groundwater cleanup, placing it in line with its health advisory level, also set at 70 ppt. The guideline applies in places where contaminated groundwater is a current or potential source of drinking water.

Setting a standard of 70 ppt seemed to split the difference between setting a higher standard, which was the preference of Department of Defense (DoD) and a more stringent standard, in line with the recent health studies released on the two chemicals.

The draft guidelines also suggest that when a level of PFAS contamination at 40 ppt is detected, an investigation should be opened to determine the extent of the contamination and identify responsible parties.

The guidelines were originally set to be released in the fall of 2018, but were stalled at the White House after concerns from DoD officials over the stringency of the guidelines was expressed.

The draft guidelines are open for public comment for 45 days. NGWA is going to convene its PFAS Task Group to prepare a response.

NGWA Guidance Document


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.



PFAS in Groundwater Workshop: The Professional’s Challenge
June 18, 2019

The PFAS Management, Mitigation, and Remediation Conference
June 19-20, 2019

PFAS in Groundwater Workshop: The Professional’s Challenge
December 5, 2019



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.​​