Groundwater and PFAS


NGWA supports legislation to create national response to PFAS crisis

May 2, 2019, 10:18 AM by Pat Levak
NGWA supports bill’s strong interagency framework.

U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced legislation called “The Safe Drinking Water Assistance Act” on May 1 that would help address contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The legislation was also introduced in the last Congress.

The bill contains provisions that, if enacted, would:

  • Direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create a program to provide federal support and technical assistance to communities that have detected emerging contaminants in their water supply
  • Establish and maintain a comprehensive database of resources to assist states and water stakeholders with testing for emerging contaminants
  • Direct the EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services to convene an interagency working group to improve federal efforts to identify and respond to emerging contaminants
  • Direct the Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop an interagency federal research strategy to improve the identification, analysis, and treatment of emerging contaminants.

NGWA is a supporter of the legislation because of the strong interagency federal framework that would be created and because of the resources that would be made available to federal, state, and local communities affected.

“The bipartisan leadership shown by Senators Portman and Shaheen in introducing this legislation takes a meaningful step toward addressing the challenges posed by PFAS contamination,” says Lauren Schapker, NGWA’s director of government affairs.

The legislation is also supported by the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies and the Water Quality Association.

NGWA guidance document


NGWA published Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice, a guidance document on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in 2017. Created by 36 NGWA volunteers who spent 1100 hours on it over the course of 12 months, it 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 PFAS; it summarizes the fate, transport, remediation, and treatment of PFAS, as well as current technologies, methods, and field procedures.


Fate of PFAS: From Groundwater to Tap Water Conference
August 5-6, 2020

NGWA PFAS expert

seth-kelloggSeth Kellogg, PG, a senior geologist at Geosyntec Consultants,​ was elected to the board of the Scientists and Engineers Section of NGWA in 2016, and the national board in 2019. She has more than 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 PFAS have emerged as environmental concerns, Kellogg 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 coauthoring NGWA’s Groundwater and PFAS: State of Knowledge and Practice (NGWA Press 2017). In May 2018, Kellogg was recommended by members of the NGWA Board of Directors to represent the Association at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Leadership Summit on PFAS. 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 also served as a program adviser and facilitator for NGWA’s PFAS in Groundwater Workshop that was held in August 2018.