What are PFAS?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals” are a family of more than 4,700 man-made chemicals. Their specific chemical properties have made them commonly used in manufacturing and industrial applications such as: firefighting foam also known as AFFF, cleaning products, non-stick cookware, and water-resistant clothing.
What are the effects of PFAS on the environment and health?
Many PFAS chemicals do not break down easily in the environment and can contaminate drinking water and move through soils. PFAS chemicals can also build up in fish, wildlife and humans with evidence linking them to negative health effects such as:
- Reproductive effects
- Developmental effects or delays in children
- Increased risks of certain cancers
- Interference with natural hormones
- Reduced ability of the body’s immune system to fight infections and reduced vaccine response
Our complete A to Z solution for PFOA and PFOS
From securing available funds, managing PFOA and PFOS treatment in contaminated water, waste treatment through incineration, or other safe disposal options, our six-step approach offers tailor-made solutions to maximize your efficiency and water and waste management.
Administer sample plan development, training, sampling, and testing via for ground, surface water, or wastewater.
Evaluate water characteristics and potential treatment challenges within state/local policy. Deliver temporary/emergency solutions or full scale treatment.
Conduct lab trials or pilot testing in the field to evaluate pretreatment needs and best fit technologies (e.g., active carbon, ion exchange, reverse osmosis, foam fractionation).
Select process technology and sizing for your chemical destruction in a safe, environmentally friendly manner, while minimizing life cycle cost (including operations and maintenance expenses, such as media change out optimization and disposal costs).
Capital program management services with a turnkey solution that includes construction and operations and maintenance pricing.
Are PFAS regulated in the United States?
Drinking water regulations
At the federal level, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established non-enforceable health advisories of 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt) for PFOA, 0.02 ppt for PFOS, 10 ppt for GenX chemicals, and 2,000 ppt for PFBS for drinking water.
At the state level, multiple states have developed their own enforceable standards for drinking water that vary. Currently, there are maximum contaminant levels in seven states:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
At the moment, there are no federal regulations for PFAS in wastewater. The EPA is proposing monitoring requirements to reduce PFAS discharge in stormwater and wastewater. The EPA will also be initiating three new rulemaking revisals to effluent limitations guidelines and pretreatment standards for:
- Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers category to address PFAS discharges from facilities manufacturing PFAS
- Metal Finishing category to address PFAS discharges from chromium electroplating facilities
- Meat and Poultry Products category to address nutrient discharges
Hazardous waste regulations
The EPA is proposing to designate two types of PFAS: PFOA and PFOS as hazardous substances under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund. This classification would make responsible parties for sites contaminated with PFOA and PFOS liable for the full costs of recovery and enforcement actions under the Superfund Act. This may also impose new or different remedial actions for sites contaminated with these substances.
What are the available funds?
In 2021, The U.S. government unveiled a nationwide multi-agency plan to reduce PFAS pollution. As part of this plan, the EPA released a comprehensive strategy outlining deadlines and concrete actions that municipalities will have to follow. Over the next three years, these actions include steps to control PFAS at its sources, hold polluters accountable, ensure science-based decision making, and address the impacts on disadvantaged communities. The U.S. Government allocated $23.4 billion for the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act, $10 billion of which will address PFAS. The $10 billion is divided into three categories:
Your PFAS management options
We provide treatment of PFOA and PFOS to both municipal and industrial customers including municipal drinking water facilities, military sites, airports, refineries, manufacturers, and more.
Our PFAS treatment solution for municipal drinking water customers
We use the most adaptive technologies on the market to treat municipal drinking water facilities. While regulations continue to develop and vary by state, we work closely with federal and state regulators as well as your facility to help you meet and maintain compliance for drinking water standards.
Our PFAS treatment solution for industrial customers
Veolia partners with our industrial customers to use available technologies to treat and remediate contaminated wastewater onsite. We closely monitor government regulations and the EPA’s Strategic Roadmap for the compliance of your sites with new and or changing regulations.
Our waste management solution
We work with industrial and municipal customers to offer a safe and reliable disposal method for the waste through incineration at our facility in Port Arthur, Texas.