The Burning Question: Should You Chase PFAS Everywhere?
Megan Garcia, Project Scientist | Environment, AECOM
Property owners are evaluating the potential presence in environmental media of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from current and historic site practices. Because PFAS-containing chemical did not require written recordation, as the compounds were considered environmentally benign, there is inherent uncertainty in specifying the size, location and magnitude of potential PFAS sources in soil and their resultant release to groundwater. By conducting Preliminary Assessments (PAs), many critical questions can be answered: Were PFAS released into the environment through use of firefighting foam or other chemical handling, testing, application or accidental spillage? Where is the critical mass of PFAS in soil that can affect water? Are those PFAS releases capable of reaching a drinking water supply? Is drinking water already impacted? Developing a conceptual site model (CSM) using PA information supports development of a source-pathway-receptor relationship for each potential release area and, having a robust and reliable CSM, controls uncertainties in the planning of possible mitigation strategies.
Megan serves as a project scientist for AECOM’s Orlando, Florida office with 8 years of combined experience in environmental remediation and Laboratory. Her primary focus is on the characterization and remediation of environmental contamination including chlorinated solvents and PFAS for federal, state, and private clients. The majority of her PFAS experience is in completing preliminary assessments at various DOD facilities to identify potential PFAS release areas (predominantly AFFF) and develop conceptual site models.