Defining Knowledge Gaps in the Understanding of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances in the Subsurface

FY 2018 STATEMENT OF NEED

Environmental Restoration (ER) Program Area 

The objective of this limited-scope Statement of Need (SON) is to address specific knowledge gaps identified in the May 2017 SERDP and ESTCP Workshop on Management of Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)-Impacted Sites. The knowledge gaps of interest are those that require collection and analysis of existing data on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), not additional experimental work. Specifically, the goal was to address the following objectives:

  • Develop the basis for an approach for assessing PFAS risks to threatened and endangered (T&E) species. Such an approach should be summarized in a white paper and consider common T&E species at AFFF-impacted sites, associated exposure factors for PFASs, and suitable surrogate (non-T&E) species. Available toxicological information for the surrogate species also would be needed, including the No Observed and Lowest Observed Effect Levels (NOEL and LOEL), respectively.
  • Form the basis for future development of innovative on-site technologies for concentrated PFAS waste streams by summarizing the characteristics of waste streams from common approaches as well as theorizing the waste composition of potential innovative approaches.
  • Define lines of evidence for assessing effectiveness of proposed remediation technologies based on the current state of the science.

The projects listed below were selected to address the objectives of this SON. Additional information on individual projects can be found by clicking the project title.

Research should lead to improved management of PFAS sites by facilitating the establishment of more cost-effective and efficient remedial action plans that are protective of human health and the environment. Addressing knowledge gaps described above will provide a basis for future research that meets critical needs in effectively managing AFFF-impacted sites.

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