Throughout the country, there are hundreds of fire training areas where aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) was applied, resulting in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) impacts to surface water and groundwater. At many facilities, AFFF release has resulted in egress and diffusion into (and adsorption onto) concrete and asphalt surfaces rendering them potential sources for PFAS leaching. Effective tools are needed to stabilize and mitigate PFAS leaching from AFFF-impacted concrete. Work conducted in Australia on local sites in the last five years has demonstrated the potential for stabilizing agents such as surface and penetrating sealants to cost-effectively mitigate PFAS leaching risks in concrete. These data suggest variability in concrete, environmental conditions, and uses affect sealant performance. As such, standardized methods are needed to rapidly assess the potential for PFAS leaching based on site-specific attributes, such as concrete type, AFFF use, and future use/remedial goals. Studies are also needed to evaluate sealant types and applications to support the selection process and to ensure that methods are compatible with PFAS and resulting data are representative of the risk of PFAS leaching under waste disposal or reuse scenarios.
Accordingly, the overarching goal of this project is to identify and validate the performance of sealants and to develop a framework for evaluating their efficacy to mitigate or stabilize PFAS leaching from AFFF-impacted concrete.
A multi-staged approach will be undertaken using literature review, laboratory, modelling, and field approaches including:
This project will result in information that allows for more informed management of AFFF-impacted concrete, including a framework to use for selection of sealants/combinations. (Anticipated Project Completion - 2025)