PFAS OVERVIEW

PFAS is Our Top Source Control Challenge
Lorien Fono, the Executive Director of the Bay Area Clean Water Association, summarizes the PFAS challenges California is facing.
Removing PFAS Starts at The Source
Walter Marlowe, the Executive Director of the Water Environment Federation (WEF), calls for all uses of PFAS related compounds to be stopped immediately.
Seven Habits of Highly Effective PFAS Source-Trackers
A column from our PFAS topic sponsor, Carollo Engineers.

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Have  PFAS resource or article to contribute? Email CWEA at ebu[email protected]

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PFAS STORIES

EPA Announces Plans for Wastewater Regulations and Studies, Including Limits for PFAS, New Study for Nutrients

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15 (Plan 15), which lays out how the Agency will work to protect the nation’s waterways by following the science and the Clean Water Act to develop technology-based pollution limits and studies on wastewater discharges from industrial sources. This Plan focuses on evaluating the…

Synthetic “Forever Chemical” Linked to Liver Cancer

Exposure to a synthetic chemical found widely in the environment is linked to non-viral hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and published in JHEP Reports. These chemicals, which are used in a wide range of consumer…

The Ill-Foreverness of PFAS 

It is a fact that chemistry has changed our world for the better. It has played an important role in the production of commercial products, thus making a great variety of raw materials accessible to manufacturers across all industrial sectors and leading to the production of many consumer products. However, we hear more and more…

San Francisco Bay Area Agencies Participate in Land Application Biosolids Study

  Three San Francisco Bay Area wastewater agencies are participating in an EPA-funded national research program looking at the prioritization, fate, and transport of unregulated organic chemicals (UOCs) in the environment resulting from land application of biosolids. The three agencies, including the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District in San Rafael, the City of Santa Rosa,…

On the Frontlines of Finding PFAS

In early 2022, OC San proudly announced they were the first municipal wastewater lab in California accredited to test for PFAS in wastewater. Today, there are 20 labs in California accredited for PFAS testing, OC San and the Inland Empire Utilities Agency are the only approved municipal labs. OC San operates a state-of-the-art Environmental Sciences…

A Critical Need: Supercritical Water Treatment for PFAS Elimination 

The practice of treating wastewater has existed since the 19th century, beginning with centralized designs to keep sewage discharge out of clean water sources. Around this time, efforts to separate storm runoff from wastewater was also introduced in many communities. Fast forward to today, decades of focus on the environmental impact of waste treatment and…

OC San Helping to Pinpoint the Sources of PFAS 

Mark Kawamoto and his team at Orange County Sanitation District, also known as OC San, are trying to solve a riddle: “How does PFAS make its way into water resource recovery facilities?” PFAS are in wastewater that is treated at water resource recovery facilities (WRRFs), including at OC San’s two facilities, but the source of…

Breaking Down the Facts about PFAS in Biosolids

In 2018, the media seized on a story about a small dairy farm in Maine that was forced to no longer produce milk due to sludge and biosolids spread on the farm as fertilizer under a state-sponsored program from 1983 to 2004. Wastewater utilities were quickly blamed for another environmental disaster, not of their own…

PFAS Legislation We Have Seen in 2022

The California Legislature has taken action to limit the use of PFAS in recent years, enacting bills to phase them out of food packaging, banning their use in nearly all firefighting foam, and requiring notification on cookware containing PFAS. Three bills relating to PFAS were passed in the 2022 Legislative Session. The bills included two…

Seven Habits of Highly Effective PFAS Source-Trackers

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous, including detectable amounts typically in the parts per trillion (ppt) range in wastewater effluent and parts per billion (ppb) range in solids. The US EPA plans to publish ambient water quality human-health-based criteria for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) by Fall 2024. The EPA also…

PFAS Legislative & Regulatory Developments in California

Per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals, often called “forever chemicals” because they are extremely resistant to breaking down and they persist in the environment and the human body, leading to continued exposure and health risks into the future. Despite these problems, PFAS are widely used by industry and are in…

Removing PFAS Starts at The Source

Stories about PFAS have multiplied as we discover more about these “forever chemicals.” They’ve been in our lives since the 1940s – used in clothing, carpets, couches, cookware, cosmetics, and more – but we had no idea until this century that prolonged exposure could be harmful to our health. At least 80 percent of PFAS…

PFAS is the Top Source Control Challenge of Our Time

Welcome to this special edition of CWEA’s winter magazine. Polyfluoroalkyl and Perfluoroalkyl compounds, or PFAS for short, are a family of chemical compounds with a’ persistence, ubiquity, and toxicity at very low levels that make them the leading contaminant challenge of our time. In 2020, the State Water Resources Control Board issued an investigative order…

New California Laws Ban PFAS in Juvenile Products and Food Packaging

On October 5, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom signed two bills prohibiting PFAS in juvenile products (AB 652) and disposable food packaging (AB 1200). The two new laws are a part of a trend in PFAS regulation in both California and national food law compliance. The persistence, ubiquity, and uncertainty of the health effects of PFAS have…

EPA Announces Comprehensive National Strategy to Confront PFAS Pollution

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael S. Regan announced the agency’s comprehensive Strategic Roadmap to confront PFAS contamination nationwide. The Roadmap is the result of a thorough analysis conducted by the EPA Council on PFAS that Administrator Regan established in April 2021. EPA’s Roadmap is centered on three guiding strategies: Increase investments in…

Report Finds PFAS Raises the Cost of Managing Biosolids

In recent years, PFAS has become a topic of public concern, particularly when found in water supplies. We in the water sector are also concerned about PFAS because protecting public health and the environment and increasing sustainability in our communities is our daily mission. The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and its members always prioritize science,…

PFAS Primer for Clean Water Professionals

Download the presentation (pdf) Student and Young Professionals RECORDED Webinar SYP webinars are sponsored by the Los Angeles Basin Section; San Francisco Bay Section and Desert and Mountains Section. Chemicals called PFAS have been in the headlines lately: These emerging contaminants are the focus of a major Hollywood movie, a Congressional task force, and considerable…

Hot Topics: PFAS Info and Discussions at CWEA Events

CWEA is tracking the challenges associated with PFAS, a family of chemicals that are compounds of emerging concern. Join us for an upcoming webinar or conference to build your understanding of the challenges, hear from experts and add your voice. From the State Water Board’s PFAS info website… Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a…

PFAS Technical Seminar Video Recordings, Agenda, Speaker Abstracts and Biographies, Presentations, and Survey

The State Water Resources Control Board recently hosted a 2-day Technical Seminar and concurrent Datathon on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Recordings of the seminar along with the agenda, speaker biographies and abstracts is provided on the State Water Board’s PFAS website at https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/pfas. The presentations from the PFAS Technical Seminar are available at: Link:…

AWWA Releases Briefing on PFAS

Released this month by AWWA, click here for AWWA’s PFAS website… AWWA Briefing on PFAS PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are persistent synthetic compounds used in a variety of industrial and consumer product applications including non-stick cookware and firefighting foams. The presence of PFAS compounds in source water and drinking water is of increasing…

CASA Releases Fact Sheet on PFAS

PFAS Are Ubiquitous in Our Homes and Our Environment Several recent legislative and regulatory efforts across the US to address PFAS have focused on limiting levels in drinking water. However, there has been relatively little conversation about the presence of these chemicals in our everyday lives. In several studies, the mean and median concentration of…

WateReuse Association Releases PFAS Regulatory Recommendations

PFAS compounds are contained in dozens of common household products, in the dust we breathe, and in the blood of nearly every person in America. There are over 3,000 varieties of PFAS that have been created, with about 75 of these used in commercial applications; very little is known about most of them. What is…

2019 Academy of Environmental Engineers West Coast Event a Success

On October 17, 2019 the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) hosted their annual West Coast Event titled Climate Change: Water and Wastewater Agencies Adaptation and Resiliency at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) Authority. The 2019 AAEES West Coast Event began with an alfresco networking dinner in the patio area….

Video: PFAS and Biosolids Connections, Concerns and Consequences

Video interview by Water World magazine. Black & Veatch’s Lynne Moss discusses the relationship between PFAS substances and biosolids.    

State Maps PFOA and PFOS Contamination in Drinking Water Wells

Update 10/15/19: The LA Times used the State’s date and released an on-line PFOS/PFOA map detailing wells with the compounds at parts per trillion. Now Available Through Web-based Maps Comprehensive Assessment to Continue with Updated Data The State Water Resources Control Board posted the first results of testing for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid…

Hold the Date: Pretreatment, Pollution Prevention, and Stormwater Conference

A message from the Pretreatment, Pollution Prevention, and Stormwater Conference Chair Dear Fellow Water Professionals, It is a fascinating time to work in the field of water. From enhanced source control to identifying constituents of emerging concern, new leaders and policies are emerging and changing the game. It has never been more pertinent for water professionals across…

Guest Article: PFAS Concerns Trigger Regulatory and Legal Responses

This article originally appeared as a Best Best & Krieger LLP Legal Alert. Reprinted with permission. By Lowry A. Crook and Shawn D. Hagerty Best Best & Krieger LLP Concerns about rising health risks from a group of chemicals called PFAS in water supplies are spurring responses from both federal and state lawmakers, regulators and…

State Water Board Updates Guidelines for Testing and Reporting PFOA and PFOS As It Assesses Scope of Problem

The State Water Resources Control Board announced updated guidelines for local water agencies to follow in detecting and reporting the presence of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water.  The Board also announced it has begun the process of establishing regulatory standards for these chemicals. The updated guidelines are part of the…

WEFTEC19: View a List of California Speakers

It’s almost fall so it must be time for WEFTEC! Close to 25,000 water professionals; 1,000 technology exhibits; and hundreds of educational sessions make it one of the world’s largest water conferences. Not to be missed. California had an outstanding number of speakers selected to present. Don’t miss you friends speaking at WEFTEC. We’re also…

State and Federal Actions on PFAS Continue to Mount

The family of chemicals known as per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, also known as PFAS and PFOA, continues to be a hot topic of growing concern at the state and federal level. The substances have been used in a variety of manufacturing industries around the globe, including food packaging and commercial household products. There is…

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