Emerging Environmental Contaminants

We work to investigate and remediate emerging chemical pollutants like PFAS in water and soil.

New contaminants of concern are identified as regulatory agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) learn more about how synthetic chemicals affect the environment. Remediation strategies and regulations around these emerging environmental contaminants are often rapidly evolving, and GeoEngineers’ environmental scientists and engineers work hard to stay on the cutting edge.

What Are PFAS?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, are a class of synthetic fluorine compounds known for their ability to repel water and oil. PFAS are used in a variety of consumer products and in firefighting foams. Common PFAS include perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS).

PFAS Effects in Water and Soil

PFAS are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT). These compounds can take decades or more to break down, are particularly strong, meaning PFAS can be very persistent in the environment. Popularly known as “forever chemicals,” PFAS compounds can take decades or more to break down. They are highly soluble and often less likely to bind to soils, allowing them to migrate through groundwater into rivers and lakes. There, they accumulate in surface water, sediments, and fish tissue and are very difficult to remove. The EPA is actively promoting research into the effects of PFAS and the best ways to remediate these challenging contaminants when they are discovered in municipal water supplies.

GeoEngineers’ PFAS Cleanup Services Include

  • Remedial Investigations/Feasibility Studies
  • Cleanup Action Plans
  • Regulatory Guidance
  • Groundwater modeling
  • Soil and Groundwater Remedial Design
  • Long-term monitoring
  • Natural Resource Damage Assessments
  • Risk Assessments
  • Expert Witnesses and Legal Support
  • Source Control
  • Brownfields Redevelopment
  • Construction Observation

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