PFAS Experience

Published On: June 11, 2024

State-wide PFAS Damages Assessment

August Mack was retained by a team of legal experts representing a State government to assess the damages associated with PFAS contamination of an entire State. The State has filed a claim against PFAS manufacturers asking them to be responsible for cleanup of environmental media throughout the State that has been impacted by PFAS.

To make this assessment, August Mack inventoried 1,000 sites for which documented PFAS contamination exists. These sites include industrial sites, landfills, private and municipal water supplies, wastewater treatment plants, rivers, lakes and streams. The assessment evaluated impacts to soil, groundwater, surface water and sediment.

The sites were categorized, and a Monte Carlo cost simulation model was used to estimate the probable range of cleanup costs for each category of sites. The number of sites was then extrapolated to yield the entire costs of damages from the claim. This work was led by August Mack and used by multiple experts in industry and academia to pursue this claim.

Plume Delineation and Investigation

The August Mack team acted as a subcontractor for a client at a millitary base in Michigan to investigate and address areas of the site where there were releases of per- and polyfluorinated substances during the operations of the base. Services provided by August Mack employees during this contract included drilling of vertical aquifer sampling (VAS) locations; performing 28 vertical aquifer samples at depths of 45, 60, and 70 feet below ground surface; installing 28 two-inch monitoring wells in support of ongoing investigating activities; monitoring of well development; continuous logging of soil lithology; providing soil cores to site personnel; decontamination of equipment before and between each sample location; and management of project waste.

PFAS Strategic Planning – Public Utility

August Mack was retained by a large water and wastewater utility serving over 1,000,000 customers to develop its overall strategy for managing PFAS associated with its operations. The utility uses groundwater and surface water to provide drinking water to its customers and operates an extensive wastewater conveyance and treatment system to collect and treat stormwater and industrial and sanitary wastewater.  The planning includes informing internal management on federal, state, and local PFAS regulations and PFAS risks to utility operations.

August Mack identified all aspects of utility operations that were most affected by PFAS risks including, industrial wastewater, discharges, and biosolids from the wastewater treatment plans, the delivery of finished drinking water to customers and reopeners for previously closed hazardous waste and Superfunds sites. August Mack is facilitating the development of response plans for both internal and external stakeholders to manage the regulatory and operational issues associated with PFAS and will serve on the implementation team.

Fire Academy Training Grounds PFAS Investigation

A state fire academy within the division of the State Fire Marshal contracted August Mack Environmental to perform an investigation at an on-site pond that was used to receive runoff water from fire training activities via an underground system. This system and pond had been in place since the 1970s and was believed to contain constituents found in petroleum fuels, firefighting foams, and aqueous film forming foam (AFFF). Due to that previous usage of AFFF, along with petroleum products, on Site, the retention pond was sampled for PFAS compounds, as well as compoundsvolatile organic compounds (VOCs) and semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs). August Mack provided professional oversight and instruction to the department dive team for the collection of surface water and sediment samples from the retention pond. The  dive team then entered the retention pond and utilize laboratory provided containers to collect samples for lab analysis. The results of this analysis were used to determine future use and practices for the academy’s five and equipment training, as well as evaluate options for future remediation.

PFAS Soil Remediation

The August Mack team was subcontracted by a federal client for the removal and disposal of approximately 300 tons of nonhazardous/PFAS-impacted soil and mulch at a site in Michigan, followed by restoration of the site.

To prepare the site, pallets and debris had to be removed from a block wall, vegetation was removed, and straw waddles were installed down-gradient of the excavation.

All 300 tons of PFAS-impacted waste was excavated using a long-reach excavator and loaded into drums for disposal. The soil waste was disposed up according to all applicable regulations. All equipment was decontaminated. A horizontal demarcation barrier was then placed on the excavated surface, six inches of topsoil were spread over the area, and the team seeded the resulting surface.

 

 

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