CEMS Hybrid Luncheon – Model Simulations of PFOA Fate and Transport in Groundwater and Surface Water: The Role of Precursors on Remedy Selection – March 14, 2023

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Model Simulations of PFOA Fate and Transport in Groundwater and Surface Water: The Role of Precursors on Remedy Selection

Kyle Gustafson, PE, and Brenden Covert, Senior Engineers, Anchor QEA

Tuesday, March 14, 2023, 11:45am-1pm

Hybrid Format – In person and virtual

CEMS has received one (1) general CLE credit for this presentation

CEMS March 2023 Lunch Presentation Notes


Chemical precursors to PFAS compounds commonly undergo in-situ transformation processes that may result in regulated compounds such as PFOA and PFOS. The rate of transformation and the degree of sorption to soil or sediment particles has important implications on how appropriate various remedial measures will prove to be, thereby affecting the regulatory, legal, and design-related context of an environmental cleanup action.

Precursors are rarely characterized in detail during site investigations and remedial design, which can lead to unexpected remedial outcomes, since the impacts of precursors play a significant role on whether PFAS remediation will in fact be necessary or beneficial. The study presented in this talk assessed how the presence of unregulated precursors may affect the outcome of remedial actions targeting regulated PFAS.

Remediation scenarios were simulated in various models, including source removal/stabilization with capping, pump-and-treat, and permeable reactive barrier. Simulation results for different source terms and remedial technologies were compared in terms of downgradient plume remediation time frame, overall remedial effectiveness, and required duration of remediation.

This work included the first modeling study we are aware of that included explicit simulation of precursor transformation to a mobile, regulated, daughter PFAS. With future improvements in precursor characterization, similar modeling approaches will become increasingly important for successful remedial design and decision-making at PFAS sites.

Kyle is a civil/environmental engineer with a background in hydrology, water and wastewater treatment, and water resources. Kyle has been involved in research and development for PFAS compounds in groundwater systems intended to provide streamlined approaches to fate and transport. He studied hydrology (MS degree) at Colorado School of Mines and environmental engineering (BS degree) at CU Boulder.

Brenden is an environmental engineer/scientist with a background in hydrology, environmental modeling, and water and wastewater treatment. Brenden has been involved with research and development efforts on contaminate fate and transport modeling of PFAS, and techniques to treat drinking water contaminated with PFAS. He studied water resources engineering (MS degree) and environmental resources engineering (BS degree) at the State University of New York.

In Person Location:  Davis Graham and Stubbs, LLP will be hosting CEMS on March 14, 2023.  DGS is located at 1550 17th Street, Suite 500, Denver, CO 80202.  Parking validation is not available.  


Virtual Registration: Please use this Registration Link.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing detailed information about joining the webinar.  If you lose your registration or confirmation, or have questions, please do not hesitate to contact CEMS via email admin@coems.org.

In Person Registration: Members may either bring their own lunch and attend the meeting for no charge, or they may request that CEMS order a box lunch for them. The cost of the box lunch for members is $18.00; for non-members, $21.00.  PLEASE give your name, company name and phone number via email to admin@coems.org. PLEASE INDICATE IF YOU ARE RESERVING A BOX LUNCH OR BRINGING YOUR OWN. Reservations must be received BEFORE Friday, March 10, 2023 at 5:00PM. Payment will be accepted at the door with prior reservation. Box lunch reservation deadline has passed.

Sponsorship: CEMS accepts sponsorships to defer expenses associated with its webinar series. Information about sponsorship can be found here: Sponsorship Program

Notice: CEMS would like to thank Davis Graham & Stubbs, LLP for the use of meeting space and would like to emphasize that the use of Davis Graham & Stubbs, LLP space does not constitute endorsement of CEMS, sponsors of CEMS functions, or the content of CEMS workshops or meetings.

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