The objective of this study was to evaluate a cross-section of full-scale on-site landfill treatment systems to measure changes in PFAS concentrations. Leachate samples were collected before and after treatment from 15 facilities and were evaluated for 26 PFAS, including 11 perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids (PFCAs), 7 perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFSAs), and 8 perfluoroalkyl acid precursors (PFAA-precursors). The transformation of precursors was evaluated by the total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay. Results showed no obvious reductions in total measured PFAS (∑26PFAS) for on-site treatment systems including ponds, aeration tanks, powdered activated carbon (PAC), and sand filtration. Among evaluated on-site treatment systems, only systems fitted with reverse osmosis (RO) showed significant reductions (98-99 %) of ∑26PFAS in the permeate. Results from the TOP assay showed that untargeted PFAA-precursors converted into targeted short-chain PFCAs increasing ∑26PFAS in oxidized samples by 30 %, on average.
Overall, the results of this study confirm the efficacy of RO systems and suggest the presence of additional precursors beyond those measured in this study. SCS is part of the technical advisory group for this collaboration of the schools in Florida and the EPA. SCS’s Liquid Management Practice is helping the group with on-site work at landfills.
Chen Y, Zhang H, Liu Y, Bowden JA, Tolaymat TM, Townsend TG, Solo-Gabriele HM.
Waste Manag. 2022 Sep 6;153:110-120. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2022.08.024. Online ahead of print.
The following universities with EPA are affiliated with the study:
EPA is releasing the interim guidance for public comment. The guidance provides information on technologies that may be feasible and appropriate for the destruction or disposal of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials. It also identifies needed and ongoing research and development activities related to destruction and disposal technologies, which may inform future guidance.
The interim guidance addresses PFAS and PFAS-containing materials including:
The agency is also providing guidance on testing and monitoring air, effluent, and soil for releases near potential destruction or disposal sites. EPA’s interim guidance captures the significant information gaps associated with PFAS testing and monitoring and identifies specific research needs.
The interim guidance is intended to assemble and consolidate information in a single document that generally describes thermal treatment, landfill, and underground injection technologies that may be effective in the destruction or disposal of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials.
As further research and development occur on this issue, EPA will incorporate this increased knowledge into future versions of this guidance to help decision-makers choose the most appropriate PFAS disposal options for their particular circumstances. EPA will review and revise the interim guidance, as appropriate, or at least once every 3 years.
See the EPA website: EPA Interim Guidance on Destruction and Disposal of PFAS.
Instructions: All submissions received must include Docket ID No EPA-HQ-OLEM-2020-0527 for this rulemaking. Comments received may be posted without change to the Federal eRulemaking Portal. You may send comments by any of the following methods:
According to Waste Dive, the document is the first such federal guidance on the destruction or disposal of PFAS or PFAS-containing materials. It describes the available science used in three major techniques: deep well injection, landfilling and thermal treatment. Acknowledging uncertainty about potential environmental effects, the EPA proposed the interim storage of PFAS-containing waste until further research can “reduce the uncertainties associated with other options.”
Industry groups such as the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) said they are analyzing the document and discussing with their members, such as SCS Engineers what the interim guidance means for daily landfill operations. The trade groups will submit comments on the document by the Feb. 22 deadline.