State and federal governments have promulgated and are developing an unprecedented array of PFAS (poly- and perfluoralkyl substances)regulations and policies, even while technology development and testing, health effects research, and advanced knowledge of PFAS chemistry needed to respond to government regulations and public health concerns are in very early stages.
Black & Veatch is here to guide you through the changing landscape of PFAS-related issues and liabilities. Since 1915, utilities have leveraged our innovative services and full engineering, design, and consulting services to meet the demands of governments, municipal utilities, regulators, and commercial clients alike - no matter how technically complex the issue.
Black & Veatch’s PFAS Community of Practice, comprising our technical and regulatory, subject matter experts as well as our world-class design, design-build, construction, construction management and project management teams, are ready to work with you to understand and to cost-effectively respond to any PFAS-related challenge to your operations.
Finally, Black & Veatch is fully engaged in promising PFAS technology identification, analysis, and cost/performance testing. By providing support and partnership to promising new technologies, and by serving in key roles in trade organizations and research organizations, we are committed to be part of the solution to PFAS challenges, and we are staying abreast of all major technical and regulatory developments so that we can provide our clients the highest value solutions to any PFAS-related issues.
How we help:
Whether your PFAS water treatment challenge is protecting water at is source, treating it to the highest standards, delivering it to homes and businesses, or collecting and treating wastewater, Black & Veatch will develop and deliver solutions to ensure your organization’s financial, risk, operational and strategic needs are well met.
Black & Veatch’s more than 100 year-old water and wastewater practices are among the most respected in the industry, and we are working with multiple clients and supporting key trade and research organizations such as the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF), and the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) to help the world cost-effectively reconcile the challenges of mitigating the impacts of PFAS in our environment and to our critical infrastructure.
The dynamic and highly accelerated promulgation of PFAS-related regulations and policies poses tremendous operational, financial and liability risks to many commercial and manufacturing sectors and companies.
At the same time, companies are being asked to choose between standard methods to measure or treat just one or a few PFAS compounds or expensive, newly developed, innovative technologies that can remove more of the growing list of regulated PFAS compounds, but may require pilot-testing and/or unacceptable performance risks.
Black & Veatch aggressively focuses on the cost-effectiveness of solutions for PFAS treatment and service issues for the commercial and manufacturing sectors. We can minimize the uncertainty and financial impact of dealing with PFAS in your supply chain, your workplace, your process discharges or wastes, or in any design or construction projects to treat or completely mineralize PFAS compounds.
Black & Veatch is carefully monitoring state and federal environmental regulatory compliance and liability issues and can help your business cost-effectively achieve full compliance with existing regulations and prepare for likely future regulatory or liability pressures.
Currently 27 states have adopted significant (and sometimes quite different) PFAS regulations related to water, soil, reporting, and consumer products. Compliance in such an inconsistent regulatory environment is challenging especially for companies working in many states. However, this challenge is multiplied by the federal government’s accelerated efforts to develop and enforce PFAS regulations across nearly every legal regime available. Recently, the federal government has stated intent to:
- Promulgate new (and very low level) drinking water standards for a few PFAS compounds, and begin nationwide testing for dozens more for future potential standards
- Increase PFAS reporting responsibilities under TSCA
- Publish new effluent limit guidelines to limit PFAS discharges from industrial sources and leverage NPDES permits to reduce discharges of PFAS to under the Clean Water Act
- Propose specific PFAS compounds as Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) hazardous substances and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous constituents, and make emerging contaminants subject to RCRA corrective actions
- Use enforcement tools to address PFAS releases at facilities and address existing contamination
Whether your organization is seeking to cost-effectively achieve and maintain regulatory compliance, or you are approaching the PFAS challenge from a sustainability or “early adopter” perspective, Black & Veatch’s environmental consulting services can develop a program to assess and address any PFAS-related issues you face.
Black & Veatch can develop a program to help your company identify and investigate potential PFAS impacts to any environmental media and comply with all applicable state and federal regulations associated with measuring or mitigating the impacts of PFAS released to the environment. Currently these actions are being driven by aggressive federal agency cleanup programs, state regulations, legal settlements, and the interpretation that EPA’s LHA (lifetime health advisory) for PFOA/PFOS can drive CERCLA cleanup actions. However, the uncertainty of cleanup requirements is being aggressively addressed by the federal government through EPA’s proposed regulatory and enforcement agenda.
EPA has recently confirmed that it will designate PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” pursuant to CERCLA, which will “require facilities across the country to report on PFOA and PFOS releases”. EPA or other agencies could also seek cost recovery or contributions for costs incurred for the remediation of PFOA and PFOS. Perhaps most significantly, EPA can reopen sites that have already been remediated for other compounds if there are PFAS impacts as well. Finally, the agency will also seek to add four PFAS compounds (PFOA / PFOS / PFBS, and GenX) as RCRA hazardous constituents, subject to RCRA Corrective Action.
In addition, if EPA is successful, these designated PFAS compounds will need to be evaluated as part of a company’s due diligence (i.e. Phase I Environmental Site Assessments) when purchasing property in order to satisfy the all appropriate inquiries requirement. For companies purchasing or selling industrial properties, this new requirement may have a material impact on property value, and the ability to obtain insurance.