395238 - Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) – Positive Steps for the Future

Tuesday, June 5
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Lakeshore B
Co-Authors: Donovan Hannu, St. Paul, MN – Bay West, LLC.

Polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of chemicals used to reduce friction and/or resist heat in a variety of applications. Frequent and direct uses of PFAS include the following:
• Fire-fighting foam
• Non-stick cookware
• Stain-resistant or water-proof fabrics and carpets
• Food packaging coatings
• Other industrial applications such as plastic injection molding

The physical nature of PFAS makes them persistent and extremely stable. Once users release PFAS to the environment, they do not degrade and, therefore, can not only end up in the drinking water supply, but can also be concentrated by groundwater/drinking water treatment systems and/or industrial wastewater treatment systems in treatment system sludge. Parties that may indirectly (and unknowingly) handle PFAS-contaminated materials such as municipal water treatment facilities, landfill operators, developers, or soil excavators can further redistribute these materials and create secondary point sources.

In May 2017, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) released revised drinking water guidance values for four specific PFAS compounds. These new PFAS guidance values range from 27 to 7,000 parts per trillion. As health studies on PFAS increase, it is likely that additional legislation regarding PFAS distribution, usage, and/or re-distribution will be established.

Bay West’s experience working on PFAS-contaminated sites has helped us understand the wide range of issues that direct users of PFAS and indirect handlers of PFAS-contaminated materials may soon be facing. Our presentation will help suppliers, users, indirect handlers, and other interested parties better understand these issues, and will identify some of the actions that they should consider taking to help reduce their future PFAS-related liabilities.

Dirk Pohlmann

Bay West LLC


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395238 - Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances (PFAS) – Positive Steps for the Future

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