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2021 Great Lakes PFAS Summit

2021 Great Lakes PFAS Summit - December 6-10, 2021

2021 Great Lakes Virtual PFAS Summit -  December 6-10, 2021

The 2021 virtual event provided the most current and reliable science and policy, facilitated information sharing, and explored current and future research topics related to PFAS.  Participants included: local, state, and federal government officials; environmental consultants and vendors; academic researchers and students; industry managing PFAS contamination; and community organizations.

The Summit drew nearly 1,700 attendees from 44 states and 10 countries. 


December 6, 2021

Opening Plenary
MPART Executive Director, Abigail Hendershott, will be joined by Liesl Clark, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to provide a brief overview of Michigan's response to the PFAS contamination challenges across the state and the importance of events like the Great Lakes PFAS Summit. This session will also cover basic housekeeping and tips on how to get the most out of this event.

ITRC Update and Michigan PFAS Success Story
This session will provide a brief overview of the Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC), a review of material available on PFAS, and an introduction to new information available on AFFF. This session will also discuss a Michigan surface water success story highlighting efforts to reduce PFAS entering the Huron River watershed.

Great Lakes State Bipartisan Congressional Panel
PFAS and the challenges it poses to our communities require an all-hands-on-deck approach. This includes the crucial role of federal officials in both the U.S. House and Senate. The Michigan delegation was one of the earliest to mobilize across parties and chambers to push for PFAS policies, oversight, legislation, funding, and research at the national level, and over the years, the delegation has welcomed new active members on PFAS issues. In this session, panelists will discuss the different tools and approaches they have taken for Michiganders and nationwide, as well as their views on the path ahead for PFAS in the U.S. Congress.

December 7, 2021

Day 2 Welcome
Abigail Hendershott, Director of MPART; will be joined by representatives of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois to welcome attendees to the first full day of the 2021 Great Lakes PFAS Summit. This session will also feature messages from U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Senator Gary Peters.

Contrasts in legislation regulating the use of PFAS in the EU and North America
The European Commission has recommended that actions on the EU level to phase out PFAS should be taken, unless a specific use of PFAS is proven essential for society . In May 2020, it was announced that Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden would jointly analyze restriction options for PFAS on the basis of their high persistence in the environment, and prepare a restriction proposal over the next two years. The restriction proposal will potentially cover all PFAS rather than specific individual compounds and may include the use of fluoropolymers.

PFAS Remediation Technology Evaluation: Identifying the Right Solutions for a Site
This session will evaluate multiple treatment technologies performed on PFAS-impacted groundwater for a former manufacturing Site in Michigan. The treatment technologies consist of removal and/or destruction techniques performed on the impacted groundwater. Lessons learned and issues encountered in the evaluation of the technologies will be shared to further the research and provide critical evaluations for practitioners.

Michigan’s Source Reduction Strategy and Regulatory Approach for Addressing PFOS/PFOA in Municipal Wastewater
The presentation will cover the implementation and the findings of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Industrial Pretreatment Program PFAS Initiative. Related findings of the EPA Office of Research and Development fume suppressant study will also be covered. An overview of the effectiveness of methods for PFAS reduction at sources will be discussed. Lastly, EGLE's regulatory approach of municipal wastewater treatment plants will be presented.

Treatment Alternatives for PFAS Removal at the Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant
The City of Ann Arbor has conducted pilot studies to test the performance of various granular activated carbon types, anion exchange resins, and the impacts of several operational parameters for the removal of PFAS. This research was designed to provide guidance for full-scale treatment of PFAS for the City of Ann Arbor and other surface water systems.

2021 Year to Date PFAS Multimedia Regulatory Update and Analysis of its Expected Impact
Discussion on regulatory developments at the state and federal level related to the regulation of PFAS in water discharge and air emissions, as well as how PFAS relates to waste management.

What Would You Do With 150,000 yards of PFAS Contaminated Soil/Groundwater?
A review of multiple technologies being considered at Buick City (Flint) and their applicability to address 150,000 yards of PFAS contaminated soils and groundwater considering 4 site conditions: soils above the water table; soils below the water table; concentrated groundwater contamination; and more widespread general groundwater contamination.

Wisconsin and Minnesota PFAS Action Plans Panel
This presentation will provide an overview of Minnesota and Wisconsin state action plans and blueprints, including how they were developed, general formats, and proposed actions that were most emphasized

Transformation of PFAS Precursors During Electrochemical Oxidation of Landfill Leachate
Fraunhofer USA CMW is a non-profit research center on the campus of Michigan State University. We investigate the use of boron doped diamond (BDD) electrodes for wastewater treatment, particularly the electrochemical oxidation (EO) of PFAS in landfill leachate, in partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, MI. Through our research, we have uncovered the role of PFAS precursor compounds in the EO of leachate. The identity and proposed transformation pathways for PFAS precursors, as well as their implication in treating landfill leachate, will be presented.

Safer Products for Washington: Identifying Safer, Feasible, and Available Alternatives to PFAS in priority products
The Safer Products for Washington Program aims to reduce the use of toxic chemicals when safer alternatives are feasible and available. The program implements the Pollution Prevention for Healthy People and Puget Sound Act, which passed the WA state Legislature in 2019. The law requires us to identify priority chemicals and products and then make regulatory determinations based on whether safer alternatives are feasible and available, among other criteria. This presentation will describe our preliminary findings of safer alternatives to PFAS in carpets and rugs, aftermarket stain treatments and furnishings.

In Situ and Ex Situ Thermal Remediation of PFAS
Thermal treatment of recalcitrant compounds in soil and groundwater is a proven and accepted method for remediation of contaminant source areas. This methodology has shown great success for more than 20 years and is currently being validated in situ and ex situ by the US Department of Defense for treatment of PFAS in soil. Advances in thermal treatment of PFAS in soil including experience and results will be presented.

December 8, 2021

UV Sulfite Advanced Reduction for Transformation of PFOS in Wastewater Treatment
PFAS are resistant to conventional wastewater treatment technologies and exit the facilities through effluent and sludges. Common disinfection technologies may be repurposed to enhance PFAS transformation prior to discharge using a UV/sulfite advanced reduction process. This research explores how using UV light as an activation method and sulfite as a reductive agent, can generate hydrated electrons to defluorinated PFOS in a stepwise manner by cleaving C-F bonds.

Biosolids Management Panel Discussion
This presentation provides an overview of the challenges associated with addressing PFAS contamination in biosolids and the developing biosolids policies in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin

Destructive Treatment Technologies for PFAS in Liquid Phase
This presentation will highlight the progress on the efficacy and commercialization of emerging PFAS-destructive treatment technologies. Another objective is to provide information on the scalability, economic feasibility, and market readiness of each treatment technology; and identify when and what degree of pretreatment is required to couple destructive treatment processes with conventional adsorptive or separative treatment processes in treating residual wastes.

PFAS Composition, Transformation, and Mass Flux From Landfills and Wastewater Treatment Plants
PFAS data on landfill leachate, WWTP influent, effluent, and biosolids within Michigan were analyzed to identify chemical signatures in landfill leachates and WWTP influent, effluent, and biosolids/sludges. Landfill leachates show diverse PFAS chemical signatures dominated by C4s, C6s and C8s. Numerous transformations of undetected polyfluorinated precursors in the influent during the wastewater treatment process to more terminal perfluorinated compounds that are detectable in the effluent yield PFAS concentrations in the effluent that are 2-10 times greater than in the influent. Mass flux rates in leachates and WWTP effluent range from 5 – 2,000 g/yr and 40 g/yr – 128 kg/yr, respectively.

Assessment of Stabilization/Solidification to Manage PFAS Leaching from Solids and Liquid Wastes
What are PFAS concentrations in a variety of PFAS-contaminated solids and liquids? What are PFAS concentrations in leachate from these materials generated using standard leaching procedures for hazardous wastes? Which materials can be used as amendments to stabilize (i.e., reduce the leaching) of PFAS in solid and liquid wastes? What doses of stabilization/solidification amendments reduce PFAS concentrations in leachate to the Michigan 7 MCLs and EPA advisory level? Per the speaker's request, this session was not recorded.

Source, Transport, and Fate of PFAS through the Huron River Watershed
As a response to PFAS being detected in the city of Ann Arbor's treated drinking water, grab samples have been administered by EGLE throughout the Huron River watershed. Elevated levels of PFAS have been detected throughout the watershed in both water and fish, but the movement of PFAS throughout the watershed is still not well understood. Through an integrated surface water, groundwater, and water quality model, the breadth of PFAS contamination in the Huron River can be conceptualized.

PFAS Sources, Content, and Significance in Dietary Exposure
This presentation will discuss the significance food intake has on overall human exposure, some of the phenomena influencing PFAS content in food, including agricultural products and packaging, and discuss updates to FDA's Total Diet Study.

Evaluation of PFAS in Source Separated Organic Materials; Challenges, Status, and Outlook
Composting yard and food wastes can benefit soil health, reduce the need for chemical fertilizers, and reduce waste going to landfills. However, challenging circumstances for composting remain. Wood completed a study on behalf of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to evaluate PFAS at organic recycling sites. A broad literature review of academic papers on the topic was evaluated and compared to collected data. This presentation will discuss the study methodology used, results, and recommendations.</p>

Use of Dual-Membrane Passive Diffusion Bags to Sample PFAS
We will discuss the effectiveness of dual-membrane passive diffusion bags as an alternative to low-flow purge and sample methodology and the implications on PFAS forensics.

Amplifying Community Voices Panel Discussion
This presentation will focus on the ways community-driven organizations can re-shape the PFAS narrative to amplify the voices of impacted community members and prioritize community needs. Community leaders will share their experiences and accomplishments in their own communities, in partnering with statewide organizations, and how community members can get involved with these organizations.

December 9, 2021

Grayling Area PFAS — An Evolving Conceptual Site Model
This case study provides a regulator's perspective on the evolution of the conceptual site model (CSM) and describes intricacies associated with a large area of investigation and large PFAS dataset . This case study may be helpful to future investigations of PFAS AFFF plumes and ways to monitor, determine possible routes of preferential flow, determine other sources, and negotiate an expanding area of study. It also describes the process of the investigation under public pressure and a changing regulatory environment. The results of this investigation have led to learned lessons that may help future investigations and policy decisions.

PFAS in New England: An Assessment of Distribution Data from Known Sites
The objective of this semi-quantitative, systematic literature review is to paint a picture of the types of PFAS releases in New England. The types of facilities investigated include fire training academies, airports, biosolids application sites, and others. Key parameters investigated are the PFAS plume length and area, the maximum concentration of several PFAS compounds in the groundwater onsite and proximal to the source site, and the industry/source of the contamination. The primary goal is to provide evidence-based, wide-scale information to the regulators, the regulated community, and the public, as society makes decisions regarding how to address these emerging contaminants.

PFAS Communication and Outreach in Michigan: Looking Back and Planning Ahead
Michigan's prioritization of PFAS as widespread public health threat created a need to communicate with distinct and diverse communities. With over 170 official PFAS sites, an ever-increasing number, developing appropriate and targeted communication is a challenge. Approaches that are relevant in one community may not be relevant to another. Lack of resources creates another challenge. In this presentation three health education and outreach staff from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) discuss how health and risk communication theory inform PFAS communication strategy, lessons learned, and the implications for effective community education, engagement, and exposure reduction.

A Data-Driven Approach to Updating the Huron River’s Fish Consumption Advisory
Since 2018, a ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory has been in place for fish consumption in the Huron River and associated waterbodies from Oakland County to Lake Erie. This advisory was established due to elevated PFOS found in fish from and downstream of Kent Lake. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has evaluated fish filet data to determine if the advisory should be updated. In 2021, MDHHS replaced the ‘Do Not Eat’ advisory from a lower stretch of the river with less restrictive guidelines based on the data, which suggested that PFOS levels in fish are decreasing steadily.

Review of Models for Evaluating PFAS in Land Applied Residuals
In an effort to support the use of best available science when modeling PFAS transport for land applied residuals management, NCASI collaborated with Arcadis U.S., Inc. and Stone Environmental, Inc. to develop two reports reviewing models for evaluating PFAS. These reports provide a broad review of 73 models, identify important modeling parameters used to assess PFAS transport, and provide guidance on how to conduct modeling for PFAS in land applied residual using the Pesticide Root Zone Model (PRZM). This presentation will provide a summary of these two resources.

Implementing Biomonitoring Surveillance: PFAS and Other Environmental Chemicals in Michigan Firefighters and Residents
The Centers for Disease Control awarded a five-year grant to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to expand monitoring of state residents' exposure to toxic environmental chemicals, including PFAS. Under this grant MDHHS is conducting two surveillance projects to determine the levels of PFAS and other environmental chemicals among adult Michigan residents and firefighters respectively. This presentation will describe methods for conducting statewide biomonitoring programs.

Innovative Approach to Assessing Vadose Zone Transport of PFAS Using Lysimeters
Field activities included in this discussion include: advancing a hydraulic profiling tool to characterize the vertical soil profile; using direct push technology and advancing soil borings for installation of lysimeters; installing twelve paired suction lysimeters; collecting soil samples from the same depth interval as the porous membrane of the lysimeters for PFAS and general chemistry; and collecting an initial round of porewater samples for PFAS analysis with three more quarterly events conducted between October 2020 and June 2021.

PFAS as an Environmental Justice Priority
This presentation will argue that PFAS is an environmental justice priority, focusing on the need to develop an integrated, justice-oriented response to PFAS across local, state, and federal levels. It will explore the possibilities for linking community-based advocacy work on PFAS to the remedial, regulatory, and enforcement work being done by EGLE and the EPA.

Development of Source Air Samples for Evaluations of PFAS PICs
This presentation will review the current data collection problems and proposed strategies for PFAS PIC evaluations. An OTM-45 sample fraction preparation process that provides non-targeted extracts for both polar and non-polar PICs will be discussed, including fluorotelomer alcohols. The development of methods for the processing of OTM-45 extracts that advance the capabilities to evaluate incineration PIC formation will be the central point of emphasis.

December 10, 2021

Citizen Governance for a Community Based Sustainable Healthcare Service in Reducing Health Effect of PFAS
This session addresses health effect of PFAS at the community level. It aims to identify short and long-term health effect of PFAS; explore a community-based intervention to educate residents about the health risks of PFAS; and investigate sustainable strategies to prevent citizens from the danger of such man-made chemicals. An easy-to-follow educational tool to educate community members about the risk of PFAS will be shared. Through education, the general population will be empowered to make changes leading to better personal health. It will also encourage collaboration among individuals and community groups to achieve a healthier community.

AFFF System Retrofits and On-Site Treatment of PFAS-Containing Liquids
Aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) containing per and poly fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been extensively used in overhead fire suppression systems at civil and military aviation facilities across the US. Due to emerging regulations preventing the future use of PFAS-containing AFFF and the likely future designation of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances, many airports and training facilities are moving forward with fire suppression system retrofits. This presentation will include case studies from fire suppression system retrofits that involved the onsite Treatment of PFAS-containing waste streams.

Great Lakes States Panel Discussion
Representative from the Great Lakes states of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota discussion how they are tackling various PFAS challenges.