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Investigating PFAS in Ground and Surface Water

Locating the Source of Pollution

When PFAS  were detected in a groundwater sample from our client’s property in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) requested that they evaluate if the contamination was migrating into an adjacent stream, which would be a Condition of Substantial Release Migration (SRM). An SRM condition can potentially require significant additional response actions, so TRC was hired to investigate and locate the source of the PFAS.

Based on research conducted during a Phase I ESA, TRC wagered that the client’s property, an undeveloped property with no history of PFAS storage, use and/or releases, was not the source of contamination. TRC reviewed ongoing PFAS-related investigations in the area and found that several sites near the client’s property used or manufactured PFAS-containing products. TRC also discovered that samples collected from upstream of the property had significantly higher PFAS concentrations than those detected on the client’s property.nThus, the source of PFAS contamination was located upstream and was affecting groundwater at the client’s property.

TRC’s response to MassDEP documented that:

  • PFAS concentrations at the client’s property were well below the applicable standards
  • No SRM condition existed
  • The source of PFAS contamination was most likely located upstream
  • The client’s property was not the source

MassDEP had no further comments or actions for the client to complete. With TRC’s research and knowledge into locating the source of PFAS and demonstrating this conclusion to MassDEP, we were able to save the client extensive investigation and remediation costs.

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