LSP Association Continuing Education Seminar

PFAS Sampling for Environmental Professionals

When: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
Time: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM (Registration begins at 7:30 AM).  
Location: Doubletree Hotel, 5400 Computer Drive, Westborough

Pricing: $300 Members | $450 Non-Members
Instructors: 

View Instructor Biographies

This course has been approved for 8.0 LSP Technical continuing education credits (#1670) and 8.0 LEP Credits (CTLEP-484). This course will also be submitted to NY for PDH credits. This course was previously offered by RISEP in June 2019 in Providence, RI.

Course Description: 
The objective of this course is to inform environmental professionals about the particular difficulties and nuances involved in the sampling of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in environmental media.

This course will review issues encountered with sampling for PFAS in environmental media, particularly soil and groundwater, including, but not limited to:
  • The ubiquity of PFAS in commonly used field sampling equipment such as field notebooks and aluminum foil;
  • The tendency of PFAS to partition in environmental media, particularly in water samples where the PFAS aggregate at the air-water interface;
  • The ubiquity of PFAS in fabrics used in clothing, motor vehicle upholstery, furniture and carpeting, to provide stain resistance; and,
  • The very low concentrations being proposed as regulatory criteria, e.g. 14-70 ng/L (parts per trillion; ppt).

These issues combine to make the representative sampling of environmental media more difficult than for more traditional contaminants such as petroleum hydrocarbons, halogenated compounds and metals, in particular preventing cross-contamination of samples resulting in false-positive detections. This means that traditional sampling methods must be modified and alternative equipment used, as well as having the environmental professionals performing the sampling and handling the samples aware of these issues and adjusting their procedures accordingly. In addition, PFAS analytical methods are evolving rapidly.

Because of the concern regarding the uncertain potential human health effects of PFAS exposure, at concentrations an order of magnitude or more lower than most common contaminants (ppt) and the lack of current regulatory standards for environmental media, environmental professionals, including LSPs, are uncertain about their duty to sample, or how to interpret their results. There are potential legal liability issues, both with sampling and not sampling, in particular their obligations under the Professional Responsibility requirements of the LSP Board’s Rules of Professional Conduct at 309 CMR 4.03(1).

This course was developed for environmental professionals, including, but not limited to, Massachusetts LSPs. It will provide information on the issues regarding sampling, sample handling and analysis. It will include an overview of PFAS chemical properties as it relates to the issues in sampling and sample preservation and handling, as well as detailed discussion of the special sampling and handling techniques required for investigating PFAS in environmental media. It will present a case study on the sampling techniques and practices used in the sampling of drinking water sources performed by Weston & Sampson for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and present the findings of a combined TRC /Alpha Analytical study on PFAS presence in common environmental sampling equipment. It will also discuss analytical methods for PFAS and special sample preservation and handling techniques and the potential legal issues that environmental professionals face when deciding whether or not to perform sampling for PFAS.

This course has been developed to answer the following questions:

  1. Why do environmental professionals need to know about PFAS sampling?
  2. What are PFAS and what are their characteristic properties (chemistry and toxicology)?
  3. Where are PFAS found, both historically and currently?
  4. How do environmental professionals identify PFAS-containing materials?
  5. What changes need to be made to sampling protocols and procedures when sampling for PFAS?
  6. How can environmental professionals best assure that they are obtaining representative and accurate PFAS data?

Much of the course will be topical presentations along with slides and examples, and there will be opportunities for questions and answers throughout.

To view full course agenda, click here.

Please email Kristi Lefebvre with any questions.