What are PFAS?  

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) are a group of emerging contaminants that have received much attention in recent years due to their persistence and mobility in the environment and potential harmful human health effects. PFAS are man-made chemicals that have been used in everyday products since the 1940s. They are found in water, air, fish and soil across the globe.

Challenges Associated with PFAS 

According to the National Institute for Health (NIH), over 9,000 PFAS compounds have been identified. This makes analyzing and regulating these compounds a challenge. With recent EPA health advisory levels approaching zero, PFAS remediation will continue to be an important topic in the Northeast.  


PFAS are pervasive in our environment and are ubiquitous in our work. PFAS are one of five priority areas outlined in our 2020 Water Program Priorities. 

The Ecotoxicity Discussion Group is investigating the impacts of PFAS on aquatic life and potential harms to human health.  

The Wastewater Residuals Workgroup is discussing stressors on the residuals end-use disposal options, including how emerging contaminants such as PFAS are one of the drivers of diminishing capacity in the local and regional sludge disposal markets. 

Finally, our Emerging Contaminants Workgroup is looking at newly discovered PFAS compounds.