DEC Undertaking Statewide PFAS Evaluation at Remediation Sites

Phillips Lytle LLP
David P. Flynn and Luke Donigan

April 3, 2018

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) is requiring owners of remediation sites across the State (including those already remediated to DEC’s satisfaction) to analyze and report on the presence of 1,4-dioxane and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (collectively “PFAS”) in groundwater. This has been triggered by concerns about these “emerging contaminants” at Hoosick Falls and other sites across the State. DEC has begun to send letters to many remediation site owners notifying them of the new statewide evaluation requirements and asking site owners to schedule sampling dates.

The letter sent to site owners asks them to prepare, within 30 days, a draft work plan that identifies the wells proposed for sampling, a brief description of the sampling methods and an anticipated sampling date. DEC has provided site owners with guidance titled “Groundwater Sampling for Emerging Contaminants,” which includes, among other things, reporting and detection limits, preferred sampling and analytical methodologies, and target analytes.

The new sampling and reporting requirements in connection with 1,4-dioxane and PFAS have the potential to disrupt or alter ongoing and past remediation efforts at sites across the State. As DEC gains a better understanding of the risks posed by these contaminants, new requirements to address these concerns at remediation sites (even those where the State has issued a Certificate of Completion) may be forthcoming.

This article is being provided for informational purposes only and not for the purposes of providing legal advice or creating an attorney-client relationship. You should contact an attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem you may have. In addition, the opinions expressed herein are the opinions of Mr. Flynn & Mr. Donigan and may not reflect the opinions of Synergy Environmental, Inc., Phillips Lytle LLP or either of those firms’ clients.

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