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CDM Smith Selected to Lead SERDP Research and Development Study of PFAS

November 3, 2017

BOSTON -- CDM Smith was selected to lead a 3-year, $1.5 million Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) study on the treatment of per- and poly-fluorinated substances (PFASs) for the United States Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD’s environmental science and technology program, SERDP, invests in basic and applied research and advanced development of innovative technologies to find solutions to the DoD’s toughest environmental challenges and has included PFAS research as a featured initiative of its program.

Aqueous film forming foams (AFFFs) containing PFAS compounds have been used since the 1970s. Commonly used in firefighting foam, these durable contaminants continue to contribute to PFAS in the environment today. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently established drinking water Health Advisory Levels (HALs) for PFAS compounds found at AFFF sites, making this study an important step to the application of PFAS management and treatment. CDM Smith’s study aims to assess the relationship between mass removal of PFAS at source areas where releases have occurred and reductions in the discharge of the chemicals to underlying groundwater. Improved understanding of these mechanisms will allow for more effective groundwater plume management and treatment strategies.

Chemical engineer Dr. Charles Schaefer, director of CDM Smith’s Research & Testing Laboratory in Bellevue, Washington, will serve as the principal investigator for the study and will lead a team of researchers including Dr. Christopher Higgins from the Colorado School of Mines, Dr. Jennifer Field of Oregon State University, and Dr. David Lippincott from APTIM.

Schaefer will also be contributing to two other new SERDP research studies of PFAS compounds announced this month, “Regenerable Resin Sorbent Technologies with Regenerant Solution Recycling for Sustainable Treatment of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs)” led by Dr. Timothy Strathmann at Colorado School of Mines and “A Mechanistic Understanding of PFASs in Source Zones: Characterization and Control,” led by Field. The studies will advance the development of PFAS treatment technologies and will further our scientific understanding of the hydraulic parameters that control PFAS mobility in the environment.

The three research projects support CDM Smith’s dedication to developing innovative, cutting-edge solutions for emerging contaminants and providing the highest quality integrated environmental services for our clients. “Our ability to demonstrate technical leadership through innovative R&D investments is what truly distinguishes CDM Smith from our competitors,” explains Schaefer.

CDM Smith provides lasting and integrated solutions in water, environment, transportation, energy and facilities to public and private clients worldwide. As a full-service engineering and construction firm, we deliver exceptional client service, quality results and enduring value across the entire project life cycle.