News & Events

Jeffrey Arps, LSP Appointed to Massachusetts PFAS Interagency Task Force

Principal Environmental Scientist Jeffrey Arps was appointed by Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka to the interagency task force to review and investigate water and ground contaminated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) across the Commonwealth. PFAS were originally developed as an agent to fight petroleum fires and to make various materials waterproof, but the compounds do not break down naturally, so they can accumulate in the environment and our bodies, potentially leading to health issues.

During Arps’ 29 years of professional experience, he has been responsible for day-to-day management of numerous comprehensive site assessment and remediation projects. In addition, he has focused on the areas of PFAS sampling, fate and transport, and risk assessment. Arps has also worked with municipalities to assist them with sampling to help determine sources of PFAS in their water supply wells. He has provided Licensed Site Professional (LSP) services to Massachusetts municipalities with significant PFAS concentrations in private wells, coordinating Point of Entry Treatment (POET) system installations and monitoring, designed site investigations to identify and assess sources and developed Conceptual Site Models for behavior in groundwater.

Arps will be one of 19 members of the task force, which will focus on the following areas:

  • Gather information on known locations of PFAS detection and strategize a response plan
  • Identify significant data gaps in the knowledge of PFAS and develop recommendations to address the gaps
  • Identify opportunities for public education regarding PFAS
  • Identify the sources of PFAS contamination and exposure pathways that pose the greatest risk to public health and the environment
  • Examine various treatment and disposal options for PFAS contaminated media
  • Assess how state agencies can most effectively use their existing authority and resources to reduce or eliminate priority PFAS risks
  • Assess the use of certain substances used in firefighting foam and fire training activities and evaluate alternatives
  • Examine data about PFAS contamination in freshwater fish and marine organisms
  • Examine and estimate the cost to mitigate PFAS contamination in known locations across the commonwealth
  • Examine ways to limit exposure of Massachusetts residents to PFAS through food packaging.

By the end of 2021, the task force will create a report from their findings with drafts of legislation to help the Commonwealth move forward with their recommendations.