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For our Environment
Main advances for the
management of PFAS
contamination and remaining
challenges
OECD Global Forum on PFAS 2024
Dr. Annegret Biegel-Engler
Head of Section – Measures of Soil Protection
German Environment Agency (UBA), Germany
Our Mandate: What are our Tasks?
2
German Environment Agency – Institutional Setup
Conducting
Research
Providing
Policy advice
Implementing
Legislation
Dialogue with
the public
German Environment Agency
International Cooperation
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
PFAS Hotspots in Germany
• Airports
• (former) Military sites
• Fluorochemical industry
• Agricultural areas
https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/what-matters-1-2020-pfas-came-to-stay
3
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
The Rastatt Case in Germany
• Water provider detected PFAS in drinking
water in 2012
• 1105 ha contaminated agricultural area
(ca 1500 soccer pitches);
• 58 km2 contaminated groundwater (180
Mio m3)
Source: most probably compost mixed with
paper sludge from 2006 on
Concern: Human exposure via drinking
water, feed and/or food
4
PFC-Karten Online - Landesanstalt für Umwelt Baden-Württemberg (baden-wuerttemberg.de)
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Management Solutions
5
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Solutions
For farmers
• Pre-harvest-monitoring and cultivation
recommendations for farmers
• Activated carbon filters for irrigation
water
• Strictly controlled wells and agricultural
products
Water provider
• Closed wells and installation of new
wells
• Water purification (i.e. with activated
carbon filters)
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024 6
PFC-Karten Online - Landesanstalt für Umwelt Baden-Württemberg (baden-wuerttemberg.de)
National Harmonized Guidance in Germany
• Guidance for the analysis of PFAS in soil, including
precursors (target-analysis, AOF, EOF, TOP-Assay)
• Use significant thresholds for assessing the
groundwater contamination and soil eluates
• Pre-harvest monitoring may be considered, when
agricultural land is affected
• Guidance on handling soil material containing
PFAS;
• Unrestricted open storage
• Restricted open emplacement in areas with
elevated PFAS concentrations
• Restricted integration into technical structures
with defined security measures
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024 7
Guidelines for PFAS assessment | Download | BMUV
Conference of
German
Environment
Ministers calls
for the
development of
uniform
national
guidelines
INTERNATIONAL CLEANUP CONFERENCE 2022, ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
Guidance for the Remediation Management for Local and Wide-
spread PFAS Contaminations
• Review and assessment of the technical feasibility and proportionality of
possible procedural approaches for the remediation management of local and
large-scale PFAS contamination
• Enforceable guidance for the competent authorities
• Evaluation and decision-making on suitable and proportionate remediation
solutions, management and waste disposal concepts
8
Frauenstein, Umweltbundesamt
Frauenstein, Umweltbundesamt
Remediation management for local and wide-spread PFAS contaminations | Umweltbundesamt
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Challenges
9
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Challenge 1: Systematic Identifikation of Contaminated Sites
10
'Forever pollution': Explore
the map of Europe's PFAS
contamination (lemonde.fr)
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Challenge 2: Determining the Dimension of a PFAS Contamination
11
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Wellmitz, Bandow, Koschorreck (2023) ); Science of The Total
Environment, 893 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.164586
- Soil top layers from samples the
German Environmental Specimen
Bank were analysed for 24 PFAS
(11 PFCA, 7 PFSA, and 6 precursors),
including the total oxidizable
precursor (TOP) assay.
- Median ΣPFAS ranged from 0.31 to
19.7 μg/kg (dw)
Challenge 2: Determining the Dimension of a PFAS Contamination
12
Kotthoff et al. (2020); Science of The Total Environment, 740
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140116
Background vs Hotspots
0
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
3,500
PFAS
contamination
in
soil
[ng/g]
PFCA PFOS Polyfluorierte Vorläufer
Environmental
Specimen Bank
Rastatt
Precursors
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Wellmitz, Bandow, Koschorreck (2023) ); Science of The Total
Environment, 893 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.164586
Göckener et al. Environmental Sciences Europe (2022) 34:52
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12302-022-00631-1
Challenge 3: Limited Management and Remediation Options
Development of innovative remediation techniques required, such as:
- Destruction of PFAS
- Sustainable in-situ methods
13
Frauenstein, Umweltbundesamt
Frauenstein, Umweltbundesamt
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Challenge 4: Limit Human PFAS Uptake from Contaminated Soil
14
PFAS source
Setup
Reference of
data
Contaminated water;
sewage sludge
Green
house
Bao et al.,
2020; Lechner
& Knapp, 2011
y = 0.64x0.5254
R² = 0.9562
0.01
0.1
1
10
100
0.1 1 10 100 1000
PFOA
in
Cucumber
[µg/kg]
PFOA in Soil [µg/kg]
Fruits & Vegetables
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Lesmeister et al., (2021), Science of the Total Environment,
746 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142640
Challenge 4: Limit Human PFAS Uptake from Contaminated Soil
15
PFAS source
Setup
Reference of
data
Contaminated water;
sewage sludge
Green
house
Bao et al.,
2020; Lechner
& Knapp, 2011 Rupp et al., (2023) Science of the Total Environment, 871
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162028
https://www.lgl.bayern.de/lebensmittel/chemie/kontaminanten/pfas/
ue_2010_pft_lebensmittel_wild_sonstigesbayern.htm
y = 0.64x0.5254
R² = 0.9562
0.01
0.1
1
10
100
0.1 1 10 100 1000
PFOA
in
Cucumber
[µg/kg]
PFOA in Soil [µg/kg]
Fruits & Vegetables
Engler 2023
Terrestrial Food Chain
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
Authorities advise not to consume wild
boar liver in order to reduce personal PFAS
intake.
Ideas for International Collaboration at OECD
• Knowledge hub for contaminated sites management
• Collection of best practice examples for site management
• Standardization of methods for soil investigation
• e.g. OECD guidelines
• Discussion on how PFAS manufacturers and users can take responsibility for
clean-up
16
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
17
Current status: Data being collected
from 18 partners from 11 countries
Developing a European PFAS baseline
Project aim
Deriving baseline levels in the environment, resulting from decades of PFAS production and use
Baseline definition
PFAS concentrations in environmental matrices, covering urban, agricultural and industrial areas, excluding
those with known significant PFAS sources
Collection of existing PFAS data
• Media: Surface water, groundwater, sediment, soil, air, biota (incl. eggs)
• Coverage: Europe
• Time range: ≤ 5 years old (to consider recent bans of legacy PFAS)
• Compounds: All PFAS data with concentration information
We are interested in collaborating, please contact:
Valeria Dulio: Valeria.DULIO@ineris.fr
Katrin Vorkamp: kvo@envs.au.dk
www.eu-parc.eu
18
Thank you!
Dr. Annegret Biegel-Engler
Head of Section - Measures of Soil Protection
Telephone: +49-340-2103-2074
Annegret.Biegel-Engler@uba.de
www.uba.de
Special thanks to Jörg Frauenstein,
Lennart Gehrenkemper & Tobias Frische
OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024

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OECD Global Forum on the Environment dedicated to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Main advances for the management of PFAS contamination and remaining challenges | Annegret Biegel-Engler

  • 1. For our Environment Main advances for the management of PFAS contamination and remaining challenges OECD Global Forum on PFAS 2024 Dr. Annegret Biegel-Engler Head of Section – Measures of Soil Protection German Environment Agency (UBA), Germany
  • 2. Our Mandate: What are our Tasks? 2 German Environment Agency – Institutional Setup Conducting Research Providing Policy advice Implementing Legislation Dialogue with the public German Environment Agency International Cooperation OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 3. PFAS Hotspots in Germany • Airports • (former) Military sites • Fluorochemical industry • Agricultural areas https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/what-matters-1-2020-pfas-came-to-stay 3 OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 4. The Rastatt Case in Germany • Water provider detected PFAS in drinking water in 2012 • 1105 ha contaminated agricultural area (ca 1500 soccer pitches); • 58 km2 contaminated groundwater (180 Mio m3) Source: most probably compost mixed with paper sludge from 2006 on Concern: Human exposure via drinking water, feed and/or food 4 PFC-Karten Online - Landesanstalt für Umwelt Baden-Württemberg (baden-wuerttemberg.de) OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 5. Management Solutions 5 OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 6. Solutions For farmers • Pre-harvest-monitoring and cultivation recommendations for farmers • Activated carbon filters for irrigation water • Strictly controlled wells and agricultural products Water provider • Closed wells and installation of new wells • Water purification (i.e. with activated carbon filters) OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024 6 PFC-Karten Online - Landesanstalt für Umwelt Baden-Württemberg (baden-wuerttemberg.de)
  • 7. National Harmonized Guidance in Germany • Guidance for the analysis of PFAS in soil, including precursors (target-analysis, AOF, EOF, TOP-Assay) • Use significant thresholds for assessing the groundwater contamination and soil eluates • Pre-harvest monitoring may be considered, when agricultural land is affected • Guidance on handling soil material containing PFAS; • Unrestricted open storage • Restricted open emplacement in areas with elevated PFAS concentrations • Restricted integration into technical structures with defined security measures OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024 7 Guidelines for PFAS assessment | Download | BMUV Conference of German Environment Ministers calls for the development of uniform national guidelines INTERNATIONAL CLEANUP CONFERENCE 2022, ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
  • 8. Guidance for the Remediation Management for Local and Wide- spread PFAS Contaminations • Review and assessment of the technical feasibility and proportionality of possible procedural approaches for the remediation management of local and large-scale PFAS contamination • Enforceable guidance for the competent authorities • Evaluation and decision-making on suitable and proportionate remediation solutions, management and waste disposal concepts 8 Frauenstein, Umweltbundesamt Frauenstein, Umweltbundesamt Remediation management for local and wide-spread PFAS contaminations | Umweltbundesamt OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 9. Challenges 9 OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 10. Challenge 1: Systematic Identifikation of Contaminated Sites 10 'Forever pollution': Explore the map of Europe's PFAS contamination (lemonde.fr) OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 11. Challenge 2: Determining the Dimension of a PFAS Contamination 11 OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024 Wellmitz, Bandow, Koschorreck (2023) ); Science of The Total Environment, 893 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.164586 - Soil top layers from samples the German Environmental Specimen Bank were analysed for 24 PFAS (11 PFCA, 7 PFSA, and 6 precursors), including the total oxidizable precursor (TOP) assay. - Median ΣPFAS ranged from 0.31 to 19.7 μg/kg (dw)
  • 12. Challenge 2: Determining the Dimension of a PFAS Contamination 12 Kotthoff et al. (2020); Science of The Total Environment, 740 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140116 Background vs Hotspots 0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 PFAS contamination in soil [ng/g] PFCA PFOS Polyfluorierte Vorläufer Environmental Specimen Bank Rastatt Precursors OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024 Wellmitz, Bandow, Koschorreck (2023) ); Science of The Total Environment, 893 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.164586 Göckener et al. Environmental Sciences Europe (2022) 34:52 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12302-022-00631-1
  • 13. Challenge 3: Limited Management and Remediation Options Development of innovative remediation techniques required, such as: - Destruction of PFAS - Sustainable in-situ methods 13 Frauenstein, Umweltbundesamt Frauenstein, Umweltbundesamt OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 14. Challenge 4: Limit Human PFAS Uptake from Contaminated Soil 14 PFAS source Setup Reference of data Contaminated water; sewage sludge Green house Bao et al., 2020; Lechner & Knapp, 2011 y = 0.64x0.5254 R² = 0.9562 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 0.1 1 10 100 1000 PFOA in Cucumber [µg/kg] PFOA in Soil [µg/kg] Fruits & Vegetables OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024 Lesmeister et al., (2021), Science of the Total Environment, 746 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142640
  • 15. Challenge 4: Limit Human PFAS Uptake from Contaminated Soil 15 PFAS source Setup Reference of data Contaminated water; sewage sludge Green house Bao et al., 2020; Lechner & Knapp, 2011 Rupp et al., (2023) Science of the Total Environment, 871 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.162028 https://www.lgl.bayern.de/lebensmittel/chemie/kontaminanten/pfas/ ue_2010_pft_lebensmittel_wild_sonstigesbayern.htm y = 0.64x0.5254 R² = 0.9562 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 0.1 1 10 100 1000 PFOA in Cucumber [µg/kg] PFOA in Soil [µg/kg] Fruits & Vegetables Engler 2023 Terrestrial Food Chain OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024 Authorities advise not to consume wild boar liver in order to reduce personal PFAS intake.
  • 16. Ideas for International Collaboration at OECD • Knowledge hub for contaminated sites management • Collection of best practice examples for site management • Standardization of methods for soil investigation • e.g. OECD guidelines • Discussion on how PFAS manufacturers and users can take responsibility for clean-up 16 OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024
  • 17. 17 Current status: Data being collected from 18 partners from 11 countries Developing a European PFAS baseline Project aim Deriving baseline levels in the environment, resulting from decades of PFAS production and use Baseline definition PFAS concentrations in environmental matrices, covering urban, agricultural and industrial areas, excluding those with known significant PFAS sources Collection of existing PFAS data • Media: Surface water, groundwater, sediment, soil, air, biota (incl. eggs) • Coverage: Europe • Time range: ≤ 5 years old (to consider recent bans of legacy PFAS) • Compounds: All PFAS data with concentration information We are interested in collaborating, please contact: Valeria Dulio: Valeria.DULIO@ineris.fr Katrin Vorkamp: kvo@envs.au.dk www.eu-parc.eu
  • 18. 18 Thank you! Dr. Annegret Biegel-Engler Head of Section - Measures of Soil Protection Telephone: +49-340-2103-2074 Annegret.Biegel-Engler@uba.de www.uba.de Special thanks to Jörg Frauenstein, Lennart Gehrenkemper & Tobias Frische OECD Global PFAS Forum - 13 February 2024