Partnering in Progress

Since our inception, we at HGL have partnered with the U.S. Government to address the challenge of protecting our environment. In that tradition, I am proud that we were able to participate in the validation of EPA Method 1633, as recently acknowledged in the publication of the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) report entitled, Multi-Laboratory Validation Study for Analysis of PFAS by EPA Draft Method 1633: Wastewater, Surface Water, and Groundwater Matrices. EPA Method 1633 is a standardized laboratory method for measuring per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in a variety of environmental matrices. PFAS chemicals have been used in many applications for over 75 years and could present a risk to human health or the environment, ranging from stain-resistant clothing and carpeting to aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), a fire suppressant.

(For more information about HGL’s PFAS Response capabilities, click here.)

HGL’s role was as oversight contractor for the Method 1633 PFAS laboratory validation study for SERDP/Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) in collaboration with the Method Validation Study Team including representatives from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. HGL managed a commercial supplier of high-concentration PFAS analytical standards, a specialty laboratory for the spiking and shipment of study samples, and 10 subcontracted laboratories to conduct the Method 1633 analyses under the testing paradigm. In conjunction with the rest of the project team, our chemists and data manager tracked, compiled, and verified data to document the precision and accuracy of the proposed analytical method. They managed the laboratories and conducted initial data reviews of the single- and multi-laboratory validation studies to produce data for an EPA-approved analytical method for analysis of PFAS in wastewater, surface water, and groundwater. This method, when complete, will be used to detect PFAS compounds in environmental media including wastewater, groundwater, surface water, soil, sediment, landfill leachate, biosolids, and tissues for CERCLA and RCRA investigation projects. The validation of this method is a critical step toward ensuring that PFAS concentrations can be accurately measured and that data from different laboratories is standardized for comparison. It represents an important achievement in strengthening the scientific foundation for EPA’s PFAS Strategic Roadmap.

PFAS is what EPA refers to as an “emerging contaminant,” a chemical or material that presents a potential or real threat to human health or the environment. HGL has forged long-term relationships with SERDP/ESTCP, EPA, and other U.S. Government departments and agencies to remain at the forefront in addressing the latest challenges, such as those posed by PFAS. I’m proud of the contributions our staff have made in meeting these challenges, and I’m confident that, because of their dedicated efforts, we’ll remain at the forefront in protecting our environment.