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Government infrastructure

Haley & Aldrich helps Palm Springs safely and efficiently comply with airport-related PFAS order

3 groundwater monitoring wells

installed in under three weeks

130 soil samples

taken in under three weeks

Summary

  • The California State Water Board ordered the city of Palm Springs to conduct a comprehensive audit of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) storage, use, and management at its airport. AFFF used at airports contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), which some studies have linked to health problems in humans. Because AFFF can potentially impact the environment, the state required the city to determine if any contamination had occurred.  
  • Drawing on our deep experience providing geochemical and environmental services to airports, we designed a practical and timely plan to locate PFAS sources and investigate potential contamination without impacting airport operations. 
  • We sampled soil across the site using two drilling techniques at the same time — one for shallower soil sampling and another for deeper soil sampling — to complete the work on a tight timeline.  
  • Our results showed that PFAS concentrations decreased significantly with depth, which allowed us to avoid the cost and time of unnecessary corrective actions. 
  • We also proactively engaged the California State Water Board by inviting representatives to a site walk and discussing sampling locations and objectives with them, which helped secure their approval of the final work plan with only minor comments.

For more information, contact:

Jason Grant

Senior Project Manager, Environmental Engineering