Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 54-01. Practices to Identify and Mitigate PFAS Impacts on Highway Construction Projects and Maintenance Operations

Preliminary Scope Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manmade fluorinated chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries since the 1940s. They are persistent in the environment and the human body, and there is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health effects and ecological risks. There are no federal maximum contaminant level standards for PFAS compounds. However, states have regulated various PFAS compounds at varying standards and in varying media. Some state departments of transportation (DOTs) are navigating PFAS-related issues, at significant expense, due to situations such as: state DOT-owned legacy sites with PFAS impact; road construction and improvement through PFAS-contaminated soil and groundwater due to aerial deposition, stormwater runoff, and groundwater migration; increased assessment and analytical cost for soils to be graded, cut, or excavated; storage and disposal of spoil materials from roadway maintenance in areas with PFAS aerial deposition; PFAS impact in dewatered construction groundwater; and landfill testing requirements and restrictions leading to increased transportation and disposal costs. A number of states directly address PFAS in their action plans with the focus on biosolids and wastewater treatment; sources that impact drinking water, air quality, landfills, and food safety; or airports where firefighting foams containing PFAS were known to have been used. With these focus areas in mind, several states have formed interagency groups to address minimizing human exposure to PFAS within their state. These groups are charged with developing PFAS management strategies, such as locating likely contaminated areas, sample collection and analysis, remediation/removal strategies, surveying inventory and improving storage practices of unused supplies of products containing PFAS, etc. However, none of the identified state action plans explicitly address the impact of PFAS contamination on state DOT construction and maintenance sites. The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT current practice for identifying locations of potential PFAS contamination and for mitigating the impacts of PFAS related to highway construction and maintenance operations. Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to): • DOT policies, guidance, and current practice to identify locations of PFAS contamination; • DOT policies, guidance, and current practice to mitigate PFAS impacts related to highway construction and maintenance operations; • Tools used; • Timing and approaches used to screen for PFAS contamination in construction sites; and • Identification of materials used currently or in the past by state DOTs on construction sites that may contain PFAS. Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified. TRB Staff Jo Allen Gause Phone: 202-334-3826 Email: Meeting Dates First Panel: TBD Teleconference with Consultant: TBD Second Panel: TBD Topic Panel TBD


  • English


  • Status: Programmed
  • Funding: $55000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 54-01

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Gause, Jo

  • Start Date: 20220516
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01845328
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 54-01
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 16 2022 3:04PM