Emerging Contaminants Summit

Spring 2020

schroederAshley Schroeder
Project Manager/Environmental Scientist 
EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC

Ashley Schroeder graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography/Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and presently serves as a project manager and environmental scientist in EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC’s (EA) Lincoln, Nebraska office. For the last eight years, Ms. Schroeder has provided environmental engineering and technical support services under contract with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ), by preparing Section 128(a) Brownfield Phase I Environmental Site Assessments and Pre-Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Assessments, Site Inspections, and is conducting investigations of uncontrolled hazardous waste releases throughout Nebraska. In 2017, EA worked with the NDEQ to develop a Statewide Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) Inventory, and has since been involved in subsequent PFC groundwater sampling projects across the State of Nebraska.

As a GIS Specialist, Ashley excels at integrating spatial data visualization methodologies with advanced data management techniques to convey scientifically sound information. Under contract with the NDEQ, Ashley constructed a user-friendly, web-based GIS system, which enables stakeholders to locate facilities and sites that were identified in the Nebraska Statewide PFCs Inventory. Future phases of the database include the integration with information on sensitive receptors for further analyses capabilities.



Nebraska Statewide Perfluorinated Compounds Inventory

Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs) have been used since the 1950s for many applications because of their high stability and surfactant, hydrophobic, and oleophobic properties. PFCs are ubiquitous, persistent chemicals that have been widely used in the production of common household and consumer goods. PFCs contamination of groundwater and surface water used for potable water supplies is a growing concern because of their use in industrial processes, widespread use in aqueous film-forming foams (AFFFs) for fire suppression, and presence in landfill leachate and wastewater. Recently completed sampling for six PFAS in approximately 4,500 public drinking water supplies nationwide under the SDWA Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) has resulted in the detection of PFCs, (most notable the two most common and higher profile PFCs, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluoroctane sulfonate (PFOS), in approximately 1.9% of the systems tested, nationwide. Extrapolation of this analytical data to the nearly 300 million people served by more than 152,000 drinking water supply systems nationwide illustrates the potential scale of this issue for as many as 6 million people. Very few states have undertaken an effort to identify, statewide, potential sources of PFCs.  EA Engineering, Science, and Technology, Inc., PBC (EA), was contracted by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) to perform a statewide inventory of facilities that potentially used or produced PFCs in Nebraska.  This effort demonstrated the State of Nebraska efforts to address the PFC emerging contaminant issue.  EA along with NDEQ developed an approach that identified and prioritized potential PFC sources across Nebraska.  The approach included a comprehensive list of Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes specific to the types of activities related to PFC use and/or production. NDEQ provided information from their database to include in the inventory.  A desktop review of information including the Directory of Nebraska Manufacturers and their Products and interviews were conducted to identify DoD and municipal Fire/Crash Training Area Sites, hazardous sites and RCRA facilities, and manufacturing facilities that present possible sources of PFCs. The inventory identified 990 facilities/sites in Nebraska as having characteristics that either historically or currently present the potential for PFC environmental contamination.  The project included the development of an Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) ArcGIS Geodatabase to serve as a “one-click” desktop accessible tool; includes facility name, location and other key tabulated information. From the ArcGIS Geodatabase, maps for each county in Nebraska were created identifying all potential sites and can be distributed to local stakeholders.  The database can also be integrated with information on sensitive receptors.


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