Talks & Lectures
20 Apr 2021
Virtual Event - Link Below

Hugo Neu Corporation Sustainability Seminar Series: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) – A Tidal Wave of New Emerging Contaminants

Department of Civil, Environmental and Ocean Engineering

photo of Jim Claffey


In the past 5 years Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) have emerged into the environmental industry as new contaminants of concern. PFAS are a class of compounds that were first developed in the 1940s and soon thereafter began to appear in various commercial and consumer products. Products like TeflonTM and ScotchgardTM became household names for decades but recent awareness around potential health effects has resulted in discontinued use and the development of substitute compounds. The unique chemical properties of PFAS resulted in a multitude of applications that today make them ubiquitous in the environment. PFAS number in the thousands, are generally stable and persist in the environment, have impacted natural resources, and are difficult to destroy. This presentation will provide a brief overview of the history of PFAS development and use, information on the presence of PFAS in the environment, regulatory actions being taken at the federal and state levels, impacts to the solid waste and wastewater treatment industries, conventional and innovative treatment technologies, and more.


Dr. Jim Claffey is a technology and sales leader with 30 years of environmental consulting industry experience. His primary focus is on the development and application of innovative technologies. His expertise in site investigation and remediation provides leadership around emerging contaminants in the environment, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water, wastewater, groundwater, biosolids and other media. He also provides leadership in building relationships with academia and other technology developers to make leading edge technologies available to address traditional and emerging contaminant issues. His responsibilities include client account development and management, sales planning, risk management, technology transfer, and program management duties in securing projects, strategizing approaches, and driving sustainable outcomes that benefit the environment. Jim has done his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University.

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