When considering how to deal with PFAS contaminated solids, there are really two main approaches: containment, or removal. In-situ stabilization (containment) only works for solids though, so it’s a reasonable treatment for contaminated soils. Rembind is one example of a commonly used agent that essentially holds the contaminated soil in place “permanently”.
This solves the problem of leaching or leaking, but what’s unclear is how long these stabilization agents will be effective. Without research and long-term studies looking at the effect of stabilization technologies has on PFAS containment, stabilization technology must be thought of as more of a ‘deferral’ based solution than a truly permanent one. Sites that have been stabilized need to be monitored regularly to ensure the agents are still working as they should be and that additional remediation is not required.
The other current ‘solution’ for dealing with PFAS is to transport the contaminated matter to a landfill that is willing to accept PFAS and has protective measures in place to prevent leaching. With increasingly stringent regulations on the horizon, disposal will become a less viable option.
This method simply moves the problem to someone else (i.e. landfill operator) and owners of PFAS soil will likely see an increase in cost for the disposal option as a result of PFAS management for leachate becoming a requirement. If a landfill will not accept PFAS soil due to the complexities of leachate management, owners of PFAS soil may not have any options in the future.