Tagged: research

Enlightening the Path Forward: Paving the Way for PFAS Action through Essential Briefings

June 2023

Would you buy a home without seeing it first? That idea would have been unthinkable to most consumers 10 or 15 years ago, but a recently released step-by-step guide shows it’s becoming increasingly common practice[1]. Some buyers will merely take a virtual tour and submit an offer. Even with an excellent on-site buyer’s agent guiding the process, it would be a stretch to consider this action fully informed or without potential risk.

Sometimes government and business policies are made in a similar way. An emergency or crisis arises, decision-makers are quick to respond, and efforts are put into practice without full understanding of the underlying scientific data. The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is playing a role in making sure that doesn’t happen with PFAS.

EREF’s President, Bryan Staley, has had conversations with numerous local, state, and government officials in recent months, discussing the organization’s extensive research on Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These briefings underscore the significance of the organization’s research for informing policy, and they serve as vital steps toward establishing EREF as a trusted thought leader in PFAS study and regulation.

PFAS, often referred to as ‘forever chemicals’ due to their persistent nature, have emerged as significant pollutants potentially affecting human health. EREF has already written about the primary ways humans are likely to encounter the chemicals and the organization’s involvement with a key briefing to US Senate staffers earlier this year. Since that briefing, Dr. Staley has continued this conversation with state, federal, and corporate business decisionmakers who’ve sought EREF’s research on the extent of PFAS risks, effects, and potential treatments.

These briefings serve as a vital conduit between science and policy, enabling comprehensive, unbiased scientific research to influence regulatory decisions. It’s vital to pursue research, but it’s a distinctly different step to transform that research into practical knowledge for decisionmakers. In presenting the science of PFAS, EREF’s research offers the tools to navigate PFAS management decisions with clarity and informed judgement.

While EREF doesn’t propose solutions or advocate for policy, the organization’s research and conversations have uncovered one recurring theme that seems to be in conflict: an almost singular focus on end-of-pipe regulations while at the same time highlighting such facilities are a potential solution for PFAS disposal (e.g. EPA’s Interim Guidance on PFAS Management). Much of the research and legislation on PFAS has been aimed at water treatment plants, landfills, and recycling and compost centers. While these facilities play an important role in the overall approach to PFAS, they are not enough. There has been very little research on stopping PFAS at the source, but EREF has written about how consumers are most likely to encounter these chemicals.

Through continued research, informed advocacy, and strategic policy recommendations, EREF aims to lead the way towards a safer, healthier environment. We believe our work with PFAS – encapsulated by the briefings given to officials – serves as a model for how research can directly influence policy, ensuring that our collective decision-making is informed by the best available scientific evidence. We are committed to continuing this vital dialogue, embracing our role as a thought leader, and working tirelessly towards a future free from the harmful impact of PFAS.

[1] https://www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/buying-a-house-sight-unseen#:~:text=Have%20you%20found%20yourself%20thinking,ever%20visiting%20it%20in%20person.

EREF’s New Science Sessions Puts a Conversational Twist on Solid Waste Education

Click here for a PDF of this release.

Raleigh, NC (January 7, 2021) – The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is excited to announce the inception of a new solid waste education series entitled EREF Science Sessions, which will kick off in mid-January.

In a time when interactions occur primarily online and Zoom fatigue has become a real concern, the Science Sessions aim to provide the content solid waste professionals need in brief, interactive segments lasting around 45 minutes to an hour.

These sessions will take a variety of forms, forgoing the typical presentation/webinar- style and opting for more interactive models such as interviews, panels and Q&A.

The first set of topics centers on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and emerging contaminants. While data and information surrounding the topic abounds, each session aims to bring new content to the table and focus on the role of the waste industry in the PFAS and emerging contaminants conversation.

Currently, 8 sessions have been confirmed with more anticipated to be lined up. Subtopics include:

  • Industry perspectives on PFAS management
  • PFAS policy
  • Management strategies
  • PFAS concentrations in domestic wastewater and leachate
  • Effective leachate treatment methods
  • PFAS stabilization and solidification
  • Exposure and health implications
  • And more to come!

While PFAS is the focus of the initial set of sessions, other topics will be added to the docket later in 2021.

EREF’s first session, entitled In the Room When It Happened: Industry Perspectives on PFAS, will be a panel comprised of Joe Benco (Republic Services), Sam Nicolai (Casella Waste) and David Pepper (GFL Environmental). This session will be held January 21 at 1 pm ET – registration is open!

Visit the EREF website to learn more and register.

Looking for a value-driven way to build your brand awareness? Become a Science Sessions sponsor! Sponsors receive a select amount of attendee spots with their sponsorship. Send an e-mail to events@erefdn.org to sponsor or learn more.

Thank you to our current Science Sessions sponsors, Golder and Republic Services!

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit erefdn.org.



Media Contact:

Catherine Ardoin, Communications Manager

Phone: 919.861.6876 ext. 109

Email: cardoin@erefdn.org

EREF to Host Virtual Annual Charitable Auction in 2020 Due to COVID-19

Raleigh, NC (June 4, 2020) – In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) will host its 2020 Annual Charitable Auction online in multiple phases.

EREF’s Auction, held each year at WasteExpo, accounts for a large portion of the Foundation’s annual revenue. Given WasteExpo’s virtual transition and ongoing uncertainties related to COVID-19, the EREF Board of Directors determined that the best way to minimize risk to the Foundation’s financial health would be to keep the event in the first half of 2020, which resulted in hosting the event virtually.

“The waste industry is an essential service during these difficult times; therefore, solid waste science remains essential. While we enjoy having the Auction at WasteExpo, I want to ensure that the Foundation is positioned to continue its mission, funding the research that still effects our everyday operations and lives,” said Pat Carroll, President of Environmental Solutions Group and EREF Board Chairman. “I encourage those who are able to contribute to the Auction, or EREF itself, to do so.”

When bidding opens June 15, Auction items will be available for bidding online through the Ritchie Bros. online bidding platform, IronPlanet.

EREF’s Silent Auction, which has been held online since 2016, will once again take place online, featuring must-haves and rare finds such as iPads and autographed images. Stay tuned for more bidding information.

New this year – in an effort to provide additional relationship-building opportunities, EREF has added a new element called the Super Silent Auction. This will consist of outings with key industry executives (e.g. procurement managers). The Super Silent Auction will take place during EREF’s Fall Classic & Networking Event from September 30th – October 1st in Pinehurst, NC.

“This was a difficult decision for the Foundation to make. Each year, we enjoy bringing together various facets of the waste industry into our WasteExpo booth to network and support solid waste science,” said Bryan Staley, EREF CEO and President. “However, EREF fully understands that safety and health are of the utmost importance in these unprecedented times. Hosting the elements of the charitable auction online will provide donors and bidders the opportunity to still support EREF. We hope to be back together again at WasteExpo in 2021.”

EREF will release more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, please contact events@erefdn.org with any questions.

EREF is a 501(c)3 class charity that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices to benefit industry participants and the communities they serve. For more complete information on EREF funded research, its scholarship program and how to donate to this great cause, visit https://erefdn.org.

Click here to view a PDF of this release.

Definition Dilemma: A Look at the Varying Recycling Definitions

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Of the 49 states that have recycling definitions, EREF identified 18 DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS! States use these when creating their waste reduction goals and measuring to see if they met their goals.

Check out this infographic on the differences in state recycling definitions!

Recycle Right: Are you Falling for these Recycling Myths?

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When you hear phrases like “think green” or “environmental stewardship,” recycling is likely one of the first things that comes to mind. With all of the pseudo-science and myths out there, you might be confused on how to recycle and even the definition of recycling.

Check out this infographic in which EREF addresses common misconceptions associated with recycling!

Supporting Canadian Solid Waste Research: EREF of Canada to Hold 2nd Silent Auction at the Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo

After the success of last year’s event, the Environmental Research & Education Foundation of Canada (EREF-CA) is excited to once again hold its Silent Auction October 9 and 10 at the Canadian Waste & Recycling Expo (CWRE) in Toronto, Ontario. Proceeds from this event, which is being held in partnership with the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA), support solid waste research needs in Canada.

EREF-CA’s Silent Auction affords donating companies greater visibility during the show and allows them to demonstrate their commitment to scientific research advancing the solid waste industry in Canada. Donations to the Auction consist of a variety of items, which could range from sporting event tickets to trips to electronics.

Click here for more information (PDF)

Environmental Research & Education Foundation Celebrates 25 Years of Sustainable Solid Waste Research and Education

This year, the Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is celebrating 25 years as a resource for solid waste research and education.

For 25 years, EREF’s mission has remained the same: to advance research and education initiatives for sustainable solid waste management practices to benefit the waste industry and communities it serves.

Click here for more information (PDF)