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Research Grants

National Priorities: Research on PFAS Impacts in Rural Communities and Agricultural Operations Informational Webinar

Date and Time

Thursday 12/05/2019 2:00PM to 3:00PM EST
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Thursday 12/05/2019 2:00PM EST

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PFAS Distro BannerInformational Webinar
National Priorities: Research on PFAS Impacts on Rural Communities and Agricultural Operations

Date: December 5, 2019
Time: 2:00 p.m. -3:00p.m.

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Join us for an informational webinar and learn more about the National Priorities Research on PFAS on Rural Communities and Agricultural Operations funding opportunity.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking applications to better understand the impacts of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on water quality and availability in rural communities and agricultural operations across the United States. The Agency is seeking new information on PFAS occurrence, fate, and transport in water sources used by rural communities and agricultural operations, and new or improved PFAS treatment methods in small drinking water systems and typical small wastewater treatment system trains, including influents, effluents, and biosolids/residuals. 

The focus of the RFA is to solicit research on the impacts of PFAS including:

  1. Understanding major sources of PFAS contamination, fate, and transport in rural areas impacting source water. This includes PFAS from land-applied biosolids and industrial sludges, fluorinated surfactants from pesticide application, and other major PFAS sources such as airports and military sites using AFFF.
  2. New and improved PFAS treatment methods in small drinking water and wastewater treatment systems including influents, effluents, and biosolids/residuals.

This RFA is open for applications November 22, 2019 - February 11, 2020

 Learn more about this RFA and application process! Webinar presentations and discussions will cover:

  • General information about the National Priorities Research on PFAS on Rural Communities and Agricultural Operations
  • RFA application process, eligibility, and peer review processes
  • Questions & Answer Session

EPA program experts will be available to answer questions during a question & answer (Q&A) session following the presentation.

RFA Background Information:

National Priorities Research on PFAS on Rural Communities and Agricultural Operations RFA:

Open Date: November 22, 2019
Close Date: February 11, 2020

PFAS refers to a family of manufactured chemicals that have been produced since the 1940s which are designed to resist heat, water, and oil.  One estimate suggests that there may be at least 3000 PFAS compounds currently produced in the global market, including many shorter chain replacements such as GenX.  The PFAS chemical family is diverse including surfactants, waxes, fluids, polymers and other materials. Used in a variety of consumer products and industrial applications, PFAS are highly water soluble, persistent, and bioaccumulative. Human exposure may result in cancer, liver damage, high cholesterol, endocrine disruption, and immune suppression. While perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) (both well-known long chain molecules) historically tended to be the most prevalent, they have been phased out in the United States and internationally. 

An urgent, high-priority research area identified by the EPA is to expand the understanding of the environmental risks posed by per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and identify practical approaches to manage their potential environmental impacts. EPA is issuing this RFA to support research to better understand the behaviors and potential impacts of PFAS in rural communities and agricultural operations. PFAS are a broad group of compounds that have unique properties which have resulted in their widespread use in industrial, commercial and consumer applications and products. The EPA is committed to supporting the public (states, tribes, and local communities) in understanding PFAS impacts and reducing PFAS risks to the public through implementation of the PFAS Action Plan which calls for research into hazard and toxicity, exposure, treatment and remediation, and lastly, science communication.

National Priorities: Research on PFAS Impacts on Rural Communities and Agricultural Operations grants will be awarded through the National Priorities grant funding. This funding is congressionally mandated and not funded through EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program. This mandated research funding is directed through language in the conference report (the Joint Senate and House budget report), which specifically directs EPA to fund high priority water quality research. The National Priorities RFAs are developed in collaboration with EPA experts in the research topic field and contributes/aligns with EPA’s broader efforts in the areas. The proposed research of these RFAs fill identified gaps of research knowledge in the environmental and health impact areas related to the congressionally mandated research topics.

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