PFAS Research & Policy Forum

PFAS Research & Policy Forum

Wondering why so many people are talking about PFAS? This post-Indiana Water Summit virtual forum will help you understand everything you need to know about PFAS, ‘forever’ chemicals that are contaminating our water, soil, and, in some cases, our bodies. First, researchers from Purdue University’s Center for the Environment and the University of Notre Dame will dive into what is known and how PFAS are impacting Indiana’s environment. Then, policy leaders will help us understand what we can do as we extend our discussions about what’s polluting our waters. Register for this event using the button below.

Find out a little bit more about PFAS and “Forever Chemicals” on the Purdue University PFAS and Forever Chemicals Flyer.


Meet the Speakers

Linda Lee
Professor, Agronomy and Environmental and Ecological Engineering, & Program Head for the Ecological Sciences and Engineering Interdisciplinary Graduate Program, Purdue University
Linda Lee's research focuses on developing a mechanistic understanding of the processes that govern the environmental fate, and possible remediation, of contaminants. This information, in turn, can be used in decision tools and management guidelines for industrial and agricultural settings. Over the last sixteen years, she has focused on per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) and other organic endocrine-disrupting chemicals of emerging concern. A recent breakthrough has been the creation of a reactive filter technology that can transform PFAS and associated compounds with the goal of capturing PFAS-contaminated waters and degrading PFAS into harmless carbon and fluorine. Lee is also working with wastewater treatment plants with support from the US EPA, to develop strategies for decreasing PFAS that exit the plants through treated effluent and sludge.
Jennifer Freeman
Professor of Toxicology in the School of Health Sciences; Interim Director, Purdue University’s Center for the Environment
Jennifer Freeman looks to define the underlying genetic and epigenetic mechanisms of the toxicity of environmental stressors with a current focus on pesticides, metals, radiation, and emerging contaminants. She researches adverse health outcomes throughout the lifespan as linked to various levels of exposure to harmful chemicals during different stages of development. More specifically, in relation to PFAS, Freeman has looked at how these chemicals impact the endocrine and central nervous systems as demonstrated using the zebrafish as a model system. Recently, with other members of Purdue’s PFAS researchers, she has focused on the neurotoxicity of PFAS mixtures in firefighting foams with funding from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
Graham Peaslee
Professor, Physics, the University of Notre Dame
Graham Peaslee’s research interests lie at the interface between nuclear or atomic physics measurement methods and materials that impact society. His group applies traditional methods in novel environments and most of their measurements are accelerator-based (known as Ion Beam Analysis), where light charged particles are used to bombard the surface of some solid material. These measurements have applications when they determine the presence of lead in paint, or halogenated flame-retardants in furniture, or the occurrence of per-and polyfluorinated compounds (PFAS) in the environment. Recently, he and his team have published on the presence, and implications, of PFAS chemicals in fast-food wrappers as well as cosmetics and beauty products.
Matt Prater
Branch Chief for IDEM Drinking Water Branch
Matt Prater is a Branch Chief for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) – Drinking Water Branch and has worked for IDEM since 2011. Work duties at IDEM include implementing Public Water Supply (PWS) regulations, assisting PWS owners/operators, responding to media questions, and helping staff manage the SDWA regulations. Matt graduated from Ball State University in 2009 with a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Management and a Minor in Chemistry. He also received a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Bellevue University in 2013. Matt currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and three children.
Ann McIver
Director of Environmental Stewardship at Citizens Energy Group
Ann McIver is the Director of Environmental Stewardship for Citizens Energy Group. She is responsible for the oversight of environmental compliance programs for the district steam and chilled water systems, as well as the natural gas, drinking water and wastewater utilities. The Environmental Stewardship department at Citizens includes engineers and scientists who oversee permitting and compliance activities, implementation of the Industrial Pretreatment Program as the delegated authority, as well as a fully integrated state‐certified drinking water lab with field sampling staff. Ann also champions Citizens’ Commitment to Sustainability program. Prior to serving as Director of Environmental Stewardship for Citizens, Ann worked in the Citizens Thermal business unit, including an assignment as Manager of Operations for the Steam business. Ann started her environmental career as a staff environmental scientist in the Air Quality program with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Anne Tavalire
Pretreatment Program Specialist at Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
Anne Tavalire is 1 of 3 Regional Industrial Pretreatment Program Specialists in Michigan. She has worked at EGLE for 10 years. Prior to her work on PFAS, she had NPDES compliance and enforcement responsibilities for municipal and industrial facilities in Southeast Michigan, as well as compliance for municipal WWTPs with Industrial Pretreatment Programs. Anne has a B.S. in Environmental Science from Bowling Green State University; and a M.S. in Environmental Policy from the University of Michigan.

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