Promoting Practicality as Science and Policy Evolve
Deciding how and when to initiate PFAS-related management strategies at project sites is often complicated by advancing federal and state regulations, public scrutiny, and potential liabilities. Project teams—including environmental attorneys; insurance companies; industrial, chemical, and manufacturing corporations; and developers—must understand how to integrate PFAS challenges into their business decisions, recognize potential implications to their operations, and implement practical strategies to manage regulatory compliance and liabilities as the science and policy of PFAS evolves.
Langan is actively engaged in understanding the evolving science, technology, and policy aspects of PFAS, while also navigating the associated real world implications. The firm works with clients to develop practical approaches to operational and management challenges concerning PFAS while strategically supporting each client’s risk management decisions.
With transactional due diligence, concerns related to PFAS as a business environmental risk and potential hazardous substance designations under CERCLA require unique considerations that go beyond traditional resources. PFAS in property transactions require a deeper dive to better understand a site’s history and operations specific to PFAS, and fully consider the associated risks of PFAS use and contributions from the surrounding area.
Sites associated with common PFAS use indicators warrant detailed technical, regulatory, and strategic analysis. These analyses help determine if PFAS are covered in the scope of diligence, the extent of governing state regulations, and creative ways to assess and manage potential liabilities associated with PFAS at or near a property.
Facilities are under increased risk and scrutiny as permit authorities focus more on monitoring and controlling the discharge and disposal of PFAS. Operators that may handle PFAS need to do their due diligence to prepare for regulation and compliance mandates. Langan’s team devises technical strategies, recommends appropriate laboratory analytical methods, and determines the best treatment and management practices to ensure continued compliance.
Pragmatic approaches to PFAS concerns and site investigations start by “beginning with the end in mind;” understanding the regulatory framework, and formulating technical strategies to assess off-site sources and on-site considerations to differentiate PFAS contributions and liability implications. Langan applies forensic and statistical methods to differentiate sources, establish release timeframes, and estimate the relative contribution of multiple PFAS sources. These advanced tools support conceptual site model development, compliance and permitting, and regulatory decision-making.
Construction and redevelopment projects require a focus on property transactions, earthwork and contaminated fill management, groundwater dewatering management, and waste disposal/management. Each of these topics require careful and strategic thought and risk management concerning PFAS.
While the PFAS front is expanding under increased scrutiny and jurisdiction, Langan remains focused on expanding its technical knowledge, gaining practical experiences, and helping clients overcome challenges and keep businesses moving forward.