Navigating PFAS Compliance in the Oil and Gas Industry

Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA or Superfund), the EPA is moving to classify perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances. Overall, the increased focus on PFAS use in the oil and gas industry could have significant financial, operational, legal, and reputational implications for companies in this sector.

Oil and gas companies with a history of PFAS usage might face investigations into prior disposal practices and contamination.

Increased regulation of PFAS could lead to stricter compliance requirements, and failure to meet these regulations could result in significant fines and penalties. The costs associated with remediation, legal challenges, and compliance could impact oil and gas companies.

Companies may need to alter their operations to reduce or eliminate the use of PFAS. This could involve researching and implementing alternative substances or technologies.

The oil and gas industry should consider evaluating their potential liability exposure and keep up to date with regulatory developments in this area, as many federal and state laws related to PFAS are currently in development.

Published by The Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA) Press | February 2024


About the Author: David L. Palmerton, Jr., PG, has more than 35 years of experience in environmental consulting in environmental liability assessment, investigation, remediation, due diligence, and construction quality control. His experience includes consulting with large commercial, industrial, and academic entities. He also has extensive experience with the energy industry, specifically oil and gas upstream operations. Mr. Palmerton is a professional geologist in several states and a former Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.