Langan Engineering and Environmental Services
Caryn Barnes, LSRP, PG, has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of environmental investigations, soil and groundwater remediation, vapor investigations, community outreach, and site closure. Caryn has worked extensively in New Jersey on both NJDEP- and USEPA-led projects. Caryn has been a Licensed Site Remediation Professional since the program’s inception; she is an expert in environmental regulations and a leader in the realm of emerging contaminants. Caryn is currently serving as the President for the New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association.
Controversies and Quandaries in Regulation Development for Compounds of Emerging Concern
The purpose of this presentation will be to discuss the practical aspects of shepherding a project through a regulatory program (state, federal, or otherwise) that is not fully formed around compounds of emerging concern. Specifically, as is the case with Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), how is regulatory compliance achieved in the absence of consistent, official guidance, media-specific standards or even approved analytical methods? The USEPA's Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR) has identified potential risks associated with the presence of compounds of emerging concern in the public water supply, yet state and federal policy makers have been unable to agree on how (or even whether) to regulate these contaminants. Indeed, the available science and toxicological data that underlies the regulatory framework is also incomplete or inconsistent. This quandary is likely to arise for any newly-regulated compound. The tangle of inconsistent regulations/guidance and uncertainty that has emerged from this morass has confused the regulated community and the general public about true risks and legal obligations, and has reinvigorated debate on the question of "how clean is clean?" and how to communicate environmental risk. The ramifications spill over into due diligence and liability management. A new regulatory paradigm may emerge from the complexities posed this class of compounds. Illustrated by case studies, we will look at the scientific, technical, regulatory, legal and ethical challenges faced by practitioners and members of the regulated community as a result of non-existent, incomplete or inconsistent promulgation of remediation standards for contaminants of emerging concern under federal and state programs.