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Regulation of Underground Contamination in Oil and Gas Production and in Contaminated Sites


June 25, 2014

An ELI Professional Practice Seminar

Underground contamination poses particularly thorny problems and has increasingly gained regulators’ attention. Whether it’s underground contaminants migrating into buildings, the potential for hydraulic fracturing to create contamination, or remediating hard-to-treat contaminants in groundwater, subsurface contamination vexes many environmental professionals. The laws and regulations that address these issues are varied, from the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to state oil and gas and water laws and regulations. How do these statutes fit together and what processes and procedures have been sanctioned by regulators for effective, lasting remediation?

An expert panel discussed current issues in regulation of subsurface contamination. The session begain with a brief overview of current subsurface regulation before examining issues faced by practitioners, regulators, and the public in addressing subsurface contamination and remediation. Panelists discussed the regulatory structure’s challenges and opportunities as applied to vapor intrusion, the long-term attenuation of contaminants, and the effects of well wall design and integrity.

Dr. Walter Kovalick
, Principal, 8th Avenue Consulting (moderator)
Dr. Rula Deeb, Principal Civil and Environmental Engineer, Geosyntec
Earl Hagström, Partner, Sedgwick LLP
John Pendergrass, Senior Attorney, Environmental Law Institute
Dr. Robert W. Puls, Director, Oklahoma Water Survey & Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma, College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences

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