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SEER Essentials: PFAS 101 - An Overview of Technical and Regulatory Issues Associated with Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 62 minutes
Recorded Date: June 17, 2019
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  • PFAS: Overview of Key Technical Issues
  • PFAS Toxicology & US Regulations/Guidance
  • PFAS Litigation
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: June 17, 2019


Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), including perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are a class of man-made chemicals; they are not naturally found in the environment. Due to the strength of their carbon-fluorine bonds, PFAS are persistent in the environment and difficult to remediate. PFAS exposures and risks can result in regulatory concerns and active management at contaminated sites and in surrounding areas.

This program will provide an introduction to PFAS chemistry, environmental sources and occurrence, environmental fate and transport, exposure, toxicology, and treatment. Faculty will also cover recent updates on state and federal regulatory issues and an outline of the spectrum of legal challenges associated with the historical use of PFAS at industrial and military facilities.

This program was recorded on June 17th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Virginia Yingling

Minnesota Department of Health

Virginia Yingling is a hydrogeologist at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), where she has investigated contaminated drinking water sites since 2000. Prior to that, she worked as a hydrogeologist for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, as an environmental consultant at Twin City Testing, Inc. and as a field assistant for the USGS. She holds a B.S. from Penn State and an M.S. from the University of Wyoming, both in geology. Yingling has 21 years of experience in environmental investigations and is the MDH's lead investigator on poly- and perfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) and several other chemicals of emerging concern. She is the Co-Team Leader for the PFAS Team for the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC).

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Rula Deeb

Senior Principal
Geosyntec Consultants

Rula Deeb received her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in Civil and Environmental Engineering where her research focused on substrate interactions of gasoline aromatics and oxygenates. As a post-doctoral fellow at Berkeley, she developed and implemented research programs in collaboration with scientists and engineers at other universities, consulting firms and the U.S. Air Force on the remediation of sites impacted with contaminant mixtures. Her research has been recognized with awards from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Water Environment Federation, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Association of University Women, Air and Waste Management Association, American Chemical Society and American Society for Microbiology. Following teaching assignments at Berkeley and Stanford, Dr. Deeb was selected as a National Science Foundation Engineering Education Scholar for Excellence in Engineering Education.

Dr. Deeb’s technical expertise includes the cross-media fate and transport of contaminants, and the remediation of complex soil and groundwater sites impacted by non-aqueous phase liquids. Her focus on emerging contaminants has promoted awareness and improved the understanding of the sources, occurrence, fate and transport and behavior of these compounds (including perfluorinated compounds, 1,4-dioxane, MTBE and other fuel oxygenates, perchlorate, NDMA, EDCs, PPCPs and others) in natural and treatment environments. Dr. Deeb is heavily engaged in the National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering program which brings together emerging engineering leaders from industry, academia and government to discuss pioneering technical work and leading edge research in various engineering fields and industry sectors. She is the recipient of the 2008 Berkeley Engineering Innovation Young Outstanding Leader Award.

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Harmon L. "Monty" Cooper

Crowell & Moring LLP

Harmon L. (Monty) Cooper is a counsel in Crowell & Moring’s Washington, D.C. office, where he is a member of the Mass Tort, Product, and Consumer Litigation and Environment & Natural Resources groups. His practice focuses on environmental, product liability, and complex civil litigation. He has experience with multi-district proceedings and has represented clients in a range of industries, including automotive, petroleum, and information technology. He provides strategic counseling and legal advice on environmental issues for clients regarding environmental remediation and property-transfer laws. Monty also provides counsel on regulatory and legislative matters affecting the mining and natural resources industries.

Monty has also been active in his community. He is a former chairman of the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Prince George’s County, MD.

Monty received a B.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University and attended the College of William and Mary Law School, where he was a notes editor for the William and Mary Law Review, a member of the William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, and a Benjamin Rush Scholar. After law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Patrick Michael Duffy of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina.

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