PFAS and Emerging Contaminants

Venable is at the vanguard of legal, policy, and regulatory issues related to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Our interdisciplinary team has extensive experience assisting clients with evaluating, defending, and advancing their interests associated with PFAS in a remarkably dynamic—and potentially explosive—legal atmosphere.

Whether it relates to the manufacture or use of PFAS or PFAS-containing products, the potential impacts of PFAS chemicals on the environment or public health, compliance strategies for new and looming regulatory programs addressing PFAS, or related supply chain concerns, our team is well positioned to help clients navigate these challenges. Our attorneys and advisors work with clients across the manufacturing, retail, chemical, pharmaceutical, medical device, utility, and transportation industries to assess and mitigate PFAS risks and liabilities. When litigation does arise, our team has successfully represented clients in a myriad of PFAS-related matters, including complex environmental contamination and (mass and class) personal injury matters, consumer class actions, and consumer protection false advertising suits. Our team has an unparalleled understanding of the underlying chemistry associated with PFAS and the human and animal studies that have been conducted on PFAS, and prides itself on making complex scientific issues relatable to juries.

Beyond the courtroom, Venable has been at the forefront of PFAS policy and regulatory issues, working on a day-to-day basis with Capitol Hill, the White House, EPA and other federal agencies, leading trade associations, and other key stakeholders to prevent adverse legislation and regulation of certain fluoropolymers—as distinct from other PFAS—that play a vital role in an array of consumer, safety, and critical care products. Our team includes some of the first federally registered lobbyists to engage on the PFAS issue, and Venable clients depend on our advocacy to influence national and state PFAS regulations and to support related communication, compliance, and risk mitigation strategies.

Our clients also routinely rely on Venable to help them understand and assess the impact that new PFAS-related state and federal laws have on their business, including compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) reporting requirements under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), new drinking water standards, and the designation of PFOA and PFOS as “hazardous substances” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or “Superfund”).


  • Served as lead counsel in several personal care product putative class actions or threatened class actions, alleging the products are falsely advertised, based on independent testing detecting organic fluorine as an indicator of PFAS or forever chemicals
  • Advised a global product and chemical company regarding litigation, NAD, FTC, and state regulatory compliance risk posed by certain proposed PFAS advertising claims, including “PFAS free,” “No PFAS,” “No Intentionally Added PFAS,” and “Formulated Without PFAS,” as well as disclosures and qualifying language
  • Advised consumer product companies regarding the litigation risk presented by self-reporting and other compliance efforts pursuant to certain state legislation and regulatory bodies, as well as best practices for avoiding litigation based on internal and external communications and advertising related to PFAS.
  • Represented and negotiated favorable settlements on behalf of a chemical manufacturing company in numerous litigation matters involving allegations of PFAS contamination in local residential neighborhoods
  • Provided counsel to companies in the chemical manufacturing, food, and consumer products industries involving risk management, as well as compliance issues and obligations related to PFAS
  • Defended the former owner and operator of an industrial facility against multiple claims—including individual and class action claims for personal injury and medical monitoring, as well as Natural Resource Damages and remediation-related claims brought by state authorities—alleging that per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) discharged from the facility contaminated the air, groundwater, surface water, and soil in the surrounding area
  • Counseled a civil engineering firm regarding potential liabilities associated with the transportation and disposal of PFAS-contaminated waste
  • Providing regulatory advocacy and compliance counseling for the electric and gas utility industry on regulations involving PFAS
  • Counseling manufacturers, utilities, and other entities on compliance and diligence obligations associated with EPA’s new reporting rule for PFAS under TSCA Section 8(a)
  • Advising clients on the assessment and mitigation of environmental risk and associated liability considerations involving the use, storage, treatment, and disposal of PFAS and other emerging contaminants in the context of real estate transactions and site cleanups
  • Representing a chemical manufacturer in personal injury claims involving the manufacture and sale of certain PFAS chemicals
  • Defending the owner and operator of an industrial facility against various personal injury and medical monitoring claims brought by individual and class plaintiffs, and against Natural Resource Damages and remediation-related claims brought by government entities