Environmental Forensics provides a scientific basis for determining quantitative liability allocation among Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) at contaminated sites, as well as for identifying contaminant sources in toxic tort cases. The need for Environmental Forensics frequently occurs when there are successive owners of a contaminated property, when there are commingled groundwater plumes, or when wastes have been distributed in a community—for example, as fill or for surfacing roads. In addition to identifying the origin of contaminating material, it is often necessary, particularly in insurance coverage cases, to determine how and when contaminating events occurred.
An Environmental Forensics consulting assignment may combine historical documentation such as aerial photographs, historical maps, facility engineering, and other company records, with fact-witness accounts, and with recent environmental monitoring data. At Exponent, we emphasize interpretation of monitoring data. The tools we use are many, including chemical fingerprinting and isotope analysis, as well as mathematical techniques, for both statistical analysis and modeling chemical transport and behavior in groundwater, sediments, air, and other media. When existing data are insufficient, we can design and implement data collection programs. Our Environmental Forensics project experience includes chlorinated solvents, dioxins, metals, PAHs, PCBs, oil spills, pesticides, petroleum hydrocarbons, product additives, and many other compounds.
Exponent has a broad range of Environmental Forensics expertise, in one of the largest such consulting groups in the United States. We serve industry, attorneys, and selected government agencies as both testifying and consulting experts. In either case, we help our clients critique opposing witness testimony and formulate case strategies that are based on reliable scientific methods.
Our Environmental Forensics work is supported by other Exponent capabilities, including toxicological risk assessment, reconstruction of historical industrial processes, analysis of system failures leading to a release, corrosion analysis, and critical review of remediation costs.
View our latest Environmental Forensics Notes