Tarek Saba
Tarek Saba, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist & Office Director
Environmental & Earth Sciences
  • Maynard

Dr. Saba provides consulting and expert analyses and support in matters involving allocation of contamination and liability, natural resource damage assessments (NRDA), insurance remedial cost recovery claims, Superfund (CERCLA) liability, and claims of contamination from hydraulic fracturing. He uses his 16 years of experience in chemical forensics and fingerprinting, hydrogeology, and fate and transport analysis to reconstruct history of releases of petroleum hydrocarbons (LNAPL), petroleum additives (e.g., MTBE), tar and creosote (DNAPL), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chlorinated solvents (PCE, TCE and their degradation products), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and furans (D/F), among other chemical groups.

Dr. Saba has assisted and advised clients in cases involving waterway sediment sites, landfills, petroleum refineries, hydraulic fracturing, manufactured gas plants (MGPs), pulp and paper mills, salvage yards, manufacturing facilities, among other industrial setups. His scientific focus has been on the environmental contamination of soils, sediments, groundwater, and air, and the relationship between today’s contamination and historical waste practices and standard of knowledge. In addition, Dr. Saba’s expertise includes conducting detailed technical reviews of expert reports. Dr. Saba earned a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and worked on groundwater remediation technology development as a subcontractor for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency before starting his consulting practice.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1999
  • M.S., Water Resources, Cairo University, 1994
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Cairo University, 1992

Publications

Book Chapters

Saba T. Hydraulic fracturing: Data Analysis methods to identify sources of dissolved gas and chemical compounds in drinking water wells. Chapter 14. In: Introduction to Environmental Forensics. Murphy BL, Morrison RD (eds), pp. 513–529, 2015. ISBN: 9780124046962.

Shields WJ, Saba T, Boehm PD, Pietari J. Congeners: A forensics analysis. In: Introduction to Environmental Forensics. Murphy BL, Morrison RD (eds), pp. 347–393, 2015. ISBN: 9780124046962.

Publications

Saba T. Evaluating claims of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing. Oil and Gas Journal 2013 July. (http://www.ogj.com/content/ogj/en/articles/print/volume-111/issue-7/drilling-production/evaluating-claims-of-groundwater-contamination.html)

Saba T, Su S. Tracking polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) congener patterns in Newark Bay surface sediment using principal component analysis (PCA) and positive matrix factorization (PMF). Journal of Hazardous Materials 2013. Accepted manuscript (unedited version) available online: May 30, 2013. DOI information: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2013.05.046.

Saba T, Boehm PD. Use of natural gas compositional tracers to investigate gas migration from a gas storage field. Environmental Geosciences 2012 June; 19(2):1–12.

Saba T, Orzechowski M. Lack of data to support a relationship between methane contamination of drinking water wells and hydraulic fracturing: A response to Osborn et al. Proceedings, National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 2011. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1108435108. 

Saba T, Boehm PD. Congener-based analysis of the weathering of PCB Aroclor 1242 in paper mill sludge. Chemosphere 2011; 82:1321–1328. 

Saba T, Boehm PD. Quantitative polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener and homologue profile comparisons. Environmental Forensics 2011; 12(2):134–142. 

Saba T, Boehm PD. CERCLA’s petroleum exclusion and the use of chemical forensic methods. ABA Superfund and NRD Litigation Committee Newsletter 2011; 6(2). 

Saba T, Mohsen F, Hilbert B, Garry M, Murphy B. White paper: Methanol use in hydraulic fracturing fluids. Submitted to the Methanol Institute, August 2011 (Version 2 issued January 2012). 

Saenton S, Illangasekare TH, Soga K, Saba T. Effects of source zone heterogeneity on surfactant enhanced NAPL dissolution and resulting remediation end-points. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 2002; 59(1–2):27–44. 

Saba T, Illangasekare TH, Ewing J. Effect of flow dimensionality on mass transfer rate coefficient estimations under enhanced conditions. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 2001; 51(1–2):63–82. 

Saba T, Illangasekare TH. Effect of groundwater flow dimensionality on mass transfer from entrapped nonaqueous phase liquid contaminants. Water Resources Research 2000; 36(4):971–979. 

Conference Proceedings and Presentations 

Saba, T., Boehm, P.D., J. Pietari. Tracking sources of contamination to Gowanus Canal. Presented at the 2015 MGP Conference, Providence, Rhode Island, April 15 – 17, 2015. 

Masue-Slowey, Y, Cook, L., Saba, T., and P. Boehm. Evaluation of site specific background for NRDA investigations at refinery sites. The 31st Annual International Conference on soils, sediments, water, and energy. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. October 19–22, 2015. 

Saba T. Hydraulic fracturing and the use of chemical fingerprinting methods in claims of groundwater contamination. Presented at: 

  • Short course, SETAC North America 36th Annual Meeting, November 1-5, Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • AEHS Conference, Amherst, MA. October 2015.
  • Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) Annual Conference, University of London, England, July 2015.
  • United Kingdom Environmental Law Association (UKELA). Liverpool, England, July 4, 2015.
  • British Water Technical Forum, London, England, November 19, 2014.
  • Department of Environmental Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Lecture Series, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, March 5, 2014.
  • Association of Engineering Geologists, Woburn, MA, November 21, 2013.
  • International Network of Environmental Forensics Conference, Penn State University, University Park, PA June 10–12, 2013.
  • American Nuclear Society Northeast Meeting, Canton, MA, June 5, 2013.
  • The Hydraulic Fracking Conference, the Seminar Group, Santa Barbara, CA, February 8, 2013.
  • Conference on Research Frontiers in the Science of Unconventional Energy Resources, Yale Climate and Energy Institute, New Haven, CT, March 5, 2013
  • Future Energy Conference, Seattle, WA, November 13–14, 2012.

Saba T. CLA’s petroleum exclusion and the use of chemical forensic methods. The 29th Annual International Conference on soils, sediments, water, and energy. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. October 21–24, 2013. 

Saba, T. and Mohsen F. Hydrofracking: Separating the realities from the myths. The American Bar Association 41st Annual Conference on Environmental Law, Salt Lake City, UT, March 22–24, 2012. 

Garry M, Saba T, Mohsen F, Hilbert L. Health assessment of methanol used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. The 51st Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, San Francisco, CA, March 11–15, 2012. 

Saba T, Su S. Tracking sources of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to Newark Bay sediments using principal component analysis (PCA) and positive matrix factorization (PMF). SETAC North America 32nd Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, November 13–17, 2011. 

Saba T. The next wave of groundwater toxic tort litigation. Presented as part of the DRI’s Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee CLE credit program, July 7, 2011. 

Saba T, Boehm PD. Quantitative PCB congener and homologue profile comparisons. Presented at the 6th International Conference on Remediation of Contaminated Sediments. New Orleans, LA, February 7–11, 2011. 

Menzie C, Kierski M, Saba T, Meyer S, Kovatch E, Kahler J, Fox R, Kern J. Multisite ambient investigation for MGPs on the Chicago River. Presented at the 6th International Conference on Remediation of Contaminated Sediments, New Orleans, LA, February 7–11, 2011. 

Saba T, Boehm PD. Congener-based analysis of the weathering of PCBs in paper mill sludge. Presented at the 2010 Dioxin Conference, San Antonio, TX, 2010. 

Saba T, Boehm PD. Historical reconstruction of contamination using environmental forensic methods. Boston Bar Association Seminar, Boston, MA, February 11, 2010. 

Boehm P, Brown J, Saba T, O’Reilly K. The three-part approach to PAH source identification and apportionment in sediments as applied to petroleum, coal tars, and combustion sources. SETAC North America 30th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, November 19–23, 2009. 

Saba T. Environmental weathering of PCBs in sediments. The 26th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, and Water, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA, October 18–21, 2009. 

Boehm PD, Shields W, Fairbrother A, Saba T. Determination of the chemical background for sediment—Approaches and conundrums. SMWG meeting in Sarasota Springs, NY. September 29, 2009.

Saba T, Boehm PD. Using chemical forensics and other lines of evidence to distinguish PAH contributions from different pyrogenic sources to the sediments of the Hylebos Waterway Superfund Site—A CERCLA and MTCA cost recovery case. SMWG Spring Sponsor Forum, Kalamazoo, MI, April 29–30, 2008. 

Saba T, Boehm PD, Benton L. Identification of natural gas sources using geochemical forensic tools. The 23ed Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, and Water, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, October 15–18, 2007. 

Butler E, Saba T. Use of PCB congener and homolog analysis in source apportionment at a rail yard Superfund site. The Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, and Water, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, October 16–19, 2006. 

Biemer T, Brown M, Butler E, Saba T. Better litigation through chemistry. Presentation to the Boston Bar Association, October 6, 2005. 

Saxe JK, Saba T, Wannamaker EJ. Do arsenic-containing products influence arsenic concentrations in subsurface drinking water supplies? Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 24th Annual Meeting, Austin, TX, November 9–13, 2003. 

Sharma M, Saba T, Bittner A. Optimization of groundwater pump and treat systems using numerical modeling and the Monte Carlo approach. 2003 NGWA Midsouth Focus Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 2003. 

Sharma M, Saba T, Bittner A. Optimization of groundwater pump and treat systems using numerical modeling and the Monte Carlo Approach. Presented at the National Ground Water Association Mid-South Focus Conference, Nashville, TN, September 19, 2003. 

Illangasekare TH, Saenton S, Saba T, Wilson CS. Up-scaling of NAPL dissolution from entrapped sources: Implications on end-points for risk assessment. Proceedings, Contaminated Site Remediation Conference, Melbourne, Australia, December 4-8, 2000. 

Illangasekare TH, Cort T, Saba T, Barranco F, Dai D. Pilot-scale laboratory evaluation of subsurface restoration technologies for a diesel contaminated site. Summit of the Geological Society of America, Reno, NV, 2000. 

Illangasekare TH, Saba T. Upscaling of contaminant transport in heterogeneous aquifers: Dissolution of entrapped separate phase organic chemicals. Proceedings, Engineering Jubilee Congress, Engineering of Peradeniya; (2):127–132, 2000. 

Illangasekare TH, Saba T. Intermediate scale physical model testing to investigate upscaling of dissolution of non-aqueous phase liquids in aquifers. Proceedings, Physical Modeling and Testing Environmental Geotechnics, Network of European Centrifuges for Environmental Geotechnic Research (NECER). Garnier J, Thorel E, and Haze E (eds), pp. 285–292, La Baule, France, May 15–17, 2000. 

Saba T, Illangasekare TH. Surfactant-enhanced dissolution of non-aqueous phase waste chemicals: Effect of flow dimensionality. Conference of Hazardous Waste Research, St. Louis, MO, April 1999. 

Saba T, Illangasekare TH. Effects of aquifer heterogeneity and groundwater flow dimensionality on upscaling of natural and surfactant enhanced dissolution of non-aqueous phase liquid waste chemicals. Conference on Hazardous Water Research, Snowbird, UT, 1998. 

Saba T, Illangasekare TH. Effect of aqueous phase flow dimensionality on surfactant enhanced dissolution from entrapped non-aqueous phase liquid contaminants at the spill-site scale. American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, December 6, 1998. 

Illangasekare TH, Saba T. Upscaling of mass transfer from zones with entrapped nonaqueous phase chemicals. American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, December 6, 1998. 

Vestal EW, Illangasekare TH, Ramaswami A, Bielefeldt A, Riffel AM, Saba T. Modeling of net interphase mass exchange in NAPL-water systems undergoing biodegradation at the spill-site scale. American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, December 6, 1998. 

Saba T, Illangasekare TH. Natural dissolution of organic chemicals entrapped in a two-dimensional groundwater systems. AGU 18th Annual Hydrology Days, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, 1998.

Project Experience

The projects described below, by chemical class and/or industrial activity, involve allocation of contamination and liability, natural resource damage assessments (NRDA), insurance remedial cost recovery claims, Superfund (CERCLA) liability, and claims of contamination from hydraulic fracturing.

Petroleum Chemistry: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), BTEX, Metals, and Additives (e.g., MTBE)

Southern US refinery: evaluated sources and timing of releases of petroleum compounds and additives (MTBE) to the state-owned groundwater. Work included reconstructing releases by combining refinery unit operational and closure histories before and after the enactment of the CWA with chemical data collected over 20 years period.

Former refinery sites (Illinois, Oklahoma): combined historical waste handling practices, waste handling unit closures, and chemical data to determine the sources and timing of contamination at a former refinery Site, with a focus on the applicability of the “petroleum exclusion” under CERCLA at the Sites.

Midwest active refinery/petroleum terminal: allocated contamination between successive owners. Analysis included differentiation between alkylation compounds generated using hydrofluoric acid (HF) and sulfuric acid (H2SO4), and relating contamination chemistry (e.g., diesel sulfurization, the presence of oxygenates, alkylated lead levels) to historical operations and owners. Work also included analysis of the applicability of CERCLA’s petroleum exclusion and evaluation of soil vapor intrusion analysis to determine petroleum vapor sources in houses.

New Jersey Bayway and Bayonne refineries (NRDA): identified sources of contamination (PAHs, metals, NAPLs) at areas of concern throughout the refineries as part of analysis associated with a NRDA claim. Identified areas with contamination attributed to either refinery historical activities or other sources (e.g., background, offsite sources, other historical activities unrelated to the refinery operations). Calculated extent of groundwater contamination and evaluated whether there was lost use. 

Texas refinery: conducted chemical fingerprinting to age-date a petroleum plume beneath the refinery site to determine the responsible party among successive owners. 

Waterway, New York (CERCLA): conducted chemical fingerprinting to allocate sources of contaminants (petroleum, tar, CERCLA chemicals including PAHs, metals [lead, copper], PCBs) between responsible parties along the canal. 

Northeastern U.S: evaluated the sources of petroleum hydrocarbons and PAHs downgradient from petroleum terminals and other industrial activities. 

Northwestern U.S: evaluated PAH sources to the sediments of a major Superfund waterway as part of a dredging cost allocation case. Determined the relative importance of candidate sources (primarily creosoted pilings, aluminum smelter sludge, and urban runoff) through chemical fingerprinting, sediment age dating, and PAH concentration gradients. 

Midwest steel manufacturing site: evaluated the connection between sediment PAH contamination and surface water sheens using chemical fingerprinting techniques. 

West Virginia Salvage Yard site: evaluated the use of benzene/xylene ratio to age date contamination and to allocate cleanup costs between successive owners. 

Manufactured Gas Plants (MGPs): Fate and Transport analysis and chemical fingerprinting (DNAPL, Tar, Distillation Products such as Creosote and Road Tar), Standard of Care, and Site Characterization 

Rhode Island site: Conducted analysis to distinguish between PAHs and metals from different sources (historic filling material, former MGP, a former rubber manufacturer, and natural background). Work included evaluation of historical activities and wastes from rubber manufacturing and MGPs. 

Northeastern, southeast, and northwestern US MGP sites: evaluated standard of care and knowledge of waste handling practices and the evolution of federal and state regulations to explain contaminant distribution at over 30 former plants. Used forensic analysis to identify approximate time frame of historical leaks and spills, and analyzed tar, oil, and NAPL entrapment and migration patterns to identify contamination sources and track the extent of spatial impact. 

New York MGP sites: evaluated historical information and chemical fingerprinting data to determine sources of contamination at 10 MGP sites as part of site characterization effort required by the NYSDEC. 

Northwestern US: evaluated claim of DNAPL/tar/PAH contamination to a site from historical MGP operations that occupied a nearby city block. Analysis included fate and transport and chemical fingerprinting, and comparison of products/wastes generated from the MGP to the current contamination at the site in question. 

Hydraulic Fracturing, Natural Gas Fingerprinting (composition and isotope analysis), NORM, Evaluation of Groundwater Contamination Claims, Impoundment Emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs), and Soil Vapor Intrusion (SVI) analysis 

Hydraulic Fracturing Sites in Pennsylvania (northeast, southwest), and West Virginia: evaluated issues related to alleged groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing activities. Work included reconstruction of baseline groundwater condition, tracking sources of organic and inorganic compounds in groundwater, and tracking sources of dissolved methane using gas composition and stable isotopes. 

For the Methanol Institute, investigated the use of methanol in hydraulic fracturing fluids. Issued a white paper (published at (http://www.methanol.org/Environment/Resources/Environment/Methanol-Fracking-Fluid-White-Paper-Aug-2011.aspx) 

Storage Field, Kansas: designed and implemented forensic field programs to differentiate native gas from storage gas using composition and isotope analysis. Co-authored reports to State's Conservation Commission, and presented findings to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). 

Gas Storage Fields, Northeast Pennsylvania: investigated sources of natural gas bubbling in residential water wells, and whether related to nearby natural gas storage fields. Designed field sampling programs and used gas composition and isotope analysis to determine the origin of the gas in the water wells. 

Gas Storage Fields, New York: investigated natural gas migration from a storage field and calculated the percent of storage gas and native gas in a set of gas wells located near the leaking field. The work was conducted as part of settlement negotiations between the owners of the storage field and the gas well owners. 

Hydraulic fracturing impoundments: Calculated emission rates of hazardous air pollutants. 

NORM (naturally occurring Radioactive Materials), Pennsylvania: Designed a field sampling program to determine NORM concentrations in flowback and produced waters. 

Methane under residential properties, Florida: designed and directed a field investigation to determine sources of methane in soil underneath newly constructed houses. Addressed soil vapor intrusion issues and designed mitigation systems. 

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs): Tracking of Sources, Timing of Releases, and Apportionment of Liability Cases: Soils and Major Sediment Waterways 

Major bay, Florida: investigated PCB sources to the surface sediment by analyzing PCB congener data (profile analysis, spatial and concentration distribution analysis, Principal Component Analysis [PCA]). Identified PCB congener profiles specific to background and different industries that discharged to the Bay. 

Major waterway, western US: investigated historical and current PCB sources by 1) designing and overseeing a field sampling program to collect samples from potential sources (concrete joint material, and soils, tarry material and wipe samples from a steam plant) as well as sediment samples from the waterway, 2) Conducting fingerprinting analysis on the congener and homologue data. 

Midwestern city: Identified historical uses of PCB-containing hydraulic fluids in the die casting industry. 

Major Waterway, East Coast: Analyzed PCB congener data to determine PCB sources and entry points to a waterway (for allocation of contamination and remedy costs between responsible parties).

For Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA): identified PCB sources and approximate spill timing at the former Paoli rail yard Superfund site in support of a remedial cost allocation case. Work included historical review of PCB purchase records and handling practices, and chemical forensic analysis. 

Newark Bay, New Jersey: analyzed homologue and congener patterns to identify PCB sources to the sediments. Identified congeners associated with specific sources using EPA numerical models (PMF or Positive Matrix Factorization). Analysis included conducting PCA analysis, analysis of PCB profiles in sediment cores. Work is part of a remedial investigation report for the bay. 

Major River, Midwest: designed and directed a field sampling program and conducted fingerprinting analysis to identify sources of PCB contamination to river sediments and banks abutting a former paper mill site. 

Landfill Site, Georgia: evaluated the feasibility of proposed remedial alternative at a PCB and VOC contaminated landfill. Recommendations included modifications to the proposed design to optimize the remediation process. 

Northeast nuclear facility: characterized the spatial distribution of PCBs and lead in soils; contaminants were present in paints used in the facility and contaminated soils, sediments, and groundwater during decommissioning of the facility. Work included conducting statistical analysis (e.g., variogram and Kriging analysis) to calculate the sample spacing needed to characterize the extent of spatial impacts. 

Hydrogeology, Fate and Transport Analysis, Groundwater Modeling, and Government Research 

New Hampshire Superfund Site: developed a 3-D numerical groundwater and solute transport model for chlorinated solvents. Work included designing a numerical code that automated conducting hundreds of groundwater simulations to optimize the design of a pump and treat system (i.e., optimize groundwater well locations, injection and extraction rates). The purpose was to minimize the treatment time of a chlorinated solvents groundwater plume. 

The Methanol Institute: investigated the potential impact of using methanol in hydraulic fracturing fluids on groundwater. Issued a white paper (published at (http://www.methanol.org/Environment/Resources/Environment/Methanol-Fracking-Fluid-White-Paper-Aug-2011.aspx) 

Chemical manufacturing facility, Argentina: designed and modeled a hydraulic barrier system to mitigate off-site transport of contaminated groundwater. Work included contaminant transport modeling, and optimization of injection/extraction well locations. 

Arsenical pesticides: evaluated the fate and transport of the different arsenic species in soils and their potential for migration to groundwater and surface waters at Florida Sites. 

Petroleum spill, Oregon: Conducted laboratory studies to understand the fate of a diesel spill at a site in Oregon. Tracked diesel spilled in pilot scale tanks using gamma ray spectroscopy techniques. 

Government Scientific Research 

  • For the Hazardous Substances Research Center, revised USGS groundwater numerical codes called MODFLOW and MT3D. These codes are capable of simulating the fate and transport of dissolved contaminants in groundwater. The revisions included extending MODFLOW/MT3D capabilities to simulate the behavior of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in the subsurface (including NAPL entrapment in subsurface soils and dissolution in groundwater). 
  • Developed a proprietary model for DNAPL dissolution and transport in groundwater as part of a Department of Defense (DoD) contract. The purpose of the numerical model was to develop a decision support system to evaluate effectiveness and cost of DNAPL source zone treatment. 
  • For the USEPA (as a subcontractor), investigated novel groundwater remediation technologies on a field scale at the Dover Air Force Base. Work included a) supervision and technical assistance for research groups to investigate cutting-edge groundwater-remediation technologies (funded by SERDEP), b) management, treatment, and disposal of hazardous waste generated from remediation experiments, c) collection of aqueous and soil samples required for regulatory compliance and performance monitoring, and d) establishment and maintenance of electronic data acquisition systems.
  • For the USEPA, served as technical reviewer for BIOCHLOR, a numerical model that simulates biodegradation of chemicals in groundwater. 
  • For the National Science Foundation (NSF), developed groundwater numerical models to predict soil heterogeneity using chemical data (i.e., breakthrough curves) generated from chemical tracers injected into the groundwater. 

Chlorinated Solvents: Fate and Transport analysis, field sampling design and analysis of isotope data, soil vapor intrusion analysis 

Manufacturing facility, Western US: Evaluated sources of tetrachloroethene (PCE) at a former petroleum hydrocarbon distribution facility. Work included using different contaminant evaporation models to estimate the approximate start date of PCE release(s) to the soils. 

Manufacturing facility, Illinois: conducted isotope analysis (for carbon and hydrogen), and fate and transport analysis to age date multiple chlorinated solvent plumes (PCE, TCE, and their degradation products). Used multiple lines of evidence including groundwater travel times, daughter/parent compound ratios, and historical construction of contamination to determine the age of the different plumes. Presented findings to the Illinois EPA. 

Dry cleaning facility, Massachusetts: Reviewed cost recovery documents for municipal water treatment due to alleged contamination from dry cleaning activities. Documented overestimated treatment costs. 

Dry cleaning facility, Massachusetts: allocated contamination shares between responsible parties in a chlorinated solvents plume impacting residential areas downgradient from the parties. Work included using multiple lines of evidence including PCE degradation pathways and groundwater modeling. Work included conducting soil vapor intrusion analysis to determine potential and degree of impact at residential properties. 

Dry cleaning facility, Canada: evaluated carbon isotope data for trichloroethene (TCE) in groundwater to identify different sources of chlorinated solvents contamination downgradient from the dry cleaner. 

Superfund Site, New Hampshire: optimized injection and extraction well locations and flow rates for faster PCE recovery in a pump and treat system. Optimized system reduced total remediation time by 25%. Computer modeling work involved modifying MODFLOW and MT3D to fit the superfund site-specific characteristics, and linking the modified versions to a USGS optimization code. Reduced projected plume recovery time by 25%. 

Dioxins/Furans: Analysis of Source 

Louisiana site: Evaluated dioxin and furan fingerprinting patterns in a bayou sediment to determine responsible parties. Combined dioxin/furan data with sediment age dating information, and determined with a high degree of certainty the likely source of contamination. 

Manufacturing site, southeastern US: Investigated sources of PCBs, dioxins, and furans to soils and sediment near the transformer manufacturing site. Work included documentation of PCB handling, and chemical fingerprinting analysis. 

Transformer service facility, Mississippi: evaluated dioxin and furan fingerprint patterns in dust and soil samples collected from residential areas around a transformer service facility to determine whether the dioxin/furans originated from the facility or from background sources. 

Metals: Fate and transport analysis, age dating, and source tracking for allocation of liability and remedial costs 

Arsenical pesticide: Evaluated the fate and transport of the different arsenic species in soils and their potential for migration to groundwater and surface waters at Florida sites. Authored reports to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. 

Waterway sediment, Louisiana: linked creek sediment metal contamination to multiple responsible parties in support of remedial cost allocation. Data evaluation included identification of marker metals and combination of metals used by different industries located on the creek. 

Metals in paint: used statistical methods (variogram analysis) to investigate the sufficiency of a soil-sampling program in characterizing a lead contaminated site. 

Former petroleum refinery site, Oklahoma: investigated the sources of metals in soil and groundwater (petroleum products versus petroleum waste), to determine whether CERCLA’s petroleum exclusion applies to the site. Work involved the use of metal ratios, chemical tracers, statistical analysis (PCA), and understanding of the groundwater geochemistry on the fate of metals to differentiate between sources. 

Hydraulic fracturing, northeast: evaluated metals data in residential water wells to determine their sources (whether the metals were naturally occurring or resulted from hydraulic fracturing operations). Work involved extensive geochemical data analysis and tracking of groundwater conditions from the 1940s till present time. 

Former munitions site, northeast: evaluated fate and transport of metals in soil and groundwater resulting from historical munitions and other industrial disposal activities in support of a several million dollars remedial cost allocation case at a Superfund Site.

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, 1999
  • M.S., Water Resources, Cairo University, 1994
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, Cairo University, 1992