Environmental Costs & Liabilities Consulting

Exponent’s engineers, scientists, and environmental economists evaluate the appropriateness and cost of environmental response actions, estimate current and future liabilities, and apportion costs among potentially responsible parties. Exponent consultants rely on personal experience and knowledge of the latest accounting standards. We utilize rigorous financial and engineering models to develop cost and liability estimates, in the context of transactions, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcies, natural resource damage assessment (NRDA) claims, and environmental insurance claims.

Exponent services include:


  • Estimation/valuation of current and future environmental costs and liabilities in support of:
    • Transactions
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Bankruptcy
    • NRDA claims
    • Environmental insurance claims analysis
    • Contingent liabilities 
  • Remediation cost estimation
  • Determining the appropriateness and cost of remedial actions
  • Probabilistic uncertainty analysis 
  • Cost allocation and apportionment, including cash-out evaluations
  • Risk management consulting and decision analysis
  • Strategic management of property portfolios
  • Liability accrual and reserves estimation
  • Identification and estimation of asset retirement obligations
  • Consulting and expert testimony in litigation

Accounting standards and other reporting requirements and guidelines require or encourage companies to report certain contingencies, including environmental liabilities, at market value. These standards require the recognition of environmental cleanup obligations that, under former accounting standards, may have been categorized as “cannot be reasonably estimated.” Understanding and developing fair-value estimates of environmental liabilities is an important business issue. Courts are evaluating solvency issues that arise under corporate and bankruptcy laws and are not limited to valuing the debtor’s loans and payables; contingent and off-balance-sheet (OBS) liabilities can also be considered.

As an environmental cost or liability matures to a different recognition benchmark or obligating event, an updated cost estimate is required under several of the accounting standards and guidelines, including from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) 410-30-25-15, from the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in GASB 49, and from the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in Audit Standard (AS) 2501. Exponent consultants are familiar with these standards, and other guidelines for cost and liability estimation and disclosure of liabilities, including ASTM E2137 and E2173.

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