CAPABILITY | Environmental & Earth Sciences

Environmental Assessment of Contaminated Sediments

Ships in a harbor dock. Exponent technical consultants conduct environmental assessments and analyze contaminated sediment.

Implement data-informed sediment remediation

In urban environments, many external factors contribute to pollution, making it complicated to effectively evaluate and plan remedial actions for soil and sediment contamination. Exponent's multidisciplinary teams provide a wide range of expertise to help clients manage complex contaminated sediment challenges related to remediation, regulatory requirements, and disputes.

Clarify contamination cleanup responsibilities.

The most challenging environmental projects often involve remediation and restoration of contaminated sediment systems and require multidisciplinary evaluation and management — many are Superfund sites located in urban settings, where multiple responsible parties (RPs) released numerous different contaminants. Whether representing individual RPs, groups of RPs, or conducting independent research, our team of environmental toxicologists, risk assessors, chemists, ecologists, and engineers employs environmentally protective and cost-sensitive solutions for complex sediment contamination. We also assist clients in determining liability and allocation of responsibility.

Exponent has worked on major contaminated sediment sites throughout the United States and globally, including marine, estuarine, riverine, and lake ecosystems. Our scientists have extensive experience applying strategies such as the Sediment Quality Triad, and we have specific expertise in source identification and characterization, cost-effective study design, selecting appropriate test methods, and developing technically defensible cleanup goals to support remedial decisions.

Identify data gaps and delve deeper into multiparty sediment sites.

Exponent's contaminated sediment team evaluates key data gaps, then designs and oversees sampling and analysis programs, including closely scrutinizing data generation activities by contracted laboratories. These data identify the nature and extent of sediment contamination, whether and to what extent various effects may be occurring, and the source of environmental risks.

Exponent brings deep experience to analyzing multiparty sediment sites involving polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, dioxins and furans, pesticides, and metals, including designing field studies and environmental forensics approaches to support allocation.

Our scientists and engineers participate in national and international panels charged with identifying how best to evaluate and manage sediments. We have served as members of the California State Water Resources Control Board advisory committee on Sediment Quality Objectives, Maryland sediment advisory committee, and past steering committee chair for the Battelle Sediments Conference. We are currently an active sponsor of the Sediment Management Work Group (SMWG) and actively involved in the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) sediment interest group.

Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled

With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.


Our global and comprehensive expertise across industries gives us a deep understanding of current challenges, best industry practices, and the implications of emerging technologies.