Tony Palagyi
Tony Palagyi
Senior Managing Scientist
Ecological & Biological Sciences
Seattle

Mr. Palagyi has over 25 years of experience in evaluating environmental issues in aquatic and terrestrial systems. He has participated in numerous spill events as the environmental unit lead, Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) coordinator, or alternative technologies specialist on regional, national, and international response teams. He has managed restoration projects in beach, wetland, and aquatic habitats. His field and consulting experience includes the evaluation of potential impacts to important ecological resources such as marine mammals, salmonids, and avian species.

Mr. Palagyi has extensive experience in marine mammal science focusing on cetaceans and has performed and collaborated on acoustic studies, satellite tagging and other remote sensing techniques, and cetacean veterinary science. He has evaluated risk to cetaceans associated with environmental pollution and anthropogenic interactions. His experience also includes analysis of unusual mortality events (UMEs), harmful algal blooms (HABs), and necropsy review. Mr. Palagyi also has experience with risk assessment, remedial investigation/feasibility studies (RI/FS), and remediation at Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) project sites. He is experienced in purchase/divestiture due diligence, risk/liability assessment of pipeline, bulk terminal, and refinery properties. Mr. Palagyi has provided litigation support as a consulting expert, person-most-knowledgeable, and testifying expert in numerous oil and gas and NRDA cases as a defendant and plaintiff. He has participated in numerous panels and workgroups on environmental and operational aspects of the oil and gas industry. He served for over 12 years as a member of the West Coast Joint Assessment Team (JAT) for NRDA, an industry/agency working group developing NRDA practices and approaches.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • B.Sc., Zoology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Washington Department of Ecology – Environmental Excellence Award

    Texaco Inc. – Presidents Superstar Award

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Environmental Assessor, Washington

40-hours HAZWOPR certification

Publications

Coordinating Ecological Risk with Natural Resource Damage Assessment – Sanders, Amman, Palagyi et al. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Volume 12, issue 4 October 2016.

Presentations

Sampling and Data Collection for Better Decision-Making – presented to the Shell Oil Austral/Asia spill response team, Singapore 2015.

Effective use of Net Environmental Benefit Analysis (NEBA) – presented at Clean Gulf, New Orleans, LA 2015.

Marine Mammals and Oil, Techniques for Assessing Exposure and Injury – presented to BP Crisis Management and BP Exploration, London 2014.

How NRDA Really Works – Industry and Trustee Perspectives, panelist – The Pacific States and British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force, Concord, CA 2002.

Whatcom Creek Remediation and Restoration – presented to the US Senate subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, Bellingham, WA 1999.

Project Experience

Provided marine mammal expertise to the legal team supporting an oil spill responsible party for both the NRDA case and criminal prosecution. Efforts included evaluating necropsy reports of dolphins and sea lions for spill-relatedness. Using spill and historical environmental data, developed alternative causes for potential injury to marine mammals such as the effects of the El Niño phenomenon, HABs, human interactions, and prey base availability.

Managed a large background and delineation study associated with metal deposition from smelters in the Upper Columbia River basin. Evaluated historical data and numerous other data sets to determine areas of potential impact and establish background decisions in support of the RI/FS and legal settlement.

During the response and in the years following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, acted as lead for the Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG lead was responsible for development, scope negotiation, implementation, and data collection for a variety of studies to assess exposure and injury to marine mammals and sea turtles. Managed a team of eight individuals and coordinated efforts with many more during the NRDA.

Managed studies in cooperation with state and federal trustees including evaluation of dolphin stocks inhabiting industrialized waterfront areas including health assessment data, tagging and tracking data, prey resources, multiple stressor assessment, dolphin reproduction, stranding rates, and UMEs. These studies included coordination and planning with global experts from several universities for studies involving satellite tagging and tracking, acoustic recording, and veterinary pathology.

Supervised similar studies to evaluate survival, fitness, and reproduction for three species of endangered sea turtles. Provided support to BP legal team on marine mammal and sea turtle issues including injury claims by NGO’s and Citizen Groups, injury assessment interpretation, injury scaling, resource equivalency analysis, and restoration options for dolphins and sea turtles. Worked closely with the Joint Information Center (JIC) and BP Public and Government Affairs staff to prepare press releases, responses to articles, and newsletters pertaining to marine mammals and sea turtles.

Participated in several spill drills nationally and globally working with agency staff and responsible parties to develop plans to assess exposure and injury to marine mammals as well as more general ephemeral data collection and sampling plans. Worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to evaluate potential use of deterrent or hazing plan for killer whales in Puget Sound in an oil spill scenario. Marine mammal experience also includes mark/recapture studies; human interaction and incidental take analysis, and fishery interactions.

As an environmental project and program manager for Texaco and Shell Oil Companies for over 15 years, managed a diverse site portfolio focusing on site assessment and remediation of over 400 service stations, bulk terminal and refinery locations. Participated in several industry working groups and on oil industry advocacy teams, and acted as a panelist and presenter at many workshops, conferences, and classes.

At Texaco and Shell Oil Companies, lead an international site risk/reliability team which developed assessment tools for understanding operational and (including contaminant fate and transport) environmental risk at a large number of corporate properties. A significant part of activities included working closely with the real estate group on due diligence for sales and acquisitions, providing support to in-house and outside counsel on litigation cases and third party claims and negotiating scopes of work and policy with local, state, and federal regulatory agencies.

Over the course of over 30 years, has worked as a regulator, an industry employee, and a consultant. Activities included providing consulting services for environmental litigation as well as coordination of expert and fact witnesses pertaining to natural resource damages as well as petroleum contamination in soil and groundwater in Washington, Alaska, Oregon, Hawaii, and California.

Have worked on a wide variety of projects and has identified, recruited, and collaborated with expert teams in fisheries biology, wetlands, hydrogeology, forensic chemistry, fluvial geomorphology, and environmental economics in support of litigation. As technical support for defendants and joint defense groups, has developed strategies for settlement of natural resource damages claims, coordinated settlement meetings and multi-party negotiations for project scope, cost sharing, and resolution.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • B.Sc., Zoology, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
  • Washington Department of Ecology – Environmental Excellence Award

    Texaco Inc. – Presidents Superstar Award

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Environmental Assessor, Washington

40-hours HAZWOPR certification