Esi Expert Witness


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Esi Expert Witness

  1. 1. ESI EXPERT WITNESS SERVICESGroundwater & environmental issuesESI is an environmental consultancy with a highly experienced team of senior consultantswith experience of delivering expert witness support in groundwater, groundwater flooding,land contamination, ground source energy and in relevant sub-specialisms. The expertwitness team is supported by consultants and technical staff. A large amount of environmental legislation and regulation The courts and planning inspectors are reliant on the services(both UK and EU) has been enacted over the last 20 of expert witnesses, whilst parties to the action may need toyears. This now has a significant bearing on many aspects rely on the services of expert advisors to help to develop theirof national life: planning, development, industry and leisure case. The quality and effectiveness of the expert servicesetc. Over the same period, the amount of time spent debating available are often crucial to the outcome of the case.technical environmental issues in court and at public inquiry ESI’s expert witness structure provides services to suit a widehas grown steadily.  Reasons for this include gaps and range of projects from small, site specific court cases to someinconsistencies in the legislation/regulations and difficulties in of the largest and most complex planning applications, wasteapplying the general principles set out in the legislation to the management and contaminated land issues in the country. Bycomplex reality of particular sites.  However, overwhelmingly listening carefully to our clients and understanding the criticalthese cases relate to the enormous growth in the aspects of each case from a legal perspective, we are able‘environmental industry’ and the large costs and opportunities to offer effective solutions to these difficult problems. Wellthat now hinge on the translation of complex, technical written evidence that clearly distinguishes fact from opinioninformation into the language of the relevant legislation.   is recognised as a key requirement with all senior staff having appropriate training in the role of the expert witness.Case study: Expert witness support to a major engineeringconsultancy and insurance underwriterESI’s Managing Director, Mark Fermor provided expert flooding, and presented expert opinion evidence andwitness services as the High Court appointed hydrogeological advice on groundwater flooding impacts following a retailexpert on behalf of a major engineering consultancy supermarket development in Bedfordshire and the role ofand insurance underwriter. Mark undertook extensive groundwater flow and changes to drainage systems in theinvestigations and modelling studies to analyse groundwater area. The case, which is now successfully settled, includedflows in the area and demonstrate the extent to which extensive engagement with committees of experts and visualgroundwater levels were influenced by several factors demonstration, through groundwater modelling of the roleof relevance to the case. Based on a transient regional of various influences on groundwater levels, which helpedgroundwater MODFLOW approach, Mr Fermor utilised ensure a balanced objective view of influential factors in thismodelling techniques to discriminate between natural complex technical case.recharge and the effects of soakaway drainage on basement Shrewsbury Reading London
  2. 2. Case study: Advising on contamination risks and liabilitiesfrom a diesel spillESI’s specialist staff undertake numerous expert witness appointments to assist parties facing possible or actual litigationor regulatory enforcement action, or in support of waste management permitting and waterresources or planning appeal hearings.Following failure of pipework a major retailer lost up to 100,000 litres of diesel to theshallow subsurface close to a river in northern England. The migration of hydrocarbonsthrough the shallow groundwater and drains system led to river impacts, and anactive remediation system based on soil vapour extraction and product skimming wasimplemented at the site. ESI was asked to provide expert witness services, advising onthe migration and fate of diesel in the subsurface environment, and assessmentof the residual risk and remedial actions required to address controlledwaters and human health risks.This work included advising as an independent appointed expert forthe retailer on best practice in the assessment and management of risksand liabilities arising from uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons and their impact on neighboring sites and surfacewatercourses, and appraisal of remedial actions.Following completion of investigations and a detailed quantitative risk assessment, the findings demonstrated that activeremediation has addressed all significant contamination risks at the site. Further consultation is now ongoing to ensurethat all stakeholders can provide relevant input before final report issue, remedial system decommissioning, and nearbysite development for residential end use.ESI’s Expert Witness TeamMark Fermor Mike StreetlyManaging Director Director, Water mikestreetly@esinternational.com01743 276 176 01743 276 125Mark Fermor is a hydrogeologist with particular expertise Mike Streetly is a very experienced hydrogeologist andin quantitative methods for resource management, project director/manager who is well known throughoutcontamination assessment and groundwater modelling.  He the industry for his skills and experience in water resourcehas practical experience of investigating and remediating a assessment.  He has strong numerical skills which havewide range of contamination hazards in soil and groundwater been applied to solving a wide variety of hydrogeologicaland in undertaking hydrogeological risk assessments using problems.both qualitative and quantitative methods. Dr Alan HerbertDr Steve Buss DirectorTechnical Director 01743 276 10001743 276 134 Alan Herbert has extensive experience of groundwaterDr Steve Buss is a Chartered Geologist with more than resource assessment and contaminant transport modeling,12 years’ experience of understanding and modelling leading projects on many of the UK’s major aquifers andgroundwater flow and contaminant transport.  He has low permeability media. Dr Herbert had a leading technicalled projects that have examined groundwater flow and and management role in ESI’s modelling projects for thecontaminant transport in all the principal UK aquifers; from definition of SPZs, a desk study of the hydrogeology issuesthe site scale to the scale of regional aquifers. associated with low flow problems, and development of the EA’s initial methodology for the assessment of the impact of groundwater abstraction on river flows (IGARF).