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2015 National Tanks Conference- Forensic Engineering/Environmental Forensics

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Joseph Berlin, BLDI President and chief forensic investigator, was a presenter at the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission's National Tanks Conference and Expo in Phoenix, AR on September 15, 2015.
Joe provided a discussion on forensic engineering and environmental forensics (FE/EF) focused on their use and trends affecting underground storage tank (UST) sites. The purpose of his session was to present a different understanding of the Conceptual Site Model (CSM) and how the Component Failure Analysis (CFA) integrates into the overall site CSM. A recent case was presented involving the use of FE/EF methods to demonstrate Environmental Baselining. This case utilized CFA, amended CSM, specific analytical methods (Ratio, PIANO, Isotopic) and data analysis techniques to address environmental risk, insurance and transactional due diligence issues. Current Baselining practices and one Baselining practice in development (Arizona) were discussed.

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2015 National Tanks Conference- Forensic Engineering/Environmental Forensics

  1. 1. Grand Rapids, MI Cincinnati, OHDetroit, MI Engineering and Environmental Forensics: Tank-Specific Methods (Partial Presentation)
  2. 2. About BLDI, Inc. BLDI was established in 1991 to focus on providing environmental services within the legal and financial community. We believe that data should be collected with a pre-determined goal with the pro’s and con’s of collecting identified prior to developing a work plan. That protocol has been continually emphasized during over 20 years of environmental due diligence and forensic work for cases, including work from Michigan to Ohio, Kentucky, New York, California, the Dakota’s and Texas. “Our work is only valuable to the extent our client can benefit.” Joe Berlin, PE, CP (Ohio) BLDI President Our understanding of the principles of environmental risk management, investigation, remediation and the necessary supporting data is often used in risk mitigation/transfer, insurance underwriting, claims, quantification, source and origin and closure verification. Mr. Berlin started his career in The Boeing Company Test Lab conducting various types of testing on aerospace products under the tightest of testing protocols and security clearances. Mr. Berlin was retained for a multi-year project to deconstruct multiple gas stations to document failure mechanisms for a large court case. is a professional engineers in several states, Ohio VAP CP and member of serval professional organizations, including National Academy of Forensic Engineers. Mr. Berlin is supported by a team of environmental professionals, including professional engineers, geologists and chemists. 2
  3. 3. Forensic Engineering v. Environmental Forensics 3 Forensic Engineering “...is defined as; —the application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution.”* - National Academy of Forensic Engineers Environmental Forensics is…“a combination of analytical and environmental chemistry, which is useful in the court room context. It therefore involves field analytical studies and both data interpretation and modelling connected with the attribution of pollution events to their causes.” - Royal Society of Chemistry
  4. 4. Use of Forensics 4 • Baselining • Underwriting • Quantification/Allocation/Subrogation • Source and Origin • Remediation Validation • Failure Analysis • Escrows/Reserves • Closure • E&O National Tanks Conference 2015 1. Topic Intro 2. Forensics Basics 3. Case-Intro 4. Case-Basics 5. Case-Details 6. Baselining
  5. 5. Data Sources 6 • Historical Sources • Prior Reports • Focused Investigations • Current/historical industry or manufacturer guidance, specifications and standards • Laboratory-old/new National Tanks Conference 2015 1. Topic Intro 2. Forensics Basics 3. Case-Intro 4. Case-Basics 5. Case-Details 6. Baselining
  6. 6. Toolbox 7 • Archaeological excavation • Physical data/testing • Component failure analysis (CFA) • Tank system dissection • Chemical use/availability • Selective Lab Methods • Degradation models • Statistical models • Isotopic Analysis National Tanks Conference 2015 1. Topic Intro 2. Forensics Basics 3. Case-Intro 4. Case-Basics 5. Case-Details 6. Baselining
  7. 7. Basic Site Data 11 • Developed in 1950s as gas station • Tanks: • Set #1: 1950s to 1986 • Set #2: 2000 to current • Release reported 2000 • Depth to GW: 32 feet • GW Flow: NNW • What question(s) are we trying to answer? • Is there a new release? • Can we “baseline” the “old” impact going forward? National Tanks Conference 2015 1. Topic Intro 2. Forensics Basics 3. Case-Intro 4. Case-Basics 5. Case-Details 6. Baselining
  8. 8. Lets Now Look at PIANO 16 • What does the BIG picture tell us? • Are there important compounds/ratios? • It depends. What are we looking for? • New release? • Do we understand the “real” output from the lab? What issues might there be? National Tanks Conference 2015 1. Topic Intro 2. Forensics Basics 3. Case-Intro 4. Case-Basics 5. Case-Details 6. Baselining
  9. 9. Baselining Guidance 23 National Tanks Conference 2015 1. Topic Intro 2. Forensics Basics 3. Case-Intro 4. Case-Basics 5. Case-Details 6. Baselining Michigan • Has Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA) place since 1995 • Historically, focus on segregation/engineering controls Arizona (in development) • Focus on process, multiple lines of evidence • Use of timeline chemical additives • Ratio inference • PIANO as applicable Other Guidance • MA: developing some guidance • ASTM: not specific to Tanks
  10. 10. For Full Presentation or Follow Up 24 National Tanks Conference 2015 1. Topic Intro 2. Forensics Basics 3. Case-Intro 4. Case-Basics 5. Case-Details 6. Baselining If you would like a FULL copy of this presentation please contact us at our main office (see below). For any further questions please feel to contact: Joseph (Joe) Berlin, PE, CP, EP or Richard (Rich) Spehar, PE, EP Main Office: BLDI, Inc. 150 Fountain NE Grand Rapids, MI 49503 Phone: 616-459-3737 email: bldi@bldi.com Additional Resources: www.michiganenvironmentalblog.com www.ohioenvironmentalblog.com

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