Chemometrics, Forensic Environmental Sciences and Liability Allocation

Chemicals in the environment and workplace are almost always present as complex mixtures that can originate from varying sources over time and space. For example, in a civil environmental case progressing through the judicial process, key questions are often asked about the chemicals released to the environment: What were the sources and when were the chemicals released? Did one party or multiple parties release the chemicals? How much of each chemical is each party responsible for? What was the state of toxicological, technological or regulatory knowledge at a point in history?

Environmental liabilities may be attributed to multiple parties; thus classical problems of divisibility and allocation may be an issue. Cost recovery questions may also arise in conjunction with insurance claims, CERCLA private party actions and damage claims.
CPF principals have extensive experience in classical problems of divisibility and allocation of environmental liabilities attributable to multiple parties. Additionally, since 1984, the principals of CPF have developed and applied specialized techniques using the tools of chemometrics and forensic environmental analysis to assist clients in solving questions about the origin of complex chemical mixtures in the environment. We have applied these techniques and prepared highly defensible scientific work products on a variety of projects including insurance coverage, liability apportionment, tort cases, and site-specific environmental impact evaluations

Our experience in chemometrics and forensic environmental analysis includes the following:

  • Chemical fingerprinting in the workplace or environment, including co-occurrence analysis and chemical kinetic dating
  • Application of environmental molecular diagnostics
  • Computational chemistry and structure activity analysis
  • Refined statistical analyses of chemical databases and geostatistics (two and three dimensional)
  • Development and analysis of sampling plans
  • Application of compound specific isotope analysis (CSIA)
  • Analysis of naturally occurring chemicals
  • Complex simulation and mathematical modeling evaluations
  • Mass and material balances; biogeochemical cycles
  • State-of-knowledge research and evaluation
  • Analytical methods development and evaluation

Our experience in allocation includes:

  • Development and application of methods for liability and cost allocation and assistance to attorneys in numerous complex multiple-party actions.
  • Evaluation of environmental insurance claims for both insurance companies and policy holders, determining NCP consistency, negotiating penalties under various regulations, and assessing damages in environmental tort claims.