Published Article: Seven Government Assumptions to Challenge Regarding Natural Resource Damages

Three federal statutes—the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA); the Oil Pollution Act (OPA); and the Clean Water Act (CWA)—as well as some state-specific statutes, allow for the pursuit of monetary or nonmonetary damages if a release of petroleum products or hazardous substances has resulted in injury to natural resources, such as waterways, wetlands areas, and wildlife, that are held in trust for the public. Placing a monetary value on these priceless resources necessarily involves subjective analysis, but some recent government claims have been for amounts far in excess of what a reasonable analysis of the facts would suggest. These claims have typically calculated monetary damages using unrealistic assumptions.

Seven Government Assumptions to Challenge Regarding Natural Resource Damages,” written by Roux’s Vice President and Principal Hydrogeologist Daniel Sullivan, uncovers seven types of common unrealistic assumptions related to natural resource damages. This article was published in the Environmental Claims Journal.

To read and download this article, please click here

Oakland, California – Available Jobs

Our office in Oakland, California is looking for mid-level Project Geologists and Engineers. We are seeking candidates with environmental consulting experience to support diverse and challenging litigation, insurance, industrial, and brownfield projects, interested in professional growth into new areas and practices. Excellent teamwork, communication, and organizational skills are required.

To learn more, read the job descriptions below, or click the button to apply now:

Project Geologist

Project Engineer

Roux Careers

Upcoming Webinar – Environmental Cost Recovery Actions

Environmental Cost Recovery Actions – Keys to Success and Pitfalls to Avoid 

Wednesday, August 2nd • 2:00pm – 3:00pm (EST)

This webinar, hosted by Perrin Conferences, offers CLE credit and covers keys to success and pitfalls to avoid when navigating environmental hazards. Speakers include John Parker and George Buermann, Partners at Goldberg Segalla LLP, along with Roux’s Vice President and Principal Hydrogeologist, Daniel Sullivan.

Topics covered will include:

  • How to obtain indemnification for cleanup costs;
  • Recovery against other potential responsible parties;
  • Responding to a PRP letter;
  • Identifying and effective use of defenses;
  • Developing the divisibility defense; and
  • Tips to properly defend and/or negotiate claims brought by state and federal environmental agencies.

Please click here to register and learn more. 

Summer 2017: What’s New at Roux?

Take an inside look at our upcoming events, webinars, and new employees.

Roux ICSC Exhibits

New England Conference & Deal Making
Tuesday, July 18th – Boston, MA
Booth #826 

PA/NJ/DE Conference & Deal Making
Monday, September 11th – Atlantic City, NJ
Booth #622

Chicago Deal Making
Wednesday, September 27th – Chicago, IL
Booth #506

Western Conference & Deal Making
Monday, October 2nd – Los Angeles, CA
Booth #2012

Roux Associates

Upcoming Webinars

Be Prepared! What you need to know about the current status of PFAS
Tuesday, July 18th – 2:30pm (EST)
Presented by Roux’s Seth Kellogg and Adam Love, Ph.D. and Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Steve Russo and Frank Citera 

Environmental Cost Recovery Actions – Keys to Success and Pitfalls to Avoid
Wednesday, August 2nd – 2:00pm
Presented by Roux’s Daniel Sullivan and Goldberg Segalla LLP’s John Parker and George Buermann 

Approaches for Assessing Nitrate Impacts to Groundwater
Thursday, August 31st – 2:00pm
Presented by Roux’s Walt McNab – Registration link to follow

 Roux Associates

Who’s New at Roux?

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Aaron Sappenfield as a Senior Geologist in Roux’s Long Beach, California office. Dr. Sappenfield is a California-licensed Professional Geologist with extensive research and consulting experience. As a research scientist, Dr. Sappenfield has applied advanced field- and lab-based methods for geological characterization shown to be instrumental in developing high-resolution, cost-effective conceptual models describing subsurface conditions. As a consultant, Dr. Sappenfield has gained extensive project management experience, having coordinated, managed, and provided strategic advisement for hydrogeological, compliance monitoring, remedial design, and geotechnical projects nationwide.

We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Sappenfield and are looking forward to applying his diverse technical background in several of our core practice areas. Please join us in welcoming him to Roux!

Last Chance To Register for the Complimentary Webinar: Be Prepared! What you need to know about the current status of PFAS

Be Prepared! What you need to know about the current status of PFAS

Tuesday, July 18th • 2:30pm (EST) • Presented by Roux Associates and Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Please join Roux Associates and Greenberg Traurig, LLP for a complimentary webinar. Frank Citera and Steve Russo, members of Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s environmental practice group, will join Seth Kellogg and Adam Love, Ph.D. from Roux Associates, to discuss the current status of PFAS regulation and litigation. Utilizing the alleged PFOA contamination in drinking water in Hoosick Falls, New York as a case study, Messrs. Citera and Russo will explore PFOA and PFOS state regulatory action, formal rulemaking, and the current status of pending litigation, including claims for medical monitoring. Ms. Kellogg and Dr. Love will provide insight into some of the most important technical elements to be aware of related to investigation, remediation, and forensics.

Register Now

Roux at Work: Award Winning Brownfield Cleanup Project

Recently, one of Roux’s brownfield redevelopment projects in Brooklyn, New York was awarded the 2017 Big Apple Brownfield Award for Innovation by the New York City Brownfield Partnership. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a brownfield as “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.” To put it in the most simplistic terms possible, brownfield sites need to be cleaned up, much like many of the sites we work on at Roux. The difference lies in the “expansion, redevelopment, or reuse”—brownfields are getting cleaned up with the purpose of creating new buildings (including residential or commercial spaces, universities, and many more), adding value to the surrounding community.

Roux’s Noelle Clarke, the Principal Engineer on the Brooklyn brownfield site, is a Manhattan College graduate who has been working at our firm for 19 years. As the Principal Engineer for the Site, Noelle evaluated site remediation alternatives, prepared technical documents, and reviewed and sealed all documents needed for submittal to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Our remediation was completed under the NYSDEC’s Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), which encourages private-sector cleanups of brownfields for redevelopment and revitalization in economically struggling communities.

Noelle’s extensive work on the Site included preparing the Remedial Action Work Plan (RAWP), remedial design documents, Final Engineering Report (FER), and Site Management Plan (SMP). During construction, Roux had full-time field managers on-site operating under Noelle’s direction to ensure the plans were carried out correctly. This field presence, as well as her weekly site visits, allowed Noelle to certify the FER, which documented all aspects of the remediation. While Noelle created and reviewed plans, overseeing their execution, a new building was in the process of being built on-site. As brownfield sites normally call for a hasty cleanup, this was one of our expected yet difficult challenges. To get past the many hurdles of remediating a site amid construction, Noelle and David Bligh, a Senior Engineer at Roux, spent much time on the phone with regulators to expedite design document approvals to make sure building construction could continue.

Roux’s remediation was needed since the soil, groundwater, and soil vapor at the Site were contaminated with dry cleaning chemicals, calling for multiple treatment methods. A Community Air Monitoring Plan (CAMP) for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), dust, and odor was put in place, and odor suppressant foam was routinely sprayed on soil piles on-site to further control any possible odors. To remediate the soil, we used a unique process: slurry (a thick semiliquid mixture) made up of cement and bentonite clay was pumped into holes in the ground as they were dug out, which secured the walls of the holes and allowed us to easily excavate the contaminated soil. This innovative method solved one of the most pivotal site challenges, removing soil from 35 feet below grade next to a 100-year-old building without requiring extensive dewatering. In addition, zero valent iron or ZVI was used to create a permeable reactive barrier wall to passively treat groundwater. The ZVI treatment chemically reduces the amount of chlorinated solvents in groundwater, and has been used for many years to treat dry cleaning contamination.

Roux completed all remedial measures within the desired timeframe, and the Site was awarded a Certificate of Completion from the NYSDEC in 2015. The Brooklyn Site construction is complete as well, which is now a seven-story mixed use residential and commercial building. There are retail shops on the ground floor and the remaining floors are residential, a portion of which is affordable housing.

When asked about the project and its challenges, Noelle commented, “I’ve been at Roux for 19 years, and it’s never boring. There’s always something different and new to learn.” The diligent work put in by Noelle and the supporting Roux team (including Joe Duminuco, David Bligh, Ron Lombino, and Levi Curnutte) helped our client meet their goals on time and on budget, adding value to the community, and transforming a previously underutilized space.

To read more about Roux’s Featured Projects, please click here.