Manufactured Gas Plant Tar Allocation

Neil M. Ram, Ph.D., LSP, CHMM

Upper Midwest

Roux developed an allocation between several Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) at a Wisconsin Superfund Site where a Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) had operated along with a railroad, a lumber mill, and a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Roux based the allocation in part on the relative amounts of in situ tar attributable to MGP vs. non-MGP parties. Roux further refined the allocation between two MGP parties based upon the relative amount of historical tar generated by the MGP using calculated tar-to-gas production ratios estimated during the relevant years each MGP party operated over the life of the MGP. Roux also estimated the total in situ tar within specific site features (groundwater, soils, sediment) using three-dimensional kriging of analytical and visual data. Results of these estimates were coupled with forensic data completed by another expert who had assigned in-situ tar signatures to MGP vs. non-MGP sources. Roux also determined the necessity and reasonableness of past costs, and whether or not response actions were conducted in substantial compliance with the National Contingency Plan. The case settled during trial.

Paper Mill TSS Mass Loading Analysis

Neil M. Ram, Ph.D., LSP, CHMM


Roux evaluated the wastewater treatment systems and associated total suspended solids loadings from twelve paper recycling mills located along a major river in Michigan. The recycling of certain types of paper released polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) into the mills’ wastewater effluents, which the mills then discharged to the river. To evaluate the mills’ wastewater treatment systems, Roux established the standard of care for wastewater treatment in the paper-making industry for the relevant time period, and determined when each of the twelve mills implemented such treatment operations. Additionally, Roux developed detailed and defensible mass loading calculations for Total Suspended Solids (TSS) loadings to the river from each of the twelve paper mills. The TSS loadings covered a twenty-five year period and were developed for each of the mills based on a comprehensive database of 40,000 hand-entered data points, historical production data, and a robust extrapolation method. Roux’s TSS loadings were then provided to another expert to estimate PCB loadings to the river.

Excessive Clean-up Cost for Industrial Spill

Adam H. Love, Ph.D.


Client was the defendant in a lawsuit where they were blamed for a large industrial spill of elemental mercury. While the client was involved in the activities that resulted in the spill, the amount of the clean-up seems disproportionate with the size of the spill. If the client had any liability, it was in dispute what the accurate cost was for spill clean-up. The client needed a testifying expert to determine how much of the clean-up was from the spill in question and what the actual costs should have been for the spill cleanup. Dr. Love analyzed the operational reports, the clean-up contractor invoices, waste manifest and associated testing, and regulatory correspondence in order to reconstruct the spill and clean-up activities. Dr. Love prepared an Expert Report and provided deposition testimony regarding the contribution of elemental mercury spills to the overall site contamination based on the reported quantity spill compared to the reported amount removed in waste and evaluated historical activities and response activities that could have resulted in mercury contamination beyond the spill area. Dr. Love also apportioned the total clean-up costs into costs associated with the spill versus historical site contamination.

Matter settled with favorable terms for Client.

Former Coal Tar Plant

Paul Roux, P.G.


Our client formerly owned and operated a coal tar manufacturing facility that was subsequently owned and used by others for various solvent storage and blending operations. The current owner, a land developer, filed a CERCLA Cost recovery claim against one of the former owners, who, in turn, filed a cross claim against our client. Roux evaluated extensive soil and groundwater analytical data and studied historical site use patterns through aerial photographs and other information. Based on this work, Roux prepared an expert report demonstrating that much of the contamination at the site that would require remediation, including some of the apparent coal tar contamination, actually resulted from the various solvent company operations.

The case settled favorably to our client prior to trial.

Groundwater Contamination-Major Chemical Company

Paul Roux, P.G.

Central California

Roux was retained by a major Chemical Company to evaluate groundwater contamination at a site in central California. A dispute had arisen between our Client and the owner of a neighboring site where groundwater was also contaminated with similar substances. Contaminants included chlorinated solvents and hexavalent chromium. The contaminated groundwater plumes had intermingled to some degree and thus an apportionment of costs for containing and treating the groundwater was needed. Roux undertook flow and transport modeling and evaluated modeling done by the owner of the adjacent site.


Roux was able to demonstrate that substantially more of the intermingled plume was the responsibility of the adjoining site then they claimed. Based on this work, our Client settled the case for substantially less of the total cleanup cost than had originally been sought.

Industrial Client

Neil M. Ram, Ph.D., LSP, CHMM

New Jersey

Roux was retained by an industrial client to evaluate a claim by a PRP at an abutting Superfund site that historical discharges from our client’s facility had resulted in elevated metals concentrations in creek sediments at the Superfund site and that our client was responsible for a portion of the sediment removal action costs. Roux’s preliminary evaluation concluded that the metals were in fact present in our client’s historical wastewater, and that this wastewater discharged to a ditch that drained into a contaminated creek at the abutting Superfund site. However, through a detailed evaluation of our client’s records, Roux was able to conservatively estimate the mass of these metals that were discharged by our client and concluded that our client’s contribution to metals in sediments at the adjacent Superfund site was de minimis.

Municipal Water Supply Treatment System

Neil M. Ram, Ph.D., LSP, CHMM

New Jersey

Roux was retained by three major oil companies to review a multi-million dollar cost being claimed by the municipality for constructing and operating a municipal water treatment facility to address MTBE contamination that was allegedly originating from these three service stations. An engineering evaluation report was completed which estimated the cost to build and operate an air-stripping unit for the municipal well. This cost was agreed to by all parties in a settlement reached between all parties. In addition, a report was prepared that allocated the costs for this settlement figure between the three different oil companies based upon the magnitude and impacts of the three releases on the municipal water supply well.

Nuclear Source Reprocessing Facility

Neil M. Ram, Ph.D., LSP, CHMM


Roux evaluated whether Time Critical Removal Actions conducted for several sites with residual low-level radioactive waste material were or were not conducted not inconsistent with the National Contingency Plan (the National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan). Roux also determined an apportionment of costs associated with these removal actions among certain potentially responsible parties (PRPs). Roux determined that the Administrative Record for these Sites was inconsistent with the requirements of the NCP because none of the associated Action Memoranda provided sufficient information required and recommended by USEPA Action Memorandum Guidance (OSWER Directive No. 9360.3-01). Further, the total costs incurred at sites exceeded Project Ceilings set forth in Action Memoranda. In addition, few descriptions of public participation/community relations activities were included in the assessment reports, site close out/ completion reports, pollution reports (POLREPs), Action Memoranda, and/or an EPA PowerPoint presentations that were issued for the Sites. Documentation and cost recovery activities for all the Sites were inconsistent with the requirements of the NCP and associated USEPA guidance.


Roux evaluated the apportionment of costs for the removal actions by tallying the total radioactivity (as reflected in curies) in materials that each of the entities allegedly sent to the facilities to determine the relative percentage of curies sent by each party of the total curies sent to the sites. This approach was based upon the total volumes (or in this case, total curies in radioactive materials) sent by each party relative to the total curies in radioactive materials.

PCB Sediment Allocation Work

Adam H. Love, Ph.D.


Client needed a testifying expert to assess PCB discharges from multiple facilities into the Fox River (Wisconsin) and develop a defensible allocation methodology. Sparse data early in the operational history for each facility presented expected challenges. Integration of key data, (total suspended solids discharge data, furnish volume, NCR paper content, and various wastewater treatment configurations) with an understanding of PCB fate both on particles and in water enabled analyses that reconstructed facility discharges over the operational years of interest. The expected location of PCB-contaminated sediment from each source was also assessed. PCB mass discharged from each facility was ultimately used as the basis for an allocation methodology supporting mediation/settlement discussions.

The matter settled with favorable terms for our Client.

Service Station – Major Oil Company

Neil M. Ram, Ph.D., LSP, CHMM

New Jersey

There were three documented gasoline releases at a gasoline service station including one UST failure and two leaks from a flexible pipe connector located between the pump dispenser and the product delivery lines. As a result of the first release (fiberglass underground storage tank failure), site assessment and remediation activities were initiated including groundwater pumping and treatment and soil vapor extraction systems. Roux was retained to: (1) confirm the source, nature, and extent of each of the releases, and (2) allocate site assessment and remediation costs between the three documented releases. The source and magnitude of each release was determined by preparing contaminant isopleth maps that depicted the nature and extent of groundwater contamination associated with each of the three releases. Based upon historical soil and groundwater data, the differential contaminant mass and distribution was then determined. Associated assessment and remediation activities were then identified along with their associated costs. Estimates for additional operation and maintenance activities associated with each of the releases were also identified using modeling techniques. Final cost estimates were used to achieve a settlement between the tank manufacturer, flexible pipe manufacturer, and the major oil company.

Superfund CERCLA Cost Recovery

Paul Roux, P.G.

New Jersey

Roux was retained by two manufacturing companies who were sued by the principal PRP at a major National Priorities List landfill in New Jersey. The PRP was seeking a multimillion-dollar contribution from each of our clients alleging that they sent waste materials to the landfill that contributed to the environmental damage and resulting cleanup costs. Roux reviewed numerous technical reports and extensive analytical data in evaluating the case. Based on this work, Roux prepared an expert report demonstrating that none of the specific compounds that were alleged to have resulted from our clients wastes, caused significant environmental harm to two major off-site areas that had been remediated. Roux provided deposition and trial testimony in this case.


The court ruled that our clients had no liability for cleanup costs at this site.