Forensic Environmental Engineering

BLDI has developed unique expertise in forensic engineering and environmental forensics to assist legal counsel, underwriters, claims and corporate clients for cases involving environmental and engineering issues.

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

Emphasis is placed on data collection and analysis consistent with relevant and appropriate standards from initial work plan development through sampling programs and data analysis. Such protocols have been continually emphasized during over 20 years of environmental investigative and forensic work for cases, including work from Michigan to Ohio, Kentucky, New York, California, the Dakota’s and Texas.

Since many of our forensic projects deal with the release of hydrocarbons, BLDI utilizes various field and laboratory practices, including sometimes complex laboratory methods to assess hydrocarbon composition and compositional changes over time. Conversely, many engagements utilize currently available data re-structured to illustrate data trends and linkages.

Common Engagements Include: 

  • Assessment of prior data
  • Validation of areas of concern (AOCs)
  • Assess transactional exclusions/carve outs
  • Develop or review environmental deductible escrow size/structure
  • Develop or review remediation method/structure/time
  • Develop or review remediation cost estimates
  • Interrogatory response or development

Research and Development

BLDI is conducting research into the impact of sampling methods on laboratory results, Conceptual Site Models (CSMs), due care/continuing obligations and site closure.


Forensic – Expert Witness

BLDI staff have worked in state and federal courts as experts, having the following attributes that our clients find important in selecting an expert to conduct peer reviews, litigation support, as well as deposition and court testimony.

    • Civil and criminal court-certified expert
    • Significant experience in working with attorney guidance 
    • Experience with environmental liability estimation (ASTM, FIN, IASB, FASB), including original research 
    • Experience on various types of environmental cases (e.g. cause and origin, fate & transport, financial) 
    • Experience in multiple states 
    • Experience in various courts

    BLDI has conducted forensic engagements for over 25 years including engagements to protocols to develop and assess data, including developing specialized field investigation protocols to assess case issues with experience in both civil and criminal cases. The length of the case can vary from a single consultation to multiple years (see: Meijer v. Total Containment Case Study) to reach the final outcome.

     

    Membership


    BLDI staff memberships include: National Academy of Forensic Engineers, Michigan Bankers Association, Environmental Bankers Association, and American Society of Civil Engineers. BLDI engineers are licensed in multiple states. 

    Please feel free to e-mail Joseph Berlin, PE, EP, CP (jberlin@bldi.com
    or call 616.459.3737 with any questions.

       

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