Redlands, California

Expert Witness Services for Redlands/Beaumont CERCLA Litigation

Expert Witness Services for Redlands Beaumont CERCLA

For this project, First Environment reviewed and analyzed expert reports and underlying complex technical data regarding soil and groundwater contamination as part of the Redlands/Beaumont CERCLA litigation. We supported the client in its litigation to recover environmental remediation costs that it incurred, or may incur in the future, at the former solid rocket motor production and testing facility near Redlands, California under CERCLA and other environmental causes of action.

Work entailed organization and review of thousands of operational, regulatory, and technical documents related to ammonium perchlorate (AP) rocket fuel formulation and manufacture at Redlands. This required not only the use of special document retrieval and organization software, but also a technical knowledge base that permitted understanding of document significance and value to the litigation process. The work product in this case was used by attorneys and experts on the case to understand the vast complex setup for the manufacture of rockets during the “Cold War” era.

First Environment used various litigation support tools to code and categorize thousands of technical documents, including Concordance and Microsoft Access. These databases were used by counsel and experts to formulate the client’s litigation strategy. Previously, in a lawsuit initiated in the State of California in 2007, First Environment was called upon as an expert witness to render an opinion regarding the historic use of trichloroethylene (TCE), a tetrachloroethylene (PCE) break down product, and other chlorinated solvents at a former air base near Redlands. The case was prosecuted under CERCLA, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the California Hazardous Substances Account Act (HSAA), and various common law theories. The suit demanded contribution for response costs incurred during the cleanup of chlorinated substances, including TCE and 1,2,3-trichloropropane (TCP), that were used in the repair, maintenance, overhauling, and refurbishing activities conducted by various aviation companies and the government. First Environment used various defendant reports on PRPs that operated at the site from the 1940s through the 1980s as references in its own expert report regarding the use, storage, handling and/or disposal of various chemicals at the site.