East Rutherford, New Jersey

Litigation Support for Berry’s Creek NPL

First Environment was retained to assist counsel in developing lines of evidence for its client in an allocation among the members of the Berry’s Creek Study Area (BCSA) Potentially Responsible Parties’ Cooperating Group (Cooperating Parties’ Group). For this project, First Environment reviewed and analyzed documents in the client’s Concordance database and the Cooperating Parties’ Group’s Ringtail database detailing the remedial investigation and cleanup and industrial activities of the client’s site and the neighboring properties to develop technically sound lines of evidence on behalf of the client for the allocation. We also provided technical advice to counsel regarding the progress and future plans for the BCSA remediation activities.

The allocation process, designed by FTI for the Cooperating Parties’ Group, started with the identification of documents held by all member sites, the development of a Ringtail database containing all documents provided by members and obtained from relevant government agencies, and the development of a Site Summary Report for all relevant sites. Following this, each member of the Cooperating Parties’ Group will submit position papers on various stages of the allocation process and meet with FTI’s allocator to discuss the position papers. First Environment was enlisted to review the Ringtail database, the client’s Site Summary Report and any other Site Summary Reports relevant to the client’s position, as well as to develop technical lines of evidence for the position papers and to meet with FTI’s allocator.

To develop lines of evidence for the allocation on behalf of the client, First Environment reviewed hundreds of documents of the almost 70,000 documents in the Ringtail database. We further identified and reviewed relevant documents for the client’s site, neighboring properties, and surface water structures that were held with city, county, and state agencies. The information in the documents was utilized to develop a conceptual site model and an environmental fate and transport model for contamination at the site. In addition, we reviewed documents generated by the Cooperating Parties’ Group, including hydrologic, sediment, and contamination transport models, remedial investigation, and risk assessment documents to assess the potential impact on the allocation process. First Environment also participated in technical committee meetings to evaluate the progress of the remediation and assess the relevant impacts of these activities on the final allocation process.

First Environment used various litigation and environmental support tools to support this process, including the document management software Concordance. We also developed an Access database and a Geodatabase for the management of contaminant sampling results and a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the spatial analysis of contaminants and development of figures to visual the fate and transport of chemicals associated with BCSA and the client’s site.