forensics come to environmental claims: forensic tools used in the medical field are now being applied to solve environmental problems and to investigate claims. (environmental). - drum storage
Popular TV series "Quincy M. E.
"First, let the public notice the role of forensic medicine in the medical field.
Highly publicized O. J.
The Simpson trial in 1995 also proved the use of forensic tools.
Recently, Discovery Channel launched the "new detective", a reproduction of a series of real criminal investigations, and forensic applications used to resolve cases.
One of the most popular TV shows today is the crime scene investigator, which also focuses on the use of forensic science to address crime.
Although medical forensics is a good thing
The field of environmental forensics is a relatively new field, and it is a famous and dramatic investigation subject.
For companies facing environmental litigation or claims, the results can be very significant.
Environmental Forensics is essentially the use of science and technology to solve environmental problems and litigation.
The tools and applications used are very different from those used in medical and criminal investigations.
However, these forensic applications may be useful when dealing with environmental claims, especially in: * determining pollution sources;
* Determine when pollutants are released into the environment;
* Separation and identification of multiple pollutant plume;
* Allocation of investigation and remediation costs;
* Recovery of remedial costs from the responsible party;
* Defend third
Environmental infringement litigation;
* Defense of claims for toxic infringement.
The environment is similar to medicine because there are many systems running independently of each other that coexist in various media (i. e.
Soil, groundwater, air and surface water).
The environment is a complex system, and it is more complicated to understand the driving mechanism of pollutant behavior.
Similarly, the behavior of contaminants depends on their physical and chemical properties.
Environmental Professionals work to study and understand how groundwater flows, or how Apollo's behavior occurs once it enters the ground.
Understanding the behavior of contaminants in the environment requires a multi-disciplinary approach.
A person rarely has all the information on the site because it will be costly.
Therefore, good scientific and engineering judgment is needed.
On-site representation and remedies are well known.
In the process of cost allocation or cost recovery litigation, it would be beneficial to use the environmental forensic approach conducted by qualified experts.
Chemical fingerprints are similar to identifying people by their unique fingerprints, the chemicals that exist underground (i. e. , pollutants)
Has unique features that can be used to identify purposes.
The most commonly used chemical fingerprints in oil
In related cases, in its simplest form, it can be used to distinguish various types of petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel oil, kerosene, heatingoil, jet fuel, etc.
Fingerprints can also be used to distinguish between two similar products.
For example, Exxon gasoline has certain marks and additives, while the refining of Shell gasoline is slightly different and has its own unique marks and additives.
With the full selection, preparation, analytical testing and interpretation of the results by qualified professionals, these two gasoline products can be distinguished from each other.
Chemical fingerprints may be a valuable forensic tool in determining the scope of coverage under the environmental insurance policy, for example, allocating cleaning costs covered by the project policy or holding responsible parties to account for their share of cleaning costs.
The review and interpretation of aerial photography aerial photographs is a technology that can establish historical information and practices for specific locations.
For example, the above exists-
Ground storage tanks or waste can be easily identified on aerial photos.
In addition, aerial photographs can be used to identify stains on ditches, drum storage areas, waste piles, pressure vegetation and the ground.
Because these photos are often outdated, they are useful tools for assigning responsibility based on ownership of the theme facility and operational history.
Aerial photographs can also be used to determine the area under investigation or to identify potential sources of contamination.
Combined with deposits from former employees, aerial photographs are a powerful tool to piece together waste
Processing practices for a given site.
The environmental insurance policy sometimes contains an insurance retrospective date.
When historical pollution is found in one location, the problem arises, and when the pollution incident occurred to determine the coverage of the policy.
The use of aerial photography can be very useful in making this decision.
But one of the challenges is to identify and capture photos that cover the scene and the relevant time period.
There are many sources of aerial photographs that insurance companies can study.
The main source is the US Geological Survey (USGS)
AerialPhotographic Library, which has collected nearly 300,000 photos, has conducted a lasting geological study of the United States and its territory since 1869.
More information about the US Geological Survey and its library can be found online http://ask . usgs. gov/photos. html.
Other potential public sources for aerial photographs include the United States. S.
Department of Agriculture, National Oceanic and Atmospheric AdministrationS.
Army engineering, soil protection services, county tax bureau, and local transportation.
There are also a number of private companies that can provide a wide range of photos.
Finally, there may be historical photos in the Archives of the theme facility.
When oil is found in Titusville, Pa, UST corrosion model.
In 1859, people used wooden barrels to store the "black gold ".
"However, they have limited storage capacity.
At the end of the 1800 s, rivet steel tanks replaced barrels.
In the 1930 s and 1920 s, rivet steel tanks provided access to welded steel tanks.
Rivets and welded steel tanks are buried underground.
There are many final leaks in these tanks.
Leakage of underground storage tanks (USTs)
Underground soil and groundwater have historically been the main source of pollution.
The main reason for these leaks is the corrosion of the tank.
Since the early days, UST technology has developed a lot and has developed technological innovations to reduce leakage.
The life of steel enterprises is unpredictable;
This depends on the thickness of the steel, the method of installation and various soil properties.
The American Petroleum Institute has developed a statistical method called average time of corrosion failure (MTCF)
, Can be used to estimate the average failure time of unprotected carbon steel, which is the result of corrosion.
The method uses tank details and soil properties data to estimate when UST starts leaking.
This data, along with the date of installation of the tank, can be entered into the model to approximate when the tank begins to leak.
When analyzing coverage under an environmental policy with an activity date, this technique can be used to determine when the tank will fail and start polluting the ground, and to finalize coverage under the policy.
Knowledge of chemical use and appropriate application of this knowledge regarding the historical use of chemicals can also be considered as environmental forensics.
The most common pollutant in the environment is gasoline.
As mentioned earlier, USTs is the main source of underground soil and groundwater pollution.
The formula and additives of gasoline have changed over time, and understanding this may be a powerful tool.
Some additives in gasoline include lead (1923)
Lead four methyl groups (1960)
And Unclebutyl ether (MTBE)
Introduced in late 1970 and early 1980.
Just as it is important to know when to introduce additives is to know when to eliminate specific additives.
Due to the health impact of lead discharged into the atmosphere from gasoline, lead needs to be removed from gasoline.
On 1973, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Start to gradually reduce lead ingasoline for a month-year period.
In 1990, the EPA passed an amendment to the Clean Air Act, requiring the complete elimination of lead from gasoline by December 31, 1995.
However, this phase-out only appliesthe-road vehicles.
Lead gasoline is still used in aviation, agricultural machinery and racing cars, and this must be taken into account when evaluating on-site.
With this type of knowledge and appropriate on-site test data, qualified professionals can approximate the time period in which an event is resolved.
This information may be critical to identifying or eliminating the responsible party.
For example, if it is found that MTBE is a pollutant in groundwater, then the source of mtbecont will come from
It happened after the end of 1970.
This technology is not limited to gasoline.
It can also be applied to other sources of pollution, especially for the determination of pesticides and herbicides.
The first big one
Large-scale application of pesticide DDT occurred in 1943;
However, it was subsequently banned in January 1, 1973.
Knowing this information clearly provides a time period for the use of DDT.
Once the origin of the contamination condition is known, other techniques may help to determine the timing of the contamination incident.
This is particularly useful in environmental claims to determine which insurance policies, if any, will provide insurance and cover remedial costs.
Various models and calculations can be used to estimate the time of contamination.
By understanding the distance and physical properties of various media (i. e.
Ground, soil and ground water)
In addition to the properties of contaminants, these models and calculations can also provide an estimate of the time required for a certain distance of contamination propagation.
This can be very complicated because you have to consider the various media through which contaminants pass.
For example, if a chemical leak occurs on the surface of the concrete and a drop gradient of 500 feet is found in the groundwater, you must consider three media.
Travel time through asphalt and soil before chemicals reach groundwater must be estimated.
The third estimate of the migration time in groundwater must then be calculated.
Three additional travel times will provide estimates at the time of the contamination incident.
In addition to the previous five Technologies, an expert can be retained, and other environmental forensics tools include, but are not limited: * chemical and biodegradable models * dating of radioisotopes * tank inventory reconciliation using two or more forensic techniques can be used independently or in combination with each other, but, more importantly, you need to find the right experts to execute these technologies.
The cost of using environmental forensic technology may vary greatly depending on the complexity of the situation.
But thorough research is necessary to ensure that the results are defensible and, ultimately, the data or information generated from these technologies can be well spent.
Marin zerkman is an assistant vice president of XL EnvironmentalInc.
Is part of XL Insurance and is part of insurance business of XL Capital Ltd.
XL Insurance meets the business risk management needs of its global customers through its unique expertise in a wide range of industries.
Visit its website www. Environment. com.