Historical Research & Analysis

Floyd|Snider, with Lisa Meoli as lead, offers in-depth historical research and analysis, interpretation, and management of historical documentation to support client needs for determining history of land ownership, historical use of property, and identification of historical operations, waste handling, disposal practices, and chemical processes that may have contributed to sources of contamination. Our integrated combination of technical and research expertise allows us to compile information, conduct investigative analysis, and effectively present information for a diverse array of environmental projects through examination of corporate documents, title documents, facility and productions records, documents from federal and state holdings, state documents from enforcement agencies, and other relevant sources.

We use historical research in the development of remedial actions. For sites early in the remedial process, chemical process research is instrumental to identifying the particular processes most likely to contribute to the presence of contaminants at a site. Floyd|Snider’s multifaceted team combines their knowledge of environmental chemical fate and transport with historical process knowledge to generate targeted analyte lists based on chemicals that would be present in products created or used during a site’s industrial history (including likely degradation products and chemicals with unique signatures).

Floyd|Snider is adept at incorporating digital tools, including electronic document management, chemical databases, and GIS, into our historical research services, from initial site boundary delineation to precise identification of the nature and extent of contamination prior to completion of a cleanup action. Document management is key to presenting our research findings in a concise format. Our team has expertise in distilling complex and voluminous historical information by creating portable, project-specific electronic document repositories and managing historical datasets. We also have experience managing complicated administrative records for our clients. We use GIS to manage and integrate historical imagery with respect to modern site features, to create comprehensive context for historical information, and as an analytical tool for understanding the spatial relationships present in sampling data.

Corporate/Manufacturing History

We support our clients by identifying the history of land ownership, corporate ownership, succession, and environmental liability transfer. The team also assists in the identification and description of historical operations and activities that may have contributed to contamination, waste handling and disposal practices, and typical industrial practices during different decades. These types of information can be critical for correctly scoping investigations, understanding site conditions, and identifying which entities should contribute to cleanup costs.

Identification of PRPs

We assist attorneys, agencies, and corporations with informed cost allocation and the identification of potential responsible parties. Our research into historical land use and ownership, waste handling and disposal practices, and typical industrial practices during different decades is critical for identifying which entities should contribute to cleanup costs.

Informed Cost Allocation

The team uses historical information as the basis for equitable allocation strategy for our clients. We support our clients through all stages of the cost allocation process with the compilation and organization of documents and records; research into historical operations and linkages between processes and chemicals of concern; and review of historical photographs and their relationship to past operations.

Identification of Waste and Product Streams

We provide identification of waste and product streams through investigation into the history, development, and land use of a site. This includes industrial processes used at the site; byproducts from waste streams; potential pathways of waste streams; reconstruction of the history of various in-water and upland activities, including dredge history; and the creation of timelines that illustrate manufacturing development and the release of hazardous substances.

Fate and Transport Analysis/Modelling

Through identification of key historical industrial processes that generate and transport byproducts and wastes, our team uncovers site- and time-specific production methods, material storage, and disposal practices. This, coupled with chemical-specific research, formulates an understanding of site background conditions and the fate and transport of chemicals of concern. This interdisciplinary approach results in significant cost savings for the client. Historical process knowledge can be leveraged to limit the scope of investigations to targeted areas and to generate a targeted analyte list based on chemicals that would be present in products created or used during the site's industrial history.

Remedy Development

We use chemical process research to distinguish the media and areas of a site most likely to be impacted by historical site use, which can significantly reduce costs associated with subsequent field investigations. This research yields information on indicator chemicals that may be used to positively identify wastes created by the site. Knowledge obtained during the initial research phase can be used to identify both on- and off-site sources of contamination via chemical fingerprinting analysis and other means. This information can be critical during ongoing multi-party allocation negotiations, as it allows the client to establish the relative impact of their operations in terms of both chemicals and volumes produced.