Confidential Marina Litigation Support
E Sciences provided environmental support to evaluate the nature and source of documented contamination at this Site as part of the defense strategy on behalf of the lessee. E Sciences conducted a review of the environmental documentation to gain understanding of historical operations and environmental conditions at the Site. E Sciences researched pertinent regulatory information and documents from state and county databases including prior violations, environmental testing and source removal activities documented at the Site. Furthermore, we conducted a desktop review to identify environmental studies conducted in the vicinity of the subject Site in order to evaluate the possibility of an existing “background” condition of the contaminants at the allegedly contaminated area. The findings of our environmental review were compiled in a PowerPoint presentation to be used during mediation.
During testing conducted by others, contaminants were identified above FDEP SCTL at the surface soil layer within a barge storage area. Compounds detected above SCTLs included arsenic, chromium, benzo(a)pyrene compounds and polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons.
The Site was previously designated as a brownfield site, and received a SRCO. Based on a cursory review of the SRCO documentation provided, the contaminants historically identified at the Site included polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, and total petroleum hydrocarbons.
E Sciences review of the environmental documents available revealed that benzo(a)pyrene, arsenic and chromium concentrations were documented above regulatory standards across the Site prior to the previous testing. However, the surface soils in the impacted area were not previously assessed for the presence of benzo(a)pyrenes or arsenic. Therefore, it could not be presumed that the area was free of these contaminants prior to 2011. The contaminant concentration in the barge storage area appeared to be random and commonly associated with background conditions. Soil samples collected from the dredge spoil material did not reveal the presence of arsenic, chromium or benzo(a)pyrene above regulatory standards. Therefore, the spoil material was not considered to have been a source of contamination. Furthermore, the surface soil sample collected from beneath the spoil material pile did not show contaminants of concern above SCTLs, thus refuting that the area was contaminated from dredge sediments.
Based on the above information collected, it was concluded that concentrations of the identified contaminants were ubiquitous and may be attributed to deposition of dusts from incomplete combustion of debris and naturally occurring marine sediments and were well within the of the range of background concentrations in surface soils in typical urban and industrial settings.
The information, compiled by E Sciences, was used during mediation. The owner and lessee reached a settlement agreement during the mediation process, thus avoiding a trial.