Environmental Forensics

efEnvironmental forensics, the science of tracing the origin of contaminants in the environment through multi-disciplinary lines of evidence, has been a mainstay of the practice for more than a quarter century. Long before environmental forensics became a topical “buzzword”, Mutch Associates’ engineers and scientists were pioneering techniques to model contaminant fate and transport through the environment. Whether modeling the migration of PCBs and PAHs through riverine sediments or TCE in complex fractured rock hydrogeologic regimes, Mutch associates’ engineers, chemists, and hydrogeologists understand the physical and chemical processes that govern contaminant transport in a real world environment, employ state-of-the-art data visualization and animation techniques to elucidate their conclusions, and have the experience in presenting their findings in a variety of legal contexts.

Today, Mutch Associates draws upon an array of sophisticated existing techniques and is helping develop new methodologies to reliably forecast and “hindcast” the migration of contaminants through the environment. These technologies include:

  • Groundwater flow and solute transport modeling
  • Chemical “fingerprinting”
  • Major and minor ion analyses
  • Stable isotope analyses of O, H, C, N. S. and Cl
  • Radioactive isotope analyses of H-3, Cs-137, Pb-210, Be-10 to date sediments and groundwater
  • Stereographic interpretation of historical aerial photography
  • Industrial “archaeology”