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Contaminated Sediment Management



The world of contaminated sediment management is changing fast. Waterfront revitalization is driving the need to address legacy sediment contamination in urban areas. Regulatory agencies and the communities they serve are demanding more rigorous cleanups with features that can dramatically drive up complexity and cost. At the same time, there is increasing pressure for source identification and control. With the cost of some cleanups well into the billions of dollars, cost allocation has transformed into an intricate, high-stakes enterprise. Whether you need a few days of strategic consultation, support in allocation or litigation, or technical studies at any stage of project development, TIG Environmental makes the difference.

Allocation and Cost Recovery Technical Support

Large-scale contaminated sediment cleanups, such as those currently seen in many rivers, harbors, and urban waterways, are extremely expensive. It is reasonable to expect that the parties involved will seek to reduce their anticipated share of the costs. The process of allocation often involves development of technical arguments about the what, where, when and who of legacy sediment contamination. The presentation of these arguments, in the context of allocation or litigation settings, requires a skilled and confident expert. TIG Environmental has senior scientists and engineers who have served in an expert consultant capacity on some of the largest sediment cleanup projects in the U.S. and around the world. We are credible and highly effective participants in dispute resolution settings of all types. We provide overall technical strategy to expert testimony and everything in between.

Site Investigation and Source Identification

Most contaminated sediment sites are well into the cycle of exploration and testing. Often there are stacks of reports presenting analytical chemistry data and model results but no overall interpretation of meaning. TIG Environmental can use the available information to synthesize overall meaning out of the data chaos. Our skills range from reconstructing industrial histories to pinpointing sources and pathways of contamination to the sediments. We will develop a meaningful conceptual model of your site that will allow you to identify and fill data gaps as well as strategize for allocation, cleanup, or both.

Forensic Studies and Modeling

Sources of sediment contamination are difficult to untangle. TIG Environmental uses a variety of sophisticated statistical, chemometric, isotopic, and computer modeling tools to establish otherwise hidden source characteristics and provide answers to questions such as: 

  • Where did this contamination come from? 

  • When was it deposited? 

  • What can we do to clean it up? 

  • How much will it cost? 

Informed decision making begins with a good foundation of understanding of the nature of the problem.

Data Analytics and Visualization

The best information is nothing if it cannot be understood. TIG Environmental understands that developing reports relying solely on written explanations would limit our ability to communicate our expert opinions. Instead, we make an impact through unique data visualization tools, infographics, and presentations. 

  • We can host platforms for an individual site or an entire river or harbor. 

  • We tailor our work products to the audience, be it a highly technical convening of experts or a public workshop on the site. 

  • We manage databases with millions of entries securely and efficiently. 

  • We routinely use our in-house technical editors to ensure our written work is concise and well understood.

Remedial Design and Construction Support

The transition from investigation and cost allocation to remedial design and construction is where experienced scientists or engineers can have a substantial effect on the cost, constructability, and long-term success of the chosen remedy. TIG Environmental has experience in the application of the available technologies in multiple settings. We can assist in all phases from strategy development to conceptual design, contractor prequalification, and construction observation. Using our team’s knowledge base and expertise in strategy development, we can demystify the concepts of adaptive management, beneficial reuse, sustainability, and circular economy. Through clear communication, we can assist with community outreach and engagement programs. TIG can create community-accessible dashboards to provide more near- to real-time access to remedial action monitoring data.


By combining historical research with chemical forensic analysis, TIG Environmental was able to clearly demonstrate what our client’s allocation share should be for the remediation and provide evidence for successful future settlement with other parties.

Allocation Support for a Submerged Lands Owner

TIG Environmental was able to identify multiple chemical signatures in the sediment, providing our client with identification of PRPs that have some liability for the sediment contamination.

Forensic Studies and Modeling

Our alternative approach resulted in significant reduction in removal volume and overall project cost.

Remedial Design and Construction Support

TIG Environmental employs TIGSED to determine the sediment contamination attributable to our clients’ operations. TIGSED was developed by TIG Environmental to model sediment contributions from multiple discharge locations to evaluate source identification, source control, and natural recovery.

TIGSED Modeling System for Sediment Contamination

TIG Environmental applied an allocation strategy using multiple lines of evidence to quantify an allocable share to all parties for contamination near the client’s property, thereby potentially reducing the client’s liabilities for cleanup costs.

Allocation and Cost Recovery Technical Support

TIG Environmental was able to identify multiple chemical signatures in the sediment that were consistent with specific upland operations and the insufficiency of the previous remediation of sediments, providing our client with identification of PRPs that have some liability for the sediment contamination.

PCB Forensics at a Major Superfund Site

TIG Environmental was able to rapidly deploy resources and reduce the scientific and engineering uncertainties, as well as identify other potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for possible cost recovery actions in the future.

Site Investigation and Source Identification

TIG Environmental's data viewing solutions allow us to answer client questions about a site in real-time during meetings with the client and other outside parties such as regulators or allocators.

Data Analytics and Visualization

TIG Environmental provided technical expert support at the site for environmental liability assessment and cost allocation for the remediation of sediments and for the associated natural resource damage claims.

Quantifying Impact of Transportation Runoff on Waterway Sediment

TIG Environmental are experts at data visualization, providing our clients with interactive tools to explore data and get answers client questions about a site in real-time during meetings with the client and other outside parties such as regulators or allocators.

Superfund Data Management and Visualization Dashboard

For more information contact:
Philip Spadaro, LG
Philip Spadaro, LG
Vice President & Principal Scientist

Contaminated Sediments Market Lead

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