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Environmental Forensics



TIG Environmental uses environmental forensics to support site investigation and delineation, source identification, and allocation. We recognize that each situation is unique. By using a weight-of-evidence approach, we can design and execute each analysis to meet the project’s specific objectives.

Experience in Legacy and Emerging Contaminants

TIG Environmental’s experts have extensive experience in the forensic analysis of contaminants, including dioxins and furans, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and other hydrocarbons, metals, emerging contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), pharmaceuticals, and personal hygiene products.

Scaling the Analysis to the Objectives

We believe that each forensic analysis should be scaled to meet the specific project objectives. Our extensive experience and diverse forensic analysis toolbox allow us to develop a program designed to address the client’s specific needs.

We provide:

  • Data management plans and data gap analysis that elucidate project needs early in the project life cycle

  • Powerful computational tools for the exploration of large and small datasets

  • Project planning assistance including understanding available data and historical information, determining project goals and possible outcomes, understanding the likelihood of litigation, and establishing timetable and budget

Statistical Data Analysis and Fingerprinting

TIG Environmental is a leader in the use of statistical tools ranging from simple to complex, including tools developed by our own experts. We use these tools to develop and test specific hypotheses regarding the relationships between sources and potential receptors such as impacted environment media.

Examples of our tools include:

  • Tools for the rapid visual analysis of sample and source profiles

  • Weathering models that predict changes in contaminant source profiles

  • Evaluation of stable isotopes for fingerprinting

  • Multivariate and geospatial methods that compare chemical profiles and spatial trends in samples and sources

  • Advanced statistical methods such as Bayesian Analysis and Monte Carlo Simulation

Historical Reconstruction and Pathway Analysis

Pathway analysis and historical reconstruction are critical lines of evidence that are often overlooked in a forensics evaluation. TIG Environmental uses pathway analysis to explore transport between sources and receptors, and we leverage our firm’s best-in-class investigative capabilities to reconstruct historical operations, including transport pathways and documented releases.

Our approach to historical reconstruction and pathway analysis includes:

  • Hydrodynamic and sediment transport evaluations including TIGSED

  • Integration of groundwater flow and air dispersion modeling into the forensic analysis

  • Proprietary data analytics tools (TIGER™) to screen and triage large document productions

  • Best-in-class investigative and historical document review expertise

Source Unmixing

Certain situations may require scaling forensic analysis to more complex methods such as receptor modeling or source unmixing. Source unmixing methods help differentiate contaminant sources, including the number, pattern (fingerprint), and contribution of unique contaminant profiles within individual samples. Source unmixing is particularly useful for understanding complex sites with numerous source types and for allocation of contributions between parties.

Examples of our unmixing tools include:

  • Proprietary implementations of state-of-the-art receptor models (polytopic vector analysis [PVA] and non-negative matrix factorization [NMF/PMF])

  • Tools for model validation and the identification of anomalies that can identify important features or outliers in the data


TIG’s expert reports and expert testimony are helping the client negotiate favorable settlements with some plaintiffs and mount a vigorous defense in court cases associated with other plaintiffs.

Alleged Dioxin Emissions from an Industrial Facility

The results of the analysis were used to narrowly define the spatial extent of AFFF impacts and limit the scope of the investigation and remediation.

Delineation of PFAS Contamination

TIG Environmental's analysis is being used to support the client in obtaining a more equitable sharing of investigation, design, and response costs. The potential savings to the client could be in the millions of dollars.

Groundwater PFAS Contamination with Multiple Sources

TIG Environmental demonstrated that PCBs adjacent to the client's facility did not originate from the facility’s current or historical operations, but instead from the operations of upstream or adjacent facilities.

PCB Characterization and Sediment Modeling Result in More Equitable Cost Allocation

TIG Environmental's analysis is being used to support the client in obtaining a more equitable allocation of investigation, design, and remediation costs. The potential savings to the client could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Complex Multi-PRP Sediment Sites

Our forensic scientists ruled out the industrial client as the primary source of PCBs, PCDDs, PCDFs, and mercury in the region’s soils and pointed to other potential alternative sources as more likely.

Fingerprinting Contaminants Through the Food Web

TIG Environmental’s analysis proved that polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) releases from the client’s facilities were much lower than anticipated, resulting in a lower allocation.

Identification of Relative Contaminant Discharge Leads to Lower Allocation

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 developed an environmental impact assessment for discharged wastewater into the Curonian Lagoon in Lithuania.

Curonian Lagoon Environmental Impact Assessment

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

TIG Environmental employed cutting-edge chemical fingerprinting tools and data analyses to distinguish among various sources of PAHs.

PAH Fingerprinting Results in Correct Source Identification

Our analyses, including the development of interactive dashboards, are being used to evaluate and communicate the relevant information to counsel and develop the defense strategy.

PFAS Class Action Litigation

For more information contact:
Michael Bock, PhD
Michael Bock, PhD
Managing Director

Environmental Forensics Services Lead

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