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Environmental forensics

NILU offers analyses and services to industry and authorities in environmental issues for the purpose of identifying legal and illegal emissions and pollutants to the environment.

What is Environmental Forensics?

Environmental Forensics is the scientific study of contaminants in the environment with a specific view to identifying their source(s), their enhancement above background or baseline conditions, the length of time that may have occurred between release and measurement, the magnitude of any biological effect and potential remediation strategies. These approaches may be used by industries, regulators and lawyers both during and after contamination events.

Typical Environmental Forensic Scenarios

  • The extent of a chemical spill in a river or in ground water
  • Identifying the source of a contaminant in a water way
  • Brownfield site investigations – what is present and where did it come from?
  • Environmental assessment as part of the mergers and acquisition process
  • Establishing liability between parties
  • Oiled birds on the beach – where did the oil come from?
  • Efficiency of oil dispersion after treatment
  • Reconstructing environmental histories
  • What was the background and baseline condition in this area prior to a spill?
  • Source apportionment for atmospheric aerosols – where did the particles come from?

Full service offers

  • Review of documents, maps and background knowledge
  • Development of conceptual site models
  • Design of sampling and analysis strategies to answer specific questions
  • Sample collection, transportation and storage
  • Extraction and analysis for both target and non-target compounds
  • Data collation and secure archiving
  • Chain of custody forms and summaries
  • Data interpretation and presentation
  • Reporting to the client and optionally to courts as expert witnesses
  • Court appearances as expert witnesses
  • Option to publish data in the scientific peer-reviewed literature depending on case

All work is conducted in confidence and independently – our duty is to help our clients understand the environmental system.