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Environmental Forensics

We maintain a library of over 8,000 journal articles and other references on petroleum and tar chemistry, PCBs and PCDDs/PCDFs, wood treating chemicals, dielectric fluids, and other environmental forensic topics.

National reputation for excellence in the following areas:

META has extensive experience in the characterization and management of former MGP sites, PCB release sites, wood treatment and storage sites, and petroleum spill and UST sites.  META has special expertise in high temperature PCB events, PCDD/PCDF formation, non-PCB dielectric fluid chemistry, and environmental forensics and allocation techniques.


We have completed source identification studies at over 50 former MGP sites involving many contamination scenarios in soil, sediments, groundwater and surface water.


We are recognized experts on the chemistry of tars and petroleum products, sources of background PAHs, advanced methods of analysis, and multivariate data analysis tools.

We are recognized experts in PCB sources and analysis, and high temperature PCB events including PCDD/PCDF formation analysis, and fingerprinting.

We are recognized experts in the sources, and fate and transport of PCDDs and PCDFs.

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Environmental forensic investigations can be used by any party potentially responsible for chemical contamination and the associated costs of investigation and cleanup.

META designs and implements environmental forensic studies to address the specific questions of ownership and responsibility for environmental contamination.  These studies integrate detailed evaluations of site history and commercial/industrial processes with carefully designed sampling plans and state-of-the-art chemical analyses.  The chemistry of potential sources and the influences of chemical transport and fate processes are considered.  Local geologic and hydrogeologic conditions are researched and accounted for in a conceptual site model.  Chemical data are analyzed and displayed using a number of statistical, chemometric, and plotting techniques.

Capabilities and Approach
  • Site and process histories

  • Geologic and hydrologic assessments

  • State of the art analytical methods such as
    -  GC and GC/MS fingerprints
    -  alkylated-PAH profiles
    -  -petroleum biomarkers
    -  PCB, PCDD, and PCDF congener patterns
    -  isotopic analysis

  • Fate and transport analyses

  • Data quality assessment and validation

  • Chemometrics, statistics, and display techniques including CAD and 2-D and 3-D site models

  • Cost allocation formulas and NRD assessments

  • Litigation support and expert testimony

Our archive of over 600 petroleum products and tar reference materials from around the world, and our detailed characterization of those substances, gives us one of the largest databases of information on hydrocarbon waste products in the USA.

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