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Introduction to Environmental Forensics

NCJ Number
Brian L. Murphy, Robert D. Morrison
Date Published
575 pages
This book provides information on environmental forensics, which provide the fact basis for any public inquiry related to environmental matters.
Environmental forensics seeks the cause and time of contamination, the extensiveness of contamination, the validity of tests, evidence of fraud, and the levels of exposure to people. Chapter 1 discusses the common contexts in which environmental forensic investigations occur, including liability allocation at hazardous waste sites, site assessments for property transfers, insurance litigation, and toxic torts. Chapter 2 describes the techniques used to acquire the historical documents necessary to reconstruct a narrative site history. Chapter 3 focuses on the acquisition and interpretation of the photographic images that are frequently used to identify potential contaminant sources. Chapter 4 discusses the potential biases that can be introduced into soil gas surveys, soil sampling, and groundwater data, both in field sampling and in the laboratory. Chapter 5 describes the use of isotope measurements, which is becoming an integral component of many environmental forensic investigations. Chapters 6 and 7 describe forensic techniques for the two most common contaminant types: petroleum hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents. In Chapter 8, soil and groundwater models used for environmental forensic investigations are described. Chapter 9 focuses on air modeling for forensic purposes. Chapter 10 summarizes statistical tests for comparing data sets and evaluating temporal or spatial relationships. Chapter 11 discusses particulate pattern recognition techniques used for source identification. Chapter 12 focuses on principal components analysis and polytopic vector analysis, which have been successfully used in a variety of media. Appendixes, index