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Katie Cowan
Project Scientist

Katie Cowan

Project Scientist

Ms. Katie Cowan is a scientist with 8 years of experience in the environmental consulting industry.  She has broad technical experience conducting human health risk assessments for a variety of chemicals of concern, including dioxins, PAHs, pesticides, metals, and PCBs.  Ms. Cowan is skilled at performing environmental sampling and has designed and implemented field sampling plans for the collection of sediment, soil, groundwater, surface water, biota, and indoor and outdoor air samples at sites in New York and New Jersey.  She also provides support for data analysis and reporting.

Human Health Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment for a Former Wood Treatment Facility, Mississippi Completed human health risk assessment for a former wood treatment facility under CERCLA. Compiled toxicity criteria and scenario-specific parameter assumptions for soil, surface water, and groundwater exposure. Chemicals of interest included PAHs and dioxins. Back-calculated site-specific cleanup goals. Performed multi-incremental sampling of dioxin in offsite properties and evaluated the data using human health criteria to inform yard removals.
Risk Assessment for a Former Wood Treatment Facility, Mississippi Completed human health risk assessment for a former wood treatment facility under RCRA. Chemicals of interest included PAHs and dioxins.
Risk Assessment for Extended Floodplain, New York Supporting human health risk assessment for PCB exposure for an extended floodplain area in New York State.  Provide QA/QC support for the ArcGIS database file, mapping areas of the floodplain with the greatest potential for human use and exposure to PCBs.  Human health risk assessment activities include evaluation and screening of more than 1,700 individual properties in the study area, and land use evaluation of parks, public land, residential parcels, schools, undeveloped land, agricultural properties, and commercial/industrial areas.
Berry’s Creek Superfund Site, Meadowlands, New Jersey Contributed to the human health risk assessment evaluating PCBs and mercury at the site.  Calculated site-specific, risk-based screening levels to determine chemicals of potential concern (COPC) for human receptors.  Coordinated with database managers to generate a COPC list and RAGS D tables.  Provided quality assurance support for the human health and ecological risk assessments.  Conducted multiple field surveys of Berry’s Creek, including aquatic fauna, marsh invertebrate, and benthic infauna sampling.  Performed aquatic fauna dissection in the field laboratory.  Responsible for sample processing, tracking, and coordination of sample shipment to analytical laboratory.
Helen Kramer Landfill Superfund Site, Mantua Township, New Jersey Completed an ecological screening level evaluation for the offsite wetland area between the former landfill and Edward’s Run, following New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) guidance. Identified ecologically sensitive natural receptors present in the offsite area using NJDEP sources, including the New Jersey Natural Heritage Program, NJ-GeoWeb GIS service, and New Jersey’s Landscape project.  Evaluated screening results and potential data gaps to recommend additional data collection.
Risk Assessment for Tank Farm Facility, Cut Bank, Montana Supported human health and ecological risk assessment for tank farm facility under CERCLA.  Evaluated risks to human health and ecological receptors from exposure to site-related chemicals in soil, surface water, groundwater, and sediment.
Probabilistic Modeling of Risks Associated with Fish Consumption, Multiple Sites Provided quality assurance support for probabilistic human health risk assessment.  Researched site-specific exposure assumptions and sportfish preferences for angler receptor groups.
Cost Allocation Project, New York Provided technical support for an expert report for a lead-contaminated Superfund site.  Support tasks included historical wind data analysis using MS Excel and WRPlot, generation of tables and figures to present analytical results, and extensive review and summary of historical documents.
Risk-Based Threshold Development, Maine Developed risk-based threshold values for compounds detected in groundwater near a plastics facility using the methodology outlined in Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Maximum Exposure Guidelines for Drinking Water.  Work included researching carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic toxicity values, selecting appropriate surrogate chemicals, and calculating threshold drinking water values.
Former Mining Site, Illinois Participated in the human health risk assessment for residential properties.  Generated tables compiling screening level criteria to determine metals of interest.  Utilized ProUCL® to determine exposure point concentrations and calculated cancer risks and noncancer indices for metals of interest.

Water Quality Sampling

Centredale Manor Restoration Project Superfund Site, Rhode Island Conducted biota and surface water sample collection to support the ecological pre-remedial design investigation.  Supported the development of the field sampling plan and quality assurance project plan. Managed sample tracking and shipment to the analytical laboratory. The site is associated with human health issues and ecological concerns from the presence of dioxins, furans, PCBs, pesticides, herbicides, and volatile organic compounds in aquatic environments and associated biota.

Sediment Sampling

Freshkills Landfill, Staten Island, New York Developed and implemented a soil investigation at a former landfill in Staten Island, New York.  Worked with multiple city and state agencies to design a sampling plan for the characterization of soil at multiple depth increments across the approximately 142-acre landfill mound.  The purpose of the investigation was to provide evidence that the former landfill could be opened to the public for use as a park.  Data collected during the investigation was analyzed and summarized in a characterization study report.
Data Collection at Waterways near a Landfill, New Jersey Conducted surface water and sediment sampling at onsite and offsite locations adjacent to a remediated landfill to access bioavailability of metals in sediment.

Air Quality Monitoring

Hunts Point, Bronx, New York Provided field oversight of remediation and redevelopment of a former manufactured gas plant (MGP) site located in the South Bronx.  Oversaw construction activities, including demolition, dewatering, and excavation of MGP-impacted material.  Responsible for implementing the community air monitoring plan and completing daily stormwater pollution prevention plan inspections.  Supervised importation of regulated fill material to ensure contractor worked within the scope of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation approvals.

Vapor Intrusion

Mercury Vapor Monitoring, New York, New York Conducted multiple mercury vapor monitoring surveys in two residential apartment buildings in New York City.  Two methods were utilized to evaluate mercury concentrations in the air:  a Lumex® mercury meter and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Method 6009.

Groundwater Sampling

Data Collection for Chemical Manufacturer, New Jersey Worked as a part of a data collection team evaluating the occurrence of perfluorinated compounds in groundwater adjacent to a chemical manufacturer in New Jersey.  The data collection program included sampling wells at public water supply systems, private wells in homes, and groundwater and soil from temporary well points.

Data Quality Assurance

Deepwater Horizon Data Validation, Gulf of Mexico Worked as part of the data quality assurance team in conjunction with the consulting team responding to the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Researched and resolved quality assurance issues for large and complex sets of water, sediment, oil, and tissue analytical data.

Remedial Design

Former Dry Cleaning Chemical Distribution Facility Investigation/Mitigation, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York Worked with a team to monitor and test an SSDS system installed in a residential building in Brooklyn.
Ferry Point Park Landfill Closure, Bronx, New York Developed a document management library used in the preparation of the final construction certification report for the Ferry Point solid waste landfill, which was redeveloped into a golf course.  Reviewed regulatory, engineering, geotechnical, and monitoring documentation covering the 50-year period of redevelopment design and construction.  Document review focused on the passive venting system and groundwater monitoring.
Willets Point, Queens, New York Assisted with the preparation and submittal of the Brownfield cleanup application and Phase I environmental site assessment for an industrial site in Queens, New York.  Conducted evaluation of historical use data and environmental concerns for 45 New York City lots.  Provided QA/QC of report figures and tables.