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Peter W. Zimmermann, P.G.
Principal, Hydrology, Geosciences, and Chemistry

Peter W. Zimmermann, P.G.

Principal, Hydrology, Geosciences, and Chemistry

Mr. Peter Zimmermann has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of hazardous waste management, environmental due diligence, hydrogeology, constituent fate and transport, conceptual remedy design, and remedial construction. He has applied this experience on site remediation assignments, single- and multiple-property real estate due diligence assessments, site restoration projects, and expert witness and litigation support work. A significant number of these projects have involved development of technical foundations for liability and cost allocation agreements and related support for associated negotiations and settlements. The work has been done within a variety of regulatory fram...

Mr. Peter Zimmermann has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of hazardous waste management, environmental due diligence, hydrogeology, constituent fate and transport, conceptual remedy design, and remedial construction. He has applied this experience on site remediation assignments, single- and multiple-property real estate due diligence assessments, site restoration projects, and expert witness and litigation support work. A significant number of these projects have involved development of technical foundations for liability and cost allocation agreements and related support for associated negotiations and settlements. The work has been done within a variety of regulatory frameworks, including CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA, and multiple state programs.

Mr. Zimmermann has provided consulting services to the regulated community since 1983, specializing in addressing environmental issues affecting land use, real estate management, and private-sector liability/cost allocation nationwide. He has supplied these services at sites with residential, commercial, light industry, and heavy industry land use in 19 states and 3 countries. This work has included more than 25 different industry types associated with a wide range of raw materials, processes, waste products, waste management systems, internal risk management systems, and disclosure conditions.

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Contaminated Sediments

Expert Technical Support Services for Urban Waterbody and Sediment Superfund Site, New York Strategic and technical expert for multiple parties concerning alleged multipathway historical contribution defense of contaminated sediment liability. Developed conceptual site models and conducted initial sediment source characterization, constituent fate and transport analysis, and chemical forensic evaluation for alleged PAHs, PCBs, and metals contamination. Supporting preliminary allocation and assessment and associated regulatory management support.
Expert Support, Multiple Sediment and Surface Water Sites, Western New York Acting as strategic and technical lead for multiple New York State Superfund sites involving allegations of contribution of PAHs, PCBs, and metals in various forms to several miles of creeks and rivers. Leading investigation and source characterization of uplands locations and related pathway analysis with respect to adjacent waterbodies/sediment. Lead contact for all regulatory management actions and associated deliverables.
Multiparty River System Sediment Contamination Source Evaluation, Ohio Senior technical lead for development of a screening approach to assess several square miles of potential contamination source locations to creek and river systems leading to Lake Erie. The approach incorporated use of baseline source material and site operational characteristics, urban background interference estimates, constituent chemical forensic signatures, sediment fate and transport analysis, and numerical analysis techniques. Results yielded a prioritized set of source locations to be used in a regulatory-approved initial site investigation step for the project.

Site Investigation

Superfund Site Technical and Regulatory Support, Queens, New York Provided senior direction of site investigation, conceptual site model development, regulatory negotiations, and transactional facilitation for a site suspected of release of perchloroethylene from historical operations. Work required successful development of a site characterization that demonstrated the absence of dense nonaqueous-phase liquid (DNAPL), and related dissolved phase, beneath former commercial recreational operation and identification of likely contamination sources associated with adjacent properties. The investigation was complicated by an unsaturated zone of more than 50 ft, numerous uncharacterized local and regional groundwater contamination sources of the target constituent, and presence of property-specific and municipal infrastructure to serve as potential preferential conduits. Work was completed on expedited time frame to accommodate onsite redevelopment and occupancy by client’s commercial tenant.

Litigation Support

Petroleum Release Litigation Support, Southern New York Provided assessment of chemical forensic, physical, and operational lines of evidence with respect to age dating of underground heating oil tank installation, tank failure, and oil release. Conducted uncertainty analysis of the data and additional criteria with respect to these lines of evidence and strength of plaintiff case regarding same.
Testifying Expert Witness Support, Gasoline Release Liability and Cost Estimate, Newberry, South Carolina Served as lead litigation support and expert witness for successful plaintiff case in dispute concerning age, magnitude, and likely remedial costs for a gasoline release at a former retail service station. Conducted evaluation of petroleum release scenarios, fate and transport of LNAPL and dissolved-phase constituents, and extent of constituent and LNAPL plumes. Performed multiple remedial technology and cost analyses in support of client’s claims. Provided deposition preparation support and technical direction for deposing attorneys.

Cost Allocation

Mediation and Technical Allocation Support, New York State Superfund Site, Syracuse, New York Acted as the primary technical allocation consultant for a multiparty settlement and cost-sharing agreement. The work was performed in connection with a site containing co-mingled multiple light nonaqueous-phase liquid (LNAPL) plumes composed of more than a dozen different types and grades of petroleum products of widely varying age. In this role, assessed expert technical presentations and position papers, prepared technical interview questions for the experts, directed technical conference calls and appeals meetings, and provided an independent technical foundation for cost allocation. Supported resolution of a wide range of environmental forensic arguments, LNAPL and dissolved-phase fate and transport scenarios, and product release age-dating efforts, resulting in a successful mediated settlement.
Superfund Site Cost Allocation Technical and Strategic Support, North Central New Jersey Served as technical and strategic lead for legal team in development and implementation of PRP opt-in contribution effort. Assignment required construction of conceptual fate and transport and constituent release scenarios with respect to the occurrence/location of constituents in groundwater, mass attributable to the respective scenarios, and estimated costs. Presented technical portion of presentation in initial meeting with more than 100 potential opt-in parties and provided technical foundation for individual and group settlements. The approach resulted in greater than 90 percent participation by opt-in parties.
Power Plant Transactional Cost Allocation and Risk Assessment, Massachusetts Served in the lead technical, regulatory role in assessing and finalizing the appropriate cost and environmental liability allocation and environmental risk management contract terms for an industrial client that eventually purchased and will operate a power generation plant within a several hundred acre Superfund site. This work required close integration of efforts with the business and environmental legal team for the client, the PRP, and the current operators of the plant. In addition, the work required review and assessment of all contracts, ground leases, purchase and sale agreements, environmental liability riders, current administrative orders on consent and draft amendments, and underlying business interruption insurance coverage. The transaction was successfully completed on schedule to the satisfaction of the involved parties.

Remedial Design

Technical and Risk Management, New York State Superfund Site, New York, New York Served as RI/FS, remedial design, and remedial action project coordinator for the PRP group for the site, and as lead technical and regulatory representative to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Led the effort to eliminate the requirement to achieve prerelease conditions and to attain acceptance of a technology-limited basis for the selected remedy for remediation of significant mass of LNAPL, reducing remedial costs by more than 50 percent. Facilitated the regulatory eligibility and site owner discussions necessary to secure the site’s acceptance into the state Brownfields program. Led technical effort to avoid a cost allocation action attributing site-related constituents to contamination observed on adjacent offsite properties and adjacent to nearby surface waterbody.
Mediation Technical Support, Former Industrial Facility, Pitman, New Jersey Served as the expert technical support for an allocation of liability in connection with a release and subsequent dissolved-phase migration of chlorinated waste solvents. The assignment required that a peer-reviewed technical basis be developed on which to distinguish and age-date multiple solvent plumes and DNAPL source areas. In addition, performed predictive modeling to connect source/release locations to dissolved-phase plumes and estimate the respective liability of the participating parties.
Retail Redevelopment Site Investigation and Remedial Valuation, Queens, New York City Served as principal investigator and technical lead for Phase I and II investigations, feasibility studies, and remedial cost estimating at a former chemical manufacturing operation, totaling approximately 3 acres. Primary constituents of concern in soil and groundwater were mixed wastes composed of creosote, metals, arsenical and chlorinated pesticides, BTEX, and chlorinated hydrocarbons. Free phase product in the form of LNAPL and DNAPL was present at the site. Led the negotiation of the scope of the site characterization with NYSDEC; also led the regulatory outreach effort to negotiate favorable waste characterization determinations with NYSDEC and reduce projected costs for several major waste streams. Significant portions of one of the properties were underlain by LNAPL and/or DNAPL, depending on the particular constituent mix of the waste at various locations. Developed a conceptual site model for the properties that highlighted the data gaps necessary to refine migration pathways, their potential for completion, and target remediation endpoints. In connection with the property purchase, refined the site characterization approach to satisfy key risk management factors, and then prepared probable remediation costs and case closure options for insurance underwriting, eliminating overly conservative transaction escrow components and increasing the transaction value for both parties.
Former Oil Terminal Redevelopment, Western Long Island, New York Acted as project director for remedial investigations, feasibility studies, and remediation of affected soils and groundwater for a 3-acre inactive bulk oil storage terminal adjacent to an estuary on the north shore of western Long Island. The goal of the remediation was to prepare the site for development as an assisted living community. Prior to developer funding for the project, responsible for developing baseline environmental remediation cost and schedule projections in support of the remediation cost cap and pollution legal liability insurance policies, and participated in contractor and insurer negotiations regarding terms and pricing of those policies. Also led the technical and regulatory team in a successful defense of remediation costs in dispute resolution proceedings with the insurer in connection with the cost cap policy. The property was contaminated with fuel oils and gasoline from the former terminal operations. The petroleum constituents were present in the form of free product and residual product, as well as less-impacted soils and dissolved-phase groundwater constituents. The remediation consisted of demolition/decommissioning of the aboveground and subsurface terminal structures, including a 100,000-gallon aboveground storage tank, multiple underground tar and oil storage tanks with related NAPL, an oil/water separator and associated piping, contaminated wood piers, and concrete slabs and footings, as well as monitored natural attenuation of groundwater. A “no further action” approval was obtained from NYSDEC for this project under an expedited time frame using the state Voluntary Cleanup Program.
Inactive Oil Terminal Remediation and Compliance, Staten Island, New York Served as lead regulatory compliance and remediation consultant for a group developing a 400+ acre bulk oil storage terminal in Staten Island. More than 70 aboveground storage tanks and associated piping were present on the property with capacities up to 200,000 gallons each. The work required preparing scope, schedule, and ranges of cost estimates to remove the entire terminal infrastructure; remediating recoverable fraction of petroleum LNAPL up to 12 ft in saturated thickness in some locations; conducting human health and ecological risk assessments; and obtaining regulatory approval of the dissolved-phase petroleum remedy prior to development. Participated as developer representative for preparation of the full scope of the site characterization, demolition and tank/pipeline decommissioning work plans/pricing, LNAPL remediation, and related agency negotiations. Given the nature of the LNAPL constituents and predicted minimal impact to groundwater, remedial plans were able to target free and residual product removal and recycling/reuse as the primary remedial endpoint of the initial remedial planning.

Environmental Risk Assessment

Private Development Owner Representation-Environmental Risk Management, New York, New York From the fall of 2000 through 2008, acted as environmental risk management director representing the developer for the five Manhattan properties comprising this project. These properties, which encompass a total area of approximately 9 acres, were the former location of manufactured coal gas production. Responsible for establishing and implementing the basis for allocation of development costs between the fixed-price demolition and remediation contractor and the client. This required developing and integrating environmental risk protection features and risk transfer arrangements into the construction planning for the property. Performed a complete technical and statistical evaluation of the underlying finite insurance policy. Cost allocation work continued throughout the life of the project and, in the interest of schedule, was consistently integrated with the interests of the developer, the remediation contractor, the utility that formerly owned the property, and NYSDEC/New York State Department of Health.

Risk Assessment

Superfund Site Risk Transfer, Massachusetts Serve as technical director and lead environmental risk manager for a client with risk transfer interests in several Superfund sites in the New England area. Currently involved in assessing the allocation of costs and liabilities between the client and a trust/owner. This work involves quantifying the short-term and long-term risks for acquisition of a CERCLA site that is composed of multiple closed landfills currently occupied by a number of public and private tenants. The acquisition will involve transfer of responsibility for the environmental management, as well as the real-property management, obligations for this site. These obligations will include operation and maintenance of the closed landfills, restoration as needed for sensitive environments for the long term, and ongoing agency reporting consistent with the consent order for the site.

Project Management

Superfund Site Technical and Risk Management, Northern New Jersey Served as the technical and strategic lead for consultant team on project, and as primary regulatory contact person for the PRP group. Also involved with all matters pertaining to forecasting and limiting the PRP group environmental risk, as well as assisting in development and achievement of the group risk management objectives. The work for the site involved the characterization and subsequent development of remedial alternatives appropriate to address co-located dissolved arsenic and multiple forms of nonaqueous-phase liquid (NAPL), as well as dissolved phase, in unsaturated/saturated soils. A key strategic goal was to limit the client’s exposure to a cost allocation and natural resource damage claim with respect to constituents located in site uplands, an adjacent surface water body, and associated sediments. This effort was based on an assessment of key forensic chemical characteristics, and distinguishing client historical operations and respective release scenarios. Served in strategic and technical role in support of the legal team to significantly reduce these claims in mediation.
National Project Director, Industrial Client, Multiple States Acted as consulting national project director for a Fortune 100 company with responsibility for transaction due diligence, regulatory compliance, remediation, and long-term care for multiple properties in 12 states. This work included managing environmental issues ranging from groundwater investigation oversight and PRP representation for Superfund areas in California to assessment of liabilities for portfolios in multibillion-dollar transactions. The project included multiple properties in a wide variety of settings involving assessment, remedial alternatives analysis, and remedial planning for properties contaminated with chlorinated solvents, including those with NAPL forms of the compounds and associated dissolved-phase constituents.