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Participation Sought for New ASTM International Subcommittee on Forensic Environmental Investigations

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Participation is being sought for a new ASTM International subcommittee under the jurisdiction of Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management, and Corrective Action. The subcommittee, E50.06 on Forensic Environmental Investigations, will focus on the development of standards for processes and technologies applied to judicial, private and/or administrative procedures. Subcommittee E50.06 will encourage research and sponsor symposia, workshops and publications to facilitate the development of standards relating to forensic environmental investigations.

According to Stephen Hilfiker, president, Environmental Risk Management, Inc., the impetus behind the creation of Subcommittee E50.06 was a 1993 court case that established criteria for court defensible data in a forensic environmental investigation. These criteria include determining whether the science involved in an investigation conforms to industry standards, whether data was collected in accordance with standard operating procedures, and whether the appropriate standard of care that is customarily performed by competent and credible professionals is exercised in the process of data collection.

Task groups are being formed within the subcommittee in the areas of definitions/terminology, applicability/purpose/need, references/literature and qualifications/education/experience. In addition, the subcommittee intends to develop standards for historical/background research, forensic project management issues (including professional judgment, limitations, field data collection, and reporting) and work on specific analytical procedures as they apply to specific forensic challenges.

"We are developing worldwide interest among forensic professionals, chemists and environmental consultants," says Hilfiker. "We’re seeking participation from insurance companies, oil companies, property owners, attorneys and potentially responsible parties."

For further technical information, contact Stephen Hilfiker, Environmental Risk Management, Inc., Ft. Myers, Fla. (phone: 888/368-6468; Subcommittee E50.06 will meet Oct. 17, at the AEHS Conference in Amherst, Mass. For membership or meeting details, contact Daniel Smith, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9727;


Release #7219