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May 2nd, 2019



Commingled Plumes


At this year's MSECA Spring Seminar we will have presentations and case studies focused on Commingled Plumes. Speakers are being finalized and the exact agenda will be available soon but some of the presentation will include:

  • Evaluation and Remediation of a Large Comingled Dilute VOC Plume in Western, Ohio – A Case Study
    Craig Cox, Cox-Colvin & Associates

  • Keeping Co-mingled Plumes from Confounding Your Interests: Practice Tips for the Consultant
    Melissa Hamer-Bailey, Norris Choplin Schroeder LLP

  • Separating Deep, Dilute and Diffuse Commingled cVOC
    John Sohl, Columbia Technologies

  • Agricultural Non-Point Sources: Problems and Solutions
    Brianna Schroeder & Todd Janzen, Janzen Agricultural Law, LLC

  • Panel Discussion on Addressing & Managing Commingled Groundwater Plumes
    Moderated by David Gillay & Jennifer Baker, Barnes & Thournburg, LLC


Thursday, May 2nd
Registration Opens at 7:00am
8:00am - 4:00pm

Regions Tower - 5th Floor
One Indiana Square
Indianapolis, IN 46204




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Presentation Descriptions:

Agricultural Non-Point Sources: Problems and Solutions
Brianna Schroeder & Todd Janzen, Janzen Agricultural Law, LLC

The Supreme Court of the United States is currently considering whether the Clean Water Act requires a permit when pollutants originate from a point source but are conveyed to navigable waters by a nonpoint source, such as groundwater, in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund. This decision will have far-reaching consequences for property owners, farmers, and consultants. Non-point sources were also the subject of a lawsuit out of Iowa against upstream, rural drainage districts in Des Moines Water Works vs. SAC County Drainage District et al. Meanwhile, the EPA has promulgated specific regulations regarding agricultural non-point sources, including land application of manure and concentrated animal feeding operations. States are implementing various voluntary measures to head-off greater federal and state regulation, such as Indiana’s Agricultural Nutrient Alliance. At the conclusion of this session, attendees will understand the changes we are seeing regarding the law on non-point source pollution and will be better prepared to react to non-point sources in the field.

Evaluation and Remediation of a Large Comingled Dilute VOC Plume in Western, Ohio – A Case Study
Craig Cox, Cox-Colvin & Associates

In 1998, the detection of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) in a public well field led Ohio EPA to begin a search for potential sources. By 2002, as many as four different consultants, representing local industries, had identified a comingled plume extending a distance of four miles. Following plume delineation, the sources of CVOCs were addressed through a variety of source area remedial actions (some of which are still proceeding). The case study is to presents, and provides opportunities to discuss, the techniques used to evaluate and remediate one of the largest commingled plumes with the Midwest.

Keeping Co-mingled Plumes from Confounding Your Interests: Practice Tips for the Consultant
Melissa Hamer-Bailey, Norris Choplin Schroeder LLP

Co-mingled plumes are challenging to investigate and remediate for consultants. But, they can also be fraught with consultant perils, from conflicts of interest, changing roles and scopes, and unexpectedly being asked to testify beyond your original role. Some may not lead to litigation for the consultant, but can cause difficulties by losing projects, not securing future work, loss of credibility/reputation, and scathing adverse testimony by those dreaded third-party reviewers. This presentation seeks to use site examples to assist consultants in better defining their role and scope and to recognize common litigation pitfalls from affidavit to deposition.

Panel Discussion on Addressing & Managing Commingled Groundwater Plumes
Moderated by David Gillay & Jennifer Baker, Barnes & Thournburg, LLC

As the economy continues to grow, there is a renewed focus on redeveloping environmentally challenged properties, increase in transactional work, and additional funds available to pursue regulatory closure. A common issue that can complicate redevelop and closure activities is commingled groundwater plumes. This panel discussion will provide lessons learned and perspectives from key stakeholders.

This session will cover items including:

  • Options for making risk-based decisions and managing closure with commingled plumes
  • What are the key issues with successfully obtaining regulatory closure
  • Enhance or refine your strategies to mange potential exposure and risk with commingled plumes

Separating Deep, Dilute and Diffuse Commingled cVOC
John Sohl, Columbia Technologies

The Palermo Wellfield (Wellfield) provides a portion of the drinking water for the City. Environmental investigations at the Site have been performed since the 1993 discovery of TCE in groundwater samples from the Wellfield. Remediation efforts began in 1998 by EPA, with relatively low concentrations remaining as a continuing potential environmental risk concern. Much of the groundwater within the Palermo Washington Wellfield Superfund Site (Site) is affected by the chlorinated solvents tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE) at concentrations in the low microgram per liter range. The Conceptual Site Model identified at least three separate potential sources. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) initiated an efficient high-resolution site characterization (HRSC) investigative field screening approach to evaluate the current nature and extent of contamination to inform future liability management and develop alternatives for remedial action.

Significant Highlights:

  • Microgram/liter-range screening of chlorinated solvent concentrations as a newer application of direct sensing technology.
  • The approach was adapted to one of the largest study areas, approximately 100 acres in aerial coverage, attempted for HRSC.
  • The approach provided significant cost savings over traditional drilling and sampling approaches with a substantial increase in high-quality decision-making information.
  • The approach resulted in reduced impacts to local businesses and residences.
  • Original conceptual site model improved based on the investigation data.
  • The result was one of the most comprehensive low-level MIP study to date with over one mile of total vertical footage.
  • Achieved some of the deepest known MIP boring depths (up to 132 feet at one location) below ground surface, advancing the capabilities of this technology.

Presenter Bios:

Jennifer Baker, Barnes & Thournburg, LLC

Jennifer's principal area of practice focuses on representing commercial and industrial clients and land owners in all phases of remediation projects. On behalf of clients, Jennifer has provided assistance with environmental issues arising during the course of real estate transactions and redevelopment activities, including Brownfields projects and underground storage tank matters. She has successfully represented clients in environmental and cost recovery litigation in both federal and state arenas. Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Jennifer's practice included environmental law and assisting employers with OSHA matters.

Craig Cox, Cox-Colvin & Associates

Craig Cox currently serves as President and Principal Scientist for Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc, and is responsible for providing managerial and technical oversight on major environmental projects conducted by the firm under RCRA, CERCLA, and Brownfield programs. Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc., founded in 1995, provides environmental consulting services to public and private sector clients throughout the United States. Mr. Cox began his environmental consulting career in 1987 with Geraghty & Miller, Inc, (Arcadis) where he became the firm’s Midwest Regional Manager of CERCLA projects. Mr. Cox is the inventor of the Vapor Pin®, a sub-slab soil gas sampling device, and is the primary architect of a variety of environmental database applications, including Data InspectorTM.

Mr. Cox received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geology and Mineralogy from The Ohio State University and a Professional Degree in Hydrogeology from the Colorado School of Mines. Mr. Cox is a Certified Professional under Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program and a co-author of “Background Metals Concentrations in Ohio Soils” (1996) and a contributing author on reports concerning background metals concentrations published by Ohio EPA.

David Gillay, Barnes & Thournburg, LLC

David Gillay is a partner in the Indianapolis office of Barnes & Thornburg. He heads the Remediation, Redevelopment, and Environmental Transactional Practice Groups and provides environmental counseling in connection with assessing environmentally challenged properties. Over the last seventeen years, David has focused on the legal, regulatory, and technical impact and implications related to the vapor intrusion pathway and potential long term stewardship obligations related to environmentally challenged properties. He also represents an influential multi-state environmental consultants’ association and works closely with leading technical experts on a wide array of environmental matters, including rapidly evolving vapor intrusion guidance and changes to toxicity for TCE, PCE, and other contaminants. Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, he obtained an advanced environmental engineering degree and practiced as an environmental consultant on various projects across the country.

Melissa Hamer-Bailey, Norris Choplin Schroeder LLP

Melissa A. Hamer-Bailey is an associate at Norris Choplin Schroeder LLP, a member of the firm’s insurance, environmental, construction, and toxic tort practice groups, and is a registered mediator. She handles a variety of related matters, from environmental and regulatory issues to engineering and construction defect cases, contracts, and insurance coverage. Melissa has been a CHMM since 2010 and is an environmental professional under ASTM E 1527-13. Prior to joining NCS, Melissa was a law clerk in the Marion Environmental Court, the Indiana Office of Environmental Adjudication, and worked as an attorney on a variety of data and ESI cases. Prior to law school, Melissa was an environmental consultant, risk assessor, regulator, environmental laboratory manager in multiple states.

Melissa is a volunteer attorney through the Indianapolis Bar Association (IndyBar), the Indiana Bar Association, and the Indiana Bar Foundation. She has served on the Women and the Law Division Executive Committee for IndyBar since 2017, where she has chaired the Mentoring Program since 2018, and she serves on the Professionalism and Legislative Committees. Melissa is a member of the Environmental Section of the American Bar Association, the Association of Women in e-Discovery, IDO’s Real Estate & Development Committee, the Association of Hazardous Materials Professionals, and the Economic Club of Indiana, among other organizations.

Todd Janzen, Janzen Agricultural Law, LLC

Todd J. Janzen is former chair of the American Bar Association’s Agricultural Management Committee and the Indiana State Bar Association’s Ag Law Section. Todd regularly publishes articles on the Janzen Ag Law Blog, which are reprinted on Farm Journal’s AgWeb, Precision Ag, Precision Farming Dealer, and Progressive Dairy. Todd is a graduate of the Indiana Ag Leadership program. Todd grew up on a grain and livestock farm in Kansas.

Brianna Schroeder, Janzen Agricultural Law, LLC

Brianna J. Schroeder is the former chair of the Indiana State Bar Association’s Ag Law Section. She is a graduate of the Indiana State Bar’s Leadership Development Academy. Brianna is actively involved with the Carthage College Alumni Councils. Brianna previously worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Lima, Peru. Brianna grew up in a family of teachers in the farmhouse built by her greatgrandparents in northeastern Indiana.

John Sohl, Columbia Technologies

John Sohl, President, and CEO of COLUMBIA Technologies relies on his 40 years of leadership and business development to direct innovative business solutions fusing technology, geochemistry, and informatics in the growing field of environmental services. John's integral to COLUMBIA providing their clients with remediation focused real-time data has resulted in long-term cost savings for over 2,000 high-resolution site characterizations throughout Mexico, Canada, Brazil, and North America including Alaska and Hawaii. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA from Chaminade University in Honolulu.