Gradient

Principals

Kurt Herman, M.Eng., P.G.
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Education

M.Eng., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.A., Economics and Geology, Miami University (Ohio)

Registered Geologist in Oregon

Associate Editor - Trends

Expertise

  • Contaminant Fate & Transport
  • Environmental Forensics
  • NAPL
  • MGP and Wood Treating Sites
  • Historical Operations & Waste Practices
  • Environmental Cost Analysis

Kurt Herman, M.Eng., P.G.

Principal

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Mr. Herman is a principal at Gradient with more than 17 years of academic and professional experience in the environmental field.  He advises clients on complex environmental issues that draw upon his multidisciplinary background in economics, environmental engineering, and geology.  He has led site characterization, remediation, and/or decommissioning efforts at dozens of sites in the US and abroad.  He has served as an expert on cases involving environmental liability cost estimation, insurance cost recovery, historical operations and waste practices, potentially responsible party (PRP) cost allocation, National Contingency Plan consistency, and environmental forensics.

 Mr. Herman has provided consulting and expert support at more than 80 former manufactured gas plant (MGP) and wood treating sites, and he has worked on numerous non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL)-impacted sites.  He also has experience with a wide range of other industry sectors (e.g., from glass manufacturing to rocket testing) and contaminant types (e.g., metals, polychlorinated biphenyls, radionuclides). 

Education

M.Eng., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.A., Economics and Geology, Miami University (Ohio)

Registered Geologist in Oregon

Associate Editor - Trends

Expertise

  • Contaminant Fate & Transport
  • Environmental Forensics
  • NAPL
  • MGP and Wood Treating Sites
  • Historical Operations & Waste Practices
  • Environmental Cost Analysis

Services

Representative Projects

Superfund Site Remedial Investigation:  Directed extensive multimedia (soil, groundwater, soil gas) investigation of chlorinated solvents released in a downtown residential/commercial area.  Report accepted by agencies (US EPA, DNREC) without comment.

Environmental Liability Cost Estimation:  Developed environmental liability cost estimates for a portfolio of sites using probabilistic modeling techniques, including stochastic (Monte Carlo) methods, and incorporated cash-flow modeling.  Estimates were prepared for regulatory disclosure and used for a settlement valuation.

Superfund Site Cost Allocation:  Developed PRP cost allocation involving former MGP and wood treating operations.  Performed a forensic evaluation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)/NAPL contaminant releases to sediment, which included a source-mixing model used for source apportionment.

Risk-Based Remediation Strategy:  Developed a conceptual risk-based remedy (dual-phase extraction) for soil and groundwater contamination at a former pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.  Coordinated the plant's decommissioning and demolition.

NCP Consistency Evaluation:  Retained as a testifying expert to evaluate the NCP consistency of response actions performed by a municipal water purveyor at one of the nation’s largest groundwater National Priorities List sites.

Reasonable & Necessary Cost Determination:  Provided expert testimony on the appropriateness of response costs allegedly incurred at a waste oil recycling site.

Remedy Cost Evaluation:  Evaluated the need for and environmental liability costs associated with a US EPA-led, time-critical removal action for a former MGP site.  Used probabilistic cost modeling techniques to develop a range of cost estimates for the proposed remedial actions in support of settlement negotiations.

Selected Publications

Herman, K; Flewelling, SA; Bittner, AB; Tymchak, MP; Swamy, M.  2015. "Alternate Endpoints for Remediating NAPL-Impacted Sites." Presented at EPRI/AWMA Env-Vision Conference, Crystal City, VA, 19p.

Lewis, A; Bittner, AB; Herman, K; Dube, EM; Long, CM; Hensel, BR; Ladwig, KJ.  2015. "Framework for evaluating the relative impacts of surface impoundment closure options." Presented at World of Coal Ash (WOCA) 2015, Nashville, Tennessee, May 5-7, 3p.

Herman, K; Wannamaker, EJ; Jegadeesan, GB.  2012. "Sediment PAH allocation using parent PAH proportions and a least root mean squares mixing model." Environ. Forensics 13 : 225-237.

Herman, K.  2012. "Environmental Liability Cost Estimation (ELCE) at MGP Sites." Presented at the MGP Consortium, Savannah, GA, January 25, 28p.

Herman, KD; Bittner, A.  2010. "How Much Tar is in the Mud? Reducing Uncertainty in Characterizing the Distribution and Mass of DNAPL in Sediments." EPRI MGP Symposium, San Antonio, Texas, 1p.