Use of Monte-Carlo Analysis to Estimate Cost to Closure for Environmental Sites

Monday, December 4, 2017
James Berndt, LPG , Corporate Closure Group, August Mack Environmental, Indianapolis, IN
Christopher Abel, CHMM , Indianapolis Closure Group, August Mack Environmental, Indianapolis, IN
Bridget O'Connor , Corporate Closure Group, August Mack Environmental, Indianapolis, IN

One of the first questions often asked by parties responsible for environmental clean-up costs is “how much will it cost to bring this site to closure?” The second question usually asked is “how long will it take?” These are important questions for property owners, developers, their consultants, and legal counsel working with the various parties. An understanding of remedial costs and timeframes are needed when trying to estimate the value of environmental liabilities, for insurance companies setting reserves for environmental claims, and for site owners and legal counsel looking at the impact of environmental costs to a business.

There are a number of approaches to estimating cost-to-closure, from simplistic “best guesses” to more sophisticated cost modeling techniques using Monte Carlo simulations. The challenge for accurately determining cost for closure comes down to the client risk tolerance, regulatory acceptance, available reserves, timeframes, and other variables. Cost modeling provides a more statistically rigorous analysis of all the potential costs and their likelihood of being incurred as the site proceeds to closure. The interpretation of the results provides a mathematically defensible estimate of the cost-to-closure. However, like with all models, it is only as good as the data used to build it. The more that is known about a site, the more confidence can be placed on the model results.

James Berndt, LPG, Corporate Closure Group, August Mack Environmental, Indianapolis, IN
James Berndt is a Principal Hydrogeologist in the Indianapolis office of August Mack Environmental, Inc. with more than 30 years of experience in the environmental industry.  During his career Mr. Berndt has managed hundreds of environmental projects for clients across the United States, in Europe and South America; he teaches hydrogeology as a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of Indianapolis.  His primary areas of expertise include site investigation, remediation, quantitative hydrogeology and site management.



Christopher Abel, CHMM, Indianapolis Closure Group, August Mack Environmental, Indianapolis, IN
Mr. Abel has over twenty-five years of experience in environmental engineering, chemistry and project management. He has extensive experience managing residential, commercial, and industrial site assessments, site investigation, and remediation system design, construction, operation and maintenance. He has performed a wide range of engineering and project management related work on hazardous and non-hazardous sites including retail chemical manufacturing plant, natural gas collection and compression stations, and a former nuclear weapons manufacturing site. He is familiar with various environmental regulations including RCRA, CERCLA, LUST, and USEPA Contract Laboratory Protocol. Mr. Abel is also familiar with the State of Indiana’s Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP), the Underground Storage Tank (UST) program, the Excess Liability Trust Fund (ELTF) of Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM),IDEM Risk Integrated System of Closures (RISC) and IDEM Remediation Closure Guide (RCG).



Bridget O'Connor, Corporate Closure Group, August Mack Environmental, Indianapolis, IN
Bridget O'Connor is a Staff Scientist in the August Mack Corporate Closure Group. She has experience in numerical modeling of complex site data, large data set analysis and groundwater modeling.



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