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5 Outlooks for Environmental Forensics - Part One: The Use & Origin of Environmental Forensics

During the months before the INEF 2016 conference, I was thinking about my talk on environmental forensics.   I feel like I “do” environmental forensics on most of my projects, even the ones that are not litigation based, so I was asking myself “What is environmental forensics?”.

International Network of Environmental Forensics (INEF) 2016 - Overview

It was a great conference in Örebro, Sweden this year.  The group had a very good line up of talks covering many different aspects of environmental forensics.  The location of the conference was Örebro Castle, providing the conference with a majestic atmosphere.

More science needed for oil spills

This morning I attended a presentation on the release of the report by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) on "The Behaviour and Environmental Impacts of Crude Oil Released into Aqueous Environments”.  The full report can be found here.  This was an important talk for me and my work as I have dealt with several of these...

BY Court Sandau Environmental Forensics

Sweet 16 - The Original PAHs

I am deep into preparing materials to teach for a 2 day seminar on polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that is coming up in November. I am gathering the information for the seminar, scouring the latest literature to find good support material. It is a very big task to get done to have something of real value for the...

Arson sample collection - Any old paint can will do? Part 2

The training seminar presentation on Forensics Laboratory Analysis and Process which was delivered at Life of a Fire Investigator seminar being hosted by the Fire Investigation Association of Alberta (FIAA) went very well.  It was nice to meet those involved in FIAA and have the opportunity to talk with them.  I...

Arson sample collection - Any old paint can will do? Part 1

As I was preparing my training seminar for a presentation on Forensics Laboratory Analysis and Process to be delivered at Life of a Fire Investigator seminar being hosted by the Fire Investigation Association of Alberta (FIAA), I came across some information on cans for sample collection. I thought it would be good to...

Legal sampling field notes - up for legal scrutiny?

I was testifying several weeks at a trial for a case I have been working on for three years. Most legal cases can drag on for very long periods of time.  All cases that I have been on have lasted a minimum of 2 years.

PAHs from wildfires and wildfire smoke

It was not that long ago that a smoky haze was across southern Alberta from fires in Washington State.  The haze was caused by wildfires and the winds moved the smoke over Alberta.  Wildfires seem to be very common lately with the latest one making the news from California.  Wildfires can be caused naturally or caused...

When Should You be Concerned with a Gas Migration Investigation?

An often-overlooked statement in the Energy Resource Conservation Board (ERCB)/Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) suggests procedures for gas migration testing, as outlined in Directive 20, reads:  “Testing is to be done only in frost-free months. Periods immediately after a rainfall have to be avoided.”

Measure Twice, Cut Once: How to Save Time & Money on GM Testing

Inconclusive gas migration tests are both costly and frustrating. Many times, completed tests still provide no real answer. Exposing the wellhead remains your only option to identify and fix otherwise unsuspected gas migration (GM). Wouldn’t it be great to get it right the first time?

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