Sediments & Watershed Management

Contaminated sediment and watershed management is a significant challenge to sites in coastal and estuarine environments, as well as to inland freshwater industrial sites around the world.

The ecological and human health effects from contaminated waterways impede commerce, economic development, and the overall vitality of a watershed.

Remediation and restoration can be extremely costly and come with long-term liabilities as well as high stakeholder expectations around engagement. By proactively addressing these liabilities, companies can significantly reduce financial impact and reputational risks.

Working on or under water inherently presents challenges including technical, safety, and logistical hazards. These challenges require specialized skills and unique tools to assess and mitigate risks, accurately characterize waterways, and select appropriate, defensible, cost-effective, and sustainable remedies.

A holistic and individualized approach
ERM offers a holistic approach to assessing and managing sediment-related risks, taking into account the full range of physical, biological, social, and economic factors to develop tailored solutions that address the complexities and needs of each project. We help our clients manage their stakeholder interactions using innovative technology and decision analytics tools such as Net Environmental Benefits Analysis (NEBA) to develop innovative and defensible solutions.

Our interdisciplinary team of technical experts includes aquatic scientists, toxicologists, chemists, sediment remediation engineers, natural resource economists and other environmental specialists. We have also assembled a group of experts who specialize in the challenges associated with bioaccumulative compounds, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin/furans and mercury in the environment.

We support sediment and watershed projects through their entire life cycle including:

  • Investigation and risk analysis;
  • Permitting, planning and impact assessment;
  • Sediment assessment and remediation;
  • Water quality and watershed management; 
  • Habitat restoration; and
  • Environmental liability management, including litigation support and expert testimony for Natural Resource Damage (NRD) claims

Ensuring sustainable outcomes
ERM’s holistic approach helps clients: 

  • Achieve significant time and cost savings by obtaining ‘no further action’ decisions early in the process using innovative investigation approaches;
  • Secure reduced liabilities for a single potentially responsible party in a multi-party watershed site by focusing investigation and remediation costs only on compounds related to their activities; and 
  • Develop options and select best-fit, cost-effective, and often less invasive remediation alternatives.

By ensuring the quality of aquatic and coastal environments, companies can safeguard the success of current operations and future projects, minimize the risk of future liabilities, and realize positive financial and reputational outcomes.

Contact Us

How can we help you? Contact us to discuss how we can help your organization.