• CERCLA/Superfund


SHRA has performed historical research on hazardous waste sites across the United States, including the Upper Columbia Basin (Washington State), Bunker Hill (Idaho), Globe/Miami (Arizona), and others. Through examination of corporate documents, federal documents from the National Archives, state documents from enforcement agencies, and other relevant sources, SHRA has been able to assist clients in successful negotiations over cleanup, remediation, and liability. Historical documentation of operations, ownership, and general land use has proven critical to many clients. Research can include:

  • A history of hazardous materials discovery;
  • History of parcel and operations ownership;
  • Other potentially responsible parties (PRPs);
  • History of federal enforcement at the site.

Select Past Projects

Animas River/Sunnyside Gold Corporation (2019-2021)

SHRA was retained to conduct research and offer findings related to the mining history in the remote mountains around Silverton, Colorado, after a mining accident released polluted water to the Animas River. Using historic records from several repositories, SHRA produced an expert report and deposition testimony, leading to a favorable out-of-court settlement. 

Land O’Lakes (2018-2021) 

SHRA was retained to research and provide a history of this remarkable cooperative enterprise, including its acquisition of an oil refinery to provide cheap fuel for its members, and its compliance with environmental laws including the Clean Water Act. Produced an expert report, a rebuttal report, and deposition testimony. The case was settled favorably out of court. 

Joseph Pakootas et al v. Teck Cominco, Inc. (2011-2012)

In the matter of Pakootas et al v. Teck Cominco, SHRA provided historical research on metal mining in northern Washington and Idaho in an effort to determine liability for pollution in Lake Roosevelt, an impoundment on the Columbia River that borders the Colville Indian Reservation. Teck advanced a divisibility defense which was struck down by the Eastern District Court of Washington State. Dr. Jennifer Stevens served as a rebuttal expert on behalf of the Colville Confederated Tribes and the State of Washington, and provided deposition testimony before the case was settled out of court in favor of the Tribes and the State of Washington in September 2012.

Client Confidential (2014 -present)

SHRA researched and provided an expert report on a metals mining processing plant in the southern United States. SHRA answered questions regarding the standards in the industry at the start of the 20th century, and how this particular site fit into the industry as a whole. Our researchers examined federal government documents as well as industry sources to construct a narrative related to the extraction, processing, and sale of this particular metal across the United States in the early 1900s in a case that revolved around piercing the corporate veil.

Client Confidential (2008- present)

SHRA was hired to research and write a history of federal regulation on a Superfund mineral processing plant in preparation for potential litigation on the site. Using corporate and federal records, we reconstructed the history of regulation of the entire industry, as well as how that regulation played out on this particular site. In particular, SHRA focused on the company’s historical efforts to comply with said regulations.