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Expert Report- Thomas McHugh

Expert Report- Thomas McHugh

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Published by: TexacoEcuador on Oct 07, 2011
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10/09/2013

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Chevron Corp. v. Maria Aguinda Salazar, et al.
 
1
 
Expert Opinion of Case No. 11-Civ-3718 (LAK)
 
Thomas E. McHugh, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
 
LACK OF EVIDENCE OF HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITHHYDROCARBONS AND METALS IN THE FORMER CONCESSIONAREAEXPERT OPINION OF THOMAS E. MCHUGH, PH.D., D.A.B.T.1.0 Introduction
1.1 Personal Qualifications and Experience
I, Thomas E. McHugh, am a Vice President of GSI Environmental, Inc., and a toxicologistwith over 20 years of experience in toxicology and environmental science and engineering,specializing in the areas of human and ecological risk assessment, environmental siteinvestigation, and corrective action design. I received a B.S. in Biochemistry andEnvironmental Science from Rice University, an M.S. in Environmental Engineering fromStanford University and a Ph.D. in Toxicology from the University of Washington. I am aDiplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.During my 20 years in the environmental industry, I have worked on hundreds of environmental risk assessment, environmental site investigation, and remediation projects. Ihave conducted human health and ecological risk assessments at a number of environmentalcorrective actions sites. In addition, I helped develop and implement risk-based correctiveaction (RBCA) policies and procedures for a number of state regulatory agencies and I haveparticipated in numerous workgroups developing regulatory guidance documents on variousenvironmental issues.I have authored several peer-reviewed research papers on a variety of topics related toenvironmental science and engineering and I have contributed to environmental regulatoryguidance. In addition, I am the Principal Investigator for a number of research projectsfunded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and others to develop an improvedunderstanding of environmental processes such as vapor intrusion.I have extensive experience conducting environmental training programs. I developedtraining courses on Risk-Based Corrective Action and Monitored Natural Attenuation andhave taught these courses dozens of times in the United States and around the world. Inaddition, I am a certified trainer for the ASTM Remediation by Natural Attenuation (RNA)Training Program.As a volunteer, I have served as President of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues SpecialtySection of the Society of Toxicology. A true and correct copy of my resume that accuratelysets forth my qualifications is provided in Attachment A of this report.
 
 
Chevron Corp. v. Maria Aguinda Salazar, et al.
 
 
Expert Opinion of Case No. 11-Civ-3718 (LAK)
 
Thomas E. McHugh, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
 I have served as an expert in the Maria Aguinda et al. v. Chevron Corporation matter inEcuador and I submitted an expert report concerning human health risks within the former Concession area.
1.2 Summary of Key Opinions
For the matter of Chevron v. Maria Aguinda Salazar et al. I have been retained to evaluatewhether findings related to health damages in the Sentencia issued in Maria Aguinda et al. v.Chevron Corporation are supported by the scientific evidence in the record. For the purposeof this evaluation, I have reviewed technical information regarding the former Concessionarea. This review has included the Sentencia (English translation) issued 14 February 2011and the Clarification (English translation) issued 4 March 2011; selected technical reportsissued by various parties involved in the case; associated environmental monitoring data;and published information regarding related scientific matters. The documents I haveconsidered are listed in Attachment B of this report. The key findings of my evaluation includethe following:
1) A health risk assessment using data collected during the Judicial Inspectionprocess has shown that local residents are not exposed to unsafe concentrationsof hydrocarbons or metals within the former Concession area:
A health risk assessment is the proper scientific method for evaluation of potentialhealth risks associated with constituents such as petroleum hydrocarbons or metalspresent in the environment.
For the former Concession area, the health risk assessment submitted to theEcuadorian Court in 2008 and updated in 2010 found that “conditions resulting inexposure of local residents to unsafe concentrations of hydrocarbons or metals do notexist within the former Concession area” (McHugh, 2008; Connor, 2010). This is theonly health risk assessment submitted to the Ecuadorian Court, yet it is not discussedin the Sentencia.2)
The Sentencia’s conclusions regarding health impacts within the former Concession area are not supported by the scientific evidence in the record
:
In evaluating health impacts within the former Concession area, the Sentenciaignores the absence of unsafe concentrations of potentially toxic petroleumconstituents.In evaluating health impacts within the former Concession area, the Sentenciaignores results indicating no unsafe exposure to potentially toxic petroleumconstituents.In evaluating health impacts within the former Concession area, the Sentencia relieson anecdotal statements and other information supplied by the Lago Agrio Plaintiffsand local residents that are inconsistent with the scientific evidence.I have reached the opinions in this report to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty. Icontinue to review available information, and I reserve the right to supplement this report or 
 
 
Chevron Corp. v. Maria Aguinda Salazar, et al.
 
3
 
Expert Opinion of Case No. 11-Civ-3718 (LAK)
 
Thomas E. McHugh, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
 the opinions contained in this report should further information become available which wouldhave a bearing on my opinions.
2.0 Background and Overview
Under the direction of the Superior Court of Nueva Loja, Ecuador, during the period of 2004to 2007, judicial inspections were conducted at 47 oilfield facilities in the former Concessionarea, with environmental samples collected from 46 of these facilities.For each judicial inspection, the technical experts nominated by the Lago Agrio Plaintiffs(referred to as Lago Agrio Plaintiffs’ Experts), by Chevron (referred to as Chevron’s Experts),and/or nominated by the Ecuadorian Court were requested to conduct such sampling andtesting as may be necessary to respond to the questions raised by the two parties and by theEcuadorian Court. Subsequent to the judicial inspection process, Richard Cabrera wasappointed by the Ecuadorian Court to conduct an additional investigation during whichadditional samples were collected.Through the judicial inspection process and the other investigations, the experts involvedcollected thousands of environmental samples that were analyzed for petroleumhydrocarbons and other constituents potentially related to operations within the former Concession area.

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