Third Party / Independent Review & Oversight

Henry S. Cole & Associates provides independent review and oversight for courts and government agency.

Court Appointed Technical Consultant / Liaison: Booth v. Georgia Pacific. In late 2002, Dr. Cole was appointed the Liaison position established under a $22 million Settlement Agreement in the case of Booth v. Georgia Pacific Resins, Inc. The suit was brought by residents of a predominantly African American community following a large explosion in GPR’s resin plant in Columbus. The Liaison and co-liaison William Auberle, P.E. report to Judge Jennifer Brunner (Franklin County Court of Common Pleas) and serve as a technical consultant to the plaintiff group as liaisons between the plaintiff group, GPR and government agencies and provide information to the greater public.
Key issues involve routine air emissions, the safety of the current plant and adequacy of changes following the accident, and development of an emergency response plan for the community. The Liaison Team has been successful in tightening the conditions of the plant’s operating air permit and has spearheaded action by city, county and state officials to create an effective emergency response plan for the community. Liaisons have successfully negotiated with Georgia-Pacific for a safety audit of the plan. The audit is being conducted by Peter Howell, P.E. one of the nation’s preeminent expert’s in chemical plant safety and process safety management systems (PSM).

Contact: Peter Howell, P.E. (Mark V, Inc.)

Peer review consultant: Pottstown Landfill Closure Committee. In August 2004, Cole & Associates were selected by the Pottstown Landfill Closure Committee to serve as an independent peer review consultant on environmental issues pertaining to the operation and closure of Waste Management’s Pottstown Landfill. The Closure Committee is comprised of officials from the counties and towns that abut the landfill. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Waste Management participate in this stakeholder process. Cole & Associates selected G. Fred Lee, Ph.D., P.E. to provide expertise on landfill structure and closure.
Cole & Associates responsibilities include:
  • Review of PA DEP and Waste Management records related to environmental releases, enforcement and closure.
  • An independent assessment of potential problems at the landfill
  • Peer review of an assessment being conducted by GAI consultants funded by Waste Management.
  • Recommendations for an environmentally protective closure and post-closure care.

Cole’s project is funded by Montgomery and Berks County, PA.