Contaminated Sites

HRA assists attorneys, agencies, and environmental and engineering firms with determining which entities should contribute to cleanup costs for contaminated sites. Our historical research into corporate ownership and succession, land ownership, methods and volumes of production, and sources of possible contamination plays a key role in identifying potentially responsible parties (PRPs).

Using corporate records, industry trade journals, title searches, aerial photographs, and archived and published production records, we trace the historical use of a site such as a uranium mine or a manufacturing plant, often in conjunction with the environmental restoration of the site and its surrounding area. We then produce well-researched reports, complete with graphics and maps, that are used to identify contributors to contamination and to bring additional parties into cost allocations.

HRA has conducted historical investigations of contaminated sites in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Utah, Texas, Alaska, Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey.

Topics of research include:

  • Subsurface and surface ownership
  • Corporate ownership changes
  • Operational and production history of mines, mills, and factories
  • History of production methods
  • Government role in wartime industry

Seattle Gas Works Park, a visible reminder of the city’s energy development and pollution histories. HRA’s research expertise includes the history of manufactured gas plants across the United States.

Featured Projects

Salt Lake Valley Smelters

Salt Lake Valley Smelters Highland Boy copper smelter in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley. Our ownership and operational histories of industrial sites help potentially responsible parties determine whether (or how much) they contributed to the contamination of a particular...

Tri-State (Tar Creek) Superfund Site

Tri-State (Tar Creek) Superfund Site Picher lead mine and chat pile in Oklahoma, part of the Tri-State Superfund site. HRA’s research on industrial activities in the Tri-State mining district helped determine the allocation of cleanup costs. © Oklahoma State...

Thea Foss Waterway

Thea Foss Waterway The Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma, Washington. Our historical research of activities on industrial waterways helps identify parties that contributed to contamination. HRA historians researched the industrial development of the Thea Foss Waterway...

Featured Team Members

Litigation Support

Expert Witness Services

HRA historians have served as expert witnesses in litigation, as well as providing research and writing support for outside experts.

Water Rights and Adjudications

HRA provides historical research and writing for water rights litigation and adjudications throughout the West. We help clients determine priority dates and understand complex…

Native American Issues

HRA historians offer extensive expertise in Native American history and legal issues, ranging from treaty rights to jurisdictional matters.