Rich stands at the forefront of emerging environmental issues, especially where alleged chemical impacts or potential threats to drinking water supplies result in legal action. As state and federal regulations require drinking water supplies to be tested for a broader array of chemicals, and at lower detection limits, the "new" detection of chemicals in drinking water supplies can be a driver for legal action that requires Fortune 500 firms to defend themselves. He provides counsel with forensic analyses to evaluate their situation and to assist with response strategies.
For the past 15 years, he has specialized as a litigation consultant for attorneys at national law firms and for in-house counsel at major industrial concerns. Rich has worked on more than 25 legal matters that involve evaluating potential environmental impacts to soil, surface water, and groundwater (including regional drinking water supplies). He has evaluated more than 100 operating facilities or closed sites where potential chemical releases to the environment were suspected or alleged, including military facilities, hazardous and sanitary landfills, burn dump sites, industrial facilities, underground storage tank sites, agricultural facilities, wastewater treatment facilities and natural deposits. The materials involved in these investigations include solvents, metals, petroleum fuels, rocket fuels, pesticides and fertilizers.
In this role as a litigation consultant, Rich may be asked by counsel to evaluate the nature and extent of alleged chemical impacts to the environment as well as potential sources for the alleged impacts. Rich uses a variety of forensic technical analyses to perform such evaluations, including geochemical fingerprinting of source materials and breakdown products; analyzing migration in the vadose zone and groundwater (e.g., numerical modeling); evaluating potential natural and anthropogenic chemical sources; distinguishing impact contributions from point and non-point sources; and evaluating the timing and geographical distribution of the chemical use in the area. In addition to his legal support practice, Rich has served as a project manager and provided technical direction for projects at a wide range of sites.