W&M experts Andy Adams, CHMM and Gene Murray, P.G. hosted a fascinating look at the ASTM E2137-17 guidance on Estimating Monetary Costs and Liabilities for Environmental Matters. Cost and Liability estimating is often completed as part of long term environmental investigation and cleanup, but is also used in many mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and liability swaps. It is an essential piece of the Tiered process for Environmental Site Assessment, from identification through investigation and into remediation/cleanup. The ASTM guidance lays out a framework for cost estimating and provides the user with valuable information associated with environmental liabilities.
The webinar included a review of the ASTM guidance and the basic concept of the tiered process for environmental site assessment, evaluations, and remediation, and how this process meshes into the estimation of costs and liabilities. Further, the webinar explored some of the basic frameworks used for estimating and how the established ASTM guidance makes use of traditional and non-traditional statistics and tools for analysis, coupled with the life time assumptions that are often made with long term costs and liabilities.
Finally, the discussion touched on the principles that make accurate costs and liabilities estimating essential. Ultimately, without accurate information and data coupled with bracketed assumptions, costs and liabilities cannot be accurately estimated, and can greatly impact the outcome of the exercise. Monetary costs and liabilities should be reviewed, the assumptions understood, and an expert consulted to ensure that the commitment that is agreed to (and often used as part of the overall deal structure) is accurate within industry standards.