Tad Deshler – Sediment Assessment and Environmental Liability Management – Tad Deshler is a recognized expert with 27 years of experience at assessing and managing sediment contamination, conducting human health and ecological risk assessments, and evaluating environmental liabilities associated with contaminated sites. Most of Mr. Deshler’s project work has been at in-water sites, or at the interface between in-water sites and the adjacent upland environments, where understanding the transport mechanisms that connect upland and in-water environments is paramount. Mr. Deshler’s extensive experience allows him to be effective at the strategy and policy levels, and the highly technical levels associated with quantitative environmental science.
Mr. Deshler typically applies a multidisciplinary approach to problem solving that includes clearly stated objectives, milestones, and outcomes, thereby reducing uncertainty for clients. Mr. Deshler’s current practice includes litigation support as a consulting or testifying expert, impact assessment, and risk assessments for contaminated sites. Mr. Deshler is currently providing consulting services to several clients adjacent to the Lower Duwamish Waterway (Seattle, WA) related to the ongoing liability allocation process. His work there centers around the development of conceptual site models to explain current and historical chemical contamination patterns, using analyses of chemical use, media-specific transport pathways, and environmental fate. These analyses are combined in weight-of- evidence approaches using hypothesis testing and forensic analysis to reach conclusions about the likely sources of chemical contamination. Mr. Deshler prepared expert reports on a variety of subjects, including a retrospective risk analysis for the consumption of fish contaminated with radionuclides discharged from Hanford (WA) nuclear reactors. He has also testified in front of Washington’s Shoreline Hearings Board on potential aquatic impacts from a proposed industrial facility. Mr. Deshler currently provides environmental compliance and impact assessment services to a number of Alaskan seafood processing facilities, focusing on the evaluation of seafood waste discharges.
In addition to being part of the TBLS cohort, Mr. Deshler owns Coho Environmental and was one of the founders of Windward Environmental, a Seattle-based consulting firm that started in 2000. At Windward, Mr. Deshler focused on sediment assessment and risk assessment at Superfund sites including the Lower Duwamish Waterway, Portland Harbor (Portland, OR), and the Lower Passaic River (NJ). He also managed the information management group at Windward, where he was able to utilize his expertise at data analysis and evaluating spatial relationships to mine the rich datasets typically associated with Superfund sediment sites. Mr. Deshler also managed or participated in several Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) projects involving waterways contaminated from historical environmental practices. As part of this work, he assisted in the in- house development and deployment of an innovative application of the Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA) model.
In the 1990s, Mr. Deshler worked for Tetra Tech (1990-1997) and EVS Environment Consultants (1997-2000). At EVS, he conducted hazardous waste site reviews all over the United States for NOAA, thereby giving him a valuable perspective on the preferred technical approach utilized by this natural resource trustee. He also conducted modeling of the fate and effects of dredged material disposal. At Tetra Tech, Mr. Deshler prepared several Ocean Discharge Criteria Evaluation (ODCE) reports in support of general NPDES permits, including oil and gas exploration in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas (AK), log transfer facilities in Alaska, and salmon netpen operations in Puget Sound. He also participated in multi-year bioassessments in the Columbia (WA-OR) and Willamette (OR) Rivers, including the evaluation of sediment and water quality, and impacts to fish communities.
Mr. Deshler holds a BA in Aquatic Biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and an MS in Animal Science from the University of California at Davis. He is also a Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Lead and has received supervisor training pursuant to Hazardous Waste Site Operations (HAZWOPER) regulations.