SECOND OPINION TECHNICAL REVIEW SERVICES
Challenge: Uncertainty as to Technical Progress of Complex Environmental or Engineering Projects
Solution: Second Opinion Analysis
Details: Sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a project is moving toward the established goals and objectives, and meeting milestones in a cost-effective way. Some environmental projects last for many years, and the high cost of data collection, the uncertainties of regulatory direction, the lack of clear objectives, and the limitation of funding creates anxiety abut the progress toward the goal of project completion and case closure. Clearwater Group offers a second opinion and peer review services to evaluate the technical objectives. Examples of second opinion reviews might include the path to case closure of an environmental project, or an examination of engineering plans for storm water control to verify regulatory compliance. The firm uses spreadsheets to evaluate what is known and what is still unknown about the site or project conditions, where important and critical data gaps exist and what are the impediments of successful project completion.
Clearwater Group has provided technical review and second opinion on numerous projects and reports. The Clearwater Group Principals have served in a peer review capacity for several organizations. James Jacobs served from 2006 to 2011 on the Fulbright Peer Review Committee, screening potential Fulbright scholars in environmental sciences. From 2005 to 2010, he served on the National Screening Committee for the American Institute of Professional Geologists for candidates applying for the Certified Professional Geologist designation. Since 2005, he has been on the Advisory Board for the Association for Environmental Health and Sciences. The duties include the review of abstracts submitted for presentations for the annual San Diego, California Soils, Sediments, and Water conference and reviewing student presentations. In October 2011, Jacobs was selected by the CalEPA to perform a peer review for the University of California related to Cr(VI) (also called hexavalent chromium). The document requiring technical review was the 2007 Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Hinkley, California Chromium Background Study Report which was the site of the Erin Brockovich movie. As a publicly elected official, since 2002, Jacobs has served on the Tamalpais Community Services District as well as on the Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin. Jacobs provides technical review of contracted science and engineering projects for the agencies as part of the discussions with the board of directors. Olivia Jacobs has provided technical review and second opinion analysis on a variety of environmental projects for public water resource reports, as well as for current or adjacent property owners whose land has been impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons or chlorinated solvents.