Henry S. Cole & Associates, Incorporated–Celebrating 25 Years providing environmental science for communities.

Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. President Environmental and Atmospheric Scientist

Twenty-Five Years ago, Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. founded a firm to provide scientific support for communities, environmental organizations, law firms, and tech companies working to improve the environmental health and sustainability of communities and ecosystems.  We have been able to realize our vision through: 

  • Technical assistance and expert witness for Native American and minority   communities facing serious  pollution problems.
  • Expert research and testimony needed to help communities stop environmentally damaging developments (e.g. mega-gas stations and hot-mix asphalt plants, open court and administrative hearings.
  •  Served as an expert witness for plaintiffs claims against adverse impacts and nuisance (e.g. odorous emissions from landfills and other facilities).
  • Supported tech firms with sustainable alternatives to products containing toxic chemicals (e.g. arsenic-free/ chromium-free pressure treated wood, and PCE-free dry cleaning. 
  • Testimony that helped Lake Ontario Water Keeper prevent a cement kiln from using tires and other wastes as fuel.

Awards: The company and Dr. Cole have received a number of rewards for our work:

  • EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award for his work promoting environmentally safe wood preservatives (2002)
  • ACE Award from the Alliance for a Clean Environment for scientific support to improve the cleanup of a Superfund site in Pottstown, PA (2011)
  • Peoples Scientist Award from Clean Water Action,  (1992) 
  • Environmental Hero Award from Heart of Illinois Group Sierra Club

Our latest project is collaboration with the Sarayaku Independent Indigenous People of Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest that includes a docu-drama based on the Sarayaku’s sacred oneness with nature and its struggle to protect its territory from the intrusion by oil companies.

Special Expertise: Dr. Cole has specialized expertise in the fields of air pollution meteorology and air quality modeling and served as a senior scientist and section chief in U.S. EPA’s Air Quality Office.

Dr. Cole is also a creative writer on themes centering on the environment, nature and indigenous peoples.

Link to Detailed Resume.        Link to Publications, Reports, Expert Testimony
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New concerns over Mattawoman Power Plant impact on Brandywine Road area traffic

The proposed construction of the Mattawoman Power Plant (Mattawoman Energy Center) will have a major adverse impact on the Brandywine area due to increased traffic and site activities over a several-year construction period.  The map in Figure 1 shows the relationship between the power plant, Brandywine Road and other major transportation arteries in the area.

Traffic Congestion: Even now, Brandywine Road is a heavily trafficked commuting and truck route. Traffic is especially congested during the rush hours on Brandywine Road both east and west of the oft-jammed area where Route 5, U.S. 301 and Brandywine road come together (shown as area within yellow dashed line in Figure 1).

Traffic Fig 1

Figure 1:  Brandywine Road area near the intersection of U.S. 301 and Rte 5.

According to the Maryland Power Plant Research Project (PSC, MDE), Environmental Report[1], the plant’s construction would require a workforce of 275 employees on average over an approximately three-year period. In the peak construction period, up to 645 construction workers and other personnel would commute to and from the site. In addition, the construction will entail frequent deliveries of equipment and supplies. Construction will require large numbers of diesel trucks, including some heavy-duty trucks.[2]

The PPRP’s Environmental Report acknowledges the problem, “During the peak construction period, however, the intersections of MD 381 with Missouri Avenue and with the site access driveway would also operate at an unacceptable LOS during the evening peak hour, in addition to operational issues at the two signalized intersections. ”[3]

This conclusion is especially significant given the congestion that already takes place at the intersection of Brandywine Road and Missouri Avenue as well as the facilities located there, including: the Brandywine Elementary School, a housing facility for seniors and commercial facilities. (See Figure 2).  What impact will higher traffic levels have on cars and buses bringing students and staff to the school? How will access and parking at Chapel of the Incarnation and Community Support Systems (housed in the Chapel building) be affected by construction traffic? As Figure 1 shows there is a major health facility (MedStar) on Brandywine Road between U.S. 301 and Missouri Avenue; impact of congestion?

Traffic Fig. 2

Figure 2: The crossroads. See text for information.

 Pipelines along Brandywine Road: The Mattawoman Plant will also require construction of (a) gas pipeline (b) cooling water pipeline and (c) large transmission line towers right along Brandywine Road between the plant site and Rt. 301 (see Figure 2).  The state’s environmental report acknowledges that pipeline construction will further worse congestion along Brandywine Road. Consider the following excerpt from the PPRP Environmental Report.

 Construction of the pipelines would involve trenching to the maximum extent possible and directional drilling under major roads, rail lines or sensitive resources traversed by the facility. Trenching within the ROW of roadways could affect traffic flows where construction is staged, although construction is expected to be sequenced. ….  In addition, access to private driveways and businesses along the reclaimed water pipeline route could be temporarily disrupted by excavation activities. [4] 

The CSX railroad crosses Brandywine Road close to the Mattawoman Site; to the extent that the railroad is used to deliver equipment and material to the site, additional backups and increased emissions (including diesel emissions from train engines) can be expected.

Bridge Construction/Road Closure:  Within a year, construction is slated to replace the bridge on Brandywine Road between the MedStar Center and Missouri Avenue.  (See Figure 1 for location.) This will require Brandywine Road between 301 and Missouri Avenue to be closed for the duration of the construction. Much of the traffic from 301 to Brandywine Road will be diverted to Missouri Avenue. Will this road closure coincide with power plant construction?

Air Pollution and health impacts: Prince George’s County is part of the DC-VA-MD ozone non-attainment region, with National Ambient Air Quality Standard exceedances reported at the nearest monitoring site (Upper Marlboro). And numerous exceedances of the 8-hour ozone ambient air standard have occurred over the past five years. This means that the ambient air in the area is unhealthful, especially for sensitive individuals including children, the elderly, and those with chronic respiratory disease such as asthma.

Construction of the Mattawoman power plant will further deteriorate air quality in the Brandywine area causing a probable increase in adverse health impacts. Motor vehicle emissions include: Emissions of concern include:  fine particulate matter (PM2.5),  diesel exhaust (ultrafine particulates, carbon particulates, etc.), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx). HC and NOx react in the air when exposed to sunlight to form  ozone and NO2. The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated diesel exhaust as a human carcinogen.

The increases in traffic volume will increase motor vehicle emissions and air pollution levels for two reasons: (a) higher vehicle density causes higher total emissions (b) slower speeds, backups and idling all which increase motor vehicle related emissions—including the highly toxic emissions associated with diesel trucks. This relationship is shown in Figure 3 excerpted from  a Federal Highway Administration study.

How will increased concentrations and repeated exposures to air pollutants affect the most vulnerable people, children—i.e. students at the Brandywine Elementary school, the elderly (those at the CSS senior home , those with chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease?  Neither Mattawoman Energy, LLC, the PSC, the PPRP, nor the Maryland Department of Environment (MDE) have done the analysis on traffic emissions required to demonstrate that construction of the power plant can proceed without serious adverse impacts on the health of residents and workers in the Brandywine area.

These problems are heightened by the fact that three power plants are already operating or under construction within an 8-mile radius of Brandywine. Mattawoman Energy would be the fourth. The Keys Energy Center (N. Keys Road), under construction, is less than a mile from the Mattawoman site.

Lack of information: The issues of traffic congestion and health impacts are vital to the Brandywine community. However, neither the state agencies nor Prince Georges’ County have provided the information that the public will need to understand the cumulative impact of the Mattawoman power plant. Clearly there is a need for further analysis, documentation and a public hearing before remaining permits (e.g. Maryland Highway Administration) are issued.

Traffic Claggett whole

Figure 3:  Source: Michael Claggett, Ph.D. Federal Highway Administration, Implications of the MOVES 2010 model on mobile source emission estimates, 2010. The horizontal axis is vehicle speed (mph). The vertical axis represents vehicle emissions per mile traveled. As speeds slow due to congestion, emissions rise dramatically. In order (CO2, CO, NOx, VOCs [Hydrocarbons], PM2.5, Diesel Particulates (DPM).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. Resume

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Henry S. Cole, Ph.D. is the President of Henry S. Cole & Associates, Incorporated, an environmental science consulting company.

  •  Cole is an environmental and atmospheric earth scientist with 40 years of in-depth experience in issues involving emission sources and air pollution meteorology. The experience includes academic research, and expert witness work. In addition, he served as a senior scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. He has published numerous journal articles and reports in this field.
  • Henry S. Cole & Associates provides scientific support for governmental agencies, corporations, legal firms, environmental organizations and community based groups located in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
  • Cole serves as an expert witness for community and environmental organizations in trials and regulatory matters, and has testified on numerous occasions before Congressional committees.
  • Cole’s experience includes releases of pollutants from a variety of various sources, i.e., gas stations, uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, municipal waste landfills, municipal waste incinerators, coal-fired power plants, and industrial facilities.
  • Cole was co-recipient of EPA’s Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (with Chemical Specialties, Inc.) for his work documenting the environmental advantages of ACQ, an arsenic-free alternative wood preservative.

 Education:

  •  Ph.D. University of Wisconsin (Madison) Department of Meteorology (1969). This training included atmospheric dynamics and thermodynamics, climatology, and micro-meteorology. His thesis involved the reconstruction of North America’s climate during the post-glacial period.
  • Rutgers University, College of Agriculture (1965). Joint major in soil science and meteorology. Graduated with high honors, Phi Beta Kappa.

Professional Experience:

 Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (1969-1977).

  • Courses including: earth sciences, environmental sciences, meteorology and air pollution.
  • Conducted EPA-funded research into air pollution problems and photochemical smog in the Chicago-Milwaukee corridor.
  • Served as a member of the Wisconsin State Air Pollution Council. Advisor to Racine     County Board of Supervisors, co-author County Air Pollution Ordinance.

 Senior scientist and section chief with U.S. EPA’s Office of Air Quality Planning  and Standards (1977-1983).

  •  Applied, evaluated and developed models to predict the impact of emission sources (e.g. power plants, factories, urban regions, area sources, waste sites) on pollutant concentrations in ambient air.
  • Served as Chief of the Model Application Section – Responsible for staff and studies in support of regulatory decisions, policy development and modeling guidance.

Science Director for Clean Water Fund a national 501(3) organization (1983-1992) .

  •  Conducted extensive research into problems associated with hazardous wastes sites including landfills, municipal waste incinerators, and mercury contamination.
  • Testified numerous times in the United States Congress on Superfund and RCRA-related issues.

Awards:

  • Co-recipient of <em>U.S. EPA’s residential Green Chemistry Challenge Award</em> for his scientific work in support of for ACQ a wood treatment product which replaced standard pressure treated wood preservative based on highly toxic chemicals arsenic and chromium.
  • Clean Water Fund’s  Peoples Scientist Award for outstanding research and advocacy on behalf of the successful effort to strengthen the nation’s Superfund Law
  • The 2011 ACE Award for his scientific advocacy  for the remediation of the Occidental Chemical Petroleum Superfund Site (Pottstown, PA)
  • Heart of Illinois Sierra Club’s Environmental Hero Award “for exceptional efforts and dedication.”

Experience as an Expert Witness:

  •  Expert testimony for coalition opposed to fossil fuel power plants in Prince George’s County  Maryland.
  • Qualified  as expert witness, semi-judicial hearings, open court, for tort-attorneys and community organizations. Successful opposition to environmentally detrimental development, e.g. successful opposition to mega-gas station in Montgomery Co., Maryland.
  • Direct and Cross Examination  and hot-mix asphalt plant McNab-Braeside, Ontario, Canada.Expert witness, for attorney representing Harlingen, Netherlands. Report and testimony before the Raad van State, Netherlands (Supreme Court for disputes between citizens against executive branch decisions). The case involved the licensing of a municipal waste incinerator. February 2011.
  • Expert witness for class action attorneys in numerous cases involving odors from municipal landfills and composting facilities. Expert witness Braeside, Ontario community organization (MB-FACT) representing community organization opposed to hot mix asphalt plant abutting residential properties. Ontario Municipal Board upholds township zoning prohibiting the asphalt plant.
  • Expert witness for Ecojustice, Public Interest Law Firm, Ontario Superior Court, representing members of the Aamjiwnaang First; Nation, challenge to Ministry of Environment on Suncor (Sarnia) emissions permit; expert report, forthcoming deposition and trial. (Current)
  • Expert witness for Ontario Waterkeeper; witness statements, site investigation; successful opposition to Lafarge Cement plant plan to use alternative fuels including tires, animal wastes, municipal waste, etc. 2008.
  • Technical consultant to Montgomery and Berks Counties, PA (Site examination, independent reports, and advice concerning closure requirements for the Pottstown Municipal Waste Landfill) 2005. Testimony to County board members.
  • Expert, Environmental Liaison, for Court of Common Pleas Franklin County, OH. Case involved Georgia-Pacific Resins plant for environmental compliance and community impact. Issue involved waste disposal into open aeration pond, plant emissions (2003-2005).
  • Several projects with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involving stakeholder processes between CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and communities impacted by Superfund Sites and other sources of environmental pollution.

Examples of additional clients and projects:

  •  Chemical Specialties, Inc. Conducted research on the environmental advantage of arsenic and chromium free pressure treated wood preservative (manufactured by CSI). Environmental Assessment Report, participated in numerous meetings with EPA, and state agency officials.  (c. 2000-2009
  • Philips Electronics: Report, Written Testimony to California Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC); The benefits of incentivizing the lowest mercury fluorescent lamps. (2002)
  • Allstate Insurance Company: Forensic investigation of dry cleaner release of PCE solvent, Report established date and causes of release of dry cleaning solvent .
  • Church & Dwight (Arm & Hammer Products): An environmental assessment report demonstrating the advantages of concentrated detergents.
  • MiCell, Inc. developed non-toxic CO2 based alternative to perchloroethylene based dry cleaning solvent. Testimony before the Subcommittee on Tax, Finance, and Exports Of the Small Business Committee U.S. House of Representatives: In Support of The Dry Cleaning Environmental Tax Credit Act. Testimony focuses on risks and damages associated with perchloroethylene (dry cleaning solvent) and the need for tax incentives for investments on safe alternatives. (2000)
  •  Technical Assistant (Superfund TAG Advisor) for approximately 10 Superfund sites, including a number of municipal and industrial landfills in which potential gas migration was an issue.

 Congressional Testimony: Dr. Cole testified numerous before U.S. House and Senate committees on issues pertaining to hazardous waste sites, Superfund remediation, RCRA/ solid waste disposal and management and mercury pollution.

Local Activism: Dr. Cole has a long history of  involvement in environmental issues affecting his own communities. He serves as a leader and expert in the opposition of two gas fired power plants proposed for southern Maryland and a Board member of the Chesapeake Sustainability Institute and Patuxent Riverkeeper.

 Publications, Reports, Expert Testimony   (To download print as a PDF). 

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