NewFields LLC

Denver, CO, United States

NewFields LLC

Denver, CO, United States
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Powers S.P.,Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory | Grabowski J.H.,Northeastern University | Roman H.,Industrial Economics Inc. | Geggel A.,Industrial Economics Inc. | And 3 more authors.
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2017

Response actions associated with oil spills often have significant impacts on ecological communities. During the 87 d long Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the State of Louisiana (USA) released vast quantities of Mississippi River water into 2 estuarine basins (Barataria Bay and Black Bay/Breton Sound) in response to the approach of oil. We assessed the impact on subtidal oyster populations of this novel oil spill response action using 3 independent methods: (1) comparison of fisheries-independent post-spill densities to a pre-spill temporal baseline; (2) comparison of oyster density collected during natural resource damage assessment sampling between the area of maximal freshwater impact and reference areas in the 2 basins; and (3) estimation from a doseresponse model derived from an analysis of an in situ mark and recapture study conducted in 2010 to assess the relationship between salinity and oyster mortality. A substantial portion of both basins (483 km2 of Barataria Bay and 362 km2 of Black Bay/Breton Sound) experienced prolonged periods of very low (<5 ppt) salinity in 2010 that lasted at least 1 mo longer than the average duration of low salinity between 2006 and 2009. The 3 approaches all indicate that dramatic losses occurred in the number of market-sized (>75 mm) oysters as a result of a system-wide lowering of salinities, with an estimated 1.16 to 3.29 billion market-equivalent oysters lost. The efficacy of the large-scale response action of altering hydrographic conditions during the summer oyster growth period should be examined in light of the major perturbation to oyster communities. © S.P.P., J.H.G., H.R., A.G., S.R., J.O., and outside the USA the US Government 2017.

Winkler M.S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Winkler M.S.,University of Basel | Divall M.J.,SHAPE Consulting Ltd. | Krieger G.R.,NewFields LLC | And 7 more authors.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review | Year: 2012

The quantitative assessment of health impacts has been identified as a crucial feature for realising the full potential of health impact assessment (HIA). In settings where demographic and health data are notoriously scarce, but there is a broad range of ascertainable ecological, environmental, epidemiological and socioeconomic information, a diverse toolkit of data collection strategies becomes relevant for the mainly small-area impacts of interest. We present a modular, cross-sectional baseline health survey study design, which has been developed for HIA of industrial development projects in the humid tropics. The modular nature of our toolkit allows our methodology to be readily adapted to the prevailing eco-epidemiological characteristics of a given project setting. Central to our design is a broad set of key performance indicators, covering a multiplicity of health outcomes and determinants at different levels and scales. We present experience and key findings from our modular baseline health survey methodology employed in 14 selected sentinel sites within an iron ore mining project in the Republic of Guinea. We argue that our methodology is a generic example of rapid evidence assembly in difficult-to-reach localities, where improvement of the predictive validity of the assessment and establishment of a benchmark for longitudinal monitoring of project impacts and mitigation efforts is needed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

De Sherbinin A.,Columbia University | Castro M.,Harvard University | Gemenne F.,Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations IDDRI | Cernea M.M.,Brookings Institution | And 15 more authors.
Science | Year: 2011

Mitigation and adaptation projects will lead to increased population displacement, calling for new research and attention to past lessons.

PubMed | University of Florida, NewFields Inc., Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and James Cook University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2016

Large-scale corporate projects, particularly those in extractive industries or hydropower development, have a history from early in the twentieth century of creating negative environmental, social, and health impacts on communities proximal to their operations. In many instances, especially for hydropower projects, the forced resettlement of entire communities was a feature in which local cultures and core human rights were severely impacted. These projects triggered an activist opposition that progressively expanded and became influential at both the host community level and with multilateral financial institutions. In parallel to, and spurred by, this activism, a shift occurred in 1969 with the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act in the United States, which required Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for certain types of industrial and infrastructure projects. Over the last four decades, there has been a global movement to develop a formal legal/regulatory EIA process for large industrial and infrastructure projects. In addition, social, health, and human rights impact assessments, with associated mitigation plans, were sequentially initiated and have increasingly influenced project design and relations among companies, host governments, and locally impacted communities. Often, beneficial community-level social, economic, and health programs have voluntarily been put in place by companies. These flagship programs can serve as benchmarks for community-corporate-government partnerships in the future. Here, we present examples of such positive phenomena and also focus attention on a myriad of challenges that still lie ahead.

Quast K.W.,Amec Foster Wheeler | Levine A.D.,National Science Foundation | Kester J.E.,Newfields LLC | Fordham C.L.,Terra Technologies Environmental Services LLC
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2016

Tertiary-butyl alcohol (TBA), a high-production volume (HPV) chemical, was sporadically detected in groundwater and coalbed methane (CBM) wells in southeastern Colorado’s hydrocarbon-rich Raton Basin. TBA concentrations in shallow water wells averaged 75.1 μg/L, while detections in deeper CBM wells averaged 14.4 μg/L. The detection of TBA prompted a forensic investigation to try to identify potential sources. Historic and recent data were reviewed to determine if there was a discernable pattern of TBA occurrence. Supplemental samples from domestic water wells, monitor wells, CBM wells, surface waters, and hydraulic fracturing (HF) fluids were analyzed for TBA in conjunction with methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary-butyl ether (ETBE), proxies for evidence of contamination from reformulated gasoline or associated oxygenates. Exploratory microbiological sampling was conducted to determine if methanotrophic organisms co-occurred with TBA in individual wells. Meaningful comparisons of historic TBA data were limited due to widely varying reporting limits. Mapping of TBA occurrence did not reveal any spatial patterns or physical associations with CBM operations or contamination plumes. Additionally, TBA was not detected in HF fluids or surface water samples. Given the widespread use of TBA in industrial and consumer products, including water well completion materials, it is likely that multiple diffuse sources exist. Exploratory data on stable isotopes, dissolved gases, and microbial profiling provide preliminary evidence that methanotrophic activity may be producing TBA from naturally occurring isobutane. Reported TBA concentrations were significantly below a conservative risk-based drinking water screening level of 8000 μg/L derived from animal toxicity data. © 2016, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Winkler M.S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Winkler M.S.,University of Basel | Divall M.J.,NewFields | Krieger G.R.,NewFields LLC | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review | Year: 2011

Natural resources development projects are - and have been for more than 150. years - located in remote rural areas in developing countries, where local level data on community health is notoriously scarce. Health impact assessment (HIA) aims at identifying potential negative health consequences of such projects and providing the initial evidence-base for prevention and mitigation of diseases, injuries and risk factors, as well as promotion of positive effects. An important, but under-systematised early phase of the HIA process is scoping. It aims at organising diverse, often fragmentary, evidence and identifying potential project-related health impacts and underlying data gaps. It is also a key element in defining the terms of reference for the entire assessment. We present novel methodological features for the scoping process, emphasising the evaluation of quality of evidence, and illustrate its use in a contemporary HIA of the Simandou iron ore project in the Republic of Guinea. Assessment of data quality is integrated with specific content information via an analytical framework for the systematic identification of health outcomes and determinants of major concern. A subsequent gap analysis is utilised to assess the need for further baseline data collection and to facilitate the specification of a set of potential key performance indicators and strategies to inform the required evidence-base. We argue that scoping also plays a central role in the design of surveillance systems for longitudinal monitoring of health, equity and wellbeing following project implementation. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Winkler M.S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Winkler M.S.,University of Basel | Krieger G.R.,NewFields LLC | Divall M.J.,SHAPE Consulting Ltd. | And 3 more authors.
Geospatial Health | Year: 2012

Development and implementation of large-scale industrial projects in complex eco-epidemiological settings typically require combined environmental, social and health impact assessments. We present a generic, spatio-temporal health impact assessment (HIA) visualization, which can be readily adapted to specific projects and key stakeholders, including poorly literate communities that might be affected by consequences of a project. We illustrate how the occurrence of a variety of complex events can be utilized for stakeholder communication, awareness creation, interactive learning as well as formulating HIA research and implementation questions. Methodological features are highlighted in the context of an iron ore development in a rural part of Africa.

Winkler M.S.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute | Winkler M.S.,NewFields LLC | Divall M.J.,NewFields LLC | Krieger G.R.,NewFields LLC | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Impact Assessment Review | Year: 2010

In the developing world, large-scale projects in the extractive industry and natural resources sectors are often controversial and associated with long-term adverse health consequences to local communities. In many industrialised countries, health impact assessment (HIA) has been institutionalized for the mitigation of anticipated negative health effects while enhancing the benefits of projects, programmes and policies. However, in developing country settings, relatively few HIAs have been performed. Hence, more HIAs with a focus on low- and middle-income countries are needed to advance and refine tools and methods for impact assessment and subsequent mitigation measures. We present a promising HIA approach, developed within the frame of a large gold-mining project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The articulation of environmental health areas, the spatial delineation of potentially affected communities and the use of a diversity of sources to obtain quality baseline health data are utilized for risk profiling. We demonstrate how these tools and data are fed into a risk analysis matrix, which facilitates ranking of potential health impacts for subsequent prioritization of mitigation strategies. The outcomes encapsulate a multitude of environmental and health determinants in a systematic manner, and will assist decision-makers in the development of mitigation measures that minimize potential adverse health effects and enhance positive ones. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PubMed | University of Florida, NomoGaia, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and NewFields LLC
Type: | Journal: BMC international health and human rights | Year: 2015

As globalisation has opened remote parts of the world to foreign investment, global leaders at the United Nations and beyond have called on multinational companies to foresee and mitigate negative impacts on the communities surrounding their overseas operations. This movement towards corporate impact assessment began with a push for environmental and social inquiries. It has been followed by demands for more detailed assessments, including health and human rights. In the policy world the two have been joined as a right-to-health impact assessment. In the corporate world, the right-to-health approach fulfils neither managers need to comprehensively understand impacts of a project, nor rightsholders need to know that the full suite of their human rights will be safe from violation. Despite the limitations of a right-to-health tool for companies, integration of health into human rights provides numerous potential benefits to companies and the communities they affect. Here, a detailed health analysis through the human rights lens is carried out, drawing on a case study from the United Republic of Tanzania. This paper examines the positive and negative health and human rights impacts of a corporate operation in a low-income setting, as viewed through the human rights lens, considering observations on the added value of the approach. It explores the relationship between health impact assessment (HIA) and human rights impact assessment (HRIA). First, it considers the ways in which HIA, as a study directly concerned with human welfare, is a more appropriate guide than environmental or social impact assessment for evaluating human rights impacts. Second, it considers the contributions HRIA can make to HIA, by viewing determinants of health not as direct versus indirect, but as interrelated.

PubMed | Research Planning Inc., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Industrial Economics Inc. and NewFields LLC.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Marine pollution bulletin | Year: 2016

We build on previous work to construct a comprehensive database of shoreline oiling exposure from the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) spill by compiling field and remotely-sensed datasets to support oil exposure and injury quantification. We compiled a spatial database of shoreline segments with attributes summarizing habitat, oiling category and timeline. We present new simplified oil exposure classes for both beaches and coastal wetland habitats derived from this database integrating both intensity and persistence of oiling on the shoreline over time. We document oiling along 2113km out of 9545km of surveyed shoreline, an increase of 19% from previously published estimates and representing the largest marine oil spill in history by length of shoreline oiled. These data may be used to generate maps and calculate summary statistics to assist in quantifying and understanding the scope, extent, and spatial distribution of shoreline oil exposure as a result of the DWH incident.

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