After Wolfeboro’s used up all of the allotted trial time of 2½ weeks, you might think that the defense would feel the need for some parity. Not so. So far they have called Mr. Brown and two of their three experts over 2½ days. The session recessed for the day just after lunch, and the expectation is that there will be one more expert testifying tomorrow before the defense rests. Hopefully we will see closing arguments in the afternoon and the jury can be charged.
Today began with Ms. Cull’s cross examination of Mr. Moore. I have to say that the guy was solid. He was questioned about EPA guidelines for RIB system design, a huge manual from 1981. His continued insistence that they are guidelines as opposed to a prescriptive methodology for RIB development eventually earned a “move on” from the court.
Next up was the soil conductivity values used in the groundwater model. His response was that the peer review by Weston and Sampson suggested they were too low, and the town’s expert witnesses say they were too high, and the SW Cole report pretty much was the same. So he feels that means the values were pretty reasonable.
He was challenged that the groundwater model wasn’t verified after calibration. He said that because Wolfeboro’s site is constrained by the soils deep down as opposed to those at the surface, it is both difficult and less important to do that. Additionally, he pointed out that the usual way to do it is to monitor levels over a long period of time, and because Wolfeboro was under an Administrative Order, it just couldn’t be done.
Ms. Cull pointed out that SW Cole had mapped breakout in a non-discharge area using the original data and that the phase three report had not shown that breakout. He said that the topographic scale was five foot divisions so it is not possible to say that those areas are breakout or not. Later, WP’s redirect established that those areas did not actually experience breakout.
Next up was Mr. DiGenova from Haley and Aldrich. He is a geotechnical engineer with thirty years experience. He is also the guy who developed the slope remediation plan that NHDES said should be implemented, and which the town has gone to the mat to keep the jury from finding out about.
Mr. Denehey started out by asking Mr. DiGenova to describe a slope stabilization project he was involved in. Wolfeboro objected, which led to a series of conferences at the bench. Heaven forbid a geotechnical engineer tell the jury how easy it is to fix a failed slope.
Mr. DiGenova testified that WP’s monitoring approach to potential breakout was a reasonable approach. He was challenged because in his deposition he said that a geotechnical analysis should have been done. Not sure exactly what that actually ended up meaning to the jury. Seemed to me that the point was that a geotech analysis was warranted but it would have supported a monitoring approach.
On redirect, WP tried for the umpteenth time to talk about the remediation plan, without success.
As geotech vs geotech goes, both Mr. Cullen and Mr, DiGenova were equally professional and forthcoming. Nobody challenged Mr. DiGenova to address the “red flag” statements that Mr. Cullen made. Maybe because Mr. Moore had already talked about them.
Tomorrow we will probably hear WPs reaction to the SW Cole “Darcy’s Law” simplified analysis that constrains the site to 340,000gpd. As they’ve sat in the gallery over the past week, both Mr. Moore and Mr. Kastrinos were poring over plans and doing calculations. I expect they will get a different result from a Darcy’s Law analysis.