Quote To Live By: “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” -William Arthur Ward

Expertise:

  • Coal Seam Gas associated water management and impact assessments:
    • Managed aquifer recharge programs
    • Brine injection evaluations
    • Hydraulic fracturing assessments
    • Deep (>500 m) groundwater monitoring well installation
  • Soil and groundwater impact assessments and remediation
  • Pipeline abandonment programs
  • Hydrogeologic and geochemical data interpretation
  • Numerical groundwater modeling.

 


  • Full Profile

    Thomas Silverman has more than 15 years’ experience in hydrogeology working on a diverse range of projects including coal seam gas (CSG) water management, site investigations, soil and groundwater remediation, numerical groundwater modeling, physical and chemical data evaluation, aquifer testing and analysis, drilling techniques, and groundwater, surface water, sediment, and soil sampling.   

    In 2012, Tom’s primary role was as the national client account manager for an Australian oil and gas company with a major CSG project, responsible for nearly $18M in sales for 2012.  This role required a detailed understanding of the client’s project goals and objectives, as well as being the primary point of contact for the client and technical staff. Specific responsibilities included contract management, financial tracking of all projects, development of project teams, and coordination of all bid activity. 

    Prior to acting as the client account manager, Tom was the portfolio manager for all water-related projects for this oil and gas company.  Projects included in this portfolio focused on the management of CSG water and the assessment of environmental impacts associated with CSG extraction.  Tom was responsible for direct management of some projects and a detailed understanding of all projects in the portfolio.  Tom was responsible for developing and integrating teams of subject matter experts in Australia to manage these projects.  Specific projects included in the portfolio are managed aquifer recharge evaluations and implementations, brine options evaluation, brine injection studies and implementation, aquifer assessments, deep groundwater monitoring bore installations, and sampling and analysis workplan development.

    Prior to working in Australia, Tom worked at a consulting company in Madison, Wisconsin where his focus was on soil and groundwater assessments and remediation.  He has extensive experience with projects with soil and groundwater impacts from VOCs, fuel hydrocarbons, inorganic compounds, and pesticides at industrial facilities, Superfund sites, and landfills.

    Education

    • M.S., Hydrogeology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, 1999
    • B.S., Water Resources, University of Vermont, 1994.

     

    Certifications and Training

    • Professional Hydrologist – Wisconsin, American Institute of Hydrology
    • American Geophysical Union.

     

    Key Experience

    Upstream Petroleum and Gas Experience

    Santos/GLNG, Brisbane, Australia

    CSG Associated Water Management

    As the client account manager and portfolio manager for CSG water projects, Tom was the primary point of contact for all associated water projects for a CSG producer in Queensland.  These projects included, water management plans, water demand studies, Great Artesian Basin bore installation programs, pond leakage assessments programs, groundwater monitoring programs, managed aquifer recharge programs, and water use risk assessments.  Tom developed and maintained a team of subject matter experts located throughout Australia/New Zealand to manage these projects and was responsible for integrating the team to meet client requests.

    Santos, New South Wales, Australia

    Managed Aquifer Recharge Feasibility Assessment

    In his role as project director, Tom was responsible for the team evaluating potential options to discharge up to 10 ML per day of treated CSG water in an operating CSG field.  A risk-based approach using Australian Guidelines was used to evaluate several options and a site investigation program was developed to characterize the two preferred options.  The site characterization aimed to define the hydraulic parameters of the potential receiving environments, understand the groundwater/surface water interactions, and to assess the potential human health and environmental impacts associated with discharging treated water for several years.

    Santos, New South Wales, Australia

    Brine Injection Feasibility Assessment

    In his role as project director, Tom was responsible for the team evaluating the technical feasibility of long-term storage of saline effluent (brine) within geologic strata beneath an active CSG gas field.  The scope of work included reviewing existing hydrological and geochemical data to define suitable discharge units, providing an assessment of the technical feasibility injecting into each potential unit and developing a field investigation to further characterize the potential receiving units.

    GLNG, Brisbane, Australia    

    Deep (>500 m) Groundwater Bore Installation Program

    In his role as project manager, Tom performed an assessment of existing groundwater bores within a 400 km2 area and developed a program to install additional bores to meet environmental authority guidelines.  He also coordinated a bore monitoring installation program of over 7,000 m of drilling into the Great Artesian Basin aquifers in and around Roma, QLD.  The program included various down-hole measurements and instrumentation, including geophysical logging, packer testing and installation of vibrating wire piezometers.

    SEWPAC (Australian Government), Australia

    Hydraulic Fracturing (Fraccing) Critical Review

    In his role as project director, Tom was responsible for producing a detailed review of “fraccing” operations in Australia.  The review, requested by the Australian Government, was commissioned to improve the understanding of fraccing in an Australian context, focusing on defining the practice, the methodologies employed, environmental risks associated with fraccing, and a review of best practices developed by the industry to minimise risks.

    GLNG, Brisbane, Australia

    Baseline Assessment Groundwater Bore Inventory

    As project director, Tom developed a team to produce an inventory of all existing groundwater supply bores within the tenements of a CSG production area in the Great Artesian Basin.  The inventory included a desktop assessment of existing information and a field program to visit each of the wells and collect additional information and a groundwater sample.  The purpose of this program was to develop an understanding of the baseline groundwater condition prior to development of a CSG extraction program.

    Origin Energy/APLNG, Brisbane, Australia

    Drilling Mud Disposal Options Evaluation

    Tom, as project manager, managed the development of a literature review evaluating disposal options of CSG well-derived drilling muds and cuttings, creation of a sampling and analysis workplan to characterize the muds and cuttings and evaluation of the results.  The results were evaluated with respect to applicable Australian and international standards in order to develop a less disruptive disposal method for thousands of CSG drilling sites across eastern Queensland.

    GLNG, Brisbane, Australia

    Shallow Bore Irrigation Studies

    In the role of project manager, Tom managed the development of the workplan and installation of four 30m core holes, laboratory conductivity testing, and field hydraulic conductivity testing to assess the potential infiltration of water resulting from irrigation using CSG produced water.

    GLNG, Brisbane, Australia

    Appraisal Dam Bore Installation Program

    As project manager and project director, Tom developed and managed a bore installation program around twenty appraisal dams around Roma in Queensland to assess the infiltration of dam water into the subsurface.

    Site Impact Assessments and Remediation Experience

    Santos, Brisbane, Australia

    Soil and Groundwater Petroleum Remediation

    In his role of project manager, Tom managed the emergency response and follow-up soil and groundwater remediation after the release of approximately 150,000 L of crude oil from a pipeline outside of Brisbane, Queensland.  During the soil remediation program approximately 30,000 tons of oil-impacted material was removed over approximately 4 months.  The rapid removal of the source area impacts effectively minimized the groundwater impacts such that a short-term monitored natural attenuation program was accepted as the groundwater remediation approach.

    Confidential Client, Brisbane, Australia

    Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Delineation and Remediation

    As project manager, Tom managed the subsurface investigation, human health risk assessment and remediation system design for VOC-impacted groundwater at a former manufacturing facility in Eagle Farm, Queensland.  Groundwater remediation by chemical oxidation (using potassium permanganate) was successful at remediating the groundwater to below risk-based site clean-up levels.

    Confidential Client, South East Queensland, Australia

    Probabilistic Cost Estimating of Environmental Liabilities and Follow-up Investigation

    In his role as project manager, Tom developed a probabilistic cost estimate for the abandonment of a 300 km crude oil pipeline in south east Queensland.  The cost estimate included 2 components, the cost associated with the physical abandonment program and the costs associated with contingent environmental liabilities, including potential soil and groundwater remediation along the pipeline.  The final report recommended a preliminary investigation to evaluate the presence of petroleum impacts to soil and groundwater at selected locations along the pipeline.

    City of Berlin, Wisconsin

    VOC Remediation by Chemical Oxidation

    As project manager Tom managed the delineation of impacts and design, implementation and operation of a soil and groundwater VOC remediation program for an active manufacturing facility using insitu chemical oxidation (ISCO).  Focused soil removal coupled with backfilling to create a sub-surface oxidant reservoir resulted in a 98% reduction in total VOC mass within two months.  The site was granted administrative closure within a year of remediation beginning.

    State of Maine

    Manufactured Gas Plant Coal Tar Investigation on a Tidal River

    Tom was the lead investigator on the project and developed a workplan and completed a field investigation to determine the degree and extent of coal tar impacts deposited into a tidally-influenced river in the east coast of the northern United States.  The investigation involved using Tar-GOST® laser induced fluorescence from a floating barge to identify zones of coal tar impacts in the sediment at the bottom of the river.  The information collected during the investigation phase was used to develop a site-specific engineering management plan to minimise the future migration of coal tar.

    City of Dallas, Texas

    Investigation and Remediation Activities

    On this project Tom managed the soil and groundwater closure activities at an active manufacturing facility purchased by the client to ensure regulatory compliance.  Field activities included groundwater sampling for VOCs and inorganics, free product analysis, engineering inspections, results analysis and annual report submittal.

    City of Racine, Wisconsin

    Hydrogeologic Investigation and Reporting

    As lead hydrogeologist Tom performed a hydrogeologic investigation to evaluate the protectiveness of a hazardous waste landfill.  Tasks performed included developing a workplan, overseeing the field investigation, performing aquifer pumping tests, evaluating all physical and chemical data, performing analytical modeling to evaluate fluxes into and out of the landfill and reporting.  Associated tasks included proposing a plan modification to the state regulator that revised the criteria used to evaluate the performance of a leachate extraction system.

    City of Ashippun, Wisconsin

    Groundwater Investigation and Optimization of Groundwater Treatment System for a Superfund Site

    In his role of lead hydrogeologist, Tom designed and performed all of the tasks associated with an investigation of an active groundwater remediation system for VOCs and heavy metals in unconsolidated soil and fractured bedrock in order to optimize the efficiency of the system.  Tasks included well installation, soil and groundwater sampling, pumping test design and implementation, numerical groundwater modeling, and reporting.  The overall outcome of the project allowed the USEPA to save millions of dollars by modifying the existing remediation techniques based on the results of the investigation.

    City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Remediation and Restoration of Former Battery Manufacturing Facility

    Tom was lead hydrogeologist on the project and was responsible for designing and implementing a successful insitu pilot test using a combination of ozone and hydrogen peroxide to remediate high concentrations of VOCs in soil and groundwater at an active manufacturing facility.  As a result of the successful pilot test, a full-scale design was prepared and submitted for regulatory approval.

    City of Madison, Wisconsin

    Soil and Groundwater Remediation at a Former Battery Manufacturing Facility

    As lead hydrogeologist Tom prepared a site remediation workplan and oversaw the excavation and disposal of approximately 60,000 tons of impacted soil at a former battery manufacturing facility in an urban setting.  The objective of the remediation was to clean the facility up to residential standards for future Brownfield redevelopment.  Documented all remediation activities in a final evaluation report and prepared a closure report for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to review.

    Madison and Wonewoc, Wisconsin

    Phase II Subsurface Investigation and Report

    As lead hydrogeologist, Tom prepared subsurface investigation workplans, performed several phases of investigations, and completed final Phase II investigation reports and remediation workplans for 2 former industrial facilities with soil and groundwater contamination in accordance with the Wisconsin regulations.

    Multiple sites in city of Hagerstown, Indiana

    Bioremediation Pilot Testing and Investigation Reports and Remediation Workplans

    In the role of staff hydrogeologist, Tom assisted in the design and implementation of a bioremediation pilot test, which circulated amended groundwater within an aquifer to stimulate cometabolic degradation of chlorinated compounds beneath an industrial facility.  He also prepared hydrogeological investigation reports and remediation workplans for the project in accordance with the state regulatory program.

    City of Portage, Wisconsin

    Groundwater and Drinking Water Monitoring and Reporting

    Tom’s role of staff Hydrogeologist required him to perform annual groundwater sampling and prepare an annual groundwater monitoring report for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for a plastic extrusion and manufacturing facility where groundwater has been impacted by chlorinated solvents.  He also assisted the client with ongoing water supply and groundwater questions and concerns.

    City of La Crosse, Wisconsin

    Groundwater Investigation and Remediation

    As lead hydrologist Tom performed ongoing reporting of groundwater monitoring results for VOCs near two City of La Crosse municipal wells.  His responsibilities included data interpretation and report preparation.

    Numerical Modeling Experience

    The following projects involved the design, set-up, calibration, verification, validation and documentation of three-dimensional numerical groundwater flow models using MODFLOW.  Particle tracking using MODPATH and contaminant transport modeling using MT3D were also used when necessary.

    Superfund Site, State of Wisconsin

    Lead Modeler – Project Hydrogeologist

    Evaluated an existing pump and treat remediation.  The model was used to determine the optimum pumping scheme and to evaluate cleanup times under different scenarios.

    Industrial Facility, State of Indiana 

    Lead Modeler – Project Hydrogeologist

    Modeled the injection and extraction of methane and oxygen-amended groundwater to stimulate cometabolic degradation of a plume of chlorinated compounds beneath an industrial facility.  The model was used to determine the number, placement and pumping rates of proposed injection and extraction wells.

    Czech Republic

    Lead Modeler – Project Hydrogeologist

    Used an existing three-dimensional numerical groundwater flow model to design a proposed remediation system using chemical oxidation to remediate an aquifer impacted with chlorinated solvents.

    State of Wisconsin

    Lead Modeler – Project Hydrogeologist

    Evaluated the effect of a proposed high-capacity pumping well in a rural agricultural area to assess the aquifer drawdown and potential interactions with a major river.

    State of North Carolina

    Assistant Modeler – Project Hydrogeologist

    Simulate multiple different remediation alternatives for cleaning up mercury-impacted groundwater site.

    Publications and Presentations

    Silverman, T.S., and J.M. Rice. 2006. “Rapid In-Situ Chemical Oxidation of a PCE Source Area” In Sass (ed.). Fifth International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds. Monterey, CA. Published by Battelle Press, Columbus, Ohio. Presented paper at Battelle Conference, May 2006.

    Rehm B.W., T. S. Silverman, J. W. Anderson, and D. Haak. 2001. “Aerobic Cometabolic Degradation of Chlorethenes: Pilot Test and Full-Scale design.” In Leeson et al.(eds.) Sixth International In situ and On-Site Bioremediation Symposium. Columbus, Ohio: Battelle Press. Presented paper at Battelle Conference, June 2001.

    Silverman, T.S., J.L. Wilson, C.K. Ho, and S.W. Webb. 1999. “A Pore-scale Experiment to Evaluate Enhanced Vapor Diffusion.” Presented at American Geophysical Union (AGU) Spring Meeting. Boston, Massachusetts.