Katrina Levee Breaches Consolidated Litigation
Underground Energy participated in a team of geotechnical experts that successfully defended our client, a large engineering and construction firm, in a civil action with potential damages exceeding $100B arising from two breaches of the levee that separated the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC) from the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans. Our client was a codefendant with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and we developed a strong working relationship with USACE staff, their experts and DOJ attorneys in preparing the defense.
Underground Energy designed and implemented a drilling and hydrogeologic testing program to characterize hydraulic conditions within and at the toe of the levees. The work involved multiple slug and pumping tests, hydraulic data analysis, development and calibration of transient seepage models, and work with multiple parties to develop standard operating procedures and to coordinate an intensive field program subject to a court-ordered deadline.
Underground Energy also designed, fabricated, and tested demonstrative analog hydraulic flow simulators that were used during the trial to facilitate Judge Duval’s understanding of the difference between transient and steady groundwater flow.
Judge Duval’s final decision can be found here.