James P. Hogan, President & CEO , The ELAM GroupJames P. Hogan, President & CEO
Unveiled in October 2021, it’s been a year since the U.S. EPA brought a multitude of regulatory changes restricting the usage of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The organization labeled them as dangerous “forever chemicals” and laid the foundation for its strategic roadmap aimed to fill critical regulatory gaps by providing a floor of federal-level protections and support for states’ ongoing efforts to address PFAS. Trends like these reflected in environmental impairment liability claims over the past 12 months have once again demonstrated that insureds’ environmental exposures are far from static in this evolving risk landscape with growing public awareness and increasing regulatory pressures. It is therefore imperative that claims-processing companies, bankers and other funding sources re-assess their approach to environmental risk management and stress test their positions to ensure it would respond as expected in the event of a loss. That said, the imposition of such unprecedented and evolving regulatory obligations (in many cases initiated by states) requires establishing proactive planning and understanding of any applicable insurance coverage to manage environmental liabilities across a range of economic sectors.

During the evaluation of environmental contamination, many data gaps exist. we are responsible for highlighting and filling in those data gaps to assist our clients with making informed decisions regarding how to control environmental liabilities and the cost involved

Therein lies the heart and soul of The Environmental Liability & Asset Management Group, LLC (dbaThe ELAM Group): a new resource and increasingly pivotal advisor to help claims-processing companies navigate the complex yet imminent changes that affect their corporate claims management and liability reduction strategies. The company has the relevant technical expertise and knowledge necessary to reduce environmental risks and support funding sources such as insurance clients, bankers, re-developers and more in the communities in which they operate. Whether it is engaging in highly contentious litigation, assisting firms with claim oversight, or performing environmental contracting, The ELAM Group’s full range of customizable environmental liability services are tailored to ensure that client-specific needs are effectively met. In this regard, the company views itself as a specialized arm of the Tertiary Sector of the economy, helping funding sources predict, control and extinguish their environmental liabilities in a new way.

“In the broad economic spectrum, our clients fit in the Tertiary Sector. Many times they reach to the Quaternary Sector of consultants, but we found that isn’t far enough. They need to draw on innovative expertise from the ultra-specialized Quinary Sector, and that’s where we lie. We saw the need and created The ELAM Group. It’s that simple.
While we are extremely productive in that Quaternary Sector with our Environmental Management Practice, our market disruption lies in creating a new frontier in the Quinary Sector as a specialized expert offering customized solutions that our clients didn’t know existed before - and they love what we have to offer!,” says James P. Hogan, President and CEO of The ELAM Group.

With growing interest among public and private entities for the value of scientific and financial oversight—insurance claims handlers, environmental business managers, and city planners are turning tot The ELAM Group to help with understanding the technical and financial framework necessary to resolve a claim, assess performance, advise on cost reimbursement and balance portfolios. Under its Environmental Provisioning Practice Area, the firm uses proprietary predictive cost analysis methods and tools to enable clients to gain oversight of their environmental liabilities. Entrepreneurs, attorneys and government officials rely on the ELAM Group’s Peer Review Practice Area to provide them with the technical expertise and knowledge required to evaluate a consultant’s technical strategies, facilitate fair bidding, and reduce insurance claim risks.

With PFAS, as the upcoming regulation shifts from research to remediation—related liability insurance claims are expected to increase in the coming years. The ramifications for companies that may be subject to clean-up liability under such newly proposed regulations could be significant, particularly in light of the difficulties associated with identifying and remediating the sources of chemicals such as PFAS in the environment. As a specialist, The ELAM Group guides companies and enables them to sail across these often-murky waters of environmental contamination from funding to site assessment, remediation, and closure. Extinguishing liability often evolves into expert support from many of the firm’s high-level Practice Areas like Environmental Management, Due Diligence, Peer Review, Litigation Support, and Environmental Provisioning. For the most complex of cases involving liability transfer, settlement or acquisition, The ELAM Group has coined the “Environmental- 2-Business” Solutions Practice Area, or E2B Solutions, as a play on the more familiar “B2B” services.

“E2B Solutions is an example of our reaction to the Tertiary Sector’s market demands. Our ability to blend the technical minutia with the business language of the insurance world allows us to help our clients understand and achieve regulatory compliance,” adds James.

The ELAM Group comprises a diversified set of expertise ranging from scientists and engineers to project managers and risk assessors who prudently manage a client’s environmental liabilities at a local, regional or national level. Its team of experts works closely in a synergistic fashion to resolve environmental liability issues in each case. This includes property owners, municipalities, insurance companies, and business owners alike. Driven by redevelopment efforts, some clients prefer the more traditional consulting work like ELAM’s rigorous Phase I/II Environmental Site Assessments.

At times, resolving environmental liability is litigious. Be it as a consulting expert or testifying expert, The ELAM Group, with its robust and unbiased methods, allows its clients to tackle these claims issues with an unbiased and transparent understanding to help shape their litigation strategy with confidence.

Often environmental concepts can be complicated by seemingly conflicting data. Antagonistic professional opinions can sway logical conclusions. With the ELAM Group, clients can confide in a trusted environmental consulting partner that uses data-driven strategies to recommend best industry practices that target increased efficiency and produce result-oriented goals.

“During the evaluation of environmental contamination, many data gaps exist. We are responsible for highlighting and filling in those data gaps to assist our clients with making informed decisions regarding how to control environmental liabilities and the cost involved,” explains James.

In addition, the targeted data-driven approach promotes greater transparency on the breadth and depth of the environmental pollution liability insurance market. The ELAM Group closely monitors these needs as it advises its clients following changes in legislation, regulation and enforcement.
  • Our ability to blend the technical minutia with the business language of the insurance world allows us to help our clients understand and achieve regulatory compliance requirements

Established in 2015, The ELAM Group has built its 21st-century foundation on an ancient philosophical principle put forth by the great Greek philosopher Aristotle. The firm strives to apply Aristotle’s virtues of Ethos, Pathos and Lagos (ethics, emotion and logic) to each and every one of its business decisions, firmly believing that maintaining these virtues in equilibrium will result in a balanced approach to success. Along these lines, The ELAM Group positions itself to walk a ‘fine line’ between regulators and funding sources by understanding and balancing their different objectives. In order to maintain that stability, the company offers its expertise through a diversified set of decision-makers who demonstrate discipline in these areas, thereby cultivating a business culture that fosters honesty. As a result of this balanced perspective, it aims to be perceptive before taking the necessary steps when performing logical scientific and unbiased analysis toward an ethical conflict resolution of environmental liabilities.

Today, claims-processing companies have a real opportunity to shape their environmental portfolios by taking advantage of the new frontiers of service offerings that The ELAM Group is creating for the claims market —all with a deeply rooted philosophy and an unwavering commitment not to lose sight of the end goal. With new developments like PFAS, the company is constantly sharpening it’s practice areas to reflect the current climate in the constantly evolving claims industry. As it continues to march ahead in helping claims processors manage environmental claims of a historical nature, The ELAM Group’s close eye on the industry’s latest developments and incorporation into its practices provides the rigor they need and confidence they deserve.