Ms. Robin D Franks, P.G., CHMM, RSO
Houston, TX 77040
I bring diverse and combined education, licensing, and credentialing in geology, biology, and hazardous materials management – and in indoor air quality as related to asbestos, mold, lead, building hazards, vapor intrusion, OSHA worker and occupant complaints.
I continue to manage a firm of environmental and industrial hygiene professionals while serving as an expert in my diverse field; I have over 60 retained cases complete. With my expertise, and my team's contributions leveraged for large cases such as class actions, we can cost effectively support engagements that may require extensive data gathering across an expanded time frame. I apply my capabilities and credentials across commercial, industrial, and oil & gas settings, with a technical focus on highly regulated industry and its real estate.
I have been steadily retained for expert witness services since 1995.
I have been engaged across diverse industries and causes that have involved bulk fuel transportation, oil and gas wellhead and pipeline releases, retail fuel compliance matters, manufacturing operations, commercial shopping centers, multi-family real estate, construction projects, healthcare facilities, and recycling & reclamation operations.
I routinely peer review work prepared by other experts, prepare rebuttal reports, and prepare and submit reliable remediation cost estimates, some of which have been used in formal hearings and at trial. I have been retained to evaluate developed and underutilized urban core real estate under "ready-for-reuse" programs that have involved extensively contaminated assets.
I possess a firm understanding of the wide array of environmental hazards & chemicals in industry and apply laboratories & testing to validate or obviate contingent environmental risk to real property ownership or lending. Whether in litigation or not, I routinely evaluate real property and buildings for hazardous materials inventory, abandoned contaminant sources, orphaned well sites, and buried objects. This work is routinely performed in advance of real estate redevelopment to cost-effectively demonstrate that the pathway of construction has been effectively cleared.
I specialize in structural fire forensic investigation and testing (typically to justify insurance claims), routinely leverage post-flood emergency response expertise in buildings - especially specific to microbial disinfection and mold mitigation, and source mold under forensic methods of investigation that may exist under alleged building construction defects. I possess expertise in building systems and mitigating hazards from structures in advance of demolition for asbestos, lead, and other regulated materials. I prepare and implement (and/or critically review) asbestos specifications, mold remediation protocols, OSHA-driven lead specifications, and remediation soil management plans.
I have evaluated diverse workplaces following loss reports due to alleged safety and public health concerns and offered mitigation strategies for worker safety under OSHA complaints, especially regarding respiratory protection. I have served as an expert for multiple worker injury and wrongful death allegations within the context of environmental exposure.
My litigation support work spans my technical skillset & is near equally weighted in defense and plaintiff representation. I have jury & bench trial experience & have prevailed under challenge. My expert reports, which typically involve highly technical subject matter, have been called "readable", "easy to understand" and "straightforward". I will consider the review of reports prepared by others, assist in preparation for trial, mediation, arbitration, or contribute to research assignments.
- Above Ground Storage Tank (AST)
- Hazardous Materials
- Hazardous Waste
- Industrial Hygiene & Mold
- Lead Poisoning
- Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
- A: • Dual Bachelor of Science Degrees in Geology and Biology (1982) - SFASU
• Master of Science in Geology (1988) - SFASU
• State of Texas Professional Geoscientist – (PG #875)
• Professional Geologist – Mississippi (PG #0778)
• Professional Geologist – Tennessee (#TN3213)
• Institute of Hazardous Materials Management Certification (Master Level CHMM #3725)
• Texas Corrective Action Project Manager (CAPM #642)
• Radiation Safety Officer and NORM Surveyor/Supervisor – NRC Compliant
• Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation Microbial Assessment Consultant (#MAC270)
• Texas DSHS-Licensed Lead Abatement Supervisor (#2080002)
• Texas DSHS-Licensed Asbestos Consultant (#105379)–Inspector; Designer/Planner; Supervisor
• Arkansas DEQ– Asbestos Certification (#015166) – Inspector; Designer; Supervisor
• Florida DEQ – Microbial Assessor (#MRSA1712)
- Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
- A: • Houston Chapter of Certified Hazardous Materials Managers (CHMM)
• Institute for Hazardous Materials Managers (IHMM)
• ASTM International
• Texas Association of Professional Geoscientists
• National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP)
• Air and Waste Management Association
• American Industrial Hygiene Association
• Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)
• National Groundwater Association (NGWA)
• Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG)
• Association of Environmental Health and Sciences (AEHS)
• Texas Association of Environmental Professionals (TAEP)
• Geological Society of America (GSA)
• Environmental Bankers Association (EBA) - Consultant Associate
- Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
- A: • Members of the Risk Mitigation Workshop – Guest Speaker: “Processes & Procedures for Testing,
Remediating, Certifying Mold-Damaged Single-Family Homes.” Attendees included Houston Habitat;
Housing and Fifth Ward CDC to name a few. (December 2020)
• Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., - Presentation: “HVAC COVID-19 Implications.” How to reduce HVAC
transmission risk (July 2020).
• McDermott – Crisis Management Call regarding deep cleaning against Coronavirus; EPA-registered
disinfectants for use; implications of FIFRA; and biocide selection procedures (surface compatibility;
employee response; biocide availability, etc.) (March 2020).
• Houston Airport System (HAS) – Presentation: Strategic Testing & Operations Plan – A 12 step process
for systematically guiding structures through the demolition/decommissioning process (August 2017).
• BBVA/Jones Lang LaSalle – Presentation: Characterizing & Managing Asbestos in Commercial
Buildings: A Property & Construction Manager’s Guide (June 2017)
• BBVA/Jones Lang LaSalle – Presentation: Indoor Air Quality & Mold Considerations for Facility
Managers and Construction Project Managers (April 2017)
• The University of Texas Health Science Center (Instructor) – Pre-Certification Training: Institute of
Hazardous Materials Managers (2003 to Present): “Environmental Assessments (ASTM et.al); Petroleum
Storage Tank Management; Environmental Regulations and Statutes; Resource Conservation and
Act (RCRA); Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA); and National Environmental
• Environmental Banker’s Association: Semi-Annual National Conference: “Land-Based Well Blowout: A
Remediation Case Study (South Louisiana)” (December 2015)
• Tianjin University (China) “The International Symposium on Construction of Tianjin”
Presentation/Speaker – “Proactive Systems & Rapid Response Actions to Reduce & Mitigate Human &
Natural Resource Damage Following Catastrophic (Hazardous Materials) Incidents in Industry” (October
• Colliers International - Guest Lecturer: “Changes to Due Diligence Guidance” (June 2014)
• Comerica, Guest Lecturer: “Changes to Due Diligence Guidance & the 8 Biggest Failures in Commercial
Property Risk Management (And How to Avoid Them)” (May 2014)
• SEAK, Environmental Litigation Expert: “Making the Complex Understandable: What Works for Expert
Witnesses” (May 2014)
• Comerica Bank, Guest Lecturer: “Environmental Risks” – Training for Loan Officers (September 2012)
• Environmental Bankers Association – Webinar: “Use of Geophysical Methods to Promote Optimized &
Non-Intrusive Environmental Site Assessment” (October 2010)
• Environmental Bankers Association: “RCRA Implications for Materially Impaired Real Property
Assessment – Is a Voluntary Cleanup Program Certificate Attainable and Protective? Implications for
upon Foreclosure” (January 2010)
• Forensic Expert Witness Association, Texas Summer Conference – Discussion Panel: “The Valuable
Environmental/Engineering Expert Witness: The Lawyer’s Perspective” (July 2009)
• Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Supplier Development Seminar – Presentation: “The Contracting Process – How
to Work for Wal-Mart” (November 2008)
• Comerica Bank, Regional Technical Environmental Seminar – Presentation: “Vapor Intrusion Hazards
and Application of the ASTM Standard” (November 2008)
• Environmental Data Resources, Inc. – Panelist: “Due Diligence at Dawn Forum” (April 2008)
• Environmental Banker’s Association – Presentation/Speaker – Semi-Annual National Conference:
“Environmental Considerations for Operating Oil & Gas Fields & Facilities” (January 2008)
• Retained Lecturer of the Canadian Consulate – Saskatchewan (SEWAQ) Environmental Conference;
Presentation: “Environmental Opportunities in Texas, Louisiana & Mexico” (February 2006)
• American Institute of Architects Houston, 10th Annual “Design for Health” Guest Lecturer: “Infection
Control in Architecture” (2005)
• American Institute of Architects Houston – Guest Speaker: “Infection Control in Healthcare and
Environmental Considerations for the Built Environment” (2005)
• Comerica Bank, Environmental Risk Management – Guest Speaker: “Environmental Regulations in
Texas – An Update” (2004 and 2005)
• Memorial Hermann Healthcare System – Executive Project Manager’s & Property Manager’s Group
Meeting: “Environmental Considerations in the Healthcare Environment” (2003 and 2004)
• State Farm Insurance Company – Presentation to Executive Team & Adjusters: “Biocontamination of
Building Materials – Identification and Control” (2001 and 2002)
• American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants of Houston (AWSCPA) – Presentation:
“Consideration of Environmental Issues in Financial/Tax Reporting” (1998)
- Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
- A: None - all in good standing; never litigated against or experienced any complaint or censure
- Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Approximately 60+
- Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
- A: Asbestos
Mold & bioaerosols
Real estate assessment & remediation (including remediation cost estimating)
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
- A: ~41%
- Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
- A: ~59%
- Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
- A: 26 cases; 8 cases involved multiple events or continued deposition
- Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
- A: February 2021
- Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
- A: Unsure; not always involved in this step - likely at least 10
- Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
- A: ~ 15
- Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
- A: ~ 50
- Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
- A: Environmental consulting; testing of air, soil, groundwater, media & waste testing for field and analytical (lab) characterization; property inspection & survey; preparation of expert reports, peer reviews, conceptual cost estimates, highly reliable cost estimates; real estate assessment; risk assessment; remediation design; estimates; loss modeling; building sciences; asbestos remediation; mold remediation; organic vapor; industrial hygiene; fire; flood; oil & gas; fuel storage tanks
- Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
- A: $325.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
- A: $325.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
- A: $325.
- Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
- A: $487 (1.5x hourly - 8 hr min.)
- Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
- A: Travel expenses (unless directly paid by retaining counsel); equipment rental daily use; laboratory fees; other third-party costs at cost +15% - fee schedule available.
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