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Date: October 22, 2013
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

History Associates’ Steve Swisdak Speaks at American Bar Association Conference on the Historical Use and Regulation of Trichloroethylene

Steve Swisdak, deputy director of litigation research at History Associates Incorporated, a historical services firm, spoke at the American Bar Association Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources’ 21st Fall Conference on October 11. Mr. Swisdak offered a historical perspective regarding the many applications of trichloroethylene (TCE), including its use in metal cleaning, and the regulatory developments that have impacted its use, such as Rule 66 in Southern California.

The topic is of particular interest today, since the issue of TCE in groundwater continues to be a driving force in many environmental litigation matters. As Mr. Swisdak stated during his presentation, “Because of TCE’s past and likely future prominence at so many contaminated sites, the need to understand the history of TCE (both broadly and at particular sites) is perhaps more acute than ever.”

Mr. Swisdak then reported that History Associates has worked on dozens of TCE-related matters in the past and has collected a wide range of information, including records documenting the use of TCE at specific sites. He went on to describe some of History Associates’ growing corporate knowledge about TCE, especially its use in vapor degreasers by defense contractors during World War II and the Cold War.   He also outlined the nature and extent of the federal government’s historical role in the production, allocation, and use of TCE and discussed TCE’s known occupational health hazards over the years.

Mr. Swisdak concluded his presentation by encouraging attorneys to turn to professional historians when dealing with TCE-related matters. “When faced with TCE-related site cleanup costs, either due to groundwater contamination or vapor intrusion issues, I would encourage you to consider the value of professional historical research,” he said.

A copy of his presentation, entitled “A Historical Survey of the Use and Regulation of TCE,” is available on the History Associates website.

About History Associates
For more than thirty years the historians and archivists at History Associates have demonstrated that history is valuable in the market as well as the marketplace of ideas. They provide professional corporate histories, exhibit content, interpretive planning, historical research, archival services, and collections management services to clients throughout the United States and around the world. History Associates strives to be The Best Company in History®, serving corporate, government, legal, and nonprofit clients from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or visit

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