Posts

Posts

  • SarahB
    Noise Assessments for HUD2
    Topic posted April 1, 2014 by SarahBMember  in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Noise Assessments for HUD
    Content:

    Looking for best practices and tips for completing a noise assessment according to the HUD Noise Assessment Guidelines.

    Yes, I've read the HUD document. I’ve attempted a few, and found that gathering the necessary information (traffic counts, traffic projections, traffic at night, distance to and angle of attenuation barriers, vehicle classification and volume, etc.) is far from easy. And if you need to get information from a military airfield…forget it.

    Where to begin? What to expect? What to charge the client?

  • Samantha S
    Tanneries & Adjacent Property Implications1
    Topic posted April 14, 2014 by Samantha SMember  in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Tanneries & Adjacent Property Implications
    Content:

    I know tanneries are cesspools of potential environmental problems.  I have a subject property in a downtown area that has been developed for 100+ years where a tannery was located on adjacent property that is likely upgradient from the subject property.  The tannery owned a sliver of the subject property (as in a 20' wide section) from 1899 to 1919.  The tannery was listed at one of the subject property address from 1899 to 1914, with the occupant in some years listed as the Tanner's Offal Company.  There are 2 Sanborn Maps from this time frame.  The egregious tannery activities appeared to occur on the adjacent/nearby properties, not the subject property portion.  The area owned by the tannery at the subject property had no buildings with the exception of one very small outbuilding (as in outhouse/ticket booth size). 

     

    My quandary...can I lump these tannery activities on adjacent properties with all the other hideous activities that have occurred in downtown areas that have resulted in high background levels of contaminants in downtown areas or since the tannery owned a sliver of the subject property does this change the game altogether, even though I cannot find any evidence indicating the likely offending activities ever occurred on the subject property.  The available information (although admittedly limited) suggests relatively innocuous activities occurred at the subject property. 

     

    In other words, is soil/groundwater sampling necessary to protect the client (and by extension us).  Theoretically, we can sample what is coming onto the property and compare it to what is coming off the property and hopefully show there is no significant difference.  However, things are never that simple.  I hate to sample soil and groundwater in heavily developed areas because you never know what you are going to find and sometimes you can spend a lot of someone's money trying to close the can of worms opened. 

     

    I am not looking to get rich of the client, but I also am not interested in being sued. 

  • MargaretThibo
    Researchers May Resolve Two Issues With One Sting
    Entry posted April 16, 2014 by MargaretThiboMember  in Current Environmental Issues > Current Environmental Issues Blog public
    Title:
    Researchers May Resolve Two Issues With One Sting
    Entry:

     

    Climate change has had an unusual effect on global jellyfish populations. Warming waters have caused over population, creating problems in the ocean as well as for humans. Large swarms of jellyfish have been clogging drainage systems of nuclear facilities as well as other industrial sites. The blooms, as they are commonly referred to, are throwing off an important balance amongst sea life and frankly proving annoying to humans looking to enjoy the ocean without being stung. Over fishing of their natural predators has also made the problem even worse.  

    Researchers in Israel believe that they have come up with a great solution to help alleviate the abundance of jellyfish. They began to experiment with using jellyfish bodies mixed with nanoparticles to create a super absorbent product called Hydramash. Once the jellyfish’ absorbent property was discovered, researcher began to think about how it could be applied. 

    The most obvious use for the hydramash was to replace the product currently used in disposable diapers. The switch could have a huge positive effect on the environment; significantly decreasing the amount of hazardous waste material that ends up in the landfill.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that approximately 18 billion diapers are disposed of in landfills per year, totaling 3.5 million tons of solid waste. Disposable diapers take hundreds of years to breakdown, making them a major source of land pollution. The absorbent jellyfish product is completely biodegradable over a thirty day period.

    There are however some concerns over the use of Hydramash in this seeming perfect partnership. First, critics feel that perhaps it is not ethical to kill mass amounts of jellyfish for their absorbent properties, especially since they are overpopulating due to human interaction. Other critics feel that Hydramash could cause unexpected allergic reactions amongst children and more extensive research must be conducted.

     

     

    Keywords:
    hazardous waste material , land pollution
  • MargaretThibo
    Ohio Fracking Stands on Shaky Ground
    Entry posted April 16, 2014 by MargaretThiboMember  in Current Environmental Issues > Current Environmental Issues Blog public
    Title:
    Ohio Fracking Stands on Shaky Ground
    Entry:

    The state of Ohio has some serious question for the oil and gasoline industry after experiencing a series of small earthquakes recently. It is believed that the earthquakes, usually a magnitude 3.0 or less, were a direct result of nearby fracking sites.  The process of fracking involves injecting high pressured water and sand into the ground in order to forcefully extract oil deposits. The oil is then processed into usable fuel. Although earthquakes are normally natural occurrences, all of the commotion in the deep bedrock has resulted in manmade earthquakes.  The change in underground pressure due to drilling is forcing tectonic plates to shift. Ohio is not alone in this phenomenon; states like Oklahoma have been drawing this conclusion for years.

    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) has responded to the recent tremors, acknowledging a correlation with fracking practices and creating stricter regulations for the oil industry. Drilling has been stopped at all fracking sites near areas affected by quakes. These drilling sites must remain closed until they can prove that operations are secure and new regulations are followed. One of the ODNR’s new environmental regulations is the mandatory use of seismic monitors for any drilling site within a three mile area of a known fault line. This new policy is aimed at preventing any future and possibly more dangerous future tremors. 

    Fracking had begun to boom in Ohio with over 800 drilling sites across the state, many focused on the Utica and Marcellus Shale’s. The newly acknowledged link between fracking and earthquakes may slow this boom down. The ODNR as well as other Ohio officials will be paying closer attention to how the oil and gas industry conduct business. Quake concerns as well as previous concerns of water contamination will make the fracking sites more accountable for their practices.

     

    Keywords:
    fracking, environmental regulations , water contamination
  • MargaretThibo
    Connecticut Tire Fire Gets the Wheels Turning
    Entry posted April 16, 2014 by MargaretThiboMember  in Current Environmental Issues > Current Environmental Issues Blog public
    Title:
    Connecticut Tire Fire Gets the Wheels Turning
    Entry:

    A massive fire erupted at a warehouse storing thousands of tires in the small Connecticut town of Torrington about one week ago. The fire took an entire day to extinguish, requiring dozens of fire crews from surrounding towns. All the while the flames billowed black smoke for miles.  Although this fire in particular seemed to be under control and continues to be managed, it makes one wonder about what happens to the environment both during and after a massive tire blaze. All the smoke and stink cannot be healthy, that why it is important to discuss the environmental dangers that can result from the burning of tires.

    Tires by themselves are not considered to be hazardous waste material by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Once the tire begins to burn, it is then considered a highly dangerous form of waste releasing heavy metals and oil. In fact, a single standard car tire can produce almost two gallons of oil. With that said, think about the method most used to extinguish a fire; water. Once water is mixed with the toxic ash and oil it has the potential to be carried to drainage systems and local waterways.

    It is for this reason that the Connecticut Department of Environmental and Energy Protection (DEEP) immediately set up booms and other barriers to prevent contaminated runoff water from entering the water table.

    Burning tires also release air pollution, which is usually fairly evident through the thick black smoke that is created. One of the worst tire fires in the nation occurred in 1983 in Rhinehart, Virginia. An estimated 7 million tires were burned at this site. The fire smoldered for about 9 months before all hot spots were extinguished. During this time a smoke cloud that spanned 3,000 feet up and 50 miles across resulted. Two bordering states were also affected by the amount of air pollution resulting from the massive fire.  Rhinehart is now the location for one of the federal governments Superfund sites aimed at cleaning up the area.

    The EPA suggests that the best way to help decrease the environmental effects of tire fires is to prevent them from occurring. The Agency recommends that an individual or business does not keep piles of scrap tire, but rather reuses or recycles them. Tire piles can be accidents waiting to happen. Companies that cannot avoid this are to follow strict environmental regulations on how to stack tires in as safe a manner as possible. For instance, tires cannot be piled to the ceiling or too close to one another. This prevents the likelihood of a tire fire from spreading to another stack or igniting the entire building.

    The market for used and recycled tire has shown some promise as they are now often shredded and used in playground construction, sports courts or tracks, and road construction.  Recycling tires not only decreases the likelihood of a devastating fire, but it also significantly cuts down on the amount of land pollution in a community.

     

     

    Keywords:
    hazardous waste material, environmental regulations, land pollution
  • Trey Whitehead
    Environmental Scientist with experience in ESAs, P2 and...
    Job Wanted posted April 15, 2014 by Trey WhiteheadMember  in Environmental Jobs Board public
    Desired Position:
    Environmental Scientist with experience in ESAs, P2 and Compliance in the SF Bay Area
    Name:
    Trey Whitehead
    Contact Email:
    Contact Phone:
    (510) 388-7645
    Employment Status:
    Full-time, Contract
    Availability:
    ASAP
    Resume File:
  • Dutch74
    Hydraulic Fluid - movement in soil3
    Topic posted March 24, 2014 by Dutch74Super Contributor  in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Hydraulic Fluid - movement in soil
    Content:

    I have a split ownership site (my client is looking to purchase 70% of the building) and the other 30% is owned by a machining shop that has been there for 30+ years. As far as machine shops go, this one isn't terrible, but there is a fair amount of open hydraulic oil buckets/drums around the site. The interior is concrete with staining around the machines and some smaller stains on the asphalt near their roll-up door. 

    I haven't found any hard, direct evidence of an REC (I'm sure some would consider the staining on concrete/asphalt REC, but I don't). Although I do feel that over 30 years of time there must have been some significant spills that have occurred. 

    My question is this.... How permeable is hydraulic fluid in the soil?  If I don't find evidence of an REC for the report but may suggest to the client that contamination is still likely given environmental laws/attitudes have changed a lot in 30 years, how permeable is hydraulic fluid in the soil? Most sites when I have seen it the oil tends to stay in the very top of the soil and doesn't permeate like gas/diesel. Could we do some surficial grab samples for their own peace of mind?  Or this there a good way to list what is basically "historical suspicion" as an REC?  Keep in mind, this is the portion of the building that my clients are NOT purchasing. 

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • Clint Casey
    Autoshop sampling4
    Topic posted April 7, 2014 by Clint CaseyMember  in Discussions > General public
    Title:
    Autoshop sampling
    Content:

    I am doing a phase 2 on an Autoshop (small- 1 bay) that was in operation for five years in the early 2000's.  there is not a hydraulic lift or any drains. The operator of the Autoshop passed away and no information on what chemicals were useed or how they were handled is available. I was going to perform soil sampling around the perimeter to a depth of 3 ft using a hand auger.  Samples would be taken at bottom of hole and a PID would be implemented in the field to determine if additional samples are required from within the boreholes and also to do a sweep of the adjacent area for indications of addtional contamination. Soil samples will be tested for 8260 volatiles, 8015 G/D/M and RCRA 8 Metals. This is the first phase 2 I have performed on an autoshop and would appreciate input from other EP's on my approach, was thinking i may be analyzing soil for too much, but like i mentioned above i have no info on what was done here.

    thanks in advance,

    Clint 

  • Samantha S
    Tanneries & Adjacent Property Implications
    Topic posted April 14, 2014 by Samantha SMember  in Discussions > General public
    Title:
    Tanneries & Adjacent Property Implications
    Content:

    I know tanneries are cesspools of potential environmental problems.  I have a subject property in a downtown area that has been developed for 100+ years where a tannery was located on adjacent property that is likely upgradient from the subject property.  The tannery owned a sliver of the subject property (as in a 20' wide section) from 1899 to 1919.  The tannery was listed at one of the subject property address from 1899 to 1914, with the occupant in some years listed as the Tanner's Offal Company.  There are 2 Sanborn Maps from this time frame.  The egregious tannery activities appeared to occur on the adjacent/nearby properties, not the subject property portion.  The area owned by the tannery at the subject property had no buildings with the exception of one very small outbuilding (as in outhouse/ticket booth size). 

     

    My quandary...can I lump these tannery activities on adjacent properties with all the other hideous activities that have occurred in downtown areas that have resulted in high background levels of contaminants in downtown areas or since the tannery owned a sliver of the subject property does this change the game altogether, even though I cannot find any evidence indicating the likely offending activities ever occurred on the subject property.  The available information (although admittedly limited) suggests relatively innocuous activities occurred at the subject property. 

     

    In other words, is soil/groundwater sampling necessary to protect the client (and by extension us).  Theoretically, we can sample what is coming onto the property and compare it to what is coming off the property and hopefully show there is no significant difference (i.e., any problems not created by the subject property).  However, things are never that simple.  I hate to sample soil and groundwater in heavily developed areas with long and varied histories because you never know what you are going to find and sometimes you can spend a lot of someone's money trying to close the can of worms opened. 

     

    I am not looking to get rich of the client, but I also am not interested in being sued. 

  • kelly1
    Environmental Department Manager
    Job Opportunity posted April 14, 2014 by kelly1Member  in Environmental Jobs Board public
    Job Title:
    Environmental Department Manager
    Company Name:
    Benchmark Environmental Consultants
    Company Address:
    5307 E Mockingbird Ln
    Suite 650
    Dallas, TX 75206
    Google map
    Employment Status:
    Full-time
    Contact Phone:
    214-363-5996
    Job Description:
    • Benchmark Environmental Consultants is a progressive engineering and environmental consulting firm that specializes in solving environmental issues by using a practical business and technical approach.  Benchmark has been serving the needs of our wide client base since 1991.  Benchmark effectively manages regulatory, technical, and economic issues while providing expedient project response in a cost conscious manner.  Benchmark offers a competitive salary and benefits package as well as the opportunity for growth for each of our employees.

    • Benchmark Environmental Consultants has an immediate opening for an Environmental Department Manager with Phase I ESA and other investigation and remediation experience and management.  The ideal candidate will have a BS or MS in an environmentally-related field with a minimum of 3 to 5 years experience completing multiple projects simultaneously with strict deliverable deadlines along with management experience. 

    • Manage and coordinate the Environmental Department.
    • Perform & oversee soil and groundwater sampling activities
    • Achieve client objectives in a quick and cost effective manner.
    • Review reports and write all or portions of project technical and summary reports.
    • Market new and existing clients.
    • Manage Clients.
    • Prepare cost proposals.
    • Manage others.
    Required Skills:

    Job Requirements:

    · BS or MS in an environmentally related field.

    · Minimum 3-5 years of environmental consulting experience which must include experience managing.

    · Ability to work with Federal and State agencies including the TCEQ

    · 40-hour OSHA HAZWOPER required.

    · Experience with Phase I ESAs, Asbestos, Lead, Mold and/or Hazardous Waste projects is a plus.

    Local Candidates:
    no preference