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  • jcaz329
    Senior Environmental Due Diligence Consultant (Southern...
    Job Opportunity posted January 30, 2015 by jcaz329Member in Environmental Jobs Board public
    Job Title:
    Senior Environmental Due Diligence Consultant (Southern California)
    Company Name:
    Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
    Company Address:
    Irvine, Pasadena or Ontario, CA
    Google map
    Employment Status:
    Full-time
    Start Date:
    ASAP
    Project Duration:
    Permanent
    Employer Contact:
    Apply Online
    Job Description:

    ERM is seeking a motivated Senior Environmental Due Diligence Consultant to join our M&A Transaction Services practice team in Irvine/Pasadena/Ontario, CA. In this role, you will manage and perform environmental due diligence transaction projects for multi-national clients, while working across ERM’s Contaminated Site Management and Performance & Assurance practice teams on related follow-on project tasks. This is an excellent career opportunity to join our globally recognized M&A Transaction Services team, voted ‘Environmental Advisor of the Year’ by Acquisitions Monthly for 4 years.

    RESPONSIBILITIES:

    • Manage and perform complex due diligence projects involving multi-site portfolios and multi-person project teams locally, nationally, and globally.
    • Manage due diligence assessments consistent with ASTM Phase I standards and other global protocols, and including broad-based compliance.
    • Provide consulting advice to legal, corporate, and venture capital clients.
    • Prepare concise reports that assess potential environmental liability risks, and compliance and operational status at manufacturing facilities.
    • Implement Phase II site assessments, including field work and sampling activities.
    • Perform environmental compliance assessments at industrial and commercial facilities, and implement follow-up corrective actions to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
    • Manage regional and global projects within scope/budget/schedule expectations and ensure quality standards on project deliverables.
    • Capitalize on existing client relationships to expand ERM’s profile and market share in the regional Transaction Services market (through a combination of excellence in technical delivery and business development support). Identify and develop new opportunities, prepare effective technical proposals, and take an active role in the development of new business with new and existing clients. Develop and expand client relationships that generate repeat business.
    • Work with ERM Partners-in-Charge and other Project Managers to effectively manage projects.
    • Communicate with clients, ERM employees, and vendors.

    REQUIREMENTS:

    • Bachelors degree in engineering, environmental science, business administration, or related discipline.
    • 8 to 20 years of experience in environmental consulting, working on environmental due diligence projects.
    • Solid knowledge of ASTM Phase I standards, understanding of core business and legal concepts of business transactions, and continued interest in working on transactions.
    • Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills; experience writing comprehensive technical reports.
    • Ability to develop and maintain long-lasting relationships with clients, identify and capitalize on sales opportunities, and mentor junior staff a plus.
    • Ability to multi-task, maintain flexibility, travel, and work independently with minimal supervision.
    • Local candidates preferred.

    TO APPLY:

    To apply, please follow the link below:

    http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH09/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=ERMGINC&cws=1&rid=8824

    Please submit your resume and brief cover letter below. Qualified candidates will be contacted by email, and requested to complete a pre-interview questionnaire. Based on review of these responses, shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews. Thank you for your interest in ERM!

    Environmental Resources Management (ERM) is a leading global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk, social consulting and sustainability related services. We have more than 5,000 people in over 40 countries working out of more than 150 offices. ERM is committed to providing a service that is consistent, professional and of the highest quality to create value for our clients. Over the past five years we have worked for more than 50 percent of the Global Fortune 500 delivering innovative solutions for business and selected government clients helping them understand and manage the sustainability challenges that the world is increasingly facing.

    Our people are outstanding, our workplace is energized! And we continuously strive to be the preferred place for environmental and other professionals to build meaningful and rewarding careers.

    ERM is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

    EEO Employer/Vet/Disabled

    ERM does not accept recruiting agency resumes. Please do not forward resumes to our jobs alias, ERM employees or any other company location. ERM is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.

    Local Candidates:
    no preference
  • jcaz329
    Environmental Due Diligence Consultant (Denver)
    Job Opportunity posted January 28, 2015 by jcaz329Member in Environmental Jobs Board public
    Job Title:
    Environmental Due Diligence Consultant (Denver)
    Company Name:
    Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
    Company Address:
    Denver, CO
    Google map
    Employment Status:
    Full-time
    Start Date:
    ASAP
    Project Duration:
    Permanent
    Employer Contact:
    Apply Online
    Job Description:

    ERM is seeking an entry/mid-level Environmental Due Diligence Consultant to join our Transaction Services practice team in Denver, CO. In this role, you will provide technical assistance on due diligence transaction projects for multi-national clients, while working across ERM’s Performance & Assurance and Contaminated Site Management practice teams on related follow-on project tasks.

    This is an excellent career opportunity to join our globally recognized M&A Transaction Services team, voted ‘Environmental Advisor of the Year’ by Acquisitions Monthly.

    RESPONSIBILITIES:

    • Perform environmental due diligence projects for industrial and commercial transactions, including Phase I Environmental Site Assessments consistent with ASTM standards.
    • Provide consulting advice to industry and legal clients.
    • Prepare concise reports that assess potential environmental liability risks, and compliance and operational status at manufacturing facilities.
    • Implement Phase II site assessments, including field work and sampling activities.
    • Perform environmental compliance assessments at industrial and commercial facilities, and implement follow-up corrective actions to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
    • Provide general environmental compliance support to clients, including on site as needed.
    • Perform multiple projects within scope/budget/schedule expectations and ensure quality standards on project deliverables.
    • Support ERM Partners-in-Charge and Project Managers to prepare technical proposals and effectively manage projects.
    • Communicate with clients, ERM employees, and vendors.

    REQUIREMENTS:

    • Bachelors degree in engineering, environmental science, business administration, or related discipline.
    • Three to eight years of experience in environmental consulting, working on environmental due diligence projects.
    • Solid knowledge of ASTM Phase I standards, understanding of core business and legal concepts of business transactions, and continued interest in working on transactions.
    • Excellent communication, interpersonal and organizational skills; experience writing comprehensive technical reports.
    • Ability to multi-task, maintain flexibility, travel, and work independently with minimal supervision.
    • Local candidates preferred.

    TO APPLY:

    To apply, please follow the link below:

    http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH09/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=ERMGINC&cws=1&rid=8810

    Please submit your resume and brief cover letter. Qualified candidates will be contacted by email, and requested to complete a pre-interview questionnaire. Based on review of these responses, shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews. Thank you for your interest in ERM!

    Environmental Resources Management (ERM) is a leading global provider of environmental, health, safety, risk, social consulting and sustainability related services. We have more than 5,000 people in over 40 countries working out of more than 150 offices. ERM is committed to providing a service that is consistent, professional and of the highest quality to create value for our clients. Over the past five years we have worked for more than 50 percent of the Global Fortune 500 delivering innovative solutions for business and selected government clients helping them understand and manage the sustainability challenges that the world is increasingly facing.

    Our people are outstanding, our workplace is energized! And we continuously strive to be the preferred place for environmental and other professionals to build meaningful and rewarding careers.

    ERM is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

    EEO Employer/Vet/Disabled

    ERM does not accept recruiting agency resumes. Please do not forward resumes to our jobs alias, ERM employees or any other company location. ERM is not responsible for any fees related to unsolicited resumes.

    Required Experience:

    See job description

    Desired Experience:

    See job description

    Required Skills:

    See job description

    Desired Skills:

    See job description

    Local Candidates:
    no preference
  • Mike M
    Opinions, please: Distinguising a CREC from an HREC.1
    Topic last edited January 28, 2015 by Mike MSuper Contributor in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Opinions, please: Distinguising a CREC from an HREC.
    Content:

    Hey fellow assessors, please chime in with your opinions on this issue.

    In my opinion, there is somewhat of an ambiguity in the wording of ASTM regarding CRECs and HRECs. Basically, I feel that the ASTM committee has ignored the fact that regulators do not base the wording of their case closure letters on ASTM language.

    Per the ASTM standard, an HREC means that a site has been cleaned up to a level that meets “unrestricted use.” Per the standard, the contamination "...has been addressed to the satisfaction of the applicable regulatory authority or meeting unrestricted use criteria established by a regulatory authority, without subjecting the property to any required controls (for example, property use restrictions, activity and use limitations, institutional controls, or engineering controls)."

    For the definition of CRECs, the standard  states the the contamination is "... allowed to remain in place subject to the implementation of required controls (for example, property use restrictions, activity and use limitations, institutional controls, or engineering controls)."

    To further obfuscate the issue, the standard states: "Before calling the past release a historical recognized environmental condition, the environmental professional must determine whether the past release is a recognized environmental condition at the time the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is conducted (for example, if there has been a change in the regulatory criteria)."

    Now, here are two scenarios for you all to consider:

    Scenario 1:

    Let's say you have a gas station site, and very high levels of soil and groundwater contamination are present. However, the agency has determined that since local groundwater is non-beneficial, no further action was required, and they issued a case closure letter. Let's say that the closure letter wording is somewhat vague, along the lines of "Based on the submitted information, no further action is required."

    So, this site does not have any stated land use restrictions or other required "controls." Therefore, one could argue that this is an HREC.

    However,  I would bet that the property would have a very hard time being redeveloped with, for example, a public school  without doing all sorts of additional investigation and likely remediation or other controls. 

    To me, that does not meet the definition of “unrestricted” land use. Just because an agency closure letter doesn’t explicitly state that there are land use restrictions doesn’t mean that they don’t exist based on other factors.

    For this scenario, lets assume that there have been no changes in regulatory standards since the closure was issued, so this would not be considered an REC.

    Scenario 2:

     

    Here's another scenario: 

     

    Let's say you have a site where NFA case closure was granted with significant contamination left in place, and it's your opinion that the agency that issued the case closure was simply incorrect in it's opinion (ex: significant PCE concentrations left in place, but no vapor intrusion assessment was conducted, or sampling protocol was inadequate.)

    Please provide your opinions of what you assess  these sites as: REC, HREC, or CREC, based on the scenario information. Please provide a rational for your opinions.

    Thanks!

    Mike

     

     

  • Z. Heine
    Chinese Laundry - REC?3
    Topic posted January 27, 2015 by Z. HeineMember in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Chinese Laundry - REC?
    Content:

    During a recent Sanborn Map review we identified a Chinese Laundry adjacent to our subject site.  It was identified between 1886 & 1892, at which time the building was razed.  My initial opinion is that these laundries typically were not associated with PCE/TCE and this time of operation also lends to the limited potential for impact / release.  Therefore, our opinion is no REC. 

    Thoughts / Experiences? 

    Thanks

  • Camie
    Single Family Home from 1939 Fire4
    Topic posted December 9, 2014 by CamieMember in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Single Family Home from 1939 Fire
    Content:

    I am working on a Phase I ESA where there was a single family home, constructed in 1939. So likelihood of asbestos.  A fire occurred in 2010 - the house was unoccupied and vacant at the time.  It was ruled arson by the Fire Marshal.  To my knowledge, only water was used to control the spread, no foam.  Is the asbestos a concern in what's left of the structure on the site?

  • Here2Learn
    Up-gradient adjoining new gas station a REC?4
    Topic posted January 26, 2015 by Here2LearnMember in Discussions > General public
    Title:
    Up-gradient adjoining new gas station a REC?
    Content:

    I'm writing a Phase I report for a parcel that has an up-gradient adjoining gas station. The gas station was built 2 years ago. There have been no spills or releases reported. In my report, I identify the site as a finding but I'm not sure on whether or not to consider it a REC or not. Do the USTs beneath the gas station represent a material threat for a future release and therefore make the site a REC? Any help appreciated (JG!!)

    Thanks

     

     

  • Bill Wagner
    The Importance of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments for...
    Entry posted January 27, 2015 by Bill WagnerSuper Contributor in Blogs > Bill Wagner Environmental Lawyer public
    Title:
    The Importance of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments for Commercial Real Estate Investors
    Entry:

    Purchasing commercial real estate requires buyer due diligence to reduce the risk of catastrophic financial ruin caused by environmental contamination.  In order to fulfill this diligence, most buyers engage a qualified environmental consultant to perform a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) of the property and the surrounding area before the purchase.  This is because a properly conducted Phase I ESA may allow the buyer to qualify for certain defenses under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 et seq., which imposes liability on current and certain past owners and operators of property for the release of hazardous substances into the environment, without regard to fault.  In a California case, Cappola v. Smith, buyers recently learned a due diligence lesson the hard way for property they purchased 20 years ago that turned out to be contaminated.

    Image:
    More:

    In 1995, Martin and Martin Properties, LP (M&M), a local real estate investment company that had previously invested in only farmland, decided to purchase a commercial office building in downtown Visalia, California.  The purchase price was approximately $1.4 million, and was supported by an appraisal.  An image from Google maps shows the property at the corner of Main Street and Willis Street.

    Before purchasing the property in 1995, the buyers reviewed three reports (all prepared four years prior), including a Preliminary Site Assessment, a Subsurface Investigation Report, and a Preliminary Structural Evaluation.  They also physically inspected the property, walked the streets, spoke with local business owners, and consulted with a financial consultant regarding the past use and history of the property.  But, what they did not do was retain their own environmental professional to perform a Phase I ESA.

    A dry cleaning business called Miller’s Dry Cleaning had operated at the site from 1959 until 1971, but had a street address of 110 North Willis Street.  During the construction of the commercial building at 520 North Main, the area known as 110 North Willis became part of the northern portion of 520 North Main.  The plaintiffs’ expert said this fact was discernable by reviewing old Sanborn insurance maps.  However, there was no evidence that M&M had ever looked at the Sanborn maps or otherwise knew of the presence of the dry cleaning business at 110 North Willis.

    Dry cleaning businesses, like Miller’s Dry Cleaning, commonly used tetrachloroethylene (also referred to as perchloroethylene, perc, or PCE) in their operations.  Old dry cleaning businesses are notorious for releases of PCE into the environment, often through no fault or intent of the business owners.  Solvents like PCE are known to travel quickly to groundwater and migrate offsite.  I have had several cases where PCE has migrated more than a mile from the source of the contamination.

    In 2008, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) discovered PCE contamination surrounding another dry cleaning business in downtown Visalia, namely Coppola’s One Hour Martinizing, located at 717 West Main Street.  Coppola and owners of the 717 West Main entered into a consent decree with DTSC to clean up the contamination.  In its search for other responsible parties, a subsurface study discovered contamination from Miller’s Dry Cleaning and another nearby dry cleaner approximately a block away.  As is common in environmental cases, Coppola brought suit against the other dry cleaning businesses, current and past property owners where the dry cleaners were located, including M&M as the current property owner from whose property there was a release of hazardous substances, and others.

    M&M filed a motion for summary judgment to be dismissed from the lawsuit on the basis of CERCLA’s “innocent landowner” defense.  To prevail on this defense, M&M had to prove that it had no reason to know of the contamination on the property at the time of purchase, and that it performed “all appropriate inquiries” in accordance with generally accepted good commercial and customary standards and practices, into the previous ownership and uses of the property.  Case law holds that what constitutes “good commercial standards and practices” are generally those prevailing commercial standards at the relevant time and in the relevant location.

    The court denied M&M’s motion finding that there were factual issues that had to be resolved by a trial.  Namely, the court was uncertain whether it was reasonable for M&M to rely on four year old reports at the time of its purchase decision, whether M&M should have hired an environmental professional to investigate the past uses of the property, whether M&M should have investigated the Sanborn maps that would have disclosed the Miller’s Dry Cleaning business, and other factual issues.  For example, in addition to being four years old at the time it was reviewed, the Preliminary Site Assessment stated that it was prepared for a particular client and others who wished to rely on the findings had a duty to determine the adequacy of the report for their intended use (and there was no evidence regarding M&M’s determination that the report was adequate for its purchase of the property); PCE was detected in nearby wells below regulatory limits (but there was no analysis whether further investigation was warranted); and that no onsite soil or groundwater samples had been taken (which would have provided the best evidence of soil and groundwater conditions).

    Also, the case arose just after ASTM E-1527-93 (Phase I ESAs) came into existence and just before compliance with this ASTM standard was deemed good commercial practice for compliance with CECLA’s obligation for all appropriate inquiries.  There was no evidence that M&M’s actions complied with the ASTM standard.  Had M&M conducted all appropriate inquiries using the ASTM E-1527-93 standard for Phase I ESAs, it is likely the court would have granted the motion.  Moreover, without an expert witness to tie up the factual issues, the court was left with too many unanswered questions and denied M&M’s motion.

    As of the date of this article, all appropriate inquiries can be established by having a Phase I ESA in compliance with ASTM E-1527-05 (the 2005 standard) or ASTM E-1527-13 (the 2013 standard).  As of October 6, 2015, the ASTM E-1527-05 standard will no longer be recognized by EPA as compliant with the industry standard.  See 79 Fed. Reg. 60090 (Oct. 6, 2014).  Accordingly, many environmental professionals and prospective purchasers of real property are conducting their Phase I ESAs in compliance with 2013 standard, i.e., ASTM E-1527-13.

    Keywords:
    Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, Phase I ESA, ASTM E-1527-13, CERCLA, buyer due diligence, Bill Wagner Environmental Lawyer
  • MargaretThibo
    Portland Takes the Green to School
    Entry posted January 26, 2015 by MargaretThiboContributor in Current Environmental Issues > Current Environmental Issues Blog public
    Title:
    Portland Takes the Green to School
    Entry:

    In the fall of 2014 heavy rains began to show the city of Portland, Oregon that something needed to be done to update inadequate drainage in many areas. Aside from the obvious dangers associated with flooding, if the flow of water becomes too great the risk of water contamination also increases. The likelihood of raw sewage being introduced to the overwhelmed water systems becomes likely. Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services believes that they have come up with the perfect plan to solve the city’s storm drain problems while keeping local communities happy.

    The Bureau convinced the City Council to earmark $260,000 for a green storm water project.  The money would go toward creating a natural play area for K-eighth graders at the Laurelhurst School. Approximately 11,000 square feet of asphalt would either be removed or sloped differently to optimize the area for proper drainage. The play area would be lined with wood chips and have ample benches and shade trees for children to have both recreation and relaxation time.

    Overall the project should keep about 700,000 gallons of storm water out of the sewer system, preventing the city of Portland from having to dig up at least eleven sections of pipe. Despite the taxpayer price tag, the Laurelhurst School project is considered a much cheaper option than the complete replacement of storm drain pipes. Building the play area at the Laurelhurst School is a much cheaper alternative and is expected to be completed before the 2015 school year. The Bureau would continue to fund the play area’s maintenance for the first two years, eventually transitioning them over to the school system.  The green plan is expected to be cost effective even after maintenance fees.

    The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services has accomplished two similar projects in the past. In 2003 the city spent $98,000 to create a rain garden at a local elementary school. Similarly in 2007 Portland spent $523,000 on another rain garden at a middle school.

    Keywords:
    water contamination
  • MargaretThibo
    Des Moines Takes Bold Step with Lawsuit
    Entry posted January 26, 2015 by MargaretThiboContributor in Current Environmental Issues > Current Environmental Issues Blog public
    Title:
    Des Moines Takes Bold Step with Lawsuit
    Entry:

    Des Moines, Iowa‘s Water Works is currently threatening to sue three neighboring counties in which major farms reside. The counties would be sued for failing to control the amount of fertilizer that has been reaching local waterways including the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. The hope is that the judicial outcome would inspire some sort of future environmental regulations regarding fertilizer use and the water contamination that results.

    There is currently not much regulation, which allows large amounts of fertilizer nitrates into the Iowa waterways. The city of Des Moines spent about $900,000 filtering nitrates out of the city's water supply in 2013; a price the city finds an unfair financial burden.

    Nitrates in water can be dangerous if consumed. Nitrates are especially dangerous for newborns since they lack the strong stomach acids required to digest the chemical. Fertilizer nitrates have also been linked to killing off entire food chains in ecosystems across the nation. Food chains are destroyed when nitrates spur massive algae blooms. The algae consume all the oxygen in the water creating complete dead zones, suffocating almost any other organisms in that zone.

    It’s pretty clear that water contamination from nitrates is a direct result of farmers fertilizing their corn crops. The excess nitrates in the fertilizer run off the fields into underground pipes that eventually drain directly into the soil. Many of these drainage pipes are directly managed by local county governments. This level of responsibility is precisely why Des Moines is suing the counties and not the individual farmers. The city claims that it was the responsibility of the counties to protect residents that rely on the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers.

    If Des Moines Water Works is successful in court, farmers may be forced into controlling their fertilizer use. The counties being sued would have to enforce environmental compliance in order to avoid future consequence.  There are many solutions to help decrease nitrate runoff.  First, utilizing modern technology and tracking systems decreases the amount of fertilizer used.   Farmers can construct ponds or create wetlands on their property that would trap the nitrate contaminated sediment.  Farmers are slow to adopt these practices due to the associated costs. Aside from set up and construction costs, farmers would have to sacrifice profit producing land to build these filtration systems on.

    The government has begun to start offering incentive programs that help cover the costs associated with constructing the ponds and wetlands. Some farmers are on a waiting list of over two years to receive government aid.

    Some Iowa politicians feel as though Des Moines Water Works is being far too aggressive in threatening suit against the three counties. They feel as though a more conservative measure may have been more appropriate, as those methods have proven successful in other states. The threat of a suit was also not openly discussed, with many officials reading about it in the newspaper. The timing of the suit also coincides with the beginning of a new legislative session, so many politicians feel that it may distract from accomplishing other political agendas.

    Keywords:
    environmental regulations, water contamination , environmental compliance
  • AlexW
    Phase I Update with additional property1
    Topic posted January 26, 2015 by AlexWMember in Discussions > General public
    Title:
    Phase I Update with additional property
    Content:

    Hi All;

    A client wants to update a Phase I (from 2009) which will include a "new" small portion of adjoining property.  The User of the Phase I is the same from the original report and nothing on the site has really changed.

    I am under the impression that the Phase I is outdated even though it is the same User.  Additionally, you cannot update a former Phase I where the update includes additional property that was not included in the original Phase I.

    Just looking for someone to say I'm correct (or incorrect, I guess).