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Posts

  • Dennis P
    State Certification for Phase I ESA Professionals3
    Topic posted December 16, 2014 by Dennis PMember in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    State Certification for Phase I ESA Professionals
    Content:

    Does anyone know if state certification or registration is required in Washington State, Arizona, or California?  I was informed you need Nevada certification to complete an ASTM 1527 Phase I ESA in the state of Nevada.

  • JMagdon
    Sanborn GT beneath widened roadway2
    Topic posted November 19, 2014 by JMagdonMember in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Sanborn GT beneath widened roadway
    Content:

    Hypothetical scenario: An early Sanborn Map depicts a "GT" along a roadway (likely beneath a sidewalk) and near a former on-site structure identified as "auto repair".  For all intensive purposes, the tank is likely associated with the former structure.  Fast forward a few years: the roadway has been widened by the town (they took some of the land under imminent domain); subsequent Sanborn Maps do not depict the former structure and the "GT" is no longer depicted.  Property has been sold a few times and your Client is buying from most recent owner.  Is the former "GT" (and former auto repair structure) a REC?  They are no longer on-site; the tank may potentially remain under the expanded roadway; but is not on the current subject property.  If identified as a REC and found (via GPR) to be present under the roadway, who's responsible for the tank?     

    We've been discussing this internally and there's varying opinions as to whether it is a REC.

  • MargaretThibo
    Soil Sample Booth a Success1
    Entry posted December 7, 2014 by MargaretThiboContributor in Current Environmental Issues > Current Environmental Issues Blog public
    Title:
    Soil Sample Booth a Success
    Entry:

    The city of Eugene, Oregon had an unusual booth at the seasonal Harvest Festival this year. The booth was named “My Garden” and was a place in which individuals brought collected samples of soil from their yard and had it analyzed to see if it was safe to grow fruits and vegetables in.

    Eugene had been brought to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attention recently as an area concerned about their air quality as well as other potential hazardous waste materials from local industries. Surveys of city resident revealed that many of them were concerned with potential health risk, especially due to the amount of children in the area suffering with asthma. As a result, the EPA awarded small grants to an organization call Beyond Toxics so that further data could be collected. The grants went towards educating the community and allowing them opportunities to voice concerns.

    The soil booth was the brainchild of concerned citizen Joanne Gross who asked a simple question of whether her soil was safe to grow food in.  Gross joined forces with Beyond Toxics and sought out to answer her question. Upon research the team discovered that similar programs had already been done in Philadelphia in a “Soil Kitchen” event.

    Weeks before the Harvest Festival Joanne Gross and other volunteers distributed 250 kits throughout the Eugene community so that soil samples could be collected. The kits contained a spoon, a baggie, and illustrated instructions on how to collect and deliver the sample. The day of the Festival 38 samples were brought to the booth for analysis. The results were then explained to the individual. There was even a Spanish speaking individual at the booth to explain results, since the population is so diverse. After a log day and weeks of preparation, all 38 samples tested were deemed safe for growing food safely.

    Keywords:
    hazardous waste materials
  • GRTUSA
    HREC, REC or neither.9
    Topic posted November 26, 2014 by GRTUSAMember in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    HREC, REC or neither.
    Content:

    I am working on a Phase I ESA for an apartment complex.  The complex was built in 1989.  There was a previous ESA completed in 1998 that reported no RECs (they identified all of the previous uses that I did).  The owner contacted me to complete a new Phase I at the request of his bank due to a planned refinancing.  The apartment complex itself presents no concerns.  The potential concern is the historical use of the subject property and surrounding area.  The area is currently primarily residential and retail-commercial. Situated between the banks of a river and a railroad however it was not always that way.  In the late 1800s it was a hardwood flooring manufacturing facility, in 1920 is was an automobile manufacturing facility, in the 1940s through 1970s it was the city streets garage.  The property adjacent to the north (other side of the road) is a state listed site with AUL due to former use as a iron works.  The property adjacent to the west was coal storage yard.  River to the east side and flows north.

    My question is this:  does the former use of the parcel represent an REC or HREC and if a HREC is a Phase II warranted?

    Thanks for your insight. I am wrestling with this decision and your input will be much appreciated.

  • McCarthy
    Printing Industry vs. Default RECs
    Topic last edited December 16, 2014 by McCarthyElite Contributor in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Printing Industry vs. Default RECs
    Content:

    If you were doing Phase I's at two separate printing companies (one started in 1962, the other in 1986) without any prior site usage concerns or off-site considerations, would the site usage as a printing company be considered a REC due to historic industry-wide use of chlorinated solvents?  Granted, the decision as to whether Phase II's are needed is a function of lender risk and site observations. 

    In the absence of the three release-related elements defining a REC under ASTM/AAI, would the historic usage only rise to the level of a BER?  

    If you were doing a Phase I for a dry cleaner with 40 years of operation and didn't observe staining or spills, would the site by it's historic usage only also constitute a BER?

    Image:
  • Richard Bapst
    Does anyone know what this pipe feature with copper tubing...1
    Topic posted December 11, 2014 by Richard BapstMember in Discussions > Environmental Due Diligence public
    Title:
    Does anyone know what this pipe feature with copper tubing inside of it is?
    Content:

    I found this feature at a site, formerly contained a printer for 5-8 years....clothing warehousing other than that.  I also know the former location of the originally installed heating oil UST from the as-built plans, which is not this location.  Its a larger steel pipe coming out of the ground about five feet from the building wall and then a 1/2 inch copper tubing line that has been snipped off is coming out of that pipe, which again, seemingly is coming up from the ground.  See photo.  Any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Image:
  • MargaretThibo
    Oldest Ecosystem in Florida Scrubbed
    Entry posted December 13, 2014 by MargaretThiboContributor in Current Environmental Issues > Current Environmental Issues Blog public
    Title:
    Oldest Ecosystem in Florida Scrubbed
    Entry:

    Central Florida is the home to a unique terrain known as scrub, an area made up of sand dunes and hearty plants.  The terrain is Florida’s version of a dessert and is considered one of the oldest ecosystems in the state. The present day scrub area was the first piece of land that was exposed as the ocean levels lowered. Despite the lands fortitude over thousands of years, it faces near extinction as developers continue to build.

     A group of volunteers in southwest Orange County have gotten permission from local land developers to remove plants from the property. They plan to dig up as much of the plant life as possible in order to save endangered plant species. Any plants collected will be replanted in conservations and cataloged in a genetic library. The 485 acre area will eventually be bulldozed and have 1,557 homes built on it.  A million years of ecosystem will be destroyed in only a few short months.

    The volunteers, many of them members of the Native Plant Society, explain that collecting plant samples is clearly not the best option, but it is the only one that they have if they want to save many species. Ideally the land would be protected and safe from all development, but the protection of plants is far weaker than the environmental regulations that are in place to protect endangered animals.

    Volunteers are however appreciative of the development company for allowing them the opportunity to save what they could, as many companies are not as cooperative. Companies often worry that the volunteers would discover an endangered or protected animal on the land. This could force them into court and make it illegal for them to build on that land. In this case, the volunteers have signed a contract that would not allow them to make any such claims.

    Keywords:
    environmental regulations
  • MargaretThibo
    Fracking Dust Exposure Dangerous for Employees
    Entry posted December 13, 2014 by MargaretThiboContributor in Current Environmental Issues > Current Environmental Issues Blog public
    Title:
    Fracking Dust Exposure Dangerous for Employees
    Entry:

     The fracking industry  is no stranger to current environmental issues, and recent concerns over workplace safety are no exception. The danger lies in the sand that is inhaled by workers. The sand is made up of extremely fine quartz silica which can lead to deadly lung diseases like silicosis.

    Major attention to the issue began in 2011 when a government researcher visited a Colorado drilling site to study workers being exposed to potentially harmful fluids in fracking. The researcher’s attention was soon diverted once he saw the amount of dust that was generated in the process. The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) soon began conducting research at eleven drilling sites in five different states. Samples taken from the area around worker’s heads revealed that many were being exposed to silica dust levels that were 10 times legal levels.Fracking sand becomes airborne when it is trucked to drilling site and unloaded onto conveyor belts where it is eventually mixed with fluid chemicals and pumped into the ground.

    NIOSH has made several pleas to the federal government to develop environmental regulations concerning the amount of fracking sands that can be produced. The American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce agree that exposure to silica is dangerous, but argue that creating regulations is not an economically wise decision. Therefore, most legislation is rejected. These groups recommend that the responsibility should be placed on the companies that own the fracking sites.

    One company, Encana has taken responsibility and changed its practice to include using vacuums to collect potentially airborne sand. The company has also started to train their employees in silica awareness, including the use of respiratory masks. Despite these efforts, silica levels remain above federal standards in at least three Encana sites. Another company called Sandbox offers a unique solution in which all sand remains in a closed box as it makes its way to the conveyor belt to be mixed with fluids. This minimizes the amount of airborne dust significantly.

    Unfortunately, the impact on fracking worker’s health may not be known for several years. Silicosis and other lung diseases take between five and ten years to develop. Currently, there is no research being done to monitor worker’s health.

    Keywords:
    fracking, current environmental issues, environmental regulations
  • Camie
    Single Family Home from 1939 Fire
    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?

  • jcaz329
    Environmental Compliance / Due Diligence Consultant
    Job Opportunity last edited December 8, 2014 by jcaz329Member in Environmental Jobs Board public
    Job Title:
    Environmental Compliance / Due Diligence Consultant
    Company Name:
    ERM; Environmental Resources Management
    Company Address:
    840 West Sam Houston Parkway North, Suite 600
    Houston, Texas 77024
    Google map
    Employment Status:
    Full-time
    Employer Contact:
    Zoe Kohl
    Contact Email:
    Job Description:

    ERM is seeking a motivated Environmental Compliance / Due Diligence Consultant, who is interested in participating on a variety of projects covering the full spectrum of ERM’s services, to join our consulting firm in Houston, TX. In this role, you will work closely with Project Managers on EHS compliance and due diligence transaction projects.

    This is an excellent career opportunity to work with an expert consulting team on challenging environmental projects for large industrial and global clients. Access to ERM's national Performance & Assurance and Transaction Services experts provide knowledge sharing of best practices across the industry and ongoing learning opportunities for our team. This is also 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 studies for industrial / commercial transactions consistent with ASTM Phase I standards and other global protocols, and broad-based compliance assessments at industrial and commercial facilities.
    • Prepare concise reports that assess potential environmental liability risks, regulatory compliance, and health and safety concerns at commercial / industrial facilities. Identify corrective actions for compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.
    • Provide timely consulting advice to industry and legal clients to help manage business risk and maximize transaction value. Work with clients to find solutions to transaction-driven environmental issues, including EHS compliance, social impact, remediation, and liability cost estimating.
    • Support the development of EHS compliance and management system programs. Help prepare plans, permits, and reports for hazardous waste, air quality, storm water, NPDES, and wastewater programs. Help design and implement Phase II site assessments, including field work and sampling activities.
    • Perform multiple projects within scope/budget/schedule and ensure quality standards on project deliverables. Support ERM Partners-in-Charge and Project Managers to effectively manage projects and meet client expectations

    TO APPLY:

    Please submit your resume and brief cover to the below link:

    http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH09/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=ERMGINC&cws=1&rid=8637

    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 counties 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:

    REQUIREMENTS:

    • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, environmental science, business administration, or related discipline.
    • 2 to 4 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 writing, communication, strategic thinking, and organizational skills.
    • Ability to meet expedited deadlines, maintain flexibility, travel, and work independently with minimal supervision. Local candidates preferred.
    Local Candidates:
    local preferred