Environmental awareness is a concern for the present and future. There are generally two categories; outdoor and indoor environments. The outdoor environment consists of air, water, and land and is primarily regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA was established in 1970 to address the public demand for cleaner air, water, and land.
The indoor environment has become a particular concern in the past 15 years. As energy costs and conservation practices have increased, building envelope tightness standards and technologies have changed to meet the demand. These practices can result in the buildup of chemical and biological contaminants. Both EPA and OSHA have been involved in addressing hazards associated with indoor environments. EPA has focused on schools and building-related issues, while OSHA focuses on work-related exposures in industrial construction, and office settings.
The Indoor Environment
Our expertise and experience in investigating sources of illness or health hazards has proven essential in discovering the source of indoor air quality problems. Indoor air quality issues may be linked to ventilation, moisture/humidity, chemicals or pollutants, mold, or other factors.
Our indoor environmental services are also put into practice for real estate transactions. We provide Environmental Site Assessments for residential and commercial real estate transactions. In addition, our services include inspection of other hazardous building products or materials including; asbestos, lead-based paint/material containing lead, radioactive materials, heavy metal contamination, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and more.
The Outdoor Environment
Our services for the outdoor environment focus on testing water and soil for potential contamination, preparing health and safety plans (HASP) for environmental clean-up and construction projects, and compliance monitoring for environmental projects.
Environmental Site Assessments - Commercial real estate transactions require Environmental Site Assessments prior to the transferring of property. These audits are performed in phases according to standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and EPA. There are three phases, which are driven by the findings of the initial assessment that addresses historical land use (Phase I). If a Phase I assessment indentifies areas of concern, a Phase II assessment is triggered, which may include sampling of soil, water, air or building materials. Based on sampling results, a Phase III assessment may be required to evaluate the health risks of the site. Site assessments are conducted by an “environmental professional,” such as a Certified Industrial Hygienist.
Groundwater and Soil Testing - Services include the inspection, evaluation, and testing of groundwater or soils for potential contaminants associated with historical use, spills, or other sources. Inspection and testing of water includes standard drinking water screening along with potential contamination testing. Soil sampling may accompany groundwater testing. Additionally, soil sampling may be performed around buildings or in distressed vegetation areas to determine the presence of contaminants. Examples include: soil near above-ground storage tanks, visible paint chips near water towers or bridges, or buried materials uncovered during excavation.
Construction Project Environmental Quality Assurance - Many large construction projects impact the environment through potential releases of contaminants to the air, water, or land. Monitoring air quality, inspecting containment systems, engineering controls, and documenting handling, transport, and disposal of waste materials are essential for the protection of the environment. Our services are integrated with industrial hygiene, health and safety plan development, and oversight services to ensure compliance with EPA and OSHA regulations.
Contact us to discuss your site assessment or other environmental service needs.