Introducing MonoShield: A Chemically Resistant, Preemptive Vapor Barrier That Saves Time and Money

Dane: Hello and welcome, everyone. My name is Dane Menke. I am the digital marketing manager here at REGENESIS and Land Science. Before we get started, I have just a few administrative items to cover.

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Today’s presentation will provide an introduction to MonoShield, a new chemically resistant and preemptive vapor barrier from Land Science. With that, I’d like to introduce our presenters for today.

We’re pleased to have with us Tom Szocinksi, director of vapor intrusion at Land Science. Mr. Szocinksi is a nationally recognized vapor intrusion expert with over 17 years’ experience as an environmental scientist, focusing on vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation, remediation, site assessment, and brownfield site management.

He has served on both the state and federal regulatory vapor intrusion review boards, assisting with the development of vapor intrusion and mitigation guidance, regulations, and exposure criteria.

We’re also pleased to have with us today, Dr. Kristen Thoreson, director of research and development at REGENESIS and Land Science. She will be discussing the chemical resistance testing of MonoShield.

Dr. Thoreson heads the chemical research and product development program at REGENESIS and Land Science. Her team is focused on developing advanced technologies for the treatment of recalcitrant compounds in mixed environmental media. All right. That concludes our introduction. So now I’ll hand things over to Tom to get us started.

Tom: Thank you, Dane. First off, it’s a pleasure to be able to give this webinar to you guys. And we’re looking forward to the MonoShield innovative new vapor intrusion barrier technology that we get to share with you today.

We’re gonna go through a quick presentation agenda and so highlighting the innovative vapor intrusion mitigation approach. First, I’m gonna give you a brief overview of Land Science and then get into the details of MonoShield as far as target sites, the competitive differentiation, and more importantly, even the chemical resistance testing.

I’ll follow that up with already some success stories that we have on brownfield case studies, and then we’ll finalize this webinar with some open time for questions and answers for sessions related to vapor intrusion mitigation and vapor intrusion barriers.

So with the overview of Land Science, we’re a division of REGENESIS. We are a premier vapor intrusion mitigation provider with many solutions. We also provide design assistance and with a team of engineers and scientists that rigorously work in the vapor intrusion world on a daily basis.

We have a certified applicator network for each of our products that we offer, and with that certified applicator concept comes through with a rigorous training that we put our applicators through so they understand the process as we install these vapor barriers to make sure they meet the required necessities that we have detailed with of each of our products. We also offer an industry-leading vapor barrier warranty options for the many suits of the options that we offer for our barriers.

So getting into the bit of the detailed MonoShield and why you’re all here to listen in today. So, we provided a new opportunity for vapor intrusion barriers, and MonoShield was specifically designed for brownfield sites. So, we are an innovative company. And at this point, we saw that there was a proven market need for preemptive vapor intrusion mitigation at what might be called or characterizes as possibly a low-risk site.

And low-risk could be a relative term, but what we’re looking at there is low-level contaminants, radon, methane, or sometimes at sites where there are states that there’s not a regulatory requirement for vapor intrusion mitigation or maybe even not even vapor intrusion guidances.

We also have looked at the aspect of large warehouse developments, and, you know, this market had been traditionally served with thin-mill plastic sheets that were designed more importantly from water and moisture barrier protection and not really a contaminant vapor barrier. These systems, you know, they’re not chemically resistant and are constructed typically with a taped seam. You know, these tape seams tend to be where some of the weaker aspects are.

The other thing that we notice is in the industry as we continue to try to come out with a new innovative product for this niche was the HDPE welded in this, so 60 mil HDPE barriers that come off as a welded system. Successful on these larger warehouses, yes, but still cumbersome one the time frame of installation.

And as I mentioned for methane or radon only sites is just another component in market aspect that we believe MonoShield is going to definitely target. And as you see here at the last bullet, it’s not appropriate for all sites.

So, MonoShield is been designed for preemptive mitigation, when we have these low-level contaminants, methane, radon, low-level VI risks, and some, you know, areas where states or local regulatory requirements aren’t necessary. One would wonder, you know, well, where are we at in 2019. So, you can look here across the states, and this is as of literally last week. The red states are states that not only have a vapor intrusion guidance, but they have vapor intrusion guidance that actually detail mitigation information.

The green states that are now having guidances that at least have some sort of vapor intrusion. But you can still see quite a few states out there that are gray, and those don’t have vapor intrusion guidances. Some states do reference the federal guidance, the US EPA. Some of them even reference the ITRC, but they don’t have their own internal guidance. Why is that important?

Well, as we’re looking through these situations, if you’re working on a site in a state that doesn’t have vapor intrusion guidance, then you could be dealing with a cluster of different options in what people are proposing, if they’re even proposing anything.

So, you know, it is important to look through this and understand, if there is a vapor intrusion mitigation guidance, what is the state referencing? If you’re familiar with our website, you can go to our website. We do links to each of these states. And if there is a guidance or a mitigation guidance, it’s there.

So the importance is, is here’s where a limitation could be from MonoShield. Some states are gonna require a thicker barrier, a 60 mil thousands of an inch. So, you’re gonna wanna know that as you move forward. That’s kind of why we put that bullet in there. It may not be for all sites.

So now let’s get a little bit into the weeds. MonoShield is a composite system. We make note here that it’s up to 30 to 40% faster installation than HDPE welded, as I mentioned. Where the speed comes is how we’re seaming this barrier together. It rolls out, and then it is seamed together with the spray applied, nitrile core. And we’ll get into that detail quite in a little bit.

But you can also see why we’re referencing that as MonoShield. There in the right, you’re gonna see a metallized film layer. This is an innovative concept. We worked through with our research development team to identify a higher chemically resistant barrier at a thinner concept.

So was born MonoShield. And now we have the metallized film, and it’s one layer that really increases that chemical-resistant aspect. And as you’ll see here, it has a geotextile bottom so that the base at geotextile is important so that it can lay across the aggregate and not have concerns of punctures or issues.

Even though we do have a high level of puncture resistance in the PET, which is the top, and the metalized film, we wanted to have even further constructability and control over that barrier as it’s gonna be laid out across quite a few different types of aggregate.

It’s easy to install. The advanced composite sheet incorporates continuous layers that include the aluminum as I reference, and it’s a tear-resistant and standalone barrier. So, with that being said, as a preemptive measure, you can lay this barrier out, spray the seams, and you’ve got yourself a preemptive vapor intrusion barrier.

So, as I mentioned, and we’ll get more into the detail, the chemical resistance is not only in the metallized film, but, you know, some of the weaker points in vapor barriers are the seams, are the penetrations, and the perimeter. We have then created a new spray-applied nitrile core to address this in the seams, in the penetrations, and perimeters.

So coming down just a little bit further, you’re gonna see the same diagram to the right, but kind of I wanted to get into that a little bit more on the metallized film. So, you’re gonna see here that metallized film, it’s encompassing across the entire based layer, with exception that the only difference is at the end of each of the layers. There are gonna be no geotextile, and that’s done strategically.

So as we do these seams, we get a seamless transition as we spray the core across. It is a very flexible product, even at 30 mils. And that’s the total thickness composite of the geomembrane, adding the geotextile, the metallized film, and the PET.

So the 30 mil gives you that durability, but also it’s still very flexible and durable to be able to bend and move as you need to. You’re gonna see there that we reference the metallized film that’s bonded. And that’s important.

So, even if you see in the right picture, there’s a series of layers, I don’t want you to walk away from this thinking that it’s just coming across that way when you have the product in hand. It’s one sheet. It is thermally bonded to create one sheet as a whole when it comes to the site.

The MonoShield, you know, versus thin-mill plastic sheets. It’s significantly different. And you’ll see there, the right picture you’re seeing the tape and the left picture you’re seeing how they’re spraying that seam. We’ll get into it in a little while as far as how those seams go, and we’ve got some detail to show you. But you can see, we’re gonna offer and we do offer that you’re allowed to smoke test this. That’s important. There are actually some state guidances out there that will require that or highly recommend.

Smoke test is important because you find your weakest link. So when you put a smoke and the smoke test is literally pumping the smoke underneath the barrier, and you’re looking for smoke to come through the seams, the penetrations, or the perimeter, and if there is an imperfection in the base layer itself. As I said, it’s a fast application, 30 to 40% faster, and you’re getting a significant value of that sprayed seam.

We do have a certified applicator network, as I touched base when I was introducing Land Science. And that’s important to understand that the certified applicators know the process of how it needs to be installed. And we work intimately with our certified applicators on a case-by-case basis to verify that they understand the process, because each site could be a little bit different. And then, you know, as I reference here is the high seam integrity.

One of the weakest concepts of a barrier is if that seam fails. And, you know, we’ll walk you through in a little while as far as the information of how those seams go. But what’s important is to understand that we work to create this spray-applied seam so that we have a seamless type system.

So before I get into the details of the construction, I wanna do a kind of appease some of this information as far as the chemical resistance. And I’m gonna turn this over to Dr. Kristen Thoreson in the coming slide so she can go through some of our chemical resistant testings that we’ve been conducting.

Dr. Thoreson: Great. Thanks, Tom. So as has already been mentioned, you know, MonoShield has been designed to be durable and be very easy to install. And those features were certainly key as we produced or develop this product.

However, let’s take a moment and just describe some of the chemical resistance testings that we conducted as we developed MonoShield as a means to ensure that the system would adequately reduce the VI risks that we’re trying to address.

So to accomplish this, our Land Science R&D team tested a variety of materials as we got our way to MonoShield and the actual material we are using today. And we use this specialized testing chamber that you see on the screen here.

To briefly describe the setup, there are two chambers separated only in the middle by the barrier that we’re testing so we can put the MonoBase in that material or other materials to compare it against it. And the bottom chamber is where we can add a solution of contaminated water. This could be benzene, really any contaminant that we’re interested in testing. The contaminants are then volatilized to create the challenge contaminant vapor. And then the top chamber, you can really think of as indoor air. So that’s the area that we’re going to measure and really be able to evaluate the performance of these barriers, how much contaminated vapors are coming through.

And so throughout these studies, we sample the bottom chamber to ensure that the challenge concentration remains constant throughout the study, and also in between tests so that every barrier has the same challenge concentration no matter when we’re testing it. And then we take the samples from the top sample port, and again, that’s where we really evaluate how much vapor has diffused through the barriers.

We typically set these up with pretty high challenge concentrations that allows us to screen these a little bit faster. But we do let them equilibrate for a few days, and then we can compare those relative performance of the different materials.

And so the results of this test confirmed that the reinforced aluminum based geomembrane of MonoShield does provide very good chemical resistance. I just wanna go back actually one quick slide there. Thank you. The results that we have from this when we looked and compared it to some of the other polyolefin type of barriers that are out there, we saw actually 10 times better performance with the MonoBase, this aluminum base material.

And so the data I have shown there, again, is normalized. So these values are relative to each other, but what you’re actually seeing is that the MonoBase has one tenth of the vapors coming through that barrier than what the HDPE system is. And so that’s how we’re showing that we really do have improved chemical resistance.

And so this internal method has been great, and again, it’s a good screen tool for us, and it gives us a good understanding of the performance. But we’ve also enlisted a third-party lab to measure the diffusion coefficient per benzene to further validate our measurements and understand the chemical resistance.

So the preliminary value of that benzene diffusion coefficient is shown, and I do say is preliminary because the test is actually still going on. It’s been going on for a few months, and we’re still collecting data. So that value will be refined a little bit more. However, the order of magnitude is already telling us that this barrier will sufficiently be able to reduce the VI risk for the type of sites. These are low-risk vapor sites that Tom described where MonoShield is designed to be used for. Okay.

And then finally, very briefly, I just wanna point out that we’ve also used the same internal testing procedure to evaluate the other component of MonoShield, which is the MonoCore. That’s the spray-applied asphalt that Tom described, and is used to spray around the seams and penetrations and really is key to having a complete barrier that doesn’t have any leaks for those vapors to come through.

And again, in an effort to have a robust chemically resistant system, we actually worked to modify the formula of asphalt, and we use a nitrile polymer in asphalt. So just like we go to lab and we choose nitrile gloves in the lab to provide more protection, the same idea is here. So we added that nitrile polymer, and we found that the testing of the MonoCore is about 10 times more chemically resistant than other types of spray-applied asphalts that are out there.

So, in combination, this testing of both of the components of MonoShield, both the MonoCore and the MonoBase, has allowed us to really demonstrate that the MonoShield system does have very good chemical resistance in addition to that ease of installation and durability that Tom already described. So with that, I’ll send it back over to Tom, and he will get into some of these construction details.

Tom: Great. Thank you. So, you know, we’re gonna transition here now to the MonoShield construction as I kind of gave the tickler for a little while that we’re gonna get into showing these seams in a little more of the detail of it. You can see here, this is just a quick picture of the actual product going down, and the seam is being sprayed. So the MonoBase, as I said, it’s seamed, and it’s with a 6-inch overlap and bonded using the MonoCore that Kristen just outlined and a 60-mil spray.

So what that means…and you’ll see a detailed diagram coming up. But what that means is that they’re spraying 60 mils, laying out the MonoBase over the top of that at a 6-inch overlap. Then on top of that overlap, there’s another 30 mil of MonoCore being sprayed over the top of that, creating that seamless effect.

MonoBase is overlapped a minimum of three inches at the perimeter foundations with the MonoCore for the adherence, so again, limiting having to use any type of taping, any type of other adherence using just this MonoCore as you just heard has been tested to be chemically resistant against these low-level contaminants. All the penetrations are wrapped using the MonoBase and then they’re zip-tied, and the MonoCore is sprayed to seal each penetration.

And as you heard, the nitrile spray-applied core is a new product that we’re combining as our MonoCore with the MonoShield. It has improved chemical resistance. So as you heard in the laboratory, but even think in the medical field, where you’ll be hard-pressed to find latex gloves. It’s because of the chemical resistance. It’s the puncture resistant.

And in our world, we can also say that with our MonoCore, we have no VOCs in this spray-applied core because, well, that would be very important. If you’re trying to protect from VOCs, you don’t wanna add them. But, you know, in the industries, things continue to evolve. And we thought what an opportunity to see if we could create a new type of spray-applied core that would be even more chemically resistant. And was born the MonoCore.

Here’s a quick animation for you to see, just to give you a visual of kind of how this would be a spray-applied. You can see here, there goes down the MonoBase, and then you’re gonna see the certified applicator coming through and spraying those seams.

A quick diagram to give you the illustration of kind of how that lines out, but anticipate that if you saw him go through there in that animation of spraying that, that’s where we get expeditious concept of installing this because we’re spraying. Yes, we come back in QA/QC, but we’re getting this in a larger concept of installation.

I also wanted to point out that MonoShield can be in conclusion or in combination with Vapor-Vent. So we can still be allowed to be having a passive venting system beneath it. And, in fact, we highly recommend it as a redundant type system. It gives you that opportunity to have a vent, a relief valve, if you will, beneath these barriers, so if there were any acclamation of vapors.

As I mentioned, we’re gonna get into some of the details. This is a perimeter detail for a MonoShield on how you could tie into that perimeter. Some of you may know, every perimeter is not the same. So, this is one example in what we have internally crafted as a general design. However, what we pride ourselves to work with our team on is we are design assistants, and we can help go through this if you’re looking at considering MonoShield. Now, we highly encourage you get in touch with our Land Science team. We work together with you looking through any of the diagrams that already do exist in the construction world, and we identify what would be the best perimeter termination.

In this example, you’ll see on step one where the MonoCore is sprayed and the MonoBase is brought up on a six-inch overlap. If you heard me earlier, it was a minimum of three inches. So, in this one here, we’re doing six because we have the opportunity to do the six. The larger the seam that we can tie to the perimeter, the better. But then step two is important and imperative as we sandwich that base layer around with the core, creating a seam that will not have any type of leak. But again, as I said earlier, one of the weakest concepts of the barriers are the seams, the perimeters, and the terminations. So the termination is still gonna be smoke test to confirm, even if you have the step to complete, that you have an airtight type barrier.

This is just a quick diagram to show you visually the seam overlap. So the seam overlap is what I just showed you with the animation, also what I showed you in some of those pictures. It’s a MonoCore at 60 mil. Then the next base layer is brought over the top at a six-inch minimum overlap, and then the MonoCore is then spread over the top of that, sandwiching it together. Then again, once we visually have completed that, then we can go through and do the smoke testing of the area, to confirm that it is airtight.

So, I wanna hit home, and you can see on the right, there are some pictures of the smoke test of the MonoShield. We have our certified applicator network, and it’s imperative to have that so they understand the importance of our details of how it should be installed. They’ve been trained and understand the process. How do we control that certified applicator network? Well, we work through them so that they’re the ones that can purchase our MonoShield, and they’re gonna understand how to put it in. So, if some other construction company wants to come in and buy our MonoShield, they would have to work through our certified applicators to make sure that we have visual on all these barriers that are gonna be installed, just as similar to our other products.

Another bullet here is the inspector training and certification. So that’s important. And what that is if you’re not familiar, our certified inspector training is actually done online, and you will go through the training process to understand what to look for when you’re on-site to verify that the barrier has been installed. We do encourage that and/or require it based on the type of warranty offered.

With MonoShield, there are limited warranties. So the more important thing with the MonoShield would be that the inspectors are there to visually verify that the barrier is being installed and smoke test correctly. And then an inspection report can be prepared and then submitted to us for documentation.

As I put here, the bullet point is smoke testing. Where we’ve designed the MonoShield is to be in the market of these preemptive mitigation systems and to be in these low-level radon, methane, low-level VOC sites. But it is important to be able to still QA/QC. And with our sprayed seams, we are absolutely on board with requiring and/or recommending on depending on the site for the smoke testing to be conducted. And then the other QA/QC measure is the visual inspection itself, just to verify as it’s completed. And we highly encourage that if the inspectors are on site, that they even take digital photographs of these installations.

And if you are interested after this webinar to be a certified inspector, it is free. You can feel free to reach out to any of us at Land Science and REGENESIS. And we can set you up with that online training. It’s just a portal that you’ll get a login password to get into. And then once you’ve completed that, we will send you a certification card. And wherever that can be important is as you’re inspecting these, we may need a third-party inspector. And we can then call in on you guys as we pull up our list, and we keep a list of our certified inspectors.

As I said, MonoShield does have warranties. Land Science offers a limited warranty, if you’re familiar with some of our other warranties and our other products. But we do offer our warranty, and we stand behind that because it’s a necessity when we’re dealing with these preemptive sites. So we offer a one-year material and a five-year material warranty.

So that’s the overview of MonoShield. We’ve already had the liberty of having the opportunity to have great success on a couple sites already with MonoShield. And I wanted to kind of walk you through a few case studies. The first one is the Liberty Park brownfield, and the ghosted picture in the back is the actual building. It’s almost a 600,000 square foot building in Southeast Michigan. Some of the highlights, it was a competitive tax increment finance plan from the state of Michigan. So the state of Michigan got involved quite early on this project, as well as the city of Sterling Heights, that made this brownfield redevelopment possible. Liberty Park is being transformed currently into a property that’s gonna bring many jobs and growth to this community.

If you’re not familiar with the Sterling Heights area, reference is Automotive Alley. And as the Motor City continued to evolve, they had to spread their wings in the urban areas. And they went up into the Sterling Heights and created a series of automotive manufacturing. A lot of those have gone away, but the opportunity here was that now these sites sit quite blighted. But now with the brownfield re-incentive advising programs, they’re having the opportunity to redevelop them.

So MonoShield merges the benefit of both roll out barriers and a spray-applied barrier for this site. And this was important on the site since the size of it, we were talking close to 600,000 square feet. You know, it was important to understand we needed a fast barrier but an appropriate barrier for based on the contaminants that were at the site.

Here’s the background as I gave you. The Liberty Park is located in Sterling Heights, 23 miles north of downtown is that Automotive Alley as I referenced. In the last five years, the region has experienced an intense growing and demand for the warehouse and high-end office space. The site is a landfill based brownfield. So, you know, as you can see there, they had incinerated a waste, which led to site contamination in the ’40s and ’50s. Liberty Park posed multiple remediation challenges, including a variety of known contaminants, low-level contaminants, I must add. Because it was a former landfill, we had load-bearing issues at the site as well, so geotechnical concerns.

Ashley Capital was the leading developer here, and leading commercial real estate investment company saw the potential for the Liberty Park site to bring jobs and economic growth to the community, as well as meet the increasing demand. So Ashley Capital is a leading commercial real estate developer across the nation. So the opportunity here is the redevelopment was made possible due to the tax increment financing working with the city and the state.

And MonoShield she was chosen through vapor intrusion due to its cost-effectiveness, the reliability when compared to the traditional mitigation systems that they were considering tape type systems. MonoShield was fast and easy to install. And at this site, it got to almost a 45,000 square foot per day installation. So if you’re not familiar, that’s pretty significantly installation speed. The durability, as I’ve touched base already on the MonoSheild, the aluminum nitrile modified system was designed to withstand that tough conditions.

If you’re familiar with these large type of warehouse installations, one of the key concepts of these floors is it’s a large concrete pour. If they cannot have the durability of a barrier beneath as they’re trying to pour in all this concrete, they start having to increase cost significantly with pumper trucks and whatnot. And they were able to alleviate that working through with the MonoShield.

Here’s a quick timeline for you. So you can see here ’40s and ’50s, it was an incinerator waste landfill. And we’re looking into the recreational complex being open, and then Liberty Park closed and purchased by Ashley Capital in 2017, construction beginning, the MonoShield being installed literally last month. A full development is scheduled to be completed in August of 2019.

Here’s that picture. Again, as you’ll see, these are the gentlemen here inside of the Liberty Park, they are certified applicators, and they’re spraying the MonoCore onto the MonoBase. So as I briefly touch base on, there was multiple challenges on this site. One of them being that it was built on a landfill. So, Oliver Hatcher was the general contractor, and they had to work through and install these 8,000 geo-piers, which increase their liability to bear the pressure…the limit of the foundation settlement, because on a landfill, you do have significant settlements. So that was the first challenge, is building on top of an unstable landfill.

And the second was, you know, two key challenges at the Liberty Park required innovative design solutions. It was the cost associated with long-distance concrete pumping, as I already mentioned. So, they were able to put in an 8-inch layer of stone placed on top of the MonoShield, followed by the building slab, and hence why I was getting to you that important concept that MonoShield is durable. They were able to put an 8-inch layer of stone over the top of MonoShield so they didn’t have to have this long-distance concrete pumping, which in turn gave a cost-benefit by avoiding that extra cost of pumping concrete over a very large area.

A quick little quote. This is from Ashley Capital’s VP of construction. He’s referenced here is the MonoShield system was the most cost-effective system in the market. And they’ve been able to shave off a couple months in the construction by going with this. And that was due to the concrete that we just referenced, the overall approval process of the state. There were whole mechanisms that bring in to why it expedited in a few months. That was a key concept for Ashley Capital, to be able to increase the expeditious concept of putting in a vapor barrier in construction.

Another quote quickly is Mark Quimby as a senior project scientist, senior consultant for SME out of southeast Michigan. And here’s a quote. You can read it. He’s been looking for a product that meets the efficacy of the rollout barrier and the spray-applied components.

We can mimic that comment and quote from a lot of different folks. We’ve heard this for a while and hence why we as our team as innovative as we try to create this new barrier, and we are excited to have this launched out here and released to you guys.

The next one I’m gonna get into is Hazel Park brownfield, another southeast Michigan site. And as you can see here in the background where you see a picture of a horse, well, you’ll see in the coming slides, it was a former horse racetrack.

So they’re in Star. There is where it’s located just outside of Detroit. There were several organizations, including the city of Hazel Park and the state of Michigan, again, offering the support to redevelop this Hazel Park Raceway, again, the tax incentive for the state in the form of brownfield redevelopment act. And MonoShield was chosen for this project after the successful application of the nearby Liberty Park site. This building is over 600,000 square feet and is a part of a series of large warehouses that are being installed at the Hazel Park brownfield. The project was assured of staying on time and on budget due to the reliability and the cost-effectiveness of MonoShield.

So, as I said, in the 1940s, this property before it was the Hazel Park Raceway was actually another landfill for incinerator waste. So, it resulted in the presenting of low-level contaminants and methane at the site.

So the Hazel Park Raceway was opened in 1949 and at one point represented one-third of the city’s revenue. Due to the demographic and financial changes, the park was officially closed in 2018 to make way for the new warehouse spaces.

2015, the first portion of the Raceway was sold to Ashley Capital, and this resulted in a new, industrial, and manufacturing space known now as the Tri-County Commerce Center. In 2018, Ashley Capital purchased the rest of the Raceway Parkway, and construction of the Tri-County Commerce Center number two went underway.

So the quick overview. Hazel Park Raceway is located in a designated opportunity zone, keywords that are kind of going around our industry now, which was also established by the U.S. Federal Treasury to encourage businesses to invest in blighted properties by providing further tax incentives. SME recommended a modified Geo-Seal vapor intrusion barrier due to the presence of on-site hazardous vapors in building number one, and in building number two, we utilized the cost-effective reliability of the MonoShield as a new innovative barrier for this second building.

SME chose to install the MonoShield because of the new technology and provided the best chemical resistance for the brownfield site at building number two and based on the success of the Liberty Park.

Here’s a quick timeline again for you. 1949, Hazel Park Raceway opens, 2015, the first building. 2017 and 2018, you’re looking at building number two, and in June 2019 of the installation of MonoShield, anticipated the completion of the entire building by fall of 2019.

So the results of both those, and I wanted to share, it’s a success story of an innovative barrier being able to be part of a brownfield solution. We worked with the regulatory community with the state of Michigan, provided all the testing that you heard from Dr. Thoreson earlier with the state of Michigan to show the information as it was related and working with the local community, city of Sterling Heights and city of Hazel Park, working with the local engineers and working with the general contractors, and more importantly and just as importantly, the developers, Ashley Capital. So Liberty Park and Tri-County Commerce building preemptively protected now for the vapor intrusion. And they can have that box checked. Completed in late summer of 2019 to early fall, both of these developments are gonna bring significant job and economic growth to the already booming eastern and southeast Michigan. All the stakeholders involved in this are pleased with the results.

So, we’re gonna stop here and when ready to help you find the right solution for your site, we encourage that hopefully, this was a valuable information to learn about MonoShield, but more importantly, understand that Land Science is here to provide design assistance, vapor intrusion evaluations. We’re here to be able to find the right solution for your site. And with that, I’m gonna turn it over to having the questions be opened.

Dane: All right. Thank you, Tom. That concludes the formal section of our presentation. So at this point, we’d like to shift into the question and answer portion of the webcast, as Tom said. Before we do this, just a few reminders. First, you’ll receive a follow-up email with a brief survey. We really appreciate your feedback. So please do take a minute to let us know how we did. Also, after the webinar, you’ll receive a link to the recording as soon as it is available. All right. So let’s circle back to the questions here. First question is, “Do you still need a moisture barrier if you install MonoShield?”

Tom: That’s a great question. So if MonoShield is being specified on these building structures, you would not need a moisture barrier if it’s not a hydrostatic condition. If we’re dealing with hydrostatic conditions, that would have to be a self-evaluation, a site evaluation that we need to work with the developer and/or the consultant on. But if the construction diagram detailed a moisture barrier, as I indicated earlier, this is in lieu of that, so you can bypass the tape type moisture systems. And this would act as your moisture barrier as well.

Dane: All right. Great, lots of additional questions here coming in. Let’s see. This one is, “How do you install a ManoShield on vertical surfaces? If it cannot be installed, what is the procedure for vertical wall mitigation?”

Tom: That’s a great question. So, MonoShield is designed for horizontal installation. However, on a site-specific basis, we’d be willing to work through with the consultant to identify if there is a site-specific identification of how we can use the core to adhere that to the type of vertical application that would be necessary. But again, a broad response of saying it can or can’t, it’s too hard to answer that. It would have to be site-specific.

Dane: All right. Okay. So the next question here is, “Will MonoShield stick to the concrete after installation?”

Tom: So MonoShield as a full composite barrier, as I said, is part of the MonoCore. The MonoCore will stick to concrete, and that is the adherence concept to the perimeter, to foundations, to footers. The base layer itself is just that, a base. It does not have any adherence concept. The MonoCore is what gives the opportunity to have the sticking, if you will, to the concrete. And it does have a curing process of within 48 hours, it’ll be completely cured.

Dane: Okay. Great. So, the next question here is regarding regulators…the regulatory community. “Are regulators accepting of MonoShield?”

Tom: So, yes. As you heard at the end of my discussion there of one of the case studies, the state of Michigan was specific as one of accepting the use of MonoShield at those two sites we gave as a success story. But we are having positive responses on many, many state regulatory response as far as when MonoShield fits the niche.

As I said, it’s not for every site. So the regulatory community is understanding that the limitations will be that it has to be low-level contaminated sites. It’s radon. It’s the methane sites. If it needs to be above and beyond that, thicker barrier, then that’s when you look at the other type of barrier solutions that we offer.

Dane: Okay. All right. So the next question is like a two-part question. It is, “Can MonoShield be used to wrap concrete utility vaults that are buried in subsurface soils?” And then also, “Can it be in direct contact with contaminated soil and groundwater?”

Tom: All right. First question, it is not designed to wrap utility corridors impacted within soils. With that being said, you know, if those are the situations you’re running into, I encourage you to contact our Land Science team because there might be a type of solution we could create for that situation. And could you repeat the second question again?

Dane: The second part was can it be in direct contact with contaminated soil and groundwater?

Tom: The initial answer of can it be in direct contact of contaminated groundwater and soil, yes. But again, that’s a relative answer because we need to understand what type of concentration we’re dealing with. And at that point, we need to evaluate on a site-specific again. So we would encourage that the data be shared with us so we could then thumbs-up or thumbs-down if it can be. It would have a limitation if we’re dealing with a significant DNAPL or LNAPL type situations. However, again, we need to be able to look at the data to be able to confirm, but it can be placed in direct contact of soil contamination and groundwater contamination.

Dane: Okay. Great. So, let’s see here. Next question is regarding utility pipes. It is, “Can you describe how utility penetrations are handled, including multiple pipe penetrations? How easy is it to cut to work around the utility pipes?”

Tom: Sure. It’s a great question. So, we do have utility penetration details generally. However, in a perfect world, we would love a utility penetration sits all by itself. But obviously, as many of you probably are aware, they’re clustered together. Why it’s even more important how we have the success of using our MonoCore, it can be sprayed after each one is zip-tied. So it is easy to cut, can cut with an X-ACTO knife. You then bring it up through and wrap it up to the utility penetration and then zip-tie each utility. So the zip-tie will create that bond and tightness to the utility. And then the most important concept is coming back in with that spray core so the MonoCore isn’t sprayed across that whole junction of the utilities. And then to confirm you have an airtight seal in those utilities, the smoke test is conducted in those clusters, to verify that you have an airtight barrier at that seam or at the penetration.

Dean: Okay. So, the next question here is, “How easy is it to work with or would it be to work with an apartment building renovation with many walls and asymmetric floor footprints?”

Tom: MonoShield would be very easy to be worked through on tons of different types of foundations, whether it’s a waffle slab, whether it’s significant footers, whether you’re dealing with separated footing joints, it’s an easy barrier to manipulate. It’s an easy barrier to get to bond to the concrete. And even if you have a significant amount of penetrations from utilities and/or whatever the construction aspect, whether it’s grounding rods, whatever you’re dealing with, it can be easily treated through pretty much any type of development.

Dane: Okay. And somewhat related to that is a question on cost. They’re asking approximate cost per square foot for a simple warehouse install versus a more complicated apartment building, with say four to six units per building.

Tom: It’s a great question. So, a general ballpark that we would be seeing for an installation similar to like I just gave as an example of those two case studies, the installation price would be that around $1.30 to maybe even a $1.40 installed price. Now, that’s the simple open wide warehouse.

Now, if you’re dealing with a complex site where it’s a multi-unit, multi-residential, multi-complex, we could be into the low twos, again, general ballpark. And we would definitely encourage as you consider using MonoShield that you get a hold of us, one, to see if it is an applicable barrier, and two, so we can give it more specific on the ballpark prices.

Dane: Okay. Great. So the next question is, “Is MonoShield exclusive to REGENESIS and Land Science nationally, or are there other distributors participating?”

Tom: Great question. MonoShield is exclusive to Land Science and REGENESIS, it is our patented product. And as I said, to hold it close to our chest, we also have a certified applicator network, that is who we will be selling the product to so that it is not being distributed without, one, our knowledge, and without our oversight and understanding.

Dane: All right. So next question here, I think you may have gotten into this, but asking a question about comparing MonoShield to thin-mil plastic. How does this compare?

Tom: Well, as I kind of had one slide earlier showing the checkmarks yes and no’s, it’s 30 mils, so that’s a thousandth of an inch. And a lot of these thin-mill systems are not that thick. There are 10, 15, 20, so a little bit thinner. They are a single-layered system. They don’t have the geotextile fabric and they also don’t have that metallized film infused into it. But again, the most important even above that, and not saying the metalized isn’t important, but the spray seam. These other tape systems are valuing that the adherents of the tape will hold against any vapor intrusion. We have tested our core to show that we have a chemical resistance. These taped type systems, the tape does not provide that chemical resistance.

Dane: Okay. All right. So the next question is what is the difference between MonoShield and Geo-Seal?

Tom: There’s a significant difference. Geo-Seal, if you are familiar, is one of our barriers. It’s a three-component barrier. So they have the base layer, which is an HDPE geotextile fabric now. Then there’s a 60 mil asphalt latex core, and then the Geo-Seal bond. So that is a sandwich-type barrier. It provides the solutions for these heavier contaminated sites, and it is designed to provide that solution. The MonoShield is, again, a preemptive barrier, that is out there to answer some of these sites that needed something but maybe not everything.

Dane: All right. Great. So the next question here is this person wants a little bit of I guess clarification. He’s saying, “The takeaway is that MonoShield is appropriate more for methane and radon but not for VOCs, such as chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons.”

Tom: We are marketing this because of our design and how it is, is the barrier can deal with low-level VOCs. However, granted that’s a very relative term. This is all to further encourage that we work with them as not only a design assistance but a VI evaluation. You know, and we have no problem turning away and saying this is not an appropriate barrier for that site. However, to say generally it’s not okay for chlorinated sites or it’s not okay for benzene or petroleum sites, we wouldn’t generally say that. It is designed and that bullet…the person who made this question is absolutely right. We’re looking at methane and radon sites. However, low-level contaminated sites could be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and approved appropriately. Hence why we have the chemical resistance testing, to show why we tested it against benzene.

Dane: All right. Okay. Great. So the next question is regarding the case studies. In the Michigan examples, were passive vapor mitigation systems required with the MonoShield?

Tom: Passive systems were installed in each of these buildings and designed in a way that they could be active. In the state of Michigan, that is built right into their guidance that they highly recommended on these. Because the state was handling the brownfield, it was required to have a redundant type system, and including the passive venting system along with the barrier.

Dane: Okay. So the next question is, “Can you maintain continuous insulation at the foundation with a ManoShield installation?”

Tom: So this must be from somebody from the northeast or midwest who deals with these foam boards. I understand the question. And you have to have a perimeter termination to have a full envelope of encapsulation to make sure you have an airtight seal. So with that being said, we have design assistance that we worked through this already in previous barriers that we’ve released that we have this situation. And we can have a floating foam board if necessary over the top of that perimeter termination and still creating that success of having an insulation. Yes, there’s a gap and yes it’s not continuous, because if you have a continuous foam board going all the way up, you cannot then terminate that barrier to the perimeter. So, we do have a solution though that we work through that in the colder states and colder countries.

Dane: Okay. Great. So, the next question here is, “Can this be applied to an existing vapor mitigation system as a second barrier?”

Tom: Yeah. This could be applied as a secondary barrier. It could be looked at as far as putting on top of something, or it all would have to depend on the site. If let’s say if it was a crawl space that this mitigation system was installed, we could possibly have our certified applicators come in and install it that way. If they’re really removing the concrete and then we could put in again or if they were allowing us to put it down and put another layer of concrete. It’s not meant to be a exposed type barrier though. So if it has to have elongated foot traffic on top, that is not the mechanism here. It is meant to be a sub-slab barrier.

Dane: Okay. Great. So, next question is what was the installed cost at the Liberty Park site?

Tom: The installed cost at the Liberty Park was between 1.30 and 1.40 per square foot installed.

Dane: All right. So, the next question here is what temperature can this be installed in?

Tom: Down to 45 degrees is with the core material. If it’s colder than that, we can work together, and there’s different solutions that we can do as far as the core itself. As far as possibly tenting, there are opportunities for that. But we typically say 40 to 45 degrees, and that’s just the core. The base layer itself obviously is just the base layer. It can be laid out. We can work through a strategic plan of how to install this in a colder season in the colder areas of the region.

Dane: Okay. So a couple more. So, there’s lots of questions about the contaminants. This next one is, “Is this barrier system applicable for petroleum hydrocarbon vapor intrusion, such as LNAPL, which may vary in product form, from aviation, gasoline, fuel oil, etc?”

Tom: As I somewhat answered in the previous question about the contaminants, it would have to be a site-specific evaluation. If we’re dealing with LNAPL levels, there’s a good chance we’re gonna recommend a more robust barrier. Again, it would have to see as far as horizontal distance of the contaminant plume if it was a migrational concept, if it is the type of soils that are there, because if it’s an LNAPL and it’s 17 feet down and there’s a clay aquitard above it, well, then maybe we already still could. But in general, if you’re dealing with LNAPL and you know it’s causing a potential concerns of the building, there’s a good chance that we’re gonna recommend more robust barriers at those sites.

Dane: Okay. Let’s see. Another question here regarding the contaminants is, “How low do the VOCs and SVOC concentrations have to be for MonoShield, same order of magnitude as ESLs or 10 times ESLs?” That’s the examples this person gives.

Tom: So, if you are familiar, you can go take a drive from California into Nevada and have different ESLs. The screen levels are gonna differentiate between the states. So it’s too hard to give a broader answer of saying what levels they were gonna be. However, what we would like to do is just work with. If you have low-level contaminated sites and you’re considering the MonoShield, the team we would look through that to compare it to the regulatory requirements, compare.

But as you saw what Dr. Thoreson provided, we do have significant chemical resistance in the diffusivity of benzene, which is one of the main culprits. As you know, BTXs, specifically benzene and xylenes are the ones that try to break through, and benzene’s showing that it’s not gonna be breaking through at a readily level. So, again, I know that’s…I’m not trying to sidestep a direct answer, but it’s too hard to give a direct answer of giving a number to be able to always reference. It needs to be an evaluation on the region, on the state, on the site itself.

Dane: All right. Well, thank you very much, Tom. That’s gonna be the end of our chat questions. If we did not get your question, someone will make an effort to follow up with you. If you would like to learn more about vapor mitigation technologies from Land Science, please visit Thanks again to Tom Szocinksi and Dr. Kristen Thoreson. And thanks to everyone who could join us. Have a great day.

vapor intrusion webinar recording

Large-Scale Vapor Intrusion Projects: Overcoming Challenges and Collecting Consistent, High-Quality Data

Land Science is pleased to present a webinar with vapor intrusion expert, James Fineis P.G., President and Owner of Total Vapor Solutions. During this webinar presentation, Mr. Fineis discusses large-scale vapor intrusion projects, with a focus on challenges and the necessity of collecting consistent, high-quality data. Mr. Fineis is joined by Jordan Knight, Southeast District Manager at Land Science, who discusses technologies to mitigate vapor intrusion.

Learn the following in this free webinar:

  • Managing the logistics of handling over 1,000 summa canisters over the life of a project
  • Challenges in dealing with changing schedules of residents and businesses
  • How to collect consistent data that is representative of site conditions
  • The importance of effectively evaulating various mitigation techniques based on the project needs
  • Cost-effective vapor intrusion mitigation system options

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Client Spotlight: Mark Quimby, Senior Consultant at SME

Mark Quimby SMEThroughout his 14-year professional career, Mark Quimby, Senior Consultant at SME, a leading regional multi-service engineering and consulting firm and valued Land Science® client, has established himself as a top expert in the field of assessing and mitigating petroleum, chlorinated solvents, and methane vapor intrusion sites. During this time, he has designed and installed dozens of vapor intrusion mitigation approaches inclusive of sub slab passive venting, multiple types of vapor barriers, active sub slab depressurization, and passive interceptor trenches.  In addition, he has secured and managed over $50 million in local, state, and federal incentives that include grants, loans, tax abatements and credits, and tax increment financing. He shares, “Currently, I am responsible for the technical oversight on projects, primarily brownfield redevelopment.  I am also responsible for working with our project managers and staff, and mentoring them as we deliver solutions to our client’s problems.” His vast experience in his specialized area of environmental remediation stems from an impressive career at SME, where he has risen from a Staff Environmental Specialist to a Project Consultant and then to Senior Project Consultant, prior to being promoted to his current position. His career began shortly after graduating from the University of Windsor, Ontario, where he earned his B.S. in Physics, and it has given him a unique appreciation for seeing the results of his efforts. He shares, “So many sites have no viable liable entity, and without the partnership with communities and developers, the cleanup and redevelopment may never happen.  I’ve really enjoyed remediation in this context because I get to participate in both the cleanup and the redevelopment of the site.”

Although his university studies may not have initially correlated with a career in environmental remediation, Quimby now feels fortunate to be working in a profession that makes a measurable and positive impact on our planet. He continues, “I fell into environmental remediation more than I chose it, but it has been a rewarding field and I’m glad I’m here.  My degree is in physics, but when I immigrated to the US from Canada, I was hired by an environmental consulting firm.  Since then, I’ve worked on a wide variety of sites and cleanups but have spent most of my time in the context of Brownfield redevelopment.” When asked what he enjoys most about his day-to-day work, Quimby is quick to point to a keen sense of satisfaction from seeing his efforts come to fruition. “I enjoy helping to revitalize neighborhoods and communities,” he says. “Many communities have vacant and derelict properties that provide little or no value while presenting a nuisance and health risk. It is rewarding to turn these into assets.” And what is the most demanding part of his job? “Definitely the pace,” he says.  “Every day is different and I need to remain flexible to address my client’s needs as they arise.”

When it comes to working with Land Science®, Quimby appreciates the firm’s level of expertise and timely support, and notes that both routinely contribute to enhancing the efficiencies in his work. He continues, “We have worked on several projects with Land Science®. They provide very good technical depth and they are responsive to our support needs.” With regard to specific Land Science® products, MonoShield™ is one that he and SME have recently turned to.  He shares, “We are currently using MonoShield™ for the first time on two projects. One is Liberty Park Commerce Center in Sterling Heights and another is Tri-County Commerce Center in Hazel Park.  MonoShield™ is providing us with the efficiency of a pre-fabricated roll out system and the flexibility of the spray-applied component for seams, penetrations, and transitions.” Quimby adds, “This is allowing us to meet our project goals in less time compared to alternative systems.” In the past, his teams have also used Geo-Seal® with success, and feels both products have the support infrastructure he needs to ensure successful project outcomes. In addition, he appreciates the collaborative benefits from his company’s relationship with Land Science®. He continues, “Land Science® has a reliable network of certified applicators that we have also developed relationships with.  The bottom line is, when working with Land Science®, we know what to expect and have confidence the team will bring the project to a successful conclusion.”

Residing in Plymouth, MI with his wife and four children, Quimby works out of the SME corporate office in Plymouth, and on occasion travels to the firm’s Detroit and Lansing offices. He also supports staff in the other SME offices in MI, IN, and OH. When he’s away from his work, he enjoys reading nonfiction books on science, philosophy, and history, and playing tabletop board and card games.  He shares, “My current favorite reads are the Expeditionary Force series by Craig Alanson.  My favorite card game is Magic the Gathering by Wizards of the Coast, and my favorite board game is Axis and Allies.”  To stay abreast of current trends and the latest technology in his field, he attends various training sessions that include formal classes sponsored by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and EGLE (Michigan Dept. of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy).  He’s also taken the Princeton Groundwater pollution and hydrology course. When asked what the future goals are for SME, he points to continued growth within the Midwestern US. He continues, “We will continue to grow in MI and expand our operations in IN and OH.  Our goal is to be the premier engineering consulting firm in the Great Lakes Mega Region.” And what does he see the future holds for environmental remediation? “I feel vapor intrusion mitigation and remediation is the biggest trend.  The country, and Michigan specifically, is trying to get their arms around the Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) issue as well, but vapor intrusion (VI) will remain a top priority because of its widespread presence and the relevancy of the pathway to human health.” When asked why he feels the work he does is important and why he encourages others to join his field, Quimby speaks to the need for commitment in how we treat our environment. He concludes, “We need to care about the future of our cities and developed areas.  It doesn’t make sense to use up land and walk away.”

Land Science® is proud to have Mark Quimby, Senior Consultant for SME, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his expertise and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for Land Science® and its clients.

Land Science webinar

Introducing MonoShield: A Chemically Resistant, Preemptive Vapor Barrier That Saves Time and Money

Speakers: Tom Szocinski, CEP, Director of Vapor Intrusion, Land Science and Kristen Thoreson, PhD, Director of Research and Development at REGENESIS and Land Science

Land Science is pleased to present a webinar with vapor intrusion expert Tom Szocinksi, CEP and Dr. Kristen Thoreson, Research and Development Director at REGENESIS and Land Science. During this webinar presentation, they discuss an innovative new vapor intrusion barrier technology called MonoShield. A chemically resistant and easy-to-apply barrier, MonoShield is specifically designed as a preemptive solution for vapor intrusion at brownfield redevelopment sites.

Learn the following about the new technology MonoShield in this free webinar:

  • MonoShield can be installed 30-40% faster than alternate plastic sheeting or HDPE systems.
  • MonoShield offers superior durability and chemical resistance.
  • Competitively priced with simple quick installation

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Thank you, download the case study here


Liberty Park is located in Sterling Heights, Michigan, 23 miles north of downtown Detroit. This region, known colloquially as “Automotive Alley,” is home to General Motors, Ford, and Daimler/Chrysler. The area has experienced a growing demand for high-end office and industrial warehouse space. In the last five years in particular, the region has experienced vacancy rates for manufacturing spaces as low as 1.5%.

Liberty Park is a landfill-based, brownfield site. Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, a nearby creek was filled with incinerator waste which led to contamination at the site’s low-lying areas. Liberty Park was first redeveloped into a recreation facility in the 1980’s and operated until 2017.

This site posed multiple remediation challenges with a variety of known contaminants including arsenic, lead, and methane. In addition, the site was historically filled in an uncontrolled manner which left the soils with load-bearing capacity issues. To build on the site would require a unique foundation along with a vapor intrusion mitigation solution.

MonoShield Installed at Liberty Park

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The following Q&A is taken from the questions posed during a Land Science webinar presentation featuring Dr. Blayne Hartman and Dr. Mark Kram in which they discussed the vapor intrusion risk pathway and the use of continuous monitoring technology.

The Vapor Intrusion Pathway

Land Science presented a webinar with vapor intrusion (VI) experts, Dr. Blayne Hartman of Hartman Environmental and Dr. Mark Kram of Groundswell Technologies. During this webinar presentation, Drs. Hartman and Kram discussed updates regarding VI pathway issues, as well as the use of continuous monitoring data. Vapor intrusion continues to be a hot topic among environmental practitioners and represents an opportunity in the industry for firms to expand in providing informed and proper VI guidance and best practices for their clients’ sites.


Blayne Hartman, PhD
President, Hartman Environmental Geoscience


Mark Kram, PhD
Founder and CTO, Groundswell Technologies

The Vapor Intrusion Pathway

Q. What are the key questions for most VI investigations and how are they addressed?

A. The following are the key questions for most VI investigations:

  1. Do I have an indoor exceedance?
  2. If “Yes”, is this from an indoor source or due to VI?
  3. If due to an indoor source, can we identify this and resolve the issue?
  4. If due to VI, where is it coming into the structure?

We answer each of these questions within a few days of monitoring combined with a few discrete samples. As such, once you have this data in hand, you can proceed to the next step of either mitigation or site closure.

Q. In a specific example given during the presentation, a furniture facility had daytime TCE increases. Were you able to determine why TCE was not listed on the adhesive spray cans? Was it simply because TCE was present at less than 1% of formulation, and thus not required to be listed? Is it common for products to contain TCE and not report this?

A. We were not able to determine why TCE was not listed. TCE was not listed on the MSDS either. We’ve encountered similar situations with other materials. For instance, we recently encountered a disinfectant in the restroom at a facility where indoor TCE was detected. The container did not mention TCE, and the MSDS stated that it included “40% additional ingredients.” After an analysis in
the field, we determined that it did contain TCE.

This is something that OSHA has not yet caught up with. Given all the products on the market that include TCE, we will continue to be vigilant about this. Having the analyzer on-site has helped, as we were able to resolve the issues while in the field without having to wait for a fixed laboratory result.

Q. Have you found that in climates with large seasonal variations it is necessary to return to the site during different seasons to account for vapor intrusion variations? (i.e. A/C vs. heating season)

A. Since we can track conditions continuously, the consultants we have worked with have observed the initial data generated including spatial and temporal patterns, and then intentionally induced building manipulations to evaluate cause-and­effect. This includes turning the HVAC on and off, covering drains, sealing cracks, and tracking differential pressure, which is the main driver for concentration
“spikes”. With these observations, consultants have been able to convince their regulators to move the project to the next phase in the life cycle of VI manage­ment. As such, they’ve been able to proceed based on a single mobilization.

Q. How often do regulators recommend continuous monitoring vs. summa canisters to environmental consultants for sites enrolled in regulatory programs? Is continuous monitoring becoming more prevalent?

A. Yes, continuous monitoring is becoming more prevalent as practitioners see the large benefits it offers. EPA has required it on 2 thermal remediation sites to monitor for off-gassing. MA-DEP has required it on construction sites to monitor fugitive emissions. In many cases, regulators cannot require it, but they recommend it. Every agency appreciates the data because you get hundreds to thousands of data points and can see the picture much better than from a few canister or passive data points.

Q. Is calculating an average attenuation factor by using the ratio of average indoor air divided by average subslab a more representative or realistic average than calculating the average of the paired indoor and subslab measurements, especially considering that vapor migration is often deflected laterally under a slab?

A. Both methods are flawed. At sites we have monitored both sub-slab and indoor air and we see large variations in the indoor air but little variation in the sub-slab. This does not provide actionable data to find a remedy. When using our system, the data shows what is really going on which allows you to take immediate actions to find remedies.

Q. Blayne mentioned the use of radon as the indicator of VI or as the tool for attenuation factor estimation. Could you say a little more about your experience of using radon as an indicator, please?

A. Radon gives a much more realistic value for the attenuation factor than the ultra-conservative default value of 0.03. I collect radon data whenever I do sub-slab sampling.

Q. Does the enhanced monitoring show any helpful data for site specific attenuation factors? Regulators tend to suggest that attenuation factors can change over time.

A. Yes, it would show repeated measurements of both indoor air & sub-slab soil gas so that one can see if they change together. We have not done many sites with both indoor air & sub-slab data, but the limited data to date clearly shows that indoor air fluctuates much more than sub-slab soil gas, hence the attenuation factor is not constant.

Q. Is the continuous monitoring system from Groundswell Technologies available for petroleum, for example, BTEX sites?

A. It can be used on BTEX sites. We have to be careful with BTEX sites that we can get resolution of benzene or speciation of benzene from cyclohexane, but yes, it can.

Q. Is the continuous monitoring system from Groundswell Technologies system suitable for residential buildings?

A. Yes, Groundswell Technologies has used the system on residences. Quite often, it’s too expensive to use on a single residence, but in the pictures Mark showed, they were in a neighborhood, they were able to run tubing to several residences, three or four or five at one time, so that made it cost-effective. We’ve also been in large residences with lots of rooms where it was cost-effective. So yes, we have done residences, but most often, we do commercial structures.

Q. Is Land Science working on any vapor barrier technologies that can work for mercury?

A. The barriers that Land Science provides, especially the metallized films, are performing at such a high level for preventing vapor intrusion that we’re taking it to that next level in taking a third-party lab to do the analysis for mercury. And we’re confident, once we get the data back, that we’ll be able to provide that quantitative information for regulatory approval or just industry requirements. But in the interim, we do have an internally published letter that we can provide indicating why TerraShield and MonoShield would be viable barriers for mercury vapor intrusion.

Q. Please explain the use of radon sampling. Is Hartman Environmental Geoscience using it to calculate attenuation factors for use with VOCs and have you had regulatory approval, specifically in California for this?

A. With regulatory agencies, some accept it and some don’t. As far as California goes, two members of DTSC gave presentations on it recently, and in both those presentations, they said radon would be a good line of evidence to use to determine a slab-specific building specific attenuation factor. I don’t know the policy of the water boards, whether they do or don’t agree. My recommendation to practitioners is collect the radon data anyway, it’s very inexpensive. It’s another line of evidence that you can use. Some agencies or cubicles may agree with it, some may not, but it’s so inexpensive to collect. It’s worth doing so and it’s certainly better than using a default 0.03.

Q. Has the continuous monitoring system from Groundswell Technologies been installed in sub-slab or soil gas applications as opposed to just indoor air?

A. Yes, it has. What we do is we oftentimes are asked to look at the sub-slab at the same time as indoors. Obviously, in the sub-slab, we would expect a higher concentration, and so we may try to run a blank before we start to monitor indoors following a sub-slab sample, but yes, we do that.

Q. Regarding vapor barriers, is a 20 HDPE barrier still considered protective or should 40-mil barrier be used?

A. Several years ago, the U.S. EPA issued a memorandum and a lot of state regulatory have also followed suit to an extent. With 30 mils, both on the construction aspect and scientific aspect for diffusion, has been identified to be the more appropriate barrier minimum, and that’s one of the reasons why Land Science developed MonoShield, and when we designed it, we released it as a 30-mil barrier, meeting not only the construction standard, the integrity of being able to hold up to the construction of the building, but also diffusion tests, the solution being 30 mils or thicker.
The other thing they need to think about is if you’re looking or considering 20 mils, you have to think about how protected are you with the seams. A lot of the 20-mil systems out there are taped together. And if you’re only as successful as your weakest link, the tape is your weakest link, and you may still have a concern with tapes in the 20 mils.

Q. With the continuous monitoring system from Groundswell Technologies, how do you proceed if you’re sampling indoor air for PCE, TCE and vinyl chloride from impacted groundwater, but the facility uses various VOC products, so you know the VOCs are in the air? Can you keep a low reporting limit for vinyl chloride, or does the abundant VOCs in the air mask the vinyl chloride, and erase the recordings if it’s too high?

A. Not at all, because the analytical system brings in samples from the outside and does not see any air from the inside unless you want to monitor some inside rooms. The system brings in the air through the tubing. Now, if indeed in the building itself, the whole building has VOCs and you’re trying to resolve it from, say, subsurface VOCs, then the key there is to look at the ratios. And Mark showed you one example, the furniture example, where we had sub-slab data that had both TCE and PCE, but in the indoor air, we only had TCE. Well, if it was coming from vapor intrusion from the subsurface, we should have had both. So we’ve had, I would say five or so cases, where by looking at the ratio of what’s below, a compound ratio, and comparing it to what we’re seeing inside, we were able to resolve the fact that it was coming from indoor versus sub-slab or the reverse.

Q. Can the continuous monitoring system from Groundswell Technologies be used for methane monitoring only and have an alert system set up?

A. Yes, it can. And the alerts can be set up to be universal, meaning that say that you want to look at 10% of the LEL anywhere, or you can look at a specific location, you can set up a different rule for that. So it’s very flexible the way it’s been designed. Also, that the system can measure very, very low, down to the ppm level, or can measure very high, up at the percent level.

Q. Can any of the vapor barrier barrier products Land Science offers be applied over an existing floor or does the existing floor need to be removed, the barrier applied to the subfloor concrete base?

A. Yes. The Retro-Coat vapor intrusion coating from Land Science is applied to the concrete itself. It is not just painted on though. It is a process where we scarify the concrete. So we do encourage that if you have a site where you’re looking at possibly putting a barrier on top of the concrete that we do a site walk and one of our certified applicators can go through that process with you. The other barriers can go on top of a concrete; however they are not designed to be left exposed. So if we are going to use the other sub-slab barriers, we have installed, in some cases, the barrier over a concrete slab, but then a protective concrete slab has to be installed over the top of that. But we would first look at look at using Retro-Coat as a solution.

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