April 2023 Land Science Newsletter

Featured Video | Warehouse Made Safe Against Contaminant Vapors by Retro-Coat Application

A property developer was preparing a former furniture warehouse in an urban industrial area in Los Angeles, CA for a new tenant. Based on the recommendation of Farallon Consulting, a full-service environmental consulting firm specializing in brownfield redevelopment, the property owner opted to preemptively mitigate vapor intrusion risk by installing Retro-Coat, a passive vapor mitigation system for existing buildings. The installation of Retro-Coat was safe, fast, and efficient due to the application by certified Land Science installer, Pacific Coast Contracting. State and local regulatory bodies were also on-board with this approach, given their familiarity with Retro-Coat as a proven, effective vapor mitigation barrier.

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Client Spotlight | Kathy Lehnus, Senior Geologist, Farallon Consulting, LLC

Kathy Lehnus, a Senior Geologist with Farallon Consulting, LLC, brings depth and an impressive range of experience within the environmental remediation space to her role with the firm. With more than 27 years managing environmental consulting projects, Kathy has excelled in a variety of roles. In her current role, she specializes in projects focused on transactional investigation and regulatory oversight. In addition, she performs characterization-level Phase I Environmental Site Assessments with focused subsurface investigations, including vapor intrusion evaluations, which are designed to provide a wide array of data options within workable budgets and deliverable time frames.

Product Brochure | Retro-Coat

The Retro-Coat Vapor Intrusion Coating System is a complete product line that consists of chemically resistant materials to properly protect existing structures from the threat of vapor intrusion without the need for additional concrete protection. Developed by the Research and Development team at Land Science, the Retro-Coat system has been subjected to rigorous testing procedures to prove its ability to combat the most aggressive chemical vapors. Retro-Coat is proven effective to protect against vapor intrusion from chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons.

eBook | 10 Reasons to Consider Retro-Coat to Protect Your Property Investment

Retro-Coat is a chemically resistant coating that can be applied to various surfaces including, concrete, concrete masonary units (CMU), and brick, preventing vapor from passing through cracks and pores in concrete and into occupied spaces. It is resistant to trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), and petroleum hydrocarbons, common contaminants that can often be found beneath building structures. It contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and has a fast curing time which minimizes disruption to ongoing businesses. Download the ebook to learn more.

Project Snapshot | Leading Hotel Chain Moves Forward with Brownfield Site Construction Following Installation of Vapor Barrier System

A leading hotel brand broke ground on a new residential-styled suite hotel in an expanding commercial district in Ohio. The first of its kind in the state, the brownfield site required a safe and effective vapor barrier system to mitigate soil gas vapor contaminants from former industrial activities in the area, including spilled chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons. The environmental consultant proposed installing a TerraShield vapor barrier system to eliminate the potential exposure risk of building staff and guests to these vapors. In addition to providing superior chemical resistance, TerraShield does not require taped seams which markedly improves the installation efficiency. The Land Science certified applicator installed TerraShield successfully, maintaining the schedule and allowing the hotel to proceed toward its grand opening.

Product Brochure | TerraShield – Superior Chemical Resistance Over any Vapor Barrier on the Market Today

The Land Science research and development team of scientists have invested years in developing the TerraShield vapor barrier system, which delivers orders of magnitude higher vapor intrusion protection as compared to the leading vapor barrier system. The new, innovative, metalized material and multiple layers of protection are key to the increased performance. The R&D team also improved on the core material, incorporating nitrile, known for its chemical resistance, as a key component. The result is a 100 times more effective protection as compared to existing vapor barriers in recent laboratory tests.

Webinar Now Available | Effective Design and Implementation of Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Systems for New Construction

In this webinar, we were pleased to have special guest speaker Tom Hatton, CEO of Clean Vapor LLC. His presentation discussed successfully designing and implementing Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Systems (VIMS) for new construction. He was joined by Jordan Knight, National Sales Manager for Land Science, who discussed advanced vapor intrusion mitigation system technologies. The free recording is now available.

Upcoming Event | Land Science Vapor Barrier Technologies Featured at TENSOS 2023

Land Science will be in attendance at the upcoming 2023 Environmental Show of the South on May 10th – 12th in Chattanooga, TN, the largest, most comprehensive and diverse environmental education opportunity in Tennessee. Land Science’s suite of leading vapor barrier technologies will be featured in presentations at the event. If you will be attending the event, don’t miss Breakout Session 4.1, featuring Brian Kvam, Principal of Brownfields and Redevelopment at Stantec, who will present A Case Study in Residential Adaptive Reuse. Also make sure to attend Breakout Session 6.4, which will include a presentation on Vapor Intrusion Best Practices, by Jim Fineis, President of Total Vapor Solutions, LLC. To learn more about the conference and the environmental technical program, visit the link below.

Upcoming Event | Request a Meeting at TENSOS 2023! 

Land Science National Sales Manager Jordan Knight is a member of the steering committee, and Southeast District Technical Manager, Jason Wilt, will be in attendance at the upcoming 2023 Environmental Show of the South (TENSOS) on May 10th – 12th in Chattanooga, TN. Jordan and Jason are excited to meet with the environmental community to share the latest guidance and developments related to vapor intrusion barrier technologies, implementation, and QA/QC best practices. To request a meeting at the event to discuss a vapor mitigation solution for your site, visit the link below.

Have a Vapor Intrusion Project? Get Started Today!

To receive a custom vapor intrusion solution, please call 949.481.8118 or visit landsciencetech.com/contact-us. One of our Technical Solutions Managers will review your project details and provide you with a customized vapor intrusion solution designed to achieve your site goals.

Kathy Lehnus

Client Spotlight: Kathy Lehnus, a Senior Geologist with Farallon Consulting, LLC

Kathy Lehnus Farallon ConsultingKathy Lehnus, a Senior Geologist with Farallon Consulting, LLC, brings depth and an impressive range of experience within the environmental remediation space to her role with the firm. With more than 27 years managing environmental consulting projects, Kathy has excelled in a variety of roles, including site investigation and remediation, regulatory compliance, staff training, new business development, and much more. She begins, “I have had the pleasure of working in a variety of positions that include both the public sector and EPA contracts. I’ve also worked at national and international private firms, giving me a wide array of experience in expertise and approach.”

Lehnus joined Farallon, a leading environmental consulting firm based on the West Coast, just over 3.5 years ago. In her current role, she specializes in projects focused on transactional investigation and regulatory oversight. In addition, she performs characterization-level Phase I Environmental Site Assessments with focused subsurface investigations, including vapor intrusion evaluations, which are designed to provide a wide array of data options within workable budgets and deliverable time frames.

She continues, “I have also managed investigation and remediation projects led by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and California Regional Water Quality Control Boards. Coordinating multifunctional teams to ensure projects remain on time and on budget, while obtaining regulatory approvals for project redevelopment milestones is always key when working with these regulatory bodies. Additionally, I provide technical input to owners and counsel for identifying potential risks associated with purchasing and redeveloping contaminated properties.”

Lehnus became interested in environmental remediation in her youth while living in western Massachusetts, where she became enamored with the beauty of the Adirondacks. “I became involved in ecology groups looking to ‘go green’ before it was even a catch phrase! Studying environmental science and geology in college was a natural next step.” She laid the groundwork by earning a BS in Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she also received a BA in Geology. She went on to earn a Master of Science in Geology at the University of Connecticut and is licensed in both Connecticut as Licensed Environmental Professional and in California as Professional Geologist.

While she enjoys many aspects of her work, servicing clients ranks at the top. She shares, “I really enjoy working with clients and providing them with the solutions they need to help them be successful in their tasks.” Her desire to help clients via close collaboration dovetails nicely with what she says is a key future goal at Farallon. She continues, “Farallon wants to continue to provide clients with high quality and technically creative solutions, while building strong and enduring relationships. The staff at Farallon collaborate with each other to leverage expertise in a variety of fields to provide the very best for our clients. A good example of this would be when preparing a cost estimate for a client who wants to purchase contaminated property. Farallon can rely upon our Phase I due diligence experts who have discovered and followed leads to truly understand previous use and potential release areas. This is a skill set not commonly offered by other consultants, many of whom will provide low-cost, “check the box” Phase I work, while simply seeking to please clients by not pointing out problems, instead of identifying issues and providing reasonable solutions.”

With regard to working with Land Science, Lehnus appreciates the partnership Farallon has developed. “From offering multiple options to being part of the scheduling process, Land Science helps me get the job done. I recall one recent example where a client purchasing an existing distribution warehouse requested that we provide them with a Phase I ESA as part of their typical purchasing procedures. Although the building was only used in the past as a food storage warehouse, we identified a historical map that showed a carpentry shop and paint booth in the building that appeared to be associated with constructing crates for food transport. Although there was a short due diligence timeframe, we were able to mobilize the following week and collect sub-slab soil vapor samples beneath the building pad. We identified chlorinated volatile organic compound impacts in one area of the building, which led to air sampling that identified potential exposure threats throughout the building. We then provided the client with a cost estimate for mitigating impacts, which we implemented immediately upon their purchase to ensure the protection of occupants until additional work could be completed. Later, we applied Retro-Coat® to the floor to further mitigate air impacts.”

She continues, “Working with Land Science helped provide us with the ability to sample in a quick timeframe and develop creative mitigation solutions, which in turn allowed the client to move forward with the purchase and lease back immediately.” In terms of specific Land Science products, Retro-Coat continues to be Farallon’s “go to” solution for its clients due to its outstanding track record on performance. Kathy adds, “As part of our evaluation for determining the best post-construction vapor barrier for an existing dry cleaner, we evaluated several epoxy coatings as options to apply to the existing floor. Based on discussions with Land Science, the Retro-Coat barrier had been used for several sites with regulatory oversight as the proven method of mitigation.”

Living in Mission Viejo with her husband, (who also happens to be a Geologist) and their three teenage kids, Lehnus finds time away from work to enjoy socializing with friends over a glass of wine, while discussing “what makes people tick and the earth turn- geology pun intended!”.  She adds, “For relaxation, when I’m not indulging in binge-watching guilty pleasure TV, you’ll find me reading a good book.”

When asked how she would encourage others to join her field of study, she points to the diverse range of opportunities that exist, depending on one’s interest. She concludes, “Environmental consulting requires us to stretch in all directions- from geology, biology and chemistry, to understanding the legal language of regulations, to understanding clients’ needs and being able to explain technical findings to them. We also need to create investigation scopes, prepare and maintain budgets, keep subcontractors in line, and mentor and manage fellow staff members. Every day and every project are different and challenging!

Land Science is proud to have Kathy Lehnus, Sr. Geologist with Farallon Consulting, LLC, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and they appreciate her diversified experience and leadership in providing successful remediation and mitigation outcomes for Land Science and its clients.