Four Facts You Should Know About Vapor Intrusion

Vapor intrusion is the migration of vapor-phase contaminant chemicals from a subsurface source in an overlaying building or structure. The objective of many vapor intrusion investigation professionals is to be able to detect possible pathways for contaminant vapors and their location within the building or structure. Understanding the potential pathways helps to identify risks. A solid understanding of potential pathways informs the client selling the building to potential tenants, who need to be able to live and function within the building without exposure to health risks. Here are four key things to know about vapor intrusion.

It’s A Process

Number one, vapor intrusion investigation and mitigation is a process. Vapor intrusion science requires in-depth investigation. It is not a field which requires only one test to say whether a building does or does not have vapor intrusion. In-depth investigation includes options based on the site and its environment. The in-depth investigation must determine what type of gases are emitting through the cracks, where the origin and the major intrusion pathway are  located. Additionally, the consultant’s next step is contacting the local government environmental representative to confirm the state’s regulatory guidelines and to receive approvals for developing the site. Even after all the preparation work and investigations, the environmental consultant will have to develop a design to cover the exact needs of the site. There is no quick way to handle vapor intrusion. Each site must be evaluated thoroughly to move onto the next step to mitigate the effects of the vapor intrusion.

Recognize Outside Factors

Though thorough investigation is necessary to get an accurate reading of the site, the results may not be complete. At times investigations or screenings of a site will pick up additional vapors from the testing area or concentrated in one single area to indicate contaminants present. These readings could be caused by a number of factors, even common household appliances on site. For example, if an industrial adhesive product like E6000 glue is located anywhere in the screening area, there will be a significant increase in TCE indicated in the testing, which would easily skew the readings. So, Before any screening can be performed on site, investigators should go through the site with a close eye looking for indoor VOC sources, like paints, cleaning supplies, or insecticides. For more information, visit the EPA’s website regarding the specific materials to look for in a site, along with other information to address VOC concerns is a great resource: https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/volatile-organic-compounds-impact-indoor-air-quality.

In a webinar with Land Science, and the Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA) Lab Director of Microbial Insights provides some tools to help distinguish whether the source of vapor-contaminated indoor air originates from the buildings subsurface or an indoor source.

There are other uncontrolled factors that could contribute to excessive readings, including spatial and temporal variability. Some examples of spatial variability factors to consider are soil types like gravel or sand, bedrock fractures, oxygen distribution in the soil, subsurface building structures and even surface features like pavement or water features. Each of these examples either provide a clear path for VOCs to reach the site or the groundwater or affect how quickly VOCs could reach the site. Examples of temporal variability include: wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, temperature inside or outside, precipitation, and ambient contaminants. These variables can affect how the screenings read the concentrations of VOCs at the site.

Solutions Are Site Dependent

Vapor mitigation professionals are also tasked with developing a solution based on the site’s conditions along with the state/federal regulations. Each site is different, so vapor mitigation often cannot be based on a plan used at a former site with similar conditions. The investigations unveil all the aspects of a site that determine what the remediation plan will be, including: soil types, weather patterns, gas distributions, subsurface conditions, as well as site goals and budget. Each one of these factors can impact the design of a vapor mitigation system, and each factor can yield different results.

Land Science is comprised of a team of vapor intrusion mitigation professionals who have the technical expertise and industry experience to make the most effective recommendations for our clients. Couple that with a range of innovative technologies that address a variety of site types, and the result is industry-leading vapor intrusion solutions that help public safety.

It’s a Growing and an Evolving Science

The final key idea behind vapor intrusion science that everyone should know, it is a growing and an evolving science. The reason vapor intrusion science came into existence was because of the avid use of VOCs—volatile organic compounds–as root zone fumigants and other applications in the 1950s. Surveys of landfill gas and radon exposure in the 1960s lead to the discovery of vapor intrusion in the late 1970s and was found to affect indoor air quality at heavily contaminated sites, which brought the full scope of regulatory attention.

However, at this point, scientists and regulators dismissed the concerns to homeowners due to the processes of dilution and attenuation as well as the ambiguous exposure standards and the fact that most vapor intrusion was found at major former industrial sites. Consequently, scientists began finding vapor intrusion inside residential homes and decided to facilitate public education by going door-to-door and providing information on the issue of vapor intrusion.

The increase in public awareness resulted in a rise of attention and studies regarding vapor intrusion through the 1990s to the 2000s, pushing states to start developing vapor intrusion protocols and ultimately causing the EPA to publish “Guidance for Evaluating the Vapor Intrusion to Indoor Air Pathway from Groundwater & Soils.” Today 42 states have developed their own regulation system for vapor intrusion and the other 8 follow the EPA’s regulation system or deal with vapor intrusion on a case-by-case basis. The history of vapor intrusion has expanded over decades; from the introduction of VOCs in the 50s to the development of a national regulation standards in the 2000s, vapor intrusion science has gone through many changes and continues to develop. Those who work in the field of vapor intrusion must expect continuous changes, whether it be through regulation,  techniques, or emerging science on its effects.

This evolution has caused remediation companies notice and respond to the demand and serves to further develop the technology. For instance, Land Science, a division of REGENESIS® and a global leader of advanced vapor intrusion mitigation technologies, recently introduced TerraShield – a cutting-edge remediation technology which provides superior chemical resistance over any vapor barrier on the market today. Land Science also offers a full-suite of vapor intrusion barrier systems including Nitra-Seal, a proven vapor barrier system now improved with nitrile; and MonoShield, a chemically resistant and easy-to-apply barrier specifically designed as a preemptive solution for vapor intrusion at brownfield redevelopment sites and Retro-Coat, a chemically resistant vapor barrier coating system to properly protect existing structures from the threat of contaminant vapor intrusion . With solutions like TerraShield, Nitra-Seal, MonoShield and Retro-Coat being made available to vapor intrusion mitigation industry, this field is now poised to address the needs created by an increasingly demanding regulatory landscape.

Client Spotlight: Matt Ambrusch, Environmental Project Manager for Langan Engineering and Environmental Services

Matt Ambrusch LanganWhen it comes to playing a part in cleaning up the environment, Matt Ambrusch, Environmental Project Manager for Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc., a valued Land Science® client, realizes he has a responsibility to help ensure healthy and safe communities. Focused on designing, implementing, operating, and optimizing remediation systems, Ambrusch feels he is doing his part to help provide sustainable remedies to address today’s contaminated environments. He shares, “No site is ever the same and every day brings a new and interesting challenge.”  During his seven years at Langan, he has progressed from Staff Environmental Engineer, to Senior Staff Environmental Engineer, and now his current position, as Project Manager. Throughout his career, Ambrusch has made significant contributions to the success of his clients and their projects, particularly in the field of pneumatic technologies. He continues, “My personal focus has been on pneumatic solutions that include air sparging, soil vapor extraction, multi-phase extraction, vapor mitigation, and even methane mitigation and collection. I also help lead the charge to develop and grow our two-dimensional and three-dimensional pneumatic modeling practice. These models allow us the ability to better predict system performance under both existing and future site conditions, and ultimately design a more effective and efficient pneumatic-based remedial system.”

Like many of his peers who work and thrive in the environmental remediation industry, Ambrusch’s interest in the environment began early in life. He continues, “What started out as a desire to always be outside as a kid, grew into a passion for environmental science after taking an environmental studies course during my senior year of high school. I also had an aptitude for math, and recognized that with the applicable college major, a career in environmental engineering just made sense.”  His university studies culminated with a BS in Bioenvironmental Engineering from Rutgers University and later an MBA in Strategy and Leadership from Rutgers Business School. He is also a licensed professional engineer in the State of New Jersey. When he joined Langan early in his career, it did not take long for Ambrusch to develop an appreciation for the firm’s high level of expertise and client service, and the goals that Langan has set for itself. He shares, “Langan has always been focused on technical excellence, practical experience, and client responsiveness. Whatever we do as a company, these values continue to be paramount to our success.  As national and state regulations become more stringent, and new contaminants of concern come into focus, we look to position ourselves effectively so that we can continue to provide our clients innovative, proven, and cost-efficient solutions.  This includes continuing to expand our landfill redevelopment practice. As a team, we are also working on expanding our in-house treatability study and pilot test capabilities.”

When it comes to working with Land Science®, Ambrusch appreciates the industry-leading solutions and rapid response he receives on a consistent basis. “Simply put,” he says, “Land Science® provides cutting- edge technologies and is extremely responsive.” Ambrusch continues, “I work on a lot of redevelopment projects requiring vapor mitigation – these projects are fast paced and require effective cost-competitive solutions.  Land Science® understand the needs required with these types of projects and continues to innovate in an effort to make vapor mitigation products more effective and cost efficient.”  He also appreciates the level of service and customization offered by Land Science®. He adds, “I am heavily involved in the design and implementation of vapor mitigation systems for redevelopment projects.  As such, we often look to Land Science® for innovative vapor barrier materials or application methods that fit the site-specific needs of the project.”

Asked what he thinks the future holds for environmental remediation, Ambrusch feels a focus on sustainable remedies is where the industry is heading. He shares, “Other than emerging contaminants, which everyone is talking about, I see a push for more sustainable remedies.” Ambrusch goes on to say, “The intent of effective remediation is to improve human health and the environment, and we need to be aware of the potential negative impacts the remedial activities we are implementing on one site may have on another. We also need to consider the economical and societal pros and cons of a proposed remedial strategy, both on and offsite.”

Residing in Rockaway, New Jersey with his wife Riley, over the years Ambrusch has worked out of Langan’s Lawrenceville and Elmwood Park (now Parsippany NJ) offices. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, and is an avid golfer and snowboarder. He also finds time to provide his expertise to assist the Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF) and serves as the current President. When asked what he enjoys most about his work, he points to the difference he can make for both our planet and those of us who inhabit it. He shares, “I get a great deal of satisfaction designing and implementing a remedial or mitigation system and see it positively impact the environment.”

Land Science® is proud to have Matt Ambrusch, Environmental Project Manager for Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his expertise and ongoing efforts in providing successful remediation outcomes for Land Science® and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Dan Matz, Environmental Engineer at Bunnell Lammons Engineering, Inc.

Dan Matz Bunnell LammonsFor Dan Matz, a career in environmental remediation provides the ideal combination of variety and pace to keep him both energized and challenged. As an Environmental Engineer at Bunnell Lammons Engineering, Inc., a leading environmental and geotechnical engineering firm and valued Land Science® client, Matz plays a key role in a broad range of the firm’s environmental services. “My primary responsibilities are Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments and Brownfield redevelopment projects,” he shares. “We commonly call these our ‘Due Diligence Services’ because they are designed to better inform clients about a property prior to the acquisition of it.”  The diversity of his work, along with the demands of short due diligence periods can be challenging, but that’s just what keeps Matz moving at full speed. He shares, “Working in the field of environmental remediation is very gratifying.”

As someone with a love for the outdoors since childhood, Matz wasn’t surprised when that passion led him to focus his university studies in environmental engineering, where he earned his B.S. in Physics of the Environment at Furman University.  He continues, “I developed my own major, and tailored it toward an engineering degree. My degree was a combination of physics, math, and environmental science.”  He followed his undergraduate degree by earning a Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering and Science from Clemson University. He then joined Bunnell Lammons Engineering, Inc., where he’s served since 2008, first as an Environmental Engineering Associate before being promoted to Environmental Engineer.

To stay current with industry trends and technology, he attends multiple conferences per year, and participates in webinar trainings and “lunch and learns” at the office. He adds, “I try to focus my continuing education on vapor migration, groundwater and vapor remedial techniques, and Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS/PFOAs) .”  Suffice to say, he thoroughly enjoys what he’s doing, and takes pride in knowing he’s making a positive impact in the community. He shares, “I like the quick turnaround time on projects. When environmental concerns arise, it is exciting to determine the best solution for the client to move forward with the transaction, whether it is a Brownfields agreement with the state or some other avenue of environmental protection. It is rewarding to work on real world environmental problems and help my clients determine solutions to mitigate risk, keeping in mind their project schedule and budget.”

When it comes to working with Land Science®, Matz appreciates the timely response and level of expertise he receives. He shares, “Land Science® is responsive. You ask a question of a Project Manager and they answer it quickly and thoroughly. They provide support on VI design, install, etc., which makes my job as an engineer easier in support of my clients. They are industry leaders and have the solutions to the problems we face.” He currently has four projects with Land Science®– two Retro-Coat™ applications and two Geo-Seal® applications.  “The support and assistance they have provided on each of these projects is remarkable, and we have a good working relationship with them,” he says. About specific Land Science® products and solutions, he says Geo-Seal®, Retro-Coat™, and Vapor-Vent are all used in various ways, depending on the site requirements.

When asked about the future goals of Bunnell Lammons Engineering, Inc., Matz says continued growth and providing superior service are always at the top. Currently, the firm has more than 125 employees between its various divisions: environmental engineering and consulting, geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, transportation services, and solid waste services.

Residing in the Greenville/Spartanburg, South Carolina area, where he works out of the company’s Greenville office, Matz and his wife Laura, have two young children, Ryan, age 4, and Erin, six months. In his free time, Dan can be found out on the nearby roads, training for his next half marathon or triathlon. Additionally, Dan and his family enjoy rooting on their favorite football team, the Clemson Tigers.

When asked what he sees the future holds for environmental remediation, he says PFAs and PFOAs are garnering a great deal of attention. He continues, “There is a lot of talk about these emerging contaminants, but we will see where it goes. If more regulatory agencies start to develop action levels, it could become a BIG issue in years to come. The science is relatively new, and there are a great deal of discoveries to come in future.”

And what is it he likes most about his work? “Helping clients solve their environmental problems and allowing them to purchase and redevelop properties that otherwise might sit vacant and underutilized.”

When prompted to share how he would encourage others to join in his field of study, he again points out the quick cadence his work entails, and the satisfaction of helping clients. He concludes, “I tell people interested in the field the industry is a fun, fast paced work environment. It is exciting to work on a variety of projects and provide clients with solutions.”

Land Science is proud to have Dan Matz, an Environmental Engineer at Bunnell Lammons Engineering, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his expertise and thorough approach in providing successful remediation outcomes for Land Science and its clients.

Opportunity Zones: The Basics

The talk of “Opportunity Zones” seems to be growing with each passing month,  though there is not a lot of information available. Opportunity Zones are a great way to not only receive tax benefits, but help better economically stressed communities in the process. This article helps acquaint those unaware of Opportunity Zones with how they work, and what makes them so important for the future of redevelopment efforts across the US.

Hazel Park
Hazel Park in Michigan is an opportunity zone site that used a preemptive vapor barrier, MonoShield to protect against environmental issues. Hazel Park is benefiting from a new development, which will stimulate jobs, promoting growth within their city.

What is an Opportunity Zone?

In 2017, Congress established the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to aid economically strained communities by turning designated areas into a potential real estate investment. By using private investment funds, the communities would benefit from economic growth while investors would receive tax benefits by re-investing their unused capital gains into Opportunity Funds. Today, up to 25% of low-income neighborhoods  qualify, in a state, territory, or district are eligible for qualification. Once an Opportunity Zone is created in a certified area, it holds onto that title for 10 years until it is time for the zones to be re-evaluated.

Investing in an Opportunity Zone

If planning to invest in an Opportunity Zone, there are a few requirements that should be taken into consideration. As an example, with a real estate investment, there are certain restrictions put in place to ensure that the property in question is, in fact, bettering the community. For these real estate investments, properties can be either built or remodeled. It must be known though, that if an investor is choosing to remodel, there is a minimum on how much the investor must invest in the project. Say you, as the investor, bought a pre-existing building for $2 million and only wanted to upgrade/remodel it, in order to comply with the Opportunity Zone rules, you would need to spend at least $2 million and 1 dollars. An investor must put more into the project more than the amount they purchased it for – even it that means the investment is only $1 more than the purchase price.

opportunity zone
In order for a site to qualify for the opportunity zone program, it must bring value to the community.

It is also essential that investors note there are “right” and “wrong” types of investments, especially when it comes to real estate. As an example, the “wrong” investments are those that are not much use to community, with examples such as country clubs, luxury housing, gambling facilities, and liquor stores. Keep in mind, communities where Opportunity Zones are located are those with greater financial hardships. The examples provided either create greater financial burden for the residents of the community or are of no use to them. The goal of the Opportunity Zone project is to improve and bring wealth to low-income communities, not to bring in establishments that can do them more harm than good.

The “Right” Investments – Real Estate Example

It is essential when choosing a real estate investment to keep in mind the question of “is this bettering the community”? Great opportunities can come in the form of business parks and warehouses, due to their ability to generate job growth. In 2015, Ashley Capital began a project to turn Hazel Park Raceway, a horse track in Hazel Park, Michigan, into industrial offices and warehouses. The project generated 675,000 square feet of the manufacturing and industrial space now known as the Tri-County Commerce Center. The raceway was located in an Opportunity Zone, so Ashley Capital would receive the provided tax benefits for building within the zone, all the while creating the possibility for job growth in the area.

What is an Opportunity Zone Fund?

Opportunity Zone Funds are a way for investors to invest in Opportunity Zone projects. They are a US corporation or partnership planning on investing at least 90% of its holdings into a qualified Opportunity Zone. They can be used, as stated before, to start ground-up on new buildings, or significantly improve existing ones. These investments allow investors to receive tax benefits immediately and long term on capital gains.

When using an Opportunity Fund to invest, there are three different types of investments that are available. The first is through partnership interests in a business that operates within an Opportunity Zone; the second is owning stock in a business that executes all of its projects and affairs in an Opportunity Zone, the third, is by investing in property located within an Opportunity zone such as real estate.

If looking at it on a 10-year timetable, like the one provided by fundrise.com, there are a few crucial years to  note. For the first year, taxes are deferred on the capital gains. For the 5th year, the tax on the capital gains will be reduced by 10%. On the 7th year, tax on the capital gains is reduced by 5% from the 5th year now making it a total of a 15% reduction. On the 10th year, the capital gains taxes are eliminated on potential profits from the Opportunity Fund. It is important to note that in order to take advantage of this program, an investor has to take their capital gains and invest it into an Opportunity Fund within 180 days of the sale of the asset.

According to Adam Hooper for WealthManagement.com, “Essentially, the federal government is allowing the investor to keep the capital gains at 0 percent interest and use those funds to invest in one of these Opportunity Zone projects for 10 years. After 10 years, the investor pays no capital gains tax on the appreciation of the asset”.

How REGENESIS and Land Science Can Help

When investing in an Opportunity Zone, there may be a unexpected issues that come with the land. There is a possibility that the previous inhabitants of the site created negative environmental impacts, and cleanup may be necessary before further progress can be made.

That’s where REGENESIS and Land Science can help. As investment continues into Opportunity Zones, developers will increasingly look to develop brownfield sites – properties with environmental impacts preventing redevelopment. By integrating site cleanup with wider community plans, there can be significant economic benefits, such as the creation of new jobs or an increase in housing values, which can stimulate the revitalization of distressed neighborhoods.

To learn more about handling environmental impacts at opportunity zone sites, download the eBook 11 Tools and Resources for Maximizing Your Investment in An Opportunity Zone.

When it comes to site cleanup, there are many available approaches, each of which must be carefully considered to achieve maximum impact both technologically and economically. Selecting the proper technology to deal with environmental issues can lead to immediate cost savings due to the streamlining of construction schedules or as compared to other applicable remedial technologies or future cost savings from the reduction of overall risk.

The Benefits of Using Nitrile to Mitigate Vapor Intrusion

Nitrile or nitrile-butadiene rubber (NBR) has an abundance of properties that make it an ideal material to be utilized in barrier systems that prevent subsurface contaminants from migrating into the indoor airspace of buildings. It has good abrasion/tear resistance, good compression set, resistance to heat, water, and chemicals. But let’s take a close look at why nitrile has become of key importance to the vapor intrusion mitigation industry.

Gas Permeability and Chemical Resistance – Why Nitrile is So Protective

nitrile
Physicians offices have moved away from latex and to nitrile gloves, because not only is nitrile more chemically resistant; it’s more durable too.

Many synthetic rubber production companies rate Nitrile’s gas permeability as good. Its gas resistance depends on the level of acrylonitrile which is commonly referred as the ACN content. The typical ACN content ranges from 14% to 50% because the more acrylonitrile included in the copolymer, the resistance to oil and gas permeation increases; however, the higher the ACN content, the lower the flexibility of the rubber. Ergo, the common ACN content percentage for the nitrile to have low permeability while still being flexible is 36%. The possible reason for the good gas permeability is that when butadiene and acrylonitrile are combined in the mixing process, the two polymers react to each other a create strong cross-linked valent bonds. These bonds leave little room for most gases to pass through, except for ozone, ketones, esters, and aldehydes.

So it makes sense that nitrile can be of tremendous value to the vapor intrusion world.  The primary goal of practitioners in this industry is to protect human health by blocking contaminant gases from migrating from a subsurface source into the indoor air space of a building.

An acknowledged weakness in many vapor barrier systems is in the slab penetration and perimeter termination locations, where spray-applied core material composed of Styrene-Butadiene (SBR)- modified asphalt is used. While excellent at repelling water, aggressive chemicals such as petroleum solvents and chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) will permeate into the SBR-modified asphalt at a relatively high rate, particularly in these vapor intrusion sensitive areas of the building construction.

The Research and Development Scientists at REGENESIS and Land Science know this, and that’s why they developed Nitra-Seal.

Nitra-Seal offers a substantial upgrade as it employs a more chemically resistant nitrile latex instead of the more susceptible SBR material. Nitrile, due to some of the reasons explained above, is recognized throughout the environmental engineering industry as being more chemically resistant than rubber or SBR and is often used in personal protective equipment when working on hazardous waste sites (e.g. nitrile gloves). Laboratory testing has shown up to 10X higher chemical resistance when compared to any other spray applied vapor barrier material on the market.

Puncture Resistance

If you’ve been to a doctor’s office lately, you’ll likely see that the gloves sitting there on the counter are no longer latex; they’re nitrile. Physicians offices have moved away from latex and to nitrile gloves. Why? Because not only is nitrile more chemically resistant; it’s more durable too.

So the R&D team at Land Science again applied this concept when they were developing Nitra-Seal. With vapor intrusion regulatory standards becoming ever more complex and stringent, there is an emerging need in the industry for better, more reliable protection against contaminant vapor intrusion.

This is why nitrile is so valuable. It will provide better protection, and that protection will be more durable and reliable due to puncture resistance. Nitra-Seal forms a highly puncture resistant barrier that greatly reduces the chance of damage occurring after installation and prior to the placement of concrete.

The added value brought by nitrile’s durability provides a critical advantage with new building construction.

Nitrile can be applied as sheets or as liquid depending on what it needs to be applied to. For instance, if nitrile rubber is needed to seal plumbing, then liquid is required; but if an entire floor needs to be sealed then nitrile sheets are the best option. There is no need to lose sleep over whether nitrile will leave even a sliver of a crack on the application site because Nitrile can fit into any nooks and crannies of any site where it is spray-applied, including seams and penetrations of a vapor barrier base layers. In the end, once a site is sealed, there is an excellent chance that the seal will last for years without letting gas permeate or being severely damaged.

When the other layers of the Nitra-Seal system are combined with its spray-applied Nitrile-based core to seal all seams and penetrations, the end result is a barrier that is highly resistant to a broad range of chemical pollutant vapors.

Nitrile is a versatile material that is utilized in many different applications, from sealing gas pipes to providing doctors protection in gloves. But it’s also especially valuable to the vapor intrusion mitigation industry, due to its low gas permeability, chemical resistance, and easy application.

webinar

Incorporating CSIA in Vapor Intrusion Investigations

Land Science is pleased to present a webinar with Dora Taggart, President of Microbial Insights, Inc., and Sam Rosolina, PhD, Analytical Chemist and Manager of the Compound Specific Isotope Analysis (CSIA) Laboratory at Microbial Insights. In this webinar, Dora and Sam discuss incorporating CSIA in vapor intrusion investigations. They are joined by Tom Szocinski, CEP, Director of Vapor Intrusion at Land Science, who discusses innovative new vapor barrier technologies that are more protective and more cost-effective.

Learn the following in this free webinar:

  • A primer for sites impacted with contaminant vapor intrusion
  • How CSIA is being used to fingerprint different contaminant sources
  • Using CSIA to help identify the underlying cause of decreased indoor air quality

FAQ: CSIA and Vapor Intrusion

Geophysics FAQThe questions summarized in this FAQ as part of the Land Science “Distinguished Speaker” webinar series, were provided by our guest presenters, Dora Taggart and Sam Rosolina, PhD in response to questions fielded throughout the webinar presentation. REGENESIS and Land Science are grateful to both Ms. Taggart and Dr. Rosolina for sharing their expertise. Land Science is dedicated to providing relevant, industry-leading content in support of client partners globally. Any use or reproduction of the contents of this FAQ document must be approved by Land Science, REGENESIS and/or Microbial Insights.

Want to learn more about CSIA and Vapor Intrusion? Download the Q&A from the webinar here:

View webinar recording

Complete the form below to view the recording of this free webinar.

Former textile mill

Vapor Barrier Speeds Redevelopment of Former Textile Mill

A former textile mill operated from 1926 through 1983. Throughout the years in operation, there were no regulatory guidelines in place regarding the use and disposal of hazardous chemicals used on site. As a result, once operations ceased, the site was classified as a brownfield. The building has been vacant since the early 2000’s and the hazardous environmental conditions have made redevelopment a challenge. However, tax credit financing made it possible for developers to purchase the 24,500 square-foot building in 2015. The developers received $9 million in tax credit financing, making this remediation and restoration project possible. The tax credits included the New Markets tax credits and South Carolina Textiles Communities Revitalization Act.

textile mill case study

This case study features the following:

  • Site owners are pleased that the quick installation of Geo-Seal allowed the project to meet construction timeline goals
  • The support of the state of South Carolina through the tax incentive package made it possible for developers to redevelop this brownfield site into new jobs and businesses for the community
  • The construction and renovations included elements of historic preservation
Sigrida Reinis webinar recording

Update on The Evolving Vapor Intrusion Regulatory Landscape

Land Science is pleased to present a webinar with vapor intrusion expert Sigrida Reinis, PhD, PE, Associate at Langan. During this webinar presentation, Dr. Reinis discusses the increasingly challenging vapor intrusion regulatory landscape, and solutions to address vapor intrusion challenges at sites. Rick Gillespie, REGENESIS and Land Science Senior Vice President, North America also presents innovative new vapor barrier technologies that are more protective and more cost-effective.

Learn the following in this free webinar:

  • Changing trends in the vapor intrusion regulatory landscape at the federal and state levels
  • How to meet the demands of increasingly data-driven regulations
  • Case studies of vapor intrusion sites where extensive data-driven challenges were addressed

View this Free Webinar

Complete the form below to view this free webinar.

EnviroSouth

Client Spotlight: Thomas Donn, Senior President of EnviroSouth

Thomas Donn of EnviroSouthWhen Thomas Donn decided to launch his own environmental consulting business in March of 2001, his primary goal was to provide practical solutions to emerging environmental challenges. His objective, along with his then business partner, was to grow a firm that could clearly explain complex technical and regulatory issues in a manner that was easily understandable to a wide range of clients. They also wanted to cement and deliver on their mantra of, “on budget, on time, and no surprises”, as a way to firmly differentiate themselves from other environmental remediation firms. Fast forward to today, and it is clear Donn has successfully grown and positioned EnviroSouth, a valued Land Science® and REGENESIS client, into a leading environmental consulting company. Headquartered in Greeneville, SC, EnviroSouth offers its clients an array of services that include soil and groundwater remediation, real estate environmental site assessment, soil and groundwater contamination assessment, Brownfields property restoration, and other environmental related services. Donn shares, “We have become successful in setting ourselves apart from the competition. And that’s why many of our clients rely on EnviroSouth environmental consultants year after year for all their environmental needs.”

As the founder, President, and Principal Hydrogeologist of EnviroSouth, Donn’s day-to-day responsibilities include advising clients on the technical and regulatory options related to purchasing and remediating commercial and industrial Brownfield properties, as well as troubleshooting projects to ensure the outcome matches client expectations and passes through the regulatory approval process. When asked what he enjoys most about his work, he points to the satisfaction of seeing properties converted into reusable sites, suitable for redevelopment. He continues, “I appreciate being part of the vibrant growth and remediation of a Brownfield site as a key advisor and facilitator.” Donn continues,  “Transforming blighted properties that are often eyesores, into productive and attractive facilities which bring jobs to communities is very gratifying. I also enjoy developing our professional staff of geologists, engineers, and environmental scientists, since it helps them become more independent and confident in their abilities, translating to their success on projects they manage.” Prior to starting EnviroSouth, Donn gained valuable experience in the environmental remediation industry, serving in several key positions, including Geologist, Hydrogeologist, and Environmental Services Department Manager, as well as Branch Manager for a 27-person branch office, where he performed environmental consulting, ecological services, geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing.

Prior to beginning his professional career, he earned a B.S. in Geology from the University at Buffalo and a M.S. in Geology from Miami (Ohio) University.  He shares, “I chose a career in environmental sciences because I had a keen interest in geology and a desire to provide effective and cost-conscious solutions to help contribute to cleaning up our planet.”  To stay current with industry trends and the latest technology, Donn often attends technical conferences to maintain familiarity with new remediation methods, as well as refinements of design and field techniques. In addition, he occasionally serves as an expert witness, and has authored several white papers and articles for publication.

When it comes to working with Land Science, Donn says he appreciates their advanced experience and responsiveness. He continues, “Land Science provides good technical resources and they are proactive to our requests for quotes. They also offer excellent customer service and assistance with our logistical needs.  We recently completed a project with them on a former textile mill that was redeveloped.  They were very helpful in ensuring the project was a success , including coordinating with installation contractors.” The project included the installation of Geo-Seal® and Vapor-Vent™. He explains, “The project was a Brownfield redevelopment of a long-shuttered textile mill in South Carolina.  Based on the poor condition of the concrete and wood floor, the client decided to remove the existing floor, so it provided a perfect opportunity to install a top of the line vapor barrier, such as Geo-Seal®, to prevent TCE in the shallow soils from entering the renovated building.  The installation was inspected thoroughly by EnviroSouth’s own in-house LandScience® certified inspector.  Subsequent testing showed the indoor air was free of TCE, and the roof vent showed elevated TCE concentrations as evidence that the vapor vents were doing their job as planned.”

Residing in Greeneville, SC, outside of work Donn enjoys wilderness backpacking trips, especially to his favorite destination in Glacier National Park.  He shares, “Glacier is the perfect place for getting away from it all with no cell phone coverage!  There is also the rush of knowing that around any corner you could come across a bull moose or an angry mama grizzly!” He has also enjoyed volunteering at a local YMCA, where he holds a Board position, and serves on the March of Dimes Real Estate Executive Committee for his local chapter. When asked what he sees the future holds for environmental remediation, Donn points to an increased emphasis on risk assessment as a growth area. He continues, “I believe the trend toward performing remediation based on risk assessment is here to stay.  Remediating sites that have a likelihood of adversely impacting human or environmental receptors just makes good sense.  The recent trend of looking much closer at and preventing the presence of potentially harmful vapors inside buildings is one of the most logical and cost-effective types of remediation we can provide.  For the past few decades, environmental regulators were requiring millions upon millions of dollars to be spent on cleaning up soil and groundwater, but largely ignored the effects of breathing harmful vapors.  This new awareness of evaluating vapors seems obvious now, but it was just a matter of the awareness of the environmental regulators and good technical practitioners to bring the science to this point.”  And what advice would he offer to those considering a career in the environmental remediation industry?  He concludes, “I would suggest becoming involved with an environmental services company early on, perhaps as an intern. We have had several summer interns from Clemson University’s highly regarded Environmental Engineering program.  This provides them the real-life aspects of environmental consulting work, especially working outside in the field.”

Land Science is proud to have Tom Donn, President and Principal Hydrogeologist at EnviroSouth, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his technical experience and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for Land Science® and its clients.

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MonoShield™ Installed At Site Of Former Hazel Park Raceway

This case study reviews a site at the former Hazel Park Raceway, located in a designated Opportunity Zone, which was established by the US Federal Treasury to encourage businesses to invest in blighted properties by providing tax incentives. These tax incentives made the redevelopment of the Hazel Park Raceway possible. In the course of evaluating potential remedial options for the 650,000 square foot warehouse facility (Tri -County Commerce Building #2), consulting firm SME approached Land Science, a division of REGENESIS, to incorporate a vapor barrier system to address the harmful vapor intrusion.

This case study features the following:

  • With MonoShield offering a more reliable, cost-effective solution, the project was assured of meeting milestones and staying on time and on budget.
  • Hazel Park welcomed the economic development and the promise of future jobs coming to the community through this key redevelopment project.
  • The support of the city of Hazel Park, the state of Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has made it possible to redevelop the Hazel Park Raceway.
  • After a successful application at nearby Liberty Park, MonoShield was chosen as the best vapor intrusion mitigation solution for the Tri-County Commerce Building #2.