Client Spotlight: Patrick Lowery, SUMMIT Engineering, Laboratory & Testing, Inc.

For Patrick Lowery, Sr. Environmental Manager with SUMMIT Engineering, Laboratory & Testing, Inc., a multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm and valued Land Science® client, a career in environmental remediation was sparked by an interest in geology, a field his grandfather worked in. Lowery initially planned to follow his grandfather’s path and become a geologist, but then realized his true passion involved assisting in the cleanup of our planet. He shares, “My grandfather was a geologist for Shell Oil in the Permian Basin, near Midland Texas.  Throughout college my focus was to work in the petroleum industry.  I took a year off from school after earning my Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Alabama and was going to attend Colorado State University for my Masters in Geophysics, however, while working with a consulting geologist that year I found I enjoyed the environmental field.” The following year, Lowery relocated to South Carolina, where he continued to explore and gain experience in environmental remediation. He continues, “I obtained my Professional Geologist License in 2006-2007, and really enjoyed the evolution of the environmental industry, and the challenges each project presented.” One aspect of his environmental work he appreciates in particular is the collaboration. He shares, “In the environmental consulting industry, you are part of a team working towards a common goal, from property development to cleanup.  Working through all of the logistics and problem solving to achieve a common goal is rewarding and provides excellent opportunities for professional growth.”

Throughout his nearly eight years at SUMMIT, Lowery’s role has focused primarily on due diligence investigation. He explains, “When a due diligence investigation identifies a need for further investigation, remediation and regulatory involvement (UST, Brownfields) I am generally looped into the project.  I am able to communicate with clients on the risks associated with a property, the contamination or the regulatory routes, and help develop a plan for successfully guiding the client through the project.  I then execute the plan and utilize my technical background to provide innovative solutions to complicated issues.” Prior to joining SUMMIT Lowery worked for another environmental engineering firm, first as an Environmental Operations Manager and then as its Chief Technical Officer. When asked what he sees the future holds for environmental remediation, he feels there is greater interest in treating sites due to the advancements in solutions and awareness. He shares, “When I started in the environmental industry, clients were hardly aware of environmental concerns as they related to property purchases and development.  Throughout the years however, clients have become more aware and educated on environmental issues. I expect to see more complicated, environmentally impaired development in the future. Technologies, such as those offered by Land Science, coupled with knowledgeable clients, are making these types of projects more commonplace.”

When it comes to working with Land Science, Lowery points to several advantages in the areas of testing, support, and durability. He explains, “I appreciate that Land Science completes rigorous testing on their products to ensure the barrier products are protective for the constituents mitigated.  I also like what I see in durability. The sub-slab components and vapor barrier products are very durable and withstand most construction traffic following installation, a common failure point in most systems.  And Land Science fully supports and backs their vapor barrier products.  It’s great to be able to speak with a Land Science technical representative when needed, and any installation issues are handled directly and quickly.” With regard to specific products, Nitra-Seal® and Terra-Vent® have both been used with success recently on a just completed, large multi-family apartment complex development in North Carolina.  He shares, “VOCs and methane were the constituents mitigated.  The use of TerraVent and Nitra-Seal was very successful for the sub-slab vapor mitigation systems.  Using a continual monitoring system, the sub-slabs have shown uniform communication and extended areas of influence since installation.”

When asked what he likes most about his work, Lowery is quick to share how much he likes a challenge and seeing a project through to completion. “I enjoy that each project brings new challenges. This includes digging into a project and helping clients navigate and institute plans that are successful. It’s especially rewarding to complete a complicated project. Seeing the development or successful remediation through to the end is very satisfying.” And the most demanding aspect of his work? “Managing time expectations, because difficult and complicated projects take time and in most cases, require regulatory involvement.  This is another reason Land Science products are a good tool, because they generally install quickly with limited development downtime.”

Married and the father of a 3-year old daughter, Lowery and his family live in Columbia, SC, where in his free time he enjoys playing golf and being a hands-on dad to their energetic daughter. “Not much time for any other hobbies at this point,” he says. “Although we do volunteer work for the Special Olympics of South Carolina, where my wife serves as Director of Communication.” When asked how he has seen the industry change over the years, he feels clients and lending institutions are more educated on environmental issues, and that many challenging projects can now be mitigated through the use of various tools, such as vapor barriers and regulatory programs.  And how would he encourage others to join in his field of study? He concludes, “At SUMMIT we have provided summer internships in the environmental department for college and even high school aged students.  I encourage students who have an interest in the environmental field to reach out to local engineering firms and inquire about internships or shadow programs.  Since Environmental Consulting can span from wetlands to advanced remediations, there is a broad industry to explore.”

Land Science is proud to have Patrick Lowery, Senior Environmental Manager with SUMMIT Engineering, Laboratory & Testing, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his specialized background and commitment in providing successful remediation and mitigation outcomes for Land Science and its clients.

 

Client Spotlight: Suzi Rosen, Partner Engineering

It’s not often Land Science® has the opportunity to work with a valued client whose background includes extensive experience with its parent company, REGENESIS. However, Suzi Rosen, PG, CHg, Principal and Technical Director for Partner Engineering & Science, Inc., is an exception. In addition to her experience in site assessment, remediation, and expert witness/litigation support at various consulting firms, Suzi also served with REGENESIS for 3 years as a Southwest District Technical Manager. She shares, “My experience at REGENESIS was very important in my career development, and together with my other experience, helped prepare me for my role with Partner. Currently, my day-to-day responsibilities include serving as a technical resource for projects throughout the country that require some type of regulatory agency interaction or remedial/mitigation action, as well as overseeing and managing projects.” One of the aspects of her work she enjoys most is helping her clients navigate complex environmental issues.  She continues, “Many of my clients are developers, so I work on those projects from the early Phase I Environmental Site Assessment stage all the way through cleanup, soil management, vapor intrusion mitigation, and any regulatory closure that is required. Our group also works on a lot of Remedial Cost Estimates that are part of the various property transactions, of which I’m often involved. I also have the opportunity to perform third-party review and expert opinion work for litigation and cost recovery cases.”  To prepare for a career in environmental remediation, Suzi earned her BS in Geology from California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and also completed significant graduate course work at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) and CSUF in geology and contaminate fate and transport.

Now completing her fifth year with Partner Engineering & Science, Suzi appreciates the company’s culture and emphasis on professional development, as well as their long-term growth objectives. She continues, “Partner has a corporate level goal to be the best home for talented professionals in our field.  I can say for me personally, they’ve accomplished that.  Partner continues to grow nationally and around the globe with a focus on providing technical services facilitating all aspects of a property transaction, from pre-acquisition to post-development operation and maintenance.  We are also constantly developing new technologies and processes to increase our efficiency and technical excellence so we can serve our clients in a way that makes their lives easier.” To stay abreast of emerging trends and new technologies, Suzi attends industry-focused webinars and training classes- usually several times per month, which are often offered by industry groups like ITRC and various remediation vendors. She adds, “I participate regularly in technical conferences in California and the mid-west, either as a speaker, moderator, or attendee. Topics are usually around new sampling or assessment technologies, regulatory updates, or industry trends.”

With regard to working with Land Science, Suzi appreciates the company’s expertise and deep reservoir of technical expertise. She continues, “Land Science is a great resource and partner for vapor intrusion mitigation work.  Their internal technical resources have been extremely helpful, and their network of certified applicators makes projects go smoothly.  The last RetroCoat® project I did was for a warehouse in Los Angeles that was purchased by one of our celebrity clients.  We had a very small window for getting in and installing RetroCoat before the warehouse contents were set to arrive.  If we did not finish in time, they would have to pay for temporary storage, and it would have been a nightmare if the project was delayed. Nick Mjolsness with Land Science found one of their applicators and arranged for the site walk, bidding, product delivery, and installation within about a two-week time frame.  When I was handed this project and told they needed a VI mitigation system put in place within about two weeks, I almost told the client it was impossible, and yet Nick and Jeff Andrews over at Pacific Coast Contracting (applicator) helped me pull it off.  They made me and Partner look great, and the client even got to pick a specialized look for the floor coating.” When it comes to specific Land Science product usage, RetroCoat is used most often for existing structures requiring vapor intrusion mitigation. She adds that her team is still learning about the new barrier products being offered by Land Science.

When asked what she enjoys most about her work, Suzi values her role as a knowledgeable resource for her clients. She shares, “I love helping my clients navigate potential or actual environmental issues on a property they are going to redevelop or acquire.  Helping them understand their risk in a way that makes sense to them, so they can make the best business decision, is a unique service and a talent I have cultivated over the years.  When I can help their internal process go smoothly and minimize costs, I find that very rewarding.” And the most challenging aspect of her work? “Usually scheduling, since many of our projects are on a very tight timeline. Working within extremely tight time constraints is a regular occurrence and takes a lot of self-management to be able to meet deadlines without sacrificing your own well-being.” Established in both southern California and central Michigan, Suzi spends much of her free time as a teacher of Ishayas’ Ascension, which she refers to as “meditation for the modern-day world”.  “I’ve been practicing Ascension for nearly 20 years now and can’t imagine life without it! I have a cat, Chloe, who keeps me company when I am working from home and should probably be called Shadow, since she is always by my side.  I also like to stay active and love to lift weights, hike, kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), ski, explore areas I have not seen before, and spend time with good friends.” She also finds time to volunteer for the Humane Animal Treatment Society (HATS).  She shares, “I love dogs as well as cats, but I can’t really have a dog since I usually travel a fair amount for work.  HATS gives me an opportunity to spend time helping animals and walking dogs that may otherwise not get any active time outside.  The hardest part is having to take them back to the shelter.”

When asked how she’s seen the industry change over the years, she points to the increased number of women choosing this field. She concludes, “There are more and more women in the environmental industry now, and it is not viewed as much of an oddity as it was when I first started in the mid-1990s.  It is a little bit less of an “old boy’s club” – particularly at a firm like Partner where there are so many women professionals, including at the leadership/executive level. For me, environmental remediation has been a great career choice and I look forward to what the future has in store.”

Land Science is proud to have Suzi Rosen, PG, CHg, Principal and Technical Director for Partner Engineering & Science, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates her diversified experience and commitment in providing successful remediation and mitigation outcomes for Land Science and its clients.

 

April 2021 Land Science Newsletter

 

For Steve Michelson, President of AWR Environmental, a leading west coast-based environmental and geotechnical services firm, and valued Land Science® client, overseeing a multitude of diverse responsibilities is a welcome aspect of his role, and is just one reason he enjoys his work. He begins, “We are a small boutique firm, and everyone wears a number of  hats – except obviously, the principal roles. As both President and Principal, I’m responsible for the care of all our clients, and ensure we provide top-shelf technical solutions that are responsive to our client’s needs and constraints.  In addition to directing the company, I strive to promote a corporate culture that emphasizes communication and creativity.” One element of the culture and work environment Michelson has fostered includes the encouragement of staff to respectfully challenge each other when reviewing nearly all written reports before submitting to the client- including his own. He continues, “The objective is to identify both supported and unsupported assumptions, with the goal of identifying our strengths and weaknesses in the analysis and technical solutions and strategies to resolve our clients’ challenges.”

 

Free Webinar Recording Now Available!

Jim Fineis webinar

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About the Presenters:


Jim Fineis, P.G.
President and Owner, Total Vapor Solutions

Jim is the President and owner of Total Vapor Solutions. In addition, Mr. Fineis is an instructor in Hartman Geosciences “Practical Guide to Vapor Intrusion” 2 day course. The training has been given to over 20 regulatory agencies and over 500 students. Additionally, Mr. Fineis speaks at various vapor intrusion conferences each year.

Prior to opening Total Vapor Solutions, Mr. Fineis was the President and owner of Atlas Geo-Sampling Company. Atlas was an integrated geosampling and drilling firm located in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Fineis has been responsible for all aspects of P/L, business development and operations since starting Atlas in 2004. In addition to the responsibilities with Atlas, Mr. Fineis is a Professional Geologist (ASBOG) with certification in Georgia and Florida, and over 20 years’ experience in the environmental services industry.

Aimee Plowman
Southeast District Manager, Land Science

Aimee Plowman is the Southeast District Manager of the Land Science® division of REGENESIS, Inc., and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Aimee’s role includes providing technical support in the design and installation of TerraShield, Nitra-Seal, MonoShield and Retro-Coat vapor mitigation systems, and educating the environmental community on the advancements in vapor intrusion barrier technology, implementation, and quality control by making presentations to environmental firms, regulatory agencies, and developers. Aimee received a Master of Science in Geology and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, running, fishing, and going to the beach.

IN THE NEWS: Land Science Announces Its Support in the Newly Launched Association of Vapor Intrusion Professionals (AVIP) As Charter Platinum Sponsor 

AVIP Platinum SponsorSAN CLEMENTE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Land Science, a division of REGENESIS, is pleased to announce its support and involvement in the newly launched Association of Vapor Intrusion Professionals as a charter Platinum Sponsor and member of the AVIP’s councils. The purpose of AVIP is to build a community of professionals dedicated to advancing the vapor intrusion (VI) industry and providing a forum for informational exchange of knowledge and science related to VI; as well as establishing a central resource for technology, guidance, standards, credentialing and best practices for both those in the industry and those seeking VI-related services.

Read Press Release

Former Landfill Site Redeveloped Using TerraShield

A brownfield redevelopment project included construction of a new hotel near Tuscaloosa’s Riverfront. The project increases room capacity for the city, allowing it to draw in more tourism from sporting and business events. The project site was once a former landfill resulting in a mix of soil gas vapors containing chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons and methane. In order to prevent vapor intrusion into the new building, the certified applicators installed over 18,000 square feet of TerraShield, in conjunction with an active venting system. Based on the range of contaminants and various concentrations exceeding regulatory screening levels, the TerraShield vapor barrier offered the highest level of protection against VI, as well as long term assurance that occupants would be protected should the active system ever shut off. Coupling the TerraShield barrier with active venting enabled this brownfield property to be converted into productive use for the city.

 

Superior Chemical Resistance Over Any Vapor Barrier on the Market Today

When developing properties on sites with known environmental impacts, one of the biggest issues is the risk to human health. Failure to address these issues can result in adverse health effects and millions of dollars in legal exposure. TerraShield was designed specifically to eliminate risk of exposure by employing innovative technologies to provide best-in-class chemical resistance and durability. Backed by a robust warranty and installed by Land Science-certified applicators, each TerraShield installation is rigorously tested to ensure the quality of every seal and ultimately the complete vapor barrier system installed.

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.

 

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San Clemente, CA 92673
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case study

A Vacant Brownfield Is Transformed On The Atlanta Beltline

The Edge™ on The BeltLine is a visionary, mixed-use brownfield redevelopment sitting on approximately 4.5-acres of land along a new section of the Atlanta Beltline, located between Edgewood Avenue and DeKalb Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. The development comprises 350 multifamily units, including workforce and affordable units, 20,000 square feet of retail space, and 10,000 square feet of office space. Tucked between two unique neighborhoods in Atlanta – Old Fourth Ward and Inman Park – the development has transformed blighted, environmentally-distressed parcels into a living, breathing neighborhood within one of Atlanta’s most vibrant arts and cultural districts. The Edge development encompasses a former industrial zone that sat vacant for decades and once included a railroad line, dry-cleaning plant, metals recycling facility, and a former roadway. Spills of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) historically used impacted soil and groundwater, leaving behind VOC vapors in the soil.

case study

This case study features the following:

  • Following years of investigation and assessment, an environmental covenant (EC) was placed on the property to restrict future residential development.
  • United Consulting, an Atlanta-based, engineering consulting firm, was engaged by the property owner to address the environmental concerns and provide a vapor intrusion mitigation (VIM) solution which would allow the development to move forward.
  • In recognition of their effort, the American Council of Engineering Companies presented United Consulting the Engineering Excellence Award – Environmental Category for 2019.

Client Spotlight: Steve Michelson, AWR Environmental

For Steve Michelson, President of AWR Environmental, a leading west coast-based environmental and geotechnical services firm, and valued Land Science® client, overseeing a multitude of diverse responsibilities is a welcome aspect of his role, and is just one reason he enjoys his work. He begins, “We are a small boutique firm, and everyone wears a number of  hats – except obviously, the principal roles. As both President and Principal, I’m responsible for the care of all our clients, and ensure we provide top-shelf technical solutions that are responsive to our client’s needs and constraints.  In addition to directing the company, I strive to promote a corporate culture that emphasizes communication and creativity.” One element of the culture and work environment Michelson has fostered includes the encouragement of staff to respectfully challenge each other when reviewing nearly all written reports before submitting to the client- including his own. He continues, “The objective is to identify both supported and unsupported assumptions, with the goal of identifying our strengths and weaknesses in the analysis and technical solutions and strategies to resolve our clients’ challenges.”

Michelson founded AWR in 1997, after finding a way to combine his interest in the earth sciences and  engineering with the emerging need to address the  environmental contamination. He shares, “Initially, I had designs on becoming a petroleum exploration geologist and travelling the globe.  However, when I graduated it was during one of the cyclical downturns in the petroleum industry, and luckily the early days of the environmental consulting marketplace. So now I still get to work for petroleum companies, but in a different capacity- solving their contamination problems.”

To prepare for a career that addressed his interest in both geology and the environment, he in essence created his own double major, earning  BS degrees in Geology and Civil Engineering from Lehigh University. “I was actually the first to receive both degrees from Lehigh University. Upon beginning my studies, I found that civil engineering seemed too assured in having all the answers, and geology left way too many questions – so I ended up pursuing both.  I eventually negotiated with several professors and department heads to develop what became a combined degree program upon my graduation. This academic background of geology and engineering has provided me with a good foundation for cleaning up the environment.” To remain current on new and emerging remediation technologies, and improvements to the implementation and operations of existing technologies, he is active in attending industry-related conferences and webinars. He adds, “Especially those oriented to leveraging the biological resources to degrade or fix the contaminant.  I’m also diligent about staying current on trends in environmental science, especially improvements to site characterization and monitoring.” He feels his efforts, and those of his staff, will lead to additional growth, as AWR expands into the developer marketplace, where he feels clients will truly appreciate his firm’s responsiveness and the constructive relationships they have developed with regulators. He adds, “We are currently expanding into a market that provides services for dredging and beneficial reuse of dredged sediments in the San Francisco Bay and Delta, and also expanding into the cannabis marketplace.”

In working with Land Science, Michelson appreciates the company’s expertise and high service standards, and points to a recent project where significant vapor mitigation was required. He continues, “Land Science was extremely helpful to us in the design and implementation of mitigation measures at an 11-acre redevelopment in central Hayward, CA, where we’ve designed and constructed about 4 acres of vapor mitigation consisting of Nitra-Seal® and sub-slab ventilation and depressurization, coupled with 2,100 ft of soil vapor extraction.” In terms of specific product usage, in addition to Nitra-Seal®, TerraVent®, ORC®, and RegenOx® have been used. “All have proven very useful to mitigating risks and remediating contamination.” When not working out of the AWR Bay Area office, Michelson can be found enjoying the great outdoors- rock climbing. He also enjoys weightlifting, reading, gardening, and participating in martial arts.

When asked about the most demanding aspect of his work, Michelson says balancing the workload in the pipeline while avoiding overstaffing can be a challenge. He shares, “I’m rather dedicated to keeping staff engaged.  Most staff have been with the company for over a decade and we all understand that one person’s success leads to success for everyone, and vice versa -all pulling in the same direction is critically important.” As one who has been working in the environmental field for over two decades, Michelson has had time to reflect on the past, with an eye toward the future of an ever-evolving industry. He continues, “For the future, the pendulum in California has clearly swung towards leaving more contaminants in the ground and mitigating the risks, rather than pursuing more thorough cleanup.  While this may be a cost-effective approach for our clients, it is likely to pose challenges in the future when properties with residual contamination become available for sale and the pendulum swings back to seeking more cleanup.  Some of our clients are sensitive to looking down the road and spending a bit more now to maximize future property values, while others less so.” And how would he encourage others to join in his field of study? He concludes, “ I would suggest those interested in helping to mitigate our environmental challenges obtain a technical yet multidisciplinary education that promotes an appreciation of complexities and the unknown, that fosters development of conceptual models to explain what can’t be seen, that acknowledges the vulnerabilities posed by unverified or unrecognized assumptions, that encourages respectful and professional discussion especially during disagreement, that teaches listening and speaking and writing skills as fundamental elements of communication, that emphasizes comprehension of the why as the basis for the how, and that rewards creativity.”

Land Science is proud to have Steve Michelson, President and Principal of AWR Environmental, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his wealth of experience and leadership in providing successful remediation and mitigation outcomes for Land Science and its clients.

March 2021 Land Science Newsletter

When Travis Coburn, Senior Engineer for Ninyo & Moore, set his sights on a career in environmental remediation, the diverse range of responsibilities he would assume became a pleasant surprise. He begins, “As an environmental engineer, my emphasis has been on environmental compliance, but it allows me to enjoy a variety of different aspects within my field. These include contaminated site investigation, remedial system design and installation, treatment system startup, and operation and maintenance.” In addition to these specific responsibilities at Ninyo & Moore, a leading geotechnical and environmental sciences consulting firm and valued Land Science® client, he works on a variety of projects as well.

 

Last Chance to Register – Free Webinar With Jim Fineis Thursday, March 25th 11am PST / 2pm EST!

Jim Fineis Webinar


About the Presenters:


Jim Fineis, P.G.
President and Owner, Total Vapor Solutions

Jim is the President and owner of Total Vapor Solutions. In addition, Mr. Fineis is an instructor in Hartman Geosciences “Practical Guide to Vapor Intrusion” 2 day course. The training has been given to over 20 regulatory agencies and over 500 students. Additionally, Mr. Fineis speaks at various vapor intrusion conferences each year.

Prior to opening Total Vapor Solutions, Mr. Fineis was the President and owner of Atlas Geo-Sampling Company. Atlas was an integrated geosampling and drilling firm located in Atlanta, GA. Mr. Fineis has been responsible for all aspects of P/L, business development and operations since starting Atlas in 2004. In addition to the responsibilities with Atlas, Mr. Fineis is a Professional Geologist (ASBOG) with certification in Georgia and Florida, and over 20 years’ experience in the environmental services industry.

Aimee Plowman
Southeast District Manager, Land Science

Aimee Plowman is the Southeast District Manager of the Land Science® division of REGENESIS, Inc., and is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Aimee’s role includes providing technical support in the design and installation of TerraShield, Nitra-Seal, MonoShield and Retro-Coat vapor mitigation systems, and educating the environmental community on the advancements in vapor intrusion barrier technology, implementation, and quality control by making presentations to environmental firms, regulatory agencies, and developers. Aimee received a Master of Science in Geology and a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, running, fishing, and going to the beach.

Are you a member of the AVIP? Join today! 

Land Science is pleased to be 2021/2022 Annual Platinum Sponsors for AVIP! The purpose of AVIP is to build a community of professionals dedicated to advancing the industry and providing a forum for informational exchange of knowledge and science related to Vapor Intrusion (VI); as well as establishing a central resource for technology, guidance, standards, credentialing and best practices for both those in the industry and those seeking VI related services.

At Land Science, we know many environmental firms are investing time to focus on staff training to get up-to-date on new technologies and regulations. We have prepared a library of pre-recorded webinars available on our website at no charge. Topics include vapor intrusion regulations and mitigation. We will also provide certificates of attendance for any webinar viewed upon request by emailing marketing@regenesis.com.

Nitra-Seal Applied as Preemptive Vapor Mitigation Solution for National Restaurant Chain 

This project development site is a newly opened quick-service restaurant in Conyers, Georgia. Offsite chemical spills from historical operations had resulted in low-level volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released to the subsurface, creating a potential for vapors to intrude into new buildings constructed in the affected area. Recognizing the risk and placing emphasis on future workers’ safety, the forward-thinking client decided that a preemptive measure be instituted, requiring the installation of a vapor mitigation system as part of the construction specification.

 

Introducing a New Advanced Nitrile Composite Barrier System

Nitra-Seal is an update/improvement on current vapor barrier systems. Originally, passive vapor barrier systems were waterproofing systems adapted for use as contaminant vapor barriers. An acknowledged weakness in these systems is in the 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 sensitive areas of the building construction. Nitra-Seal offers a substantial upgrade as it employs a more chemically resistant nitrile latex instead of the more susceptible SBR material. Nitrile 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).

A growing manufacturer looking to expand its operations purchased a vacant industrial facility in Lansing, Michigan, where chlorinated solvents were used and spilled into the subsurface. The environmental consultant was asked to address the suspected vapor intrusion concerns resulting from the former industrial operations. In working with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE), the consultant proposed utilizing the Retro-Coat® Vapor Intrusion Coating System, in combination with passive venting, to ensure safe indoor air for the future workers.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Copyright © 2021 REGENESIS, All rights reserved.
1011 Calle Sombra
San Clemente, CA 92673
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Client Spotlight: Travis Coburn, Ninyo & Moore

When Travis Coburn, Senior Engineer for Ninyo & Moore, set his sights on a career in environmental remediation, the diverse range of responsibilities he would assume became a pleasant surprise. He begins, “As an environmental engineer, my emphasis has been on environmental compliance, but it allows me to enjoy a variety of different aspects within my field. These include contaminated site investigation, remedial system design and installation, treatment system startup, and operation and maintenance.” In addition to these specific responsibilities at Ninyo & Moore, a leading geotechnical and environmental sciences consulting firm and valued Land Science® client, he works on a variety of projects as well. He continues, “I am involved in a wide range of complex and interesting projects that include school, railroad, air and sea ports, military, oil and gas, brownfields, construction, and waste disposal sites. In addition to providing technical consulting services, I manage contracts and projects, and mentor our younger staff.” Coburn joined Ninyo & Moore seven and a half years ago as a Project Manager/Engineer, and was quickly promoted to Senior Project Manager/Engineer, before being named to his current position. Prior to Ninyo & Moore, he served as a Senior Staff Engineer and as a Senior Environmental Engineer at other civil and environmental engineering firms. To prepare for a career in environmental sciences he earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Coburn’s interest in environmental remediation began during his freshman year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. “I always wanted to do something that would help ‘clean’ the planet,” he says,  “and I felt my strengths in math and science, along with my urge to solve problems and puzzles, would be well-suited for a career as an environmental engineer.” His interest in remediation was piqued early on in his career while working on a challenging project, which served to provide both inspiration and confirmation he had chosen the right career path. He continues, “Early in my career I was involved in a site assessment and remediation project in a small town heavily impacted by 100 years of industrial rail operations. It was the first project where I saw first-hand how devastating groundwater contamination can be to a community and ecosystem. It definitely inspired me to be part of the solution and help provide a solution to ensure residents felt safe.” When asked what he enjoys most about his job, he quickly points to the diverse nature of his work. “I really enjoy the variety of projects and challenges they present. I’ve also enjoyed the travel and places some of my projects have taken me, including Montana, Washington, Hawaii, and the Marshall Islands.”

When it comes to working with Land Science, Coburn appreciates their quick response and knowledge base. He shares, “The people I’ve interacted with at Land Science have always been friendly and responsive. I’ve reached out to Land Science on several soil gas intrusion mitigation designs I’ve prepared and they’ve always helped me identify the right product for the job, which oftentimes leads to large cost-savings for construction.” With regard to specific Land Science products, Nitra-Seal® is used frequently, due to its effectiveness and versatility. He continues, “Land Science’s spray-applied barriers have a lot of advantages- especially in parts of California, where we often have sites that have the potential for methane, petroleum, and VOC intrusion. It’s great to have a barrier that is both effective and resistant to them all.” The success using products such as Nitra-Seal complements the future goals of Ninyo & Moore. “Our team has a wide range of talents and services, so we want to maximize our offerings and services to our existing clients, and develop new client relationships.” To stay abreast of current industry trends and evolving technology, Coburn regularly attends industry related webinars and presentations, as his schedule allows, which unfortunately isn’t as many as he would like. “REGENESIS and Land Science offer several of these throughout the year, which have proven to be very informative and helpful.”

Living in Orange County, CA with his wife and daughter, (and a new son on the way), Coburn enjoys several hobbies and activities in his spare time, such as camping, running, cooking, and playing the guitar. He shares, “I love camping in Big Sur, which usually includes stopping by some Paso Robles wineries along the way. I grew up camping in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada range can get pretty crowded, so I prefer backpacking when up there. I’ve run a few marathons, and the Big Sur race is my favorite. For the guitar, I enjoy playing the blues, especially Lightnin’ Hopkins, 90’s alternative, and the occasional Led Zeppelin tune. I was in a punk band in my early teen years but after a two-decade hiatus, I had the urge to pick up the guitar again just for fun.” He also finds time to perform volunteer work for Habit for Humanity and the Natural Resources Defense Council. When asked what he sees the future holds for environmental remediation, he feels the industry will continue to emphasize understanding the extent of emerging contaminants, such as PFAS. He adds, “We want to continue helping our clients navigate how to best respond to evolving regulations. I also expect to see an increase in Brownfields redevelopment to meet population growth and the demands of our challenging California housing market.” Asked how he’s seen the industry change, Coburn feels regulations have become a key factor. “When I started, I saw a lot of resistance to environmental regulations, but now many of our clients want to work with regulators to ensure they are doing everything they can to address and mitigate environmental concerns.” And  how would he encourage others to join his field of study? He concludes, “I’ve talked to quite a few students considering this field and I always tell them it’s a rewarding career that offers you whatever career path you’re looking for. Plus, you won’t always be stuck behind a desk!”

Land Science is proud to have Travis Coburn, Senior Engineer for Ninyo & Moore, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his wealth of experience and leadership in providing successful remediation and mitigation outcomes for Land Science and its clients.

Jim Fineis webinar

Tools and Tricks to Solve Non-Traditional Vapor Intrusion Issues

Learn the following in this free webinar:

  • When traditional vapor intrusion investigations can not solve more complex or unusual vapor intrusion problems
  • Various tools, sampling methods, and field equipment that can help solve these challenges
  • A look at several projects that required Total Vapor Solutions to think outside the box
  • Advanced vapor mitigation barrier technologies from Land Science

Land Science is pleased to present a webinar with vapor intrusion expert, Jim Fineis P.G., President and Owner of Total Vapor Solutions. During this webinar presentation, Mr. Fineis will discuss tools and tricks to solve non-traditional vapor intrusion issues. He will be joined by Aimee Plowman, Southeast District Manager for Land Science, who will discuss advanced vapor mitigation barrier technologies from Land Science.

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Client Spotlight: Maura Pliska, TriMedia Environmental & Engineering Services, LLC

For working professionals who aspire to raise a family, staying on a chosen career path can be especially challenging. But when one gets back on track, it is worth the effort. Just ask Maura Pliska, Project Environmental Engineer for TriMedia Environmental & Engineering Services, LLC, a leading environmental and engineering firm and valued Land Science® client. She begins, “Initially, I worked for Waste Management and their associated entities in the Chicago area for approximately ten years after graduating from college with an engineering degree.  I then stayed home to raise my children for approximately 13 years. When it came time for me to return to the work force, my work experience in the waste and environmental industry lined up well with TriMedia, an established environmental consulting firm located in Marquette, Michigan where we were raising our family. I was excited to return to work in my field of choice and have really enjoyed the opportunities TriMedia provides me so I can continue learning and developing additional technical skills.”  In her role with TriMedia, where she has worked the past 11 years, Pliska’s responsibilities include environmental due diligence on Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessments of commercial and industrial properties, and managing environmental regulatory compliance, including the development of various compliance plans and reporting required under state and federal regulations. She also works on Brownfield redevelopment, investigation and remediation of contaminated sites, accidental spill reporting, and air permitting.

To prepare for a career in environmental engineering, Pliska graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign, with a BS in General Engineering.  She continues, “The General Engineering program at U of I provided a solid technical overview of the various engineering disciplines, in addition to a business and communication core curriculum. After earning my degree, my initial work with Waste Management and their various entities allowed me to gain valuable experience in designing and permitting solid waste facilities. I also developed operating, closure and construction plans, and participated in quality assurance during the construction phase.”  In addition, Pliska has completed the Land Science training, which qualifies her as a certified inspector. When asked what she enjoys about working with Land Science, she points to a recent project that involved significant construction on a prior industrial site. “I had the opportunity to work with Land Science during the Lake Superior State University/Center for Freshwater Research and Education project.  This was new construction on a former industrial site. Portions of the project were funded through an approved Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Brownfield Redevelopment Grant and Loan, which provided additional new experience for me.  Land Science was great to work with throughout this project, providing both expertise and excellent service. It was through this LSSU-CFRE project that I became familiar with the Land Science TerraShield® vapor barrier system.” As she continues to gain experience in her field, Pliska looks forward to strengthening her technical knowledge and enhancing her project management capabilities. With regard to TriMedia, she admires the company’s diverse business model, which includes providing industrial hygiene, GIS, health and safety, and land surveying services.  She shares, “The opportunity to be involved in variety of projects is a big part of what makes TriMedia a great company to work for. For example, projects include industrial facility demolitions, mine safety oversight, river recovery projects, drinking water surveys, and utility locating services.”

Recently relocated to Grand Rapids, MI, where she lives with her husband, Pliska enjoys a variety of activities outside of work, with hiking and kayaking as favorites. “A favorite hiking spot was Harlow Lake in Marquette, MI and our favorite kayaking was East Bass Lake in Gwinn, MI.  There are so many beautiful spots in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – you really can’t go wrong.  We look forward to finding new spots in Southwest Michigan!” She also enjoys cooking, reading and the movies. She shares, “ I like making comfort food in the winter like a beef stew or Guinness shepherd’s pie.  I recently made Ina Garten’s Tuscan turkey roulade that was a hit with the family!” When asked what she enjoys most about her work, she emphasizes how much she appreciates the opportunity to see a project through from concept through construction. And the most demanding aspect? “Keeping up with the ever-changing rules and regulations. Environmental regulations in this industry continue to increase in complexity, so this is an area I need to continually focus on.”  She also feels vapor intrusion continues to evolve. She continues, “The increasing data and knowledge concerning per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (“PFAS”) will undoubtedly have an impact on trends in environmental remediation.” When asked how she would encourage others to join her field of study, she underscores the need for a younger generation to explore the many choices that are available. She concludes, “My daughter is a college student in engineering, and that is certainly a good start.  I would definitely recommend young people pursue internships in this field to ensure that environmental work is what they think it is. We can certainly use bright and curious minds going forward!”

 

Land Science is proud to have Maura Pliska, Project Environmental Engineer for TriMedia Environmental & Engineering Services, LLC, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates her highly specialized background and commitment in providing successful remediation and mitigation outcomes for Land Science and its clients.

Tom Hatton webinar

Subjective Standards and the Long-Term Liability of Vapor Intrusion

Learn the following in this free webinar:

  • The evolution of the standards process and solutions toward harmonizing best practices in VMS design
  • Best technical merits of state guidance documents as well as integrating standardized practices
  • How adopting a framework of best design, mitigation and operation maintenance & monitoring (OM&M) practices could promote transparency in performance, documentation, energy efficiency, and limit health and long-term liability risks
  • The industry’s most protective vapor barriers featuring metallized films and nitrile-advanced asphalt latex

In this webinar we were pleased to have as a special guest speaker Tom Hatton, CEO of Clean Vapor LLC. His presentation discussed subjective standards and the long-term liability of vapor intrusion. He was joined by Jordan Knight, Central Region Manager of Land Science, who shared advanced vapor mitigation barrier technologies that can be incorporated into vapor mitigation system (VMS) designs to minimize the long-term liability that often comes with contaminated site redevelopment.

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