Contaminated sites and brownfields are common due to anthropogenic activities, but remediation, restoration and/or reclamation of such places are our priority in environmental and business planning. Hence, we work with effective and safe responses to contaminated sites. Our activities encourage the collaborative participation of diverse stakeholders’ groups when tackling polluted sites inundated with homogeneous or heterogeneous contaminants.
Environmental Impact Assessment
We at Balanced Approach understand the potential environmental and social impacts of any proposed project. We keep in mind the associated regulatory constraints that are very critical to the development of timely and cost-effective project plans, evaluation, suitable engineering designs, effective stakeholder management and successful permitting. Our Environmental Impact Assessment team ensures that environmental assessment is conducted as early as possible in the planning stage of a designated project in order to give our proponent the opportunity to consider the analysis in the proposed plans, in addition to the incorporation of mitigation ways to address adverse environmental effects. BA Environmental Services Group conducts Phase I, II and III Environmental Site Assessments, Environmental Impact Assessment and more.
Our Strategic Front services include:
Sampling and testing of soil, water and sediment
Environmental baseline studies
Groundwater level, flow and pressure monitoring
Groundwater quantity and quality Studies
Local and regional scale groundwater assessments
Hydrogeological (physical and contaminant) site Assessment
Contaminant transport and fate investigations
Groundwater supply and resource development
Assessment of groundwater and soil quality impacts
Design and instrumentation of soil and groundwater monitoring plans
Long term monitoring and optimization using Statistical Tools
Hydrogeological monitoring and geochemistry applications for industrial and mining operations
Regulatory permitting, negotiation and feasibility studies as well as technical support for operating facilities
Archaeological and indigenous engagement, ecological design, implementation and restoration
Digital analyses and data conveyance for impact assessment
Creating models for fate and effects, transport/dispersion, and visual and noise impact assessment.
What is Phase I Environmental Site Assessment ?
A Phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) is conducted to support a landowner’s defense to liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) in general accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard E 1527-05. CERCLA is a federal law that was designed to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances.
It is often referred to as a Phase I ESA or Phase 1 Environmental Assessment and is part of the real estate due diligence process. A Phase 1 ESA rigorously studies historical and current land-uses of a property. Additionally, it documents the environmental liability and likelihood of contamination at a property. While the scope of work is not absolutely defined in the Standard and can be modified in accordance with the client’s needs, there are four principles involved in the Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment process:
Site Visit or Inspection
Interviews with property owners, occupants, site personnel, government officials and third parties
Evaluation of the information and reporting of the findings and conclusions
Records review includes searching and reviewing historical public and private records related to the subject property is another major stage in the assessment. It also includes in-depth review of paperback and digital records from various federal ,state, local environmental agencies which helps the assessor understand the uses of the property and the surrounding areas since their first development. Historical compilations of city directories aerial photograph, topographic maps mining plans and fire insurance plots are critically analyzed for evidence of past environmental concerns. The major documents required for review are divided into a few categories:
Geographical and Topographical Maps
Historical Insurance Maps
Site Inspection or a site visit, is a visual inspection of the readily accessible areas of the subject property, the surrounding areas, and the adjacent properties (if accessible). The scope of work for this part of the assessment preparation is generally identical between the CSA-based (CSA Z-768/01 Standard) and the Ontario Regulation based (O.Reg. 153/04) version of the assessment. Site inspection is one of the important stages in the Phase 1 ESA assessment and requires:
Qualified “Environmental Professional”
Notes & Photograph
Identify ASTM Environmental Conditions
Audit Environmental Records
Interviews with people familiar with the site can provide information about historical uses of the subject property and the adjacent area, information about how the site is managed, hazardous materials (chemical, fuels, oils and wastes) that are managed and disposed on the site, and so forth.
People that could be interviewed may include current and past owners, tenants, site personnel, or governmental staff in some cases.
The process of writing the report includes organizing the information and records collected from the defined sources, identifying the important information, analyzing the information and evaluating the issues that may raise concerns about environmental impact on the subject property.
An environmental report is an investigation on commercial property to discover if there are any dangerous contaminants. Potential buyers assume the cost of the investigation and it is completed in one or two phases.
This is the initial investigation to test for dangerous contaminants. Investigators will research past tenants and prior uses of the property to determine suspicion of contaminant use. In addition, they’ll look for evidence of pollution by examining the adjacent land. If there is indication of contamination; phase II will be initiated
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment ?
The purpose of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Report is to evaluate the presence, or absence of, petroleum products or hazardous substances in the subsurface of the site. A trained, licensed, experienced staff of geologists and engineers that possesses expertise in Phase II Environmental project design performs these assessments per the ASTM E1903-11 Standard Guide.
It is systematic, iterative process as outlined in (Z769-00 reaffirmed 2013 EAS) standard, by which an assessor to seek to characterized and / or delineate the concentrations or quantity of substances of concerns related to site compare those levels to criteria.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Principles
Review existence P1 ESA or other background information
Development of sampling plans
Planning a site investigations
Conducting site investigations
Interpretation and evaluation of the data gathered during investigation
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process Flow
Initiating a Phase II ESA
Client identifies need
Preliminary scope of work determined
Contact / select assessor
Planning a Phase II ESA
Review existing information
Develop proposed sampling plan
Conducting a Phase II ESA
Conduct site investigation
Has sufficient investigation been undertaken to meet objectives?
Analyze / interpretation / evaluation of data
Reporting a Phase II ESA
Has sufficient investigation been undertaken to meet objectives?
Prepare preliminary report
Present findings to client
Phase III Environmental Site Assessment - Overview
A Phase III Environmental Site Assessment is only conducted when contamination is found in Phase II. Once contamination is discovered, an action plan must be set in place for any remediation to occur. Phase III will closely analyze details regarding the contamination, such as the pathway of movement along with the removal and disposal of the materials that are contaminated.
The first step in conducting a Phase III ESA is delineation, which basically determines the volume of the contamination and its boundaries. A lot of planning is required surrounding the approach of remediation, the time it will take to complete the project, and strategizing risk management.
A Phase III assessment can take as little as a day if it is a simple excavation. However, that is a rare occurrence, and other remediation such as bioremediations can be months or years. It is important to realize that the process of cleaning up is unique to each project and its case. Therefore, the time it takes can vary, but removing the hazard should be more of a focus than how long it would take.
The purpose of conducting a Phase III assessment is to simply remove any traces of contamination and return the site to a state where no such event occurs again. Lastly, as in all ESAs, a professional will document the work done and confirm that the contamination is removed. The purpose of the Phase III assessment is to delineate the physical extent of contamination based on recommendations made in the Phase II report.
Typically, additional testing is conducted by the environmental engineers and consultants to determine the extent of contamination at the site. Few of the tests that are performed are:
Top layer soil assessment
Subsurface soil assessment
Our array of monitoring activities includes in-situ and ex-situ testing of ecological media (soil, air and water) for observable and concealed changes, especially those associated with construction and structural development and mining activities. Clients are provided with sufficient and precise information and solution based on sampling options from:
aquatic testing (surface and groundwater)
terrestrial excavation (soil, flora and fauna)
atmospheric testing (ambient air monitoring)
Management Information System
We are at the forefront of improving the performance and productivity of functional environmental, health and safety operations. Therefore, to help our clients achieve their goals within sustainable and quality space while reducing risk and cost, we provide reviewable management information systems. Our tailor-made information technology expertise offers complete life-cycle support for our clients, especially in the area of AutoCAD service and geographic information system (GIS) analyses. Extended services include evaluation, implementation, interfacing, reporting and tailored change management and operational support.
Project/Research & Development Consulting
To guide and serve our clients towards a resilient economic growth and stability in the environmental industry, the Project/Research & Development Consulting team provides in-depth consulting service for project management through our network of certified and experienced experts.
We offer and share ideas leading to development of innovative and novel options for solving environmental issues.
Our academic experts who interlace between laboratory studies and industrial commercialization are on ground to help clients conceive and nurture research interest until a tangible product is generated.
Technical areas covered span across:
groundwater quantity and quality studies
experimental designs, understanding baseline studies and other related aspects
Our Waste Management team’s interest to environmental management puts into consideration the inevitable generation of all types of waste and the best disposal practices. We have network of waste management experts that make it easier to deliver services on:
Landfill operations and management
Wastewater treatment and recovery
Biomass conversion to value-added products
A partnership that can transform garbage to energy at waste-to-energy plants
Our group provides The client with comprehensive Phase I, II, and III Environmental Site Assessments at commercial, residential, or industrial properties to meet the environmental and regulatory requirements.