How do I select an environmental consultant?
When contracting with an environmental consulting firm, look for prior successful experience with your type of project. The ability of the firm to perform the work is important. Whether it is engineering a cleanup of groundwater or doing a site assessment, the experience of the technical project manager is critical to the success of your project.
I just want to know if my property is clean. Why is it so hard to get a yes-or-no answer?
Unless the property is undeveloped, and located far from urban areas and interstate highways, it probably has been impacted during its history of use – if only by air-borne contaminants. A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I) can determine whether there is gross contamination at the property.
A Phase I answers the question: Are there any property-use conditions in the history of the property that suggest impact to soil or groundwater? If the Phase I finds no history of operations, and/or no nearby properties that may have impacted environmental conditions, then the property can be assumed to be clean, within a reasonable doubt. If the Phase I finds that the property had underground storage tanks, or was used as a dry-cleaning shop, then directed sampling of soil and groundwater can confirm or rule out impact. A Further Site Investigation (FSI) is usually needed to determine the nature and extent of any contamination.
What will Troy Risk recommend if contamination is found?
Troy Risk will not make a unilateral report of release without our client's permission. In Indiana, the Spill Rule (part of 327 IAC 2 Water Quality Standards) presents the conditions under which a report of a spill must be made. If we discover contamination, generally we recommend contacting an environmental attorney to determine whether a report is warranted. You can find a copy of the spill rule by going to Indiana Spill Rule 327 IAC 2-6 . You will need to go to 2-6.1 of this article to find the spill rule.
I have a commercial property that was tested and found to have contamination that exceeds residential levels, but not industrial levels. Should I be concerned?
Any contamination that doesn't exceed the RISC industrial default closure levels (IDCLs) shouldn't pose a health threat to workers or users of the commercial property. If you want the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to review the site and issue a closure letter, it may be necessary to submit a report that presents the results of soil and groundwater samples and have an Environmental Restrictive Covenant (ERC) recorded on the deed to the property. This is work that your environmental consultant can do.
What kinds of rates and fees do you have?
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