When site environmental contamination is your problem, you have choices to make: is money or time more important? How do you interact with the regulatory agency(ies)? What is the regulatory end-point? How much effort should be spent defining the problem versus remediating it? You can rely on SME’s 30 years of experience developing the optimum answers to these and other questions to address your specific circumstances and needs.  

Whether your goal is to satisfy a regulatory mandate, reduce liabilities, or safely reuse a contaminated site after redevelopment, SME knows how to develop appropriate site investigation and remediation strategies and schedules to meet the goal. SME’s multidisciplinary staff of geologists, hydrogeologists, chemists and engineers provide environmental site investigation, contaminant remediation, and regulation-compliance services to a wide variety of public and private clients. Our diverse clients are responsible for different types of sites and facilities, are immersed in different regulatory frameworks, are dealing with a variety of chemicals and exposure conditions, and contemplate different eventual uses or dispositions of the property or facility. SME has performed site contamination investigation and remediation projects under federal regulatory programs, including CERCLA (Superfund), RCRA Corrective Action and TSCA (PCBs), and state voluntary cleanup, UST and brownfield programs. 

Assessment

SME conducts hazardous materials assessments for the hazardous materials that impact building use, renovation or demolition. We conduct the level of assessment, from visual screening to regulatory-mandated sampling and analysis programs to optimally meet project objectives. These assessments let us determine if hazardous substances are present and in what quantities, and then develop options and costs for management or removal. Our goal is to help our clients make informed business decisions considering cost, schedule and regulatory requirements.

Abatement

SME develops hazardous materials management and abatement programs tailored to the building’s fate and owner’s priorities, while maintaining compliance with applicable United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), state and local regulations. If the building is to be occupied, hazardous materials may be removed or managed in place by methods such as encapsulation or enclosure. If the goal is renovation or demolition, careful assessment and abatement is the typical approach to remove risks and comply with regulations. Our experts support the project planning phases at multiple levels, from developing early conceptual plans and opinions of costs to preparing detailed plans, specifications and bid documents for abatement/remediation contractor selection. If PCB contamination is the problem, our experts are highly skilled and experienced in preparing and obtaining USEPA approval of cleanup plans. During abatement/remediation activities, our trained staff monitors contractor activities for compliance with contract documents and regulations and also applies appropriate clearance/clean-check sampling and analysis protocols to verify performance.

Investigation

Are you responsible for cleaning up or preventing exposures to environmental contamination? Are you looking for the optimum approaches to do that? SME’s team of environmental experts provide thorough knowledge of regulatory requirements, the latest techniques and technologies to develop and implement the right approach.

SME's contaminated site investigations begin with the end in mind to be sure we focus on the right objectives and don’t over-investigate. We strive to find the optimum approach for achieving our clients’ ultimate goals, whether environmental due diligence, soil or groundwater remediation for site closure, groundwater plume interdiction or treatment for migration control, or exposure pathway mitigation for site redevelopment. Our geologists, hydrogeologists and environmental engineers are experts at designing the right investigation and using the proper techniques to collect the right data for the target contaminants (volatile organics, semi-volatile organics, inorganics, metals, methane, PCBs, dioxins/dibenzofurans, etc.), environmental media (soil, sediment, groundwater, soil gas, concrete, etc.), applicable federal regulatory programs (RCRA, TSCA, CERCLA), and state environmental response and UST programs. Our chemistry experts are available to select the proper analytical methods, review the analysis results to verify their quality and representativeness, and assist with the interpretation of results to identify exceedances of regulatory cleanup standards and accurately describe site conditions. Our site investigation teams then compile all the geological, chemical and observations information into a visual conceptual site model (CSM) that serves as the basis for regulatory interpretations and discussions and subsequent remediation and exposure mitigation decisions.

With in-house drilling and hydraulic probe capabilities and a team of resident experts, SME can handle everything from investigations of urban fill to UST releases to river and lagoon sediments to contaminated industrial facilities, and everything in between. We perform all of the necessary tests, from sample collection to data interpretation to feasibility studies and remedial design and implementation. The following are just some of the investigation techniques we use:

Soil

  • Hollow stem auger sampling
  • Hydraulic probe sampling
  • Hand auger sampling
  • Discrete and composite sampling
    • Incremental sampling method
    • Grid
    • Statistical
    • Directed or random
  • Laser induced fluorescence
  • GPS mapping and surveying
  • Geophysical investigations

Sediment

  • On land or on water (barge or boat)
  • Hollow stem auger
  • Hydraulic probe
  • Ponar dredge
  • Driven core

Groundwater

  • Permanent and temporary monitoring wells
  • Low-flow sampling
  • Passive sampling
  • Slug testing
  • Yield testing
  • Modeling

Soil Gas/Methane

  • Soil gas sampling
  • Subslab sampling
  • Flux chamber assessment
  • Background indoor and outdoor air sampling

 

Remediation

Are you responsible for cleaning up or preventing exposures to environmental contamination? Are you looking for the optimum approaches to do that? You need SME’s team of environmental experts, using their thorough knowledge of regulatory requirements, the latest techniques and technologies, and your priorities and goals, to develop and implement the best strategies for reducing contamination sources, stopping contaminant migration, and/or protecting human health and the environment using exposure barriers.

SME’s Remediation Team of scientists and engineers works with industrial, governmental, commercial and developer/redeveloper clients to find the right answer to the question – “What is the optimum solution to my site contamination problem?” We start with each client’s specific project goals and objectives, synthesize the site investigation data into an accurate conceptual site model, economically conduct feasibility analyses, treatability studies and site modeling, only if needed, and develop effective remedial action plans with practical engineering designs. The result? A great solution, whether seeking site closure, a no further action approval, or complying with continuing obligations.

Identifying and designing the appropriate response action depends on a lot of factors:

  • Types, levels, chemistry and mobility of contaminants
  • On-site and off-site levels of risk to human health and the environment
  • Regulatory requirements and cleanup levels
  • Site geology, hydrogeology and other conditions
  • Current and future site use
  • Source reduction/removal versus exposure or migration control approaches
  • Availability and timing of financial resources
  • Available remediation technology
  • Site constraints
  • Time constraints
  • “Greenness” and sustainability of solutions

Our Remediation Team members are experts at evaluating these factors to develop feasible alternatives, then work with clients to select the optimum approach for their circumstances, whether addressing a former manufactured gas (MGP) site, chemical leaks and spills, leaking underground storage tank, dry cleaner, or brownfield redevelopment. Our engineers and scientists have extensive experience in planning, designing, engineering, scheduling, managing construction and operating/maintaining a variety of environmental response actions for contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater; soil gas; and non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL).

Soil

  • Soil vapor extraction
  • Dual phase extraction
  • In situ/ex situ chemical treatment
  • In situ/ex situ thermal treatment
  • Phytoremediation
  • Land farming, biostimulation and bio-augmentation
  • In situ/ex situ solidification and stabilization
  • Excavation and off-site disposal
  • Soil washing
  • Capping
  • Landfill/waste capping and containment

Sediment

  • Dredging and disposal
  • Solidification/stabilization
  • In situ capping

Soil Gas and Methane

  • Vapor/methane intrusion barriers
  • Passive subslab venting
  • Active subslab venting
  • Migration barriers
  • Interception and venting trenches

Groundwater

  • Extraction and treatment
  • Migration barriers
  • Enhanced bioremediation
  • Air sparging
  • Dual phase extraction
  • Permeable reactive barriers
  • In situ chemical treatment
  • Monitored natural attenuation
  • Constructed wetlands

NAPL

  • Determination of NAPL type and mobility
  • Active and passive recovery of light and dense NAPL

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Service Experts

Cheryl A. Kehres-Dietrich, CGWP

Principal Consultant
Environmental Services

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Keith B. Egan, CP#259

Senior Consultant
Environmental Services

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Matthew A. Vander Eide, P.G., CPG

Senior Project Geologist
Environmental Services

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Stephen P. Zins, LPG

Senior Project Consultant
Environmental Services

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