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Selecting the Right Environmental Consultant for aContaminated Site: A Practical Guide

Mar 18, 2024 | Uncategorized


There are many different types of environmental consultant companies that specialize in vastly
different areas of environmental consulting. When it comes to tackling contamination issues in
soil and groundwater, having the right environmental consultant is crucial. In this blog, we’ll dive
into what to look for when selecting a consultant for contaminated sites, offering practical advice
to guide your decision-making process.
Why are consultants with experience at contaminated sites
Environmental consultants specializing in contaminated sites play a vital role in determining the
cause/source of contamination, its extent and risk that it poses, and appropriate remediation
efforts if cleanup be required. Their experience with varied site conditions, the regulatory
environment, and different remedial alternatives should help ease your stress on a
contaminated site. Here’s what to consider if you’re hiring an environmental consultant to assist
with site contamination:

  1. Specialized Expertise: Look for consultants with a proven track record in dealing specifically
    with soil and groundwater contamination, with experience in site investigation and site
    remediation. These are typically environmental consultants with expertise in geology,
    hydrogeology, chemistry, data evaluation, risk assessment, and environmental engineering.
  2. Regulatory Savvy: Navigating the maze of environmental regulations can be daunting.
    Choose consultants who are not only well-versed in the rules but also adept at translating
    regulatory jargon into plain English. Federal, state, and municipal code will almost always
    specify what is required and when. The right environmental consultant will know the applicable
    rules, including exceptions/exemptions, and be able to provide a solution and plan of action that
    is reasonable and in compliance with regulations.
  3. Thorough Site Assessment Skills: Before remediation can be planned and be successful,
    the contaminated site must be adequately assessed and understood so that remediation efforts
    are targeted, focused, and not wasted. Conversely, a thorough understanding of the site and its
    contamination risks can also lead to a decision that remediation may not be needed. A good
    environmental consultant will know how best to investigate your site. If subsurface drilling and
    sampling is required, they’ll know the right sampling methods and equipment to bring in to get
    the job done while minimizing impacts to operations. They will know the correct compounds to
    sample for and the risk levels that different concentrations of contaminants pose.
  4. Transparent Communication: Effective communication is essential for a successful
    outcome at a contaminated site. A strong environmental consultant will have a solid working
    relationship with the regulatory personnel, and they will maintain frequent and open
    communication with regulators and the property owner/client, keeping them appraised of
    successes and setbacks, along with any new findings that may require a modified technical
    approach. Seek consultants who can communicate complex technical information clearly and
    keep you informed every step of the way.
  5. Project Management and Strategic Planning Abilities: Success in addressing a
    contaminated site requires an environmental consultant that is experienced in project
    management and strategic planning. A strong project manager will be an exemplary
    communicator, a stalwart for maintaining the budget and the client’s schedule, and they will
    have answers and solutions when contingencies arise. They will possess the key characteristic
    of being able to get anything figured out and done. Environmental consulting for a contaminated
    site requires more than just technical know-how; it requires planning and strategic thinking. Look
    for consultants who can develop customized investigation and remediation plans and explain in
    plain English why their tailored approach addresses the unique challenges of your site.


Be selective in hiring an environmental consultant to assist with a contaminated site; look for a
consultant with lots of experience and successful project completion at a wide variety of different
sites. Ask the consultant questions about different contingencies they’ve had to address, and
ask for references from previous projects. Discuss the specific issues of your site and ask for
preliminary input on a suggested technical approach. Their response may help you determine if
the consultant understands and prioritizes your needs. Selecting the right environmental
consultant for help with a contaminated site can be critical in helping to keep costs low and
reasonable and maintaining your schedule. By prioritizing environmental consultants who
possess specialized expertise, regulatory knowledge, thorough site assessment skills, good and
frequent communications, and project management experience, you can navigate the
complexities of addressing a contaminated site with confidence. At Semper Environmental, we
understand the importance of these qualities and are committed to helping you resolve your
contaminated site problem. Give us a call or email us and let’s discuss your site and how we
can help.


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