Peachtree’s relationship with a new client often begins with a regulatory compliance audit to determine to which environmental regulations the client is subject, based on their physical layout and operations, and where they stand relative to those regulatory requirements…whether they are “in compliance” or not. Depending on the particular activity in which they are currently involved and what their history may be relative to Federal or state enforcement activity, Peachtree can recommend placement in appropriate regulatory programs to minimize their risk and/or costs for compliance. For example, in the State of Georgia, a client may best be placed in a program pursuant to the Hazardous Sites Response Act (HSRA), the basic state site cleanup program, which mirrors the Federal Superfund Program. Alternatively, a client could be placed in the Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP), depending on site characteristics, in order to have more risk-based risk reduction standards. Although there are tradeoffs, the VRP requirements are usually less stringent and therefore the resulting activity can save the client significant dollars.
There are numerous Federal and state regulatory programs which potentially have cognizance over a client’s operation. There are a number of significant factors related to the regulatory program which best fits a client’s risk tolerance and financial means. The evaluation and decision of which program best fits a particular client’s situation should involve input from a professional firm such as Peachtree, not to mention pursuing that program with appropriate data collection and, if indicated, cost effective treatment and remediation.
Major Federal environmental statutes and programs which Peachtree’s clients often encounter include:
- Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund)
- Resource Conversation and Recovery Act and Amendments (RCRA)
- Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA)
- Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
- Clean Air Act
- Et al
Major Georgia environmental statutes and programs which Peachtree’s clients often encounter include:
- Hazardous Site Response Act (HSRA)
- Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP)
- Brownfield Act
- Et al
Often Peachtree’s client is already involved in a regulatory enforcement activity, or enters a program, and hires Peachtree to take over or initiate the various regulatory driven investigations and negotiations with cognizant regulatory officials at the state or Federal level. These regulatory matters may involve one or more of the statutes/programs listed above. Services required could range from soil and groundwater contamination assessment and monitoring to management of hazardous or other solid wastes that are already on site or being generated at some frequency by site operations. Peachtree also remediates both subsurface and surface contamination problems by selecting and implementing the most cost-effective solutions available both by self-performing certain solutions or bringing in and supervising qualified specialty subcontractors where indicated and appropriate.
Indoor air quality affected by intrusion of vapors from subsurface soil and/or groundwater contamination has been recognized as a significant concern for both existing buildings and new development. Peachtree is qualified and experienced in both the assessment of the potential for existence of this problem and also in developing designs to prevent its occurrence and remediate problems that exist.
Concerns about asbestos containing materials (ACM) and lead based paint (LBP) are often related to the age of structures. Where a structure is of an age of concern, Peachtree can identify areas of existing structures which are subject to these particular problems, take samples of suspicious looking materials and make recommendations and/or implement solutions where these problems are determined to exist.
Toxic mold is most often associated with current or prior water leakage problems. Peachtree can assess mold problems and make recommendations and/or provide oversight for solutions.
An innovative solution to certain subsurface contamination problems is to provide isolation of contaminated areas using structures, parking lots or other separation layers over the contaminated area, along with a Uniform Environmental Covenant which restricts access to the subsurface in perpetuity by future users of the property. These solutions are generally referred to as Type V solutions and utilize Type V Risk Reduction Standards, as opposed to Types I – IV Risk Reduction Standards which provide limits for specific contaminants depending on the type establishment, the cognizant regulatory program and the physical features of the site. Peachtree has implemented a number of these Type V solutions and has thereby often provided clients with significant savings.