AEI Case Studies
AEI Consultants, an industry leader in environmental consulting, provides strategies to evaluate and resolve complex environmental challenges to clients nationwide. Our commitment to providing timely, expert and cost-effective solutions for our clients is the foundation of our success.
AEI has conducted thousands of Phase I ESAs on retail properties throughout the US. One of the most common challenges to retail sites is the current or former presence of a dry cleaning facility. Dry cleaning operations have historically utilized the chlorinated solvent perchloroethylene (PCE) which is a common contaminant to soil and groundwater at these sites. Assisting our clients in determining whether a former cleaner utilized PCE and whether a release is likely to have occurred is included within the Phase I process. AEI reviews all regulatory agency compliance information, including inspection reports of the facility itself, as well as conducting our own inspection of the facility to look for red flags in the type of operation, such as floor drains, poor housekeeping, and improper storage of hazardous substances. AEI’s experience with retail properties includes the range of retail types and sizes, from small multi-tenant centers to regional malls.
AEI recently completed a 26-site portfolio of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments of multi-family properties for HUD financing. The sites were located throughout the Midwest and Southeast, and AEI completed the portfolio within an expedited time frame. AEI’s familiarity with the HUD forms and additional scope of work items allowed our client to pursue HUD financing with confidence that the reporting was compliant with all applicable requirements. AEI has also completed numerous portfolios and single-site projects in accordance with Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac standards.
AEI staff has provided environmental consulting and remediation services to prominent chemical, electronic, energy, minerals and power companies throughout the United States. Services furnished have included due diligence evaluation; permitting; RCRA, TSCA, CERCLA and NRC compliance activities; feasibility studies and cost estimates; engineering design and bid specification preparation; bid tabulation and evaluation; construction management; operations and maintenance; and renovation and demolition.
AEI staff conducted a $2M RCRA project in the Northeast US Fortune 500 industry, involving waste delisting, evaluation of existing wastewater treatment plant effectiveness, sludge treatability and feasibility studies, design (drawings and specifications) and construction management of closure (solidification and RCRA cap) of a 2,000,000 (two million) gallon RCRA regulated impoundment. Other tasks included geotechnical investigation of a furnace site; preparation of a RCRA closure plan to remove/control contaminated soil and groundwater at a 2 acre waste pile; investigation of a groundwater spill; preparation of a RCRA Part B permit application involving a drum storage area and underground tanks (subsequently exempted); and preparation of a post- closure permit application for the closed impoundment.
AEI staff performed a $IM pre-design investigation activities as part of a RCRA cleanup in the Northeast US Fortune 500 industry. Predesign investigation at five separate areas was conducted which involved 15,000 cubic yards of PCB contaminated soil, and also a shallow lake with extensive impacted sediments. Sampling activities included GeoProbe sample collection, immunoassay polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) field screening, grab samples, data validation, and data evaluation and report preparation, Drawings of site utilities and engineering estimates of contamination quantities were also prepared. Construction plans and cost estimates were prepared for excavation of soils to an EPA-approved landfill, and site restoration. Also prepared first Land Use Application in this EPA Region to change land use classification from residential to industrial, in support of a risk assessment.
For a major shoe manufacturer, AEI staff managed a $750,000 project involving the removal, demolition activities of piping, machinery and other structures, and remedial abatement and cleanup of asbestos and hazardous materials located within a late 1800s building complex, covering multiple-story buildings in excess of 200,000 sf of manufacturing space. Architectural, structural, and other trades were also coordinated and repairs effected in demolition areas.
AEI conducted a RCRA closure project for an agency-driven closure of a zinc plating facility in Long Beach, CA. Conducted initial subsurface sampling and supervised removal of plating chemicals. Supervised CIH conducting indoor air and surface sampling on interior structural members, and concrete flooring following removal of plating baths. Prepared and submitted closure documents to the local oversight agency (LOP) in order to obtain closure.
Managed the closure of a metals plating facility in accordance with the requirements of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). Activities included overseeing subsurface investigations, disposal of hazardous materials by the facility manager, and final review of closure documents. Submitted closure documentation to the IEPA.
AEI has performed hundreds of SBA-compliant investigations for our lender clients and their borrowers. AEI is also familiar with the reliance language requirements and other SBA-specific preferences. We have assisted our clients with in-house SBA SOP training.
AEI recently provided a Fortune 100 company with environmental assessment services for a 14-site portfolio of gas station sites in Oklahoma. The sites consisted of both active and abandoned gas station facilities. In addition to the complex due diligence issues associated with gas station sites, the client also had a very limited due diligence period. AEI completed the portfolio of Phase I assessments within a two-week period. Following completion of the Phase I ESAs, AEI provided additional services to the client with in-depth evaluation of the remediation and/or investigation activities at the sites. Our quality reports provided the client with the knowledge needed to make timely financial decisions. Other portfolio projects conducted by AEI include auto dealerships, Jiffy Lube facilities, and hotels. AEI consistently provides timely service for these portfolio projects from our network of national office locations.
FRANCHISE FASTFOOD SITES
AEI has conducted several portfolios of fast-food restaurant locations throughout the West and Midwest. Many of these current restaurant sites are located on properties which were formerly developed with gas stations. Ascertaining the environmental history associated with these historical gas stations can be time consuming, especially in rural areas where agency records are difficult to obtain. Despite these challenges, AEI was able to deliver these portfolio projects on time, and keep our client apprised throughout the process through a weekly reporting spreadsheet outlining the site status and any concerns. The fast delivery of information assists our clients in making informed decisions regarding the assets included in a portfolio.
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AEI was contracted by a global energy company to provide environmental assessment services for a 150-million dollar alternative energy project in eastern Colorado. AEI conducted a pre-purchase assessment of a 40-mile long, contiguous swath of land planned for development of wind energy transmission lines. AEI’s staff completed the project on time and within the budget. Additionally, when construction workers discovered asphaltic, petroleum-based compound during initial excavation activities for the installation of a wind turbine on a nearby site, AEI’s understanding of the project and knowledge of the area facilitated an effective and quick response to mitigate the problem. Not only was AEI able to efficiently remove and dispose of the contaminated soil and sludge, but the project manager obtained information from local sources that identified the responsible party, a local paving contractor that had dumped the material in the 1960s.
AEI conducted Phase I ESAs and NEPA/CEQA checklists for over 15 sites in the Southeast in preparation for a client’s installation of cell tower facilities. Project challenges included the rural location of the sites, obtaining site access from rural property owners, and verifying historical use information in an area with infrequent agency recordkeeping and oversight. By developing relationships with local agency personnel and friendly interactions with property owners, AEI was able to gain expedited access to these rural locations and complete the projects on time.
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The California State University system hired AEI to provide toxic mold assessment, sampling services, and abatement protocols for a recently-constructed $10 Million building. The client required cleanup of any toxic mold to reduce potential liabilities and minimize health hazards. Likewise, moisture intrusion issues affecting building integrity were also a concern. With the use of the latest technology, AEI sampled areas of moisture and mold growth. AEI effectively designed a strict mold removal protocol that uncovered building defects that were previously unnoticed. The information obtained from the surveys and investigations provided the client with a potential responsible party to address the building defects. AEI effectively met the timetable and requests as required by the client. The on-site work not only met the client’s approval, but a long-term strategy was implemented for future use.
SOIL & GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION WITH DUAL PHASE EXTRACTION
One of the most successful applications of Dual Phase Extraction (DPE) in Los Angeles County has been at the Diamond Tire Center, a former gas station in Artesia, California. The Diamond Tire Center formerly had six feet of free product covering an entire acre of land. According to Mr. Greg Kway, a Senior Water Resource Control Engineer at the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), “Diamond Tire had more free product than any other gas station in the Los Angeles Region.” AEI and Cal Clean applied the DPE method to remove free product and dissolved phase contaminants. In approximately 150 days of the DPE application, free product was eliminated from the site.
One of the keys to AEI’s success was the design of the DPE wells. AEI utilized CPT/ROST data to precisely determine the lithological layer that produces the water and vapors, which allowed AEI to accurately characterize the vertical extent of the plume and save both time and money for our client. Over 45,000 pounds of hydrocarbons have been removed in liquid and vapor phases from the site.
AEI and Cal-Clean were subsequently invited to the state capitol by the State Water Board to describe the methods utilized at this site. Following the meeting, AEI’s design of DPE wells is now recommended by the State UST Fund statewide.
SOIL & GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION BY BIOVENTING & OXYGEN DIFFISION
AEI completed a feasibility study and developed an innovative low cost, low energy (low carbon footprint), and low maintenance remediation strategy for a diesel release at a trucking center in Fresno, California. The investigation and mitigation of the release is being performed under the direction of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB).
AEI employed two innovative technologies: 1) bioventing for soil treatment; 2) oxygen diffusion for groundwater treatment. Both technologies rely on supplying oxygen to significantly enhance (speed up) the natural biodegradation of the diesel fuel by indigenous microorganisms. This is important because diesel fuel releases cannot be effectively treated using other traditional technologies, such as soil vapor extraction (SVE) and groundwater pump and treat (P&T).
The system was installed in August of 2007, has required little energy input (low carbon footprint), virtually no maintenance, and has been operating continuously with 100% uptime. AEI expects the remediation to be completed and to initiate confirmation soil and groundwater sampling by early to middle of 2009.
SOIL VAPOR EXTRACTION (SVE) AND VAPOR INTRUSION MITIGATION
AEI completed all necessary phases of investigation associated with a former dry cleaning facility in a retail center in San Jose, California. AEI completed a Phase I ESA and Phase II Subsurface Investigation in July of 2004. A release was identified during the Phase II, and soil vapor sampling was requested by oversight agency because elevated levels of PCE were detected in the soil. In 2006, AEI completed an initial soil vapor survey, indoor air sampling, and additional investigation activities to further characterize the nature and extent of the PCE release.
Based on the results and building on AEI’s experience at similar sites, AEI compared alternatives and developed a cost-effective mitigation approach to remove PCE from the vadose zone and to eliminate the potential vapor intrusion risk, while allowing the building to remain fully occupied.
AEI employed the following technologies: 1) Soil vapor extraction (SVE) for removal of PCE from the vadose zone soil; and 2) Sub-slab depressurization (SSD) to maintain a negative pressure beneath the building foundation, thereby eliminating the vapor intrusion pathway.
The SVE-SSD system was designed, permitted, and installed between March and May of 2008, has required little energy input (low carbon footprint), virtually no maintenance, and has been operating continuously with nearly 100% uptime. AEI has performed ongoing operation, maintenance, and monitoring for the SSD system (monthly since May of 2008) and quarterly progress reporting.
AEI is currently evaluating and monitoring the effectiveness of the SVE-SSD system using vacuum influence monitoring and soil vapor, sub-slab, and indoor air sampling.
AEI expects the SVE portion (vadose soil remediation only) to be completed in the next 12 to 24 months, although the SSD will likely require ongoing operation, maintenance, and monitoring. Throughout this process, the subject property building continued to be occupied (as a dental office) with no impact or disruption to on-site operations.
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