The Water Report—a monthly newsletter focused on water law, water rights, and water quality in the Western United States—recently published Apex Stormwater Program Manager Sean Porter’s article titled, “Stormwater Capture and Reuse: Stormwater Management Options in California.”
Interested in learning how to reduce surface water pollution through volume reduction? We encourage you to read Sean’s article and discover the compliance management approaches designed to help.
Recognized for Industry Leadership and Community Involvement
ROCKVILLE, MD—August 22, 2018—Apex Companies, LLC—a leading water resources, environmental services, and industrial hygiene firm—announced today that Apex Senior Engineer Carmen Owens has been named by the Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC) as one of their “2018 Women of Vision.” Each year, the publication recognizes select women for their valuable contributions to the building industry in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The award specifically honors those, such as Carmen, who have exhibited outstanding industry leadership and community involvement with a solid commitment to diversity, inclusion, and mentorship.
“Carmen simply shines, personally and professionally,” stated Apex Division Manager Adam Reese. “Whether she’s managing environmental remediation projects, overseeing asbestos removals, securing the habitats of endangered species, or promoting our company’s sustainability program, she always adds tremendous value. Protecting and preserving our environment is important to her. But it’s her positivity and her ability to lead with kindness and inspiration that enables her to truly make a difference. We’re excited that, as a DJC award recipient, she’s receiving the recognition she most certainly deserves.”
This year’s DJC honorees will be recognized at an award ceremony on October 18, 2018 at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront hotel. For more information about the award or reception, please click here.
With a MS degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Iowa, Carmen has eight years of environmental consulting experience providing a wide range of services including site assessments, due diligence, hazardous building materials remediation, feasibility studies, wetland delineation and mitigation, permitting, and source control. Recently, her work has focused on contaminated sediment while managing the assessment and remediation of multiple waterways within the Portland area. Her community work is equally impressive. As one of the leaders of Apex’s sustainability program, she helped the Portland office go ‘green,’ demonstrating our company’s commitment to environmental and social responsibility. Carmen also serves as a mentor within the Women in the Environment professional group, expanding its membership to include representatives from government agencies, the non-profit sector, and other industries; as a coordinator at the Columbia Slough Watershed Council School, teaching classes about sustainability, cleanup, and development; and as a volunteer with Friends of Trees.
Surface reclamation is about to get a lot easier thanks to Apex.
Oil and gas (O&G) operators must adhere to strict surface reclamation requirements enforced by federal and state regulatory agencies. That means they must restore the natural landform, vegetation, hydrology, and wildlife habitats to the same condition the land was in before they disturbed it for their operations. That is tough enough for many O&G companies but for those in Colorado, it’s particularly dicey. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission adds what the Bureau of Land Management calls “the most stringent state standards in the country.” Factor in the O&G industry’s ever-shifting regulatory and consulting teams, and it becomes even more complex. All this uncertainty translates into increased costs and compliance delays, which in turn keeps operating capital tied up in bonds regulatory agencies won’t return until the surface reclamation is complete.
Thankfully, for our client, with over 700 sites currently requiring surface reclamation, our program manager stepped in with an innovative way to use our proprietary environmental management information system, ARTEMISSM, to proactively solve their challenges.
Our team knew that using ARTEMIS would keep our client’s regulatory balls in the air. While that alone is nothing new, as ARTEMIS has helped many satisfied O&G clients do the same, our team’s concept—to encapsulate the entire reclamation process in ARTEMIS—is. Apex shared this vision with our client and they contracted us to make it happen. ARTEMIS will track and capture each facet of the surface reclamation process including stormwater, invasive species, soil stabilization, erosion control, hazardous waste removal, flowline capping, pit closing, land grading, and vegetation planting. Once complete, our client will gain a clear understanding of what has been done, what’s in progress, and what needs to be tackled in the future. Similarly, Apex will be able to seamlessly connect our project managers across every service line we provide for the client, digitally spurring the next phase of work. And, in addition to helping our client with its current site portfolio, the solution can also be readily deployed for other O&G clients throughout the US.
Bioswales—a natural way of slowing, collecting, and filtering stormwater using landscape elements—is just one way Iowa is adopting green infrastructure to improve its water quality and reduce flooding. And Apex is helping them do that, one impressive project at a time. Recently, our team helped the City of West Des Moines by constructing two bioswales totaling 1,400 square feet within Fairmeadows Park, a popular recreational destination in the community. The project’s goal was to decelerate, cool, treat, and infiltrate the stormwater flow from a parking lot and a large grassy area while also safeguarding an adjacent streambank from future erosion. As the American Society of Landscape Architects cites that roughly one foot of bioswale can reduce stormwater runoff by 25%, we’ve helped our client decrease theirs exponentially. The benefits don’t stop there either. Using native grasses and flowers, the bioswales are not just aestheticallypleasing, they are great for local pollinators, will help soak up water, and will reduce the park’s maintenance costs considerably as they require less upkeep than most conventional stormwater systems.
In addition to the bioswales, Apex also provided nearly 2½ acres of soil quality restoration and another 575 square yards of compost grouting. By aerating the soil and spreading a ½” layer of high quality compost over the top of it, we helped the City transform their grounds into a natural sponge that will absorb the rain and create organic habitats for worms, microbes, and insects that contribute to healthy lawns. Our use of compost grouting, another newer bioengineering approach that uses plants and vegetation within the riprap (rock cover used for streambank stabilization), will further reduce and filter stormwater runoff at the park.
This successful project came in within budget and a month ahead of schedule! For their hard work and dedication, our construction crew earned high praise from both the engineer who designed the bioswales and the City of West Des Moines. We are proud to have helped yet another municipality take sustainable steps forward to managing their stormwater effectively!
Protecting the American Burying Beetle
Have you heard of the American Burying Beetle (ABB)? We guarantee pipeline companies have. They know mitigation costs can run into the millions in prime ABB habitats. And it’s not just oil and gas companies who are bugged by this beetle. Last year, for example, the species halted the development of road construction, adding one year and one million dollars to the project.
Which is why our clients turn to us. At Apex, we hold the permit necessary to survey this federally-listed, endangered, nocturnal species. You may be wondering why it’s so important to protect them. The ABB serves a viable purpose by recycling animal carcasses (carrion) and returning those nutrients to the soil and, as an indicator species, it also serves as a litmus test to help gauge the overall health of an ecosystem. With only a one-year lifespan, the ABB are active in the summer months (mid-May through mid-September) and bury themselves in the soil for the duration of the winter. Currently, we’re in the middle of another busy ABB survey season.
We help our clients determine if their project adversely affects the ABB and its habitat. It’s an interesting and intensive process. As the ABB are dependent on carrion for food and reproduction, our permitted surveyors prepare bait (typically chicken) in advance, allowing it to spoil, and using it within above ground bucket traps to lure the ABB. After setting the traps, we conduct surveys for at least five nights, completing our work by 10 am as the ABB can die if they’re exposed to excessive heat. A single trap with a half-mile radius can survey approximately 500 acres. For linear projects, such as pipeline installations, traps are placed about a mile apart. To date, our longest linear project has been nearly 40 miles.
Negative surveys enable our clients to proceed with ground disturbance, while positive surveys can trigger consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Services. And while some states, like Oklahoma for example, streamline the consultation and mitigation process, the ABB still must be handled carefully. At Apex, we can help.
A $400M+ real estate portfolio purchase is sizable investment that requires due diligence. But when the purchase also involves sites once riddled with contaminants and a 30-day turnaround to determine if the investment is a viable one, it’s even more critical. Which is why the largest residential landlord in Philadelphia turned to Apex to carefully evaluate and minimize their transaction risk. Their acquisition encompassed six properties with over 1,000 existing apartments, 110 apartments under construction, and 185,000 SF of office/retail space. Five of the sites are in downtown Philadelphia, three are within historic waterfront districts, and all had impacts from industrial uses dating back to the early 1900s.
The Apex team conducted a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for all six sites and oversaw lead and asbestos screenings for three of the sites. The project scope was comprehensive, the timeline was aggressive, and the rigor was exhausting. But our team tackled it collaboratively and the results were impressive!
Apex reviewed and reconciled a century of historical site data against several thousand pages of previous investigations, findings, and conclusions to verify site conditions; evaluate past and present uses; and capture insight into constituents of concern. Adding to the challenges, half of the properties had undergone risk-based site closure; one of the sites was (and is still) undergoing active groundwater remediation; and the seller required absolute confidentiality regarding all site data inquiries.
To ensure we met the demands, we used our team’s unique expertise to address regulatory questions relative to data gaps or inconsistent, contradictory, or questionable data. They summarized the data relative to a particular issue, posed a regulatory-specific question the data prompted, drew a conclusion, and detailed the findings in a report the client’s legal counsel used to address any potential impacts and associated recognized environmental conditions, de minimis exclusions, or business risks.
Our work continues with asbestos and lead assessments and the completion of a regulatory record for each site’s 15-year history.
Are you facing a similar challenge? If so, we can help.
ROCKVILLE, MD — Apex Companies, LLC—a leading water resources, environmental services, and industrial hygiene firm—announced that Chris Mitchell, PG has joined the company as their Chief Operating Officer (COO). He will lead the development and implementation of a focused-growth strategy that will transform and grow the business. Overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations, Chris will also strengthen the integration of Apex offices and capabilities nationwide, identify performance improvement opportunities, implement change management initiatives, and optimize efficiencies.
“Chris’ exceptional talent is a complementary addition to our executive team,” stated Apex Chief Executive Officer Dave Fabianski. “With a consistent and proven ability to drive growth strategies across the eastern United States and the United Kingdom, Chris will fuel our continued expansion in our existing and emerging markets, ensuring our operational excellence and solidifying our competitive advantage.”
Prior to joining Apex, Chris served AECOM for nearly 30 years, most recently as the Director of Operations for their Northeast region where he led a $140M sector and a team of 650 people. A registered Professional Geologist (PG), his 35 years of environmental consulting expertise span investigation, remediation, environmental compliance, water quality, natural resource management and capital permitting, serving clients such as BP, Shell, Dow, United Airlines, National Grid, Eversource, Kinder Morgan, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Navy and the US EPA. He received his master’s degree in Geology from the University of Massachusetts and his Master of Business Administration from City University of London through Ashridge Management School. He currently serves on Board of Directors for both the Society of American Military Engineers Boston Post and Environmental Business Council and as a member of the University of Massachusetts Scientific Advisory Board.