Environmental Checkpoint Newsletter October 2009

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Selects SAK Environmental to Provide Geothermal Well Inspection Services

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Geothermal Well InspectionThe historic Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts has selected SAK Environmental LLC to oversee the construction and permit compliance of an open-loop geothermal heating and cooling system for the highly publicized museum’s restoration and expansion project.

The Gardner Museum has completed months of extensive planning among city and state authorities to preserve the Museum’s historic galleries while planning a new building adjacent to the Palace to better accommodate the approximately 200,000 guests who visit the museum annually.

Supporting the progress and preservation goals of the effort is a planned geothermal system that will complement the Gardner Museum’s existing heating and cooling systems. The geothermal system is designed to provide up to 170 tons of cooling, allowing the Gardner to become more energy independent and create less of a carbon footprint on the environment. SAK Environmental’s geologists and engineers are working with the museum and their Project Management Team, Paratus Group of New York City, to provide expertise in construction inspection, aquifer testing, water quality testing, and system troubleshooting.

The geothermal system will use the thermal capacity of the underlying bedrock aquifer (estimated to be 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round) to heat and cool the Gardner Museum. Groundwater will circulate from eight, 6-inch diameter, 1,500 foot deep Standing Column Wells to heat exchangers located in the mechanical room of the building, and return to the aquifer. Therefore, there is no net change to groundwater levels. The groundwater transfers energy to either extract heat from the ground for heating during the winter or reject heat to the ground for cooling during the summer. Ground source heat pumps located in the building concentrate the energy transfer and interface with conventional HVAC distribution systems.

“Geothermal systems are an excellent means to dramatically increase a building’s energy efficiency and reduce energy-related operating costs,” says Stephen Sakakeeny, hydrogeologist and Principal at SAK Environmental. “Our expertise in underground aquifers, water quality, and well construction methods will contribute to achieving high performing wells for this important project.”

Well construction began in August and is expected to continue through November 2009. The system is scheduled to go online in 2010.

For additional information about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, visit http://www.gardnermuseum.org

Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. Selects SAK Environmental as Waste Ban Compliance Professional for 3 Massachusetts Waste-to-Energy Facilities

 Wheelabrator Technologies Selects SAK EnvironmentalAs part of Massachusetts’ new Class II Recycling Permit program, Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc. of Hampton, New Hampshire (a Waste Management Company) has selected SAK Environmental to serve as their Waste Ban Compliance Professional for their three Massachusetts waste-to-energy facilities – in North Andover, Millbury, and Saugus.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Green Communities Act (2008) identifies waste-to-energy facilities that use conventional municipal solid waste to generate electricity as a Class II renewable energy-generating source if they operate or contract for one or more recycling programs approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MA DEP). A significant benefit of participating in the Class II Recycling Program is the opportunity to earn a carbon credit for their increased efforts and diligence. The proceeds from any carbon credit sale are shared between MA DEP and the waste-to-energy facility.

Waste Ban Compliance Professionals (WBCP) had their qualifications reviewed and approved by MA DEP and all field inspectors are trained in waste ban compliance monitoring at the permitted facilities. SAK will be conducting random, on-site inspections in accordance with permit requirements at each of the Wheelabrator facilities beginning in October 2009.

By serving as a third-party inspector for waste ban materials and working closely with MA DEP, WBCPs can assist clients operating waste-to-energy facilities by providing detailed data and a benchmark for continuous process improvement that will ultimately reduce waste ban materials and improve recycling by the waste generator.

For more information about the Green Communities Act and the Class II Recycling program, visit http://mass.gov/dep

Decommissioning property in an environmentally responsible way – Confidential Client

One of the sad signs of the economic recession is corporate restructuring, which forced a local facility to close. These difficult business decisions affect communities on multiple levels. A confidential client’s 250,000 square foot Massachusetts facility was the victim of corporate restructuring and was forced to close their facility and vacate the property. Facility Decommissioning Since 1999, the client had manufactured and assembled electronic components for private clients and the military.

The goal of decommissioning is to remove lead dust that may have deposited from manufacturing activities. While sometimes federal, state or local rules require decommissioning; this is not the case here. The Client’s work is voluntary and fulfills its corporate policy as an environmentally responsible company by leaving the facility a clean and healthy work environment.

A comprehensive decommissioning plan identified areas where there is potential contamination based on soldering operations and established a methodical and systematic evaluation of conditions to evaluate and remedy contaminant residues inside the facility. The plan also established sampling and analysis protocols, and provided for detailed documentation of the work performed.

In addition to this project, SAK has been involved in a number of projects for other clients where distressed properties were being foreclosed or property owners are taking care of environmental issues to prepare a property for sale/re-development.

SAK launches New Branding and Marketing Initiative

advise  remediate  sustain

SAK recently completed a comprehensive assessment of our business and services, and prepared a marketing plan to focus on our key strengths to grow our business. Working with small business marketing expert Mary Honan of Marketing Matters LLC (www.formarketingmatters.com), SAK was able to articulate our mission, refine our service offerings, and launch a new “tagline” (advise. remediate. sustain) to add to our corporate identity.

So who is SAK? What do we do?

We help protect and improve the environment by providing technically sound advice and environmentally sustainable solutions that enable our clients to proceed with their initiatives with confidence and peace of mind.Our approach is to deliver technically sound advice and practical solutions enabling our clients to proceed with their initiatives with confidence and peace of mind. We strive to promote sustainable development and environmentally compatible business practices to allow business, industry and communities to thrive.We provide our clients with high quality work products including analysis, interpretation, and practical advice while operating with the highest degree of professional integrity, communication and responsiveness to support our client’s goals. Our services include
Pollution assessment and remediation
Environmental monitoring and support during construction
Environmental permitting and compliance
Geothermal wells and sustainable development services

Look for a future roll out of new print and online marketing materials, an updated web presence, and quarterly eNewsletters as we move ahead with a more focused vision and new momentum.

Regardless of how we change our image or identity, we remain committed to QUALITY as the foundation of how we do business.


Staff TrainingZach Taylor recently completed the OSHA-10 construction safety course, adding to his repertoire of OSHA training and professional development courses, specializing in field safety and environmental construction management.

Mark Grady, a recent UMass Lowell graduate, received his Engineer-In-Training (EIT) certification by passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam earlier this year. Mark is working full time as an Environmental Engineer at SAK while he pursues his MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the evening.

Jeanne Westervelt was recently trained by the MA DEP as a Waste Ban Compliance Professional as part of the Class II Recycling Permit program, and is leading SAK’s health and safety effort for the Wheelabrator Technologies waste ban inspection program.

Stephen Sakakeeny was recently appointed to the Town of North Andover Sustainability Committee, and was selected as the Chair of the Municipal Subcommittee. As a board member of the Central Massachusetts Business Environmental Network (CMBEN), Steve also planned and organized a recent meeting “Confessions from Local Renewable Energy Owners”, where owners of solar, wind, and geothermal energy systems shared their experiences.

Maureen Walsh Sakakeeny attended the Center for Women in Enterprise’s (CWE) “Destination Success” conference in September. The event was hosted by the Women’s Leadership Institute at Bentley University in Waltham.