Environmental CheckPoint September 2011

Providing Local Oversight on Spill Response for National Trucking Companies
A national trucking company dispatches its fleet across state boundaries and regulatory jurisdictions.   When a hazmat spill occurs, these companies count on local environmental managers to oversee emergency response and regulatory compliance for that locale.

Through SAK’s partnership with Premium Environmental Services (based in Newburgh, Indiana), SAK serves as a 3rd party emergency response manager ensuring environmental compliance in New England for national trucking companies such as Western Express, Landstar, Road Scholar, Prime, and JB Hunt.

As a trusted local resource, SAK’s Licensed Site Professional (LSP) and emergency response team provides rapid response and sensible management strategies, ensuring a cost effective and regulatory compliant response effort.   This work has included intermodal facilities, roadside spills, and destination releases.

Clients with no local presence are vulnerable to excessive project costs and harsh regulatory enforcement.  SAK has saved clients tens of thousands of dollars via strong project management, reduced government penalties, and cost recovery support from insurers and others.

“It’s in their best interest for the national companies need to have local representatives on site,” says Stephen Sakakeeny, Principal and LSP for SAK, “in many cases, a hazmat spill triggers a multi-party response and communication with federal, state and local emergency responders and regulators is critical.”

SAK work is used to support PRP cost recovery from insurers.

Building Sustainable Communities: Lowell Youth Center expansion
The United Teen Equality Center (UTEC) is a non-profit community organization that provides hope for disadvantaged youth in the Lowell community.  Through job training, social and educational services, and recreational services,  UTEC ignites and nurtures the ambition of Lowell’s most disconnected young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.

UTEC has embarked upon an ambitious expansion and renovation project which includes a 3- story, 7,500 square foot LEED certified green building addition to their existing home at the historic Methodist Church building on Hurd St. in downtown Lowell.   The project will increase UTEC’s capacity to serve Lowell’s youth.  They expect to be the first LEED Platinum Building in the Merrimack Valley and the oldest building in the country to gain LEED Platinum status.

SAK Environmental participated in the building project, by providing pro-bono and discounted services for ASTM Phase I environmental site assessment, and soil quality testing and management though the early phases of construction.

The existing church building was constructed in 1839, and is located in a densely populated area which has been developed and used for industrial and commercial uses for hundreds of years.  Investigating and pre-characterizing soil quality prior to construction was an important step to determine environmental risks and control costs by minimizing the export of potentially contaminated urban fill from the site.

“There was no known contamination as this was not a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MADEP) or USEPA listed Brownfield site,” says Maureen Sakakeeny, Principal of SAK Environmental, “but any time you are excavating in an old, urban area – urban fill, metals, and residual petroleum contamination are always a concern.”

SAK performed an ASTM Phase I Environmental Assessment on the site, and subsequently performed soil testing and MADEP compliance documentation for proper management of offsite soil disposal.

“Partnering on a sustainable green building addition with an organization committed to youth and community development in the Merrimack Valley just made sense to us,” says Sakakeeny, “We’re pleased to be a part of this important project.”

UTEC celebrated its first milestone on the project with their Topping Off Ceremony on September 20th where the last beam for the steel structure on the addition was placed.  SAK Environmental attended the event, along with Governor Patrick and several government officials, and other contractors and corporate partners.

Hiring Locally –
New civil engineering graduate and North Andover native, Vincent P. Helfrich III, graduated May 22, 2011 from Merrimack College, and started his OSHA HAZWOPER 40 training for SAK Environmental the following week.

“We were very busy this spring with permit compliance field work and responding to numerous hazmat spills, so we didn’t waste any time hiring a new graduate to add to our resources,” says Maureen Sakakeeny, “and, hiring local was important to us.  With Merrimack College so close, there are great job entry level candidates right here in our backyard. “

Vincent earned an ABET-accredited civil engineering degree, with upper level electives relating to environmental hydrology.   He had prior internship experience in environmental site investigations for cell tower installations for another consulting firm, and hands on experience in fabrication, design and field service at Helfrich Brothers Boiler Works.   He was an active member of the Merrimack College community – as part the environmental team for his senior design project, serving as a construction leader for Merrimack’s ASCE “concrete canoe” project, and played on the rugby team.

Vincent is a graduate of Central Catholic High School (Lawrence) Class of 2007.

The top 3 costly (and avoidable) mistakes that can lead to underperforming geothermal wells:
1) Lack of hydrogeologic feasibility and environmental site assessment (rock quality, brackish water or pollution issues, and setbacks)

2) Lack of oversight of the drilling contractor (to insure proper well construction)

3)    Lack of planning for wastewater management (for well drilling, bleed systems and permit compliance)

Steve Dowaliby, Licensed Asbestos Inspector

Environmental Scientist Steve Dowaliby recently became a MA Licensed Asbestos Inspector. This credential is another step in the expansion of SAK’s services to our real estate and development clients, which already includes facility decommissioning, Phase I environmental site assessment, remediation and compliance services.  Steve will be working as part of SAK’s hazmat inspection team conducting an asbestos, lead and hazardous materials survey for a 160,000 square foot multi-purpose academic building at North Shore Community College in Lynn for DCAM to be renovated.  Mr. Dowaliby is also working towards a Masters Degree in Environmental Studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Did you know?  SAK is a Federal certified WOSB
SAK Environmental recently completed certification as a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Economically Disadvantaged Women Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) for the new SBA Federal Contracting program