Fulcrum Gold Sponsor and Presenter at 2016 EBA Conference

The Environmental Bankers Association (EBA) took place in Fort Worth, Texas where many of the industry’s finest attorneys, consultants, database providers, and lenders meet twice a year to discuss the latest topics that are shaking up the environmental consulting industry. Topics on the agenda this past event included a great mix of discussions from lender and consultant point of views, which strive to stimulate discussion and thought amongst the attendees, and also provide good insight.

Our CEO Don Kellar, pictured to the right along side FR’s Senior Geologist and Client Manager John Winkler, was asked to present on the topic of asbestos and lead in soil. When referring or identifying risks at site, asbestos and lead in soil have both been considered by many’s as a sleeper issue; one that is commonly overlooked, but could come back as a potential issue down the road. This topic’s focal point broke down into two questions: How do we identify the risk; and How do we manage the risk?

When identifying the risk, one must look for clues from past use or planned use of the subject property.
These clues can typically be found while conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, via searching building records for evidence of previous demolition, addition, or significant remodel; historical aerial photographs, physical signs during site inspection, or interview with knowledgeable person of property. It is also important for the assessor to be aware if remodel, tenant improvement(s), or demolition with change of property use is planned for the future.

The pictures below illustrate a crawl space where disturbed asbestos containing material or ACMs have impacted the soil from a building that is planned to be demolished. A soil sample was collected and determined to test positive for asbestos.

During tenant improvement, remodeling, or demolition work, agency involvement from a local air quality district could occur that could interfere with the planned work, or even may bring the work of a contractor being performed at the subject property to an abrupt stop, especially in cases where the asbestos particles have entered into a worker or tenant environment. It is at this stage where hands are typically throw in the air with frustration and anger. An outside consultant ensures the customer is aware of potential risks, and how to manage them, prior to beginning any of this work. Proper methodology must also be taken into consideration when identifying these risks, and must be handled by a licensed professional familiar with local agencies and state-­‐specific guidelines, in order to minimize outside exposure risks.

ACMs and lead impacting soil from building debris is just one of the many commonly overlooked environmental conditions we have recognized today. With the increase of redevelopment in urban areas, environmental conditions of the property should be discussed and analyzed to a greater extent. Where major renovations are being performed, testing and research from an outside expert can help maintain a healthy work and living environment.

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