August Mack Environmental, Inc. Acquires Compliance Technologies, Inc

INDIANAPOLIS \ CLEVELAND – August Mack Environmental, Inc. (August Mack), a full-service environmental, health and safety (EH&S) consulting firm, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Compliance Technologies, Inc. (CTI), an EH&S consulting firm, of Cleveland, Ohio.  

The acquisition of CTI will help August Mack to further develop the Cleveland market and expand August Mack’s capabilities to support new clients while providing CTI’s current clients with the expertise, innovation, and commitment that August Mack clients have come to know. 

CTI has served the Cleveland area for over 30 years, providing high quality compliance, waste management, remediation, and site assessment services to both private and municipal clients in a variety of industries, such as insurance, industrial, banking and manufacturing. The merging of August Mack and CTI’s teams, experience, and expertise will ensure that all current and future customers will receive exceptional and innovative service for all their environmental needs. 

August Mack Environmental, Inc. is a full-service EH&S consulting firm specializing in regulatory compliance, environmental due diligence, system operation and maintenance, site investigation, and remediation services to the industrial, legal, financial and government sectors throughout North America. For more information on the company’s products and services, call 317.916.8000 or visit www.augustmack.com.

Why Environmental Training Makes Sense for Ohio Businesses

Ask someone, “Why do you believe that environmental training makes sense in today’s world?” and you will likely get a wide array of responses. Some of the more interesting replies include, “Oh, I’m not a tree hugger type” or “I don’t really follow that climate change stuff.”

But most people recognize that environmental compliance has something to do with clean air, clean water, and not contaminating the soil…all of which is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA.

Those who own an Ohio business realize that, to stay in business, compliance with the federal, state and local laws is not voluntary which also makes environmental training of your workers mandatory. How can an employee be expected to comply with rules and regulations that they neither understand or are properly trained to fulfill?

A second myth evolves from the belief, “Because my business is so small, we don’t have to worry about environmental training or the EPA.”.

Does your facility have (or need) air permits, a wastewater discharge permit, a stormwater permit or exemption, or generate any hazardous waste? Nearly every environmental permit or plan requires annual employee training in order to comply with the Terms and Conditions they contain.

Yet, some Ohio businesses are so pleased to have obtained the required air permits and/or National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits they need, these permits get filed away without realizing the continuing commitments outlined, only to be surprised that no one received the environmental training needed to properly sample, record data or submit the mandatory reports in a timely manner.

Similarly, any company who requires a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan or who generates hazardous waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations must provide regularly scheduled retraining. The bottom line is, in most cases, environmental training is not a choice; it is mandated by the federal, state or local law.

Besides compliance, why else does environmental training make sense for businesses? Good environmental management and waste minimization resulting from company-wide environmental training can lead to real cost savings. It also avoids other expensive hits to the bottom line, like the EPA fines or production interruptions which often accompany EPA citations for violating the regulations.

Finally, keep in -mind the old adage, “A business is only as good as its reputation.”. No owner wants to battle a poor company image held by its customers, its employees, its community, or the regulatory agencies. Nothing profitable can result from that time-consuming and costly struggle, which makes effective environmental training a truly sensible option for businesses.

Still not sure if your employees require environmental training or whether these regulations even apply to your business? Now would be a great time to contact the experts at, Compliance Technologies, Inc.

Environmental Risk Assessments Can Lead to Effective Property Risk Remediation

In the previous installments in this series on acquiring former dry cleaner properties (What’s the Big Deal About Dry Cleaners?, December 2019 and Potentially Contaminated, Perfect Location, Now What?, January 2020), a prospective buyer of a property learns why dry cleaner sites raise a red flag, how to go about investigating through a Phase I and sub-slab and indoor air sampling, and how to understand what those investigations tell you. For this fictional property, our buyer has discovered that the property evidences vapor intrusion gas from PCE, but he decides that he must have this property location for his next commercial enterprise. This installment discusses the next step in learning more about the health risk at the site and where that knowledge may lead.

(Editor’s note: The processes described herein have been greatly accelerated and simplified for purposes of readability. The investigative process and determination of risk levels and resolutions take much longer in reality and in this case, were negotiated with the seller of the property.)

EPA has suggested that a multiple-line-of-evidence approach be used to understand the risk to a human receptor from such a site. Our buyer has already completed vapor intrusion and indoor air sampling and discovered that health risk is unacceptable from a former PCE release at the old dry cleaner property. The buyer’s consultant correctly advises that some intrusive soil sampling (Phase II) is needed to find the source of the vapor intrusion and then use that information to determine what remedy is recommended for the property. This data helps tell the buyer where the contamination is located, the strength of the contamination source, whether ground water is involved, and how/where it may be moving at the site. It is usual that this intrusive sampling step is repeated until the site problem has been fully delineated. Once this investigation data is in hand, the consultant can recommend a remedial decision.

For this installment, the intrusive investigation indicates where the source area for the PCE is located, allowing for an excavation of a small area where the PCE materials had been used in the former dry cleaner. With the contaminant source removed, the consultant additionally recommended the installation of a vapor mitigation system under the floor of the small building, also known as a sub-slab depressurization system. This ensures that remaining PCE gases in the soil would be removed and exhausted, thereby ensuring no unacceptable human exposure levels within the building.

After allowing the mitigation system to operate for a few weeks, additional sub-slab and indoor air samples were taken to confirm the expected benefit of limited human risk from vapor intrusion. Our buyer learns that the confirmation samples indicate that risk levels are now well below EPA’s action levels for indoor air and sub-slab soil gas for a commercial site. Since ground water was not encountered during the soil boring investigations, this was not a pathway for any human exposure.

OUR BUYER CAN NOW MOVE FORWARD WITH ACQUIRING THE PROPERTY AND BEGINNING TO ESTABLISH HIS SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS AT THE PERFECT LOCATION.

The next installment in this series will consider a site with greater contamination and a more complex remedial process. All of these scenarios are based upon actual CTI project experience.

Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments Uncover Contamination and Human Health Risks

Continued from article 1 of this series: What’s the big deal about Dry Cleaners

So the buyer completed their Phase I, earned their Bona Fide Purchaser Defense to shield against a lawsuit from EPA, knows the site held a dry cleaner, yet still has an interest in the property. How do they determine if they should walk or buy? Their next step is a Phase II; our clients depend on Compliance Technologies to develop and provide scientific data that clarifies the risk associated with the property to future occupants and the expenses that may occur as a result of remediating or maintaining a polluted site.

Risk = Human Health + ?

The Phase II process is an intrusive investigation into the area underlying the building and/or property. Current industry standards suggest checking for Vapor Intrusion into the building. PCE readily gives off gases that accumulate under the concrete slab of a building. These gases then leak through cracks and expansion cuts into the airspace of the building thereby creating potential human health risks due to inhalation of the PCE gases by occupants (future employees of the site).

To determine the risks with a Phase II, underground utilities are located, and a technician drills a number of holes in an appropriate area of the concrete slab into which are placed stainless steel tubes or “pins”. These pins become ports through which to collect sub-slab soil gas samples over an 8-hour period. Indoor air and outdoor air samples are also taken to present comparative data. The sub-slab and other air samples are then sent to a lab for analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOC).

The lab analysis report details the presence of any VOC to parts-per-billion levels! CTI’s staff scientists and engineers review this data using USEPA VI screening and OEPA Response Action models to determine the level of risk. These models predict if cancer risk exists as well as provide guidance on response needed within a certain timeframe for any chemicals (VOC) identified. In this example, our prospective buyer finds that the sub-slab and indoor air samples suggest that human risk is present from contamination below the facility.

But it’s a great property because of the location! What will our buyer do next?

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