If a site is contaminated, cleaning it up can be both expensive and complicated. However, you can also control the costs and contain the situation by enlisting the right environmental remediation partner. Use the following characteristics and criteria to guide your selection process:
Environmental Remediation Companies: What to Look For
Years in Business
You want to be careful about any environmental remediation services on the market that have just launched. Look for a lengthy history of proven successes for a long list of clients.
Responsiveness & Quality
You can get a sense of how responsive a firm will be by seeing how highly they are rated, along with their service guarantees. The environmental remediation company you choose should offer great internal communications and relationships with contractors to be able to react to any emergencies quickly. You should have a specific contact person who is dedicated to your account, is broadly knowledgeable, and rapidly responds when you need assistance.
Responsiveness is just one aspect of quality. Again, ratings and reviews should help you. You should also get a list of references from the company. Go beyond references, clients that are most pleased with the provider, to research failed projects. Finally, get a more extensive idea of the company’s track record by surveying their clientele and previous project experience.
Get an estimate for the project. While you should not expect the quality to be directly proportional to estimates or hourly rates, an exceptionally low bid can be a warning sign of change orders in the future. It will end up costing you more in the end if you have to correct inadequately performed remediation to meet compliance.
Also, be aware that an environmental remediation services firm will ultimately bill based on materials and time. They will not be able to tell you exactly how much a project will cost upfront; rather, the firm will first need to determine how contaminated the site is through assessment and investigation.
Strong Support, Deep Knowledge & Spectrum of Services
The environmental remediation services provider should offer 24-hr emergency spill response. Although there are many firms that don’t offer this service that are very capable, having someone you can reach any time of the day or night is a true benefit.
Plus, any firm you consider should have thorough technical proficiency, scientific knowledge, and compliance acumen. These capacities will ultimately determine how deftly they can assess your site, design strategies, and execute solutions.
The environmental remediation company you choose should offer diverse services to meet your needs, including these staples:
- Soil remediation
- Groundwater remediation
- Mold remediation
- Industrial cleaning
- Hazardous waste management
- Tank removal
Many things can go wrong, and your provider should always be protected against unforeseen circumstances. One problem scenario is an environmental remediation firm damaging the real or personal property of a third party. Another is the firm introducing additional contamination to the site.
If the insurance is not in place, and the organization is irresponsible, you could be held liable. Since that’s the case, you want to carefully look over the company’s insurance information.
Insurance coverage should be extensive, with the following policies in place:
- Workers’ compensation
- Errors and omissions
- General liability
- Contractors pollution liability (CPL)
- Automobile liability
- Umbrella / excess liability
Ability to Customize Based On Your Needs
An environmental remediation company should be able to tailor their approach to meet your needs, based on your business’s goals. You can know what to expect when you understand the steps that the firm recommends for your project, which may include:
- Step 1 – Phase I environmental site assessment: While this evaluation can incorporate many environmental risk considerations, it should be fundamentally based on the ASTM E1527 – 13 standard.
- Step 2 – Surface water, groundwater, and soil contamination investigation: This step takes the findings from Step 1, further explores those environmental concerns, and determines specific measurements and numbers.
- Step 3 – Remedial investigation and/or cost estimate: Using the information collected and calculated through Step 2, this stage assesses how widespread the contamination issue is and how much it will cost to rectify the situation.
- Step 4 – Remediation plan design & implementation: While the above three steps are critical to conducting intelligent and effective cleanup, this step is when all your research and evaluation are converted into a cost-effective cleanup system.
Willingness to Give You A Potential Timeline
Since the environmental remediation provider will not know the severity or extent of contamination, they will not immediately know how long the project will take. However, they should be able to give you an idea of how they expect the project to proceed. They should be able to give you a sense of how quickly they can produce work scopes and how much time it will take for regulators to evaluate scopes. You should be able to get an idea of how long it will take for fieldwork and report completion.
Licensing, experience & education
When you select a firm for environmental remediation services, you want to make sure they are currently licensed. Beyond that, you also want to be sure they have specific certifications for the services that you currently or will eventually need. You actually will need proof of licensure and certification in order to move your project forward, because they are required by municipalities and towns in order to get approval for permits.
Any environmental remediation project will also benefit from having professionals who are experienced and have solid academic backgrounds. You should know that OSHA-certified technicians, hydrologists, geologists, and other specialists will be on the team that conducts the work.
The Right Environmental Remediation Company
Selecting a partner for an environmental assessment and cleanup is tricky, and due diligence should be performed. Be sure to research reviews, licensing, and insurance, among other items, to ensure you find the best environmental remediation company for your project.