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Recent Environmental Projects
We've helped many clients from a wide array of industries with Hazardous Materials Management, Recycling, Site Assessments and Annual Environmental Assessments that minimize risk and put our clients in control.
Lithium Battery Demolition & Disposal
Recently, Hygieneering safely conducted the demolition, proper characterization, packaging, shipping and disposal of a Lithium Ion Phosphate battery energy storage unit that was involved in a fire. Hygieneering and their specialty subcontractors worked to safely de-energize the batteries and associated equipment in the unit and properly classify, identify, package, inventory, ship and dispose of these materials through a Hydrometallurgical Recycling Process which is a sustainable non land fill recovery process. Hygieneering’s diverse professional staff is ready to assist with any project requiring special disposal services that you may need. Hygieneering is here to assist.
Wastewater Surveillance for COVID-19
As our clients have adapted to living with COVID-19, Hygieneering has been asked to perform wastewater surveillance for COVID-19 within communities. Per the CDC, COVID-19 can be detected in wastewater, and this information can serve as an early indicator that COVID-19 is spreading throughout the community. This provides the community with valuable information to properly assess and respond to events or outbreaks detected in this sampling. Hygieneering’s duties onsite consist of the following tasks: • Work with the community to determine wastewater collection points based on sewer lateral and main routing prior to arriving onsite. • Using an autosampler, program a sample plan into the sampler to obtain a composite sample that represents the entire client specified sample period. • Transport the sample, once the sample period is completed, to an accredited lab for analysis. • Provide the community with a report detailing field activities and results from the lab that they can use to assess COVID-19 within their community. Hygieneering’s diverse professional staff is supporting a variety of communities, running multiple autosamplers per site, and performing repeat sampling for communities so that they have the information necessary to react and respond to COVID-19.
Construction Site Soil Contamination Management
A common service we provide is to assist utility and other construction clients to safety manage and protect their workers when there is soil contamination in their work zones. In general, the service consists of 3 main steps: 1. Evaluation of Soil Sampling Analytical Data for Contaminants of Concern (COCs) Soil sampling data that typically consists of priority pollutant metals, polynuclear aromatics (PNAs), semi-volatile organic compounds, volatile organic compounds and PCBs are evaluated for concentrations of concern. The data are compared to the Tier 1 Soil Remediation Objectives (SROs) for soil within the Illinois Administrative Code (IAC) Title 35, Part 742-Tiered Approach to Corrective Action Objectives (TACO). The results are reviewed with respect to potential inhalation and soil ingestion hazards for the Construction Worker Population. The review identifies any contaminants of concern that must be addressed in Step 2. 2. Preparation of a Site-Specific Health and Hygiene Plan Based on the review of the soil sampling results, a written site-specific Health and Hygiene Plan is prepared. In summary, this document spells out the anticipated site activities, the associated worker exposure risks to the COCs identified, and the recommended regulatory compliance and worker exposure controls to be implemented. Worker hazard communication, personal protective equipment, engineering controls, air sampling requirements, and action levels are established. This document is typically used to train the site workers and is used as guidance throughout the project. 3. On-site Project Monitoring/Management The final step in the process is to implement the site-specific Health and Hygiene Plan. Typically one of our industrial hygienists monitors site activities to ensure the safety of the workers interacting with the contaminated soils. By example, our most recent project involved a trenching job adjacent to an abandoned gas station where the soil was contaminated with low level volatile organic compounds. Our client’s project was to install utility lines within a 15’ trench along a street in Chicago. The Plan called for continuous monitoring of VOCs within the trench and street work zones. As shown in the photographs, a photoionization detector (PID) was used to monitor the worker breathing zones for VOCs. We provided on-site consulting to ensure the Plan was implemented, OSHA compliance documented and workers were in a safe environment.
Underground Tank Removal (8,000 gallon)
As one of our clients reconfigured their transportation maintenance and storage facility, they engaged Hygieneering to perform the environmental sampling and compliance portion of the removal of an 8,000-gallon underground storage tank containing diesel fuel. The client wanted to replace their old underground storage tank with a new above ground storage tank with new piping and fill station. Hygieneering’s scope of services for this project included the following items: Site Safety Plan provided to the client and subcontractors prior to the site work beginning and reviewed with all those present during work was being completed. Onsite environmental monitoring using a photoionization detector (PID) for the duration of the time onsite. Soil samples taken from the excavation around the tank to test for potential contaminants of concern. The results from these samples determined if any soils from the excavation needed to be disposed of off-site in lieu of being used for backfilling into the excavation. Document results of sampling and monitoring in accordance with state regulations to provide a report detailing site activities and results to the client and regulatory authority. Assist the client in completing and meeting all requirements with the Illinois EPA and Illinois State Fire Marshall’s Office to obtain reimbursement through the State Leaking Underground Storage Tank Fund. This is being done to assist in recovering the cost for the project. Due to excess precipitation during the tank pulling process and the depth of the tank, the excavation had to be continuously dewatered. The end result of the project was the tank was removed from the ground, and a release was reported by the Illinois State Fire Marshal onsite. Hygieneering was then retained to manage the state UST Release documentation and reimbursement from the Illinois LUST Fund. Hygieneering has performed additional subsurface soil and groundwater sampling to determine the potential spread of any IL TACO contaminants of concern throughout the work area. These results and reports have been provided to the client and IEMA to ensure that all standards have been met to close the former UST site within state standards.
Hazardous Materials Assessment
Hygieneering, Inc. recently completed a Hazardous Materials Assessment (HMA) for a major utility company. The scope of the project consisted of a survey for asbestos-containing materials and lead-based paint and included a visual assessment and inventory in the renovation areas for EPA regulated materials (i.e., Ozone Depleting Agents, Mercury-Containing Items, PCBs, Radioactive Materials, Chemicals, Solvents and other Universals Wastes) that need to be removed or disposed of in accordance with US EPA and other regulations that may be affected by the renovation. The assessment was performed in support of potential renovations at the facility and included a total of three (3) structures on the property comprising several hundred thousand square feet of functional space. The project was completed within the specified time and budget.
Underground Storage Tank Removal (8,500 gallon)
When our client moved away from maintaining their own fleet to utilizing a fleet management company, they engaged Hygieneering to turnkey the removal of one onsite 8,500-gallon underground storage tank. The tank had two compartments, one that held unleaded gasoline, and one that held diesel fuel for maintenance vehicles. Hygieneering’s turnkey services for this project included the following items: • Initial waste profiling of the contents of the tank to determine where any remaining contents should be properly disposed of; • Development of a Site Safety Plan which was provided to the client and subcontractors prior to the site-work commencing and reviewed with those onsite while the work was being completed; • Removal and disposal of the concrete island and fuel pumps that the tank served, as well as the tank itself, with a certificate of destruction; • Onsite environmental monitoring using a photoionization detector (PID) for the duration of the project; • Samples were taken from the excavated soil around the tank to test for potential contaminants of concern. The results from this sample analysis determined if any soils from the excavation needed to be properly disposed of off-site as opposed to being used for backfilling into the excavation; • Documentation of sample analysis and monitoring activities in accordance with state regulations to provide a report detailing site activities and laboratory results to the client and regulatory authority; • Retention of an asphalt contractor and landscape contractor to restore the site once the tank was removed from the ground. The project resulted in the tank being safety removed from the ground without any release reported by the Illinois State Fire Marshal onsite, soil sample results were found to be within Illinois TACO objectives, waste materials being disposed of properly in accordance with proper regulations, and the site being restored with new asphalt at the excavation and repaired landscaping around the area of work.
Spill Prevention, Control & Countermeasures and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans
Hygieneering recently developed a Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) plan for one of our clients. The SPCC plan was certified by a licensed Professional Engineer (PE). A facility is covered by the SPCC rule if it has an aggregate aboveground oil storage capacity greater than 1,320 U.S. gallons or a completely buried storage capacity greater than 42,000 U.S. gallons and there is a reasonable expectation of an oil discharge into or upon navigable waters of the U.S. or adjoining shorelines. Oil of any type and in any form is covered, including, but not limited to petroleum; fuel oil; sludge; oil refuse; oil mixed with wastes other than dredged spoil; fats, oils or greases of animal, fish, or marine mammal origin; vegetable oils, including oil from seeds, nuts, fruits, or kernels; and other oils and greases, including synthetic oils and mineral oils. A facility that stores, processes, refines, uses or consumes oil and is non-transportation-related is potentially subject to the SPCC rule. Operations that are intended to move oil from one location to another, i.e. transportation-related, are not included. SPCCs should be kept on-site and updated frequently or at a minimum every five (5) years to ensure they reflect the current site conditions and best management practices (BMPs). Your plan should contain current training records, inspection records, and BMP maintenance records. Your facility must follow the procedures you outline in your SPCC. Formal, annual SPCC Plan Training must be provided to all oil-handling personnel. Hygieneering also assisted this client in developing their Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). The main purpose of this document is to outline how a facility will minimize stormwater pollution and implement best management practices (BMPs). The first step is determining if your facility is a regulated entity, which can be accomplished through a regulatory determination based on your Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code and referencing local, state, and federal requirements. If you find that your facility is a regulated entity, you must obtain an NPDES permit and the primary actionable item required in the vast majority of NPDES (stormwater) permits includes the preparation of an SWPPP. SWPPPs should be kept on-site and updated frequently or at a minimum every five (5) years to ensure they reflect the current site conditions and BMPs. Your plan should contain current training records, inspection records, BMP maintenance records, and laboratory data. Your facility must follow the procedures you outline in your SWPPP. Many states require annual stormwater training for employees that handle any material exposed to stormwater, and the states that do not require annual training highly recommend that annual training occurs.
Annual Environmental Reporting
Hygieneering recently assisted various clients with their annual environmental reporting needs. This included assistance in preparing and submitting Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) Tier II Reports that were due March 1st. Hygieneering is currently in the process of preparing and submitting Annual Illinois Air Emission Reports that are due May 1st and Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Reports that are due July 1st for our clients. Contact Hygieneering if you need assistance with your annual environmental reporting needs.
Construction Project with Lead Contaminated Soil
Hygieneering assisted our client that was tasked with conducting mechanical tasks in an area with soil heavily contaminated with lead. The project was outdoors in support of electrical substation maintenance. The lead soil was a hazardous waste and therefore dictated the project to be conducted in accordance with the OSHA HAZWOPER standard. Hygieneering assisted by preparing a Site Safety and Health Plan, lead training for workers, on-site management including worker and area air sampling for OSHA compliance and wipe samples to evaluate lead contamination transfer to surfaces outside the regulated zones. The project was conducted over a several week period. The implementation of the Site Safety and Health Plan controlled potential worker and environmental contamination. The daily worker air samples, area air samples and wipe samples documented the effectiveness of the work practices and engineering controls used to control lead exposure.
Leaking Underground Storage Tank Abandonment at Industrial Facility
Hygieneering was retained by one of our industrial clients for comprehensive consulting and services pertaining to the abandonment-in-place of a large heating oil underground storage tank (UST) and associated release of tank contents incident. The purpose of this project was to ensure the proper abandonment of the tank system, provide environmental oversight, and prepare/provide proper UST closure documents, as required. UST abandonment was conducted through the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) permit process. Site-specific obstacles limited safe removal of the UST; therefore, an application for UST abandonment-in-place was submitted to the CDOE for review and approval. The project was conducted on a turnkey basis by Hygieneering.
Methane Gas Monitoring to Support Office Complex Constructed on Former Landfill
To support the ongoing engineering controls in place at an office complex constructed over a former landfill site, Hygieneering measured the methane gas concentrations at the facility. Hygieneering conducted air monitoring at numerous locations outside the building at landfill gas release points (designed engineering control locations), around the building foundation and within the building. Results were used to document the landfill gas engineering control systems were effective in keeping landfill gasses out of the office buildings on campus. Hygieneering collected direct read measurements using a Thermo TVA 2020 flame ionization detector (FID).
Property Line Nuisance Dust Assessment
Our client, a mining operation, desired to collect data of property line nuisance dust on worst-case days during the dry, hot summer days. Hygieneering prepared and implemented an air sampling program. Airborne dust concentrations were measured and data logged around the perimeter of the site throughout the day and night using 3 TSI DustTrak DRX instruments (Photo 1 shows representative set-up). The DustTrak DRX units provide real-time dust monitoring that simultaneously measures both mass and size fraction. The DustTrak DRX monitor uses light-scattering laser photometers that provide real-time aerosol mass readings and data logs. The instruments subdivided the concentration of dust by particle size with the following breakdown: total, PM10, respirable, PM2.5 and PM1. Example sampling location data is presented in the table and graphs provided for reference. In summary, ambient fence-line air sampling data with associated environmental conditions and site operational activities was provided to our client which gave them compliance insight and documentation.
Boiler Stack Demolition and UST Removal
To assist one of our school district clients with ongoing renovation/construction issues, Hygieneering provided technical project design and management of the demolition of a large boiler stack and removal of 2 underground storage tanks. Our services included the initial inspection of the stack for asbestos containing materials and other potentially hazardous materials. Based on this information, a turnkey project design was developed including environmental and safety issues for the demolition of the stack. There was also 2 underground storage tanks in the area that needed to be removed following the stack removal. Hygieneering’s daily management of the site included: • Prior to the start of work, a Site Safety Plan reviewed with all workers. • Donning of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) including safety shoes, safety glasses, hardhat, high visibility vests, personal dust masks, harness and lanyard was enforced. • Review of the shift plans and associated hazards such as elevated work, pressurized gas line, proper lifting, safe use of air operated chipping hammers, and gas operated saws. • Shift inspections were conducted of lifts, harnesses, tools and excavation equipment. The end result was the stack was demolished and tanks removed and all associated materials were recycled or disposed of properly in accordance with environmental regulations. The site was turned over as a clean location of the client to commence desired building addition.
Adaptive Reuse Project
For over 25 years, Hygieneering has been assisting our clients effectively manage their environmental issues. We are currently working with client on an Adaptive Reuse type project that will take an abandoned, environmentally contaminated old laboratory/office complex and turn it into an aesthetic recreational Green Space in Chicago. Hygieneering conducted numerous environmental services along a range of our technical disciplines in this Adaptive Reuse Project effort: • Phase I & Phase II Environmental Site Assessments • Facility Pre-demolition Survey for Asbestos, Lead Paint, Mercury, and other hazardous materials • Comprehensive design and management of remediation efforts • Specialty assessment and turnkey remediation services for perchloric acid lab hood contamination • Underground storage tank and associated Fuel Oil Line removal • Indoor air quality monitoring and management during demolition activities Our services are always designed to manage client risk and regulatory compliance, while reducing costs and at the same time protecting the health of workers and the public and impacts on the environment.
Drinking Water Testing
Due to the recent press of elevated levels of lead in drinking water in Flint Michigan and other cities, many commercial office, multi-tenant residential and school districts have tested the drinking water in their facilities. Hygieneering has recently conducted drinking water testing for lead and other parameters at numerous facilities. Have you ever wondered about the quality of your drinking water? The US Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) established health and safety standards for public water systems. The EPA regulates various contaminants in public drinking water supplies by establishing maximum contaminant levels, which are the highest level of a contaminant that is allowed in drinking water, via the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations, also known as Primary Standards. The EPA also established the National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations, also known as Secondary Standards, which are non-enforceable guidelines regulating contaminants that may cause cosmetic effects (skin or tooth discoloration), aesthetic effects (undesirable taste, odor, or color), and technical effects (damage to water equipment or reduced effectiveness of treatment for other contaminants) in drinking water. Hygieneering offers technical guidance for regulated and unregulated contaminants found in drinking water. Hygieneering provides drinking water quality testing services and comparative analysis to EPA’s Primary and Secondary Drinking Water Standards. Contact us for further information on how we can assist with your water quality needs.