environmental compliance

USEPA Effluent Guidelines Program Plan, Including PFAS Limits & Nutrient Study

February 2, 2023

EPA Effluent Guidelines Program Plan, Including PFAS Limits & Nutrient Study

USEPA recently issued Effluent Guidelines Program Plan 15, which includes a focus on PFAS discharges from multiple categories.  In conjunction with Plan 15, EPA has determined that revisions to the effluent guidelines and standards for the Landfills Category (40 CFR part 445) are warranted.  See Section 6.3.3 of the Plan.  Here are a few excerpts regarding landfill leachate:

  • EPA evaluated discharge data from over 200 landfills from across the country and found PFAS present in the leachate at over 95 percent of the landfills. PFAS detections included 63 different PFAS with average concentrations for an individual compound as high as 14,000 parts-per-trillion (ppt) (ERG, 2022c).
  • Based on information and data collected through the Landfill Leachate Detailed Study, the development of effluent guidelines and pretreatment standards for landfills that discharge their leachate is warranted. Therefore, EPA intends to revise the existing Landfills Point Source Category (40 CFR part 445) ELG to address PFAS discharge from these landfills pending resource availability. Once EPA develops the schedule for this rulemaking, it will be published in EPA’s Regulatory Agenda.

 

Additional details on the USEPA Effluent Guidelines Program Plan are available at https://www.epa.gov/eg/landfills-effluent-guidelines

 

Landfill leachate and wastewater treatment planning and resource information are available here.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

PADEP Alert: NPDES General Permit for Industrial Stormwater Discharges

January 31, 2023

SCS Engineers
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection – NPDES Regulatory Updates with Deadlines

 

On December 24, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) published the renewed NPDES General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity (PAG-03). This permit covers stormwater discharges from industrial facilities such as manufacturing facilities, landfills, scrap yards, and bus terminals.

 

Facilities with an existing General Permit must submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) to be covered under the reissued General Permit by March 23, 2023. Stormwater Discharges.

 

The new permit term will cover operations from March 24, 2023 (effective date) to March 23, 2028 (expiration date). If PADEP receives an NOI by March 23, 2023, an existing PAG-03 permittee can continue to discharge under the reissued PAG-03. The application forms and instructions are available from the PADEP eLibrary.

Beginning in 2024, the due date of the Annual Report and NOI fee annual installment payment will be by March 23 each year. For existing permittees, the due date for the NOI fee installment in 2023 and the annual report covering 2022 will be May 1, 2023.

Analytical requirements for monitoring stormwater discharges are established in an appendix to the General Permit for each industrial sector. A monitoring requirement for Total Nitrogen and Total Phosphorous was added to each Appendix. Other changes made are to monitoring and Benchmark Value parameters for individual sectors. Target Quantitation Limits (TQLs) are established for analytical parameters, and permittees must use labs that can meet the TQLs to comply.

The new permit increases response levels for continual exceedances of Benchmark Values, concentrations of pollutants that serve as a threshold for evaluating whether site Best Management Practices effectively control stormwater pollution. Two or more consecutive monitoring period exceedances of Benchmark Values trigger the requirement to develop and submit a corrective action plan, implement additional controls, or apply for an individual permit if notified by PADEP.

Monitoring under the renewed permit commences with the July 1 – December 31, 2023 monitoring period. Until July 1, 2023, permittees should continue monitoring for parameters in their existing General Permit.

These are not the only changes made to the General Permit. Please contact for updates in other states or commonwealths and Denise Wessels at (610) 382-3050 if you need help preparing the NOI to reapply for the permit or to maintain compliance with permit terms in Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Biosolids and PFAS – What’s in my Fertilizer?

January 30, 2023

SCS Engineers
What’s in my fertilizer?

 

From the USEPA to headlines in the media, coverage of PFAS moving from wastewater to drinking water is a major concern. Furthermore, there are growing concerns about how much PFAS is in by-products that are recycled or reused from waste products. Topping that list is fertilizer.

Retail fertilizer products made from at least 50% biosolids commonly sold to the general public and used in farming contain PFAS, which could get into crops and stock, eating those crops. The Environmental Protection departments in some states are beginning to consider or pass state-level specific regulations on the content of PFAS in biosolids.

The December 2022 USEPA memo to states (pages 4-5) made these recommendations on biosolids as follows:

  1. Recommended Biosolids Assessment 1. Where appropriate, states may work with their POTWs to reduce the amount of PFAS chemicals in biosolids, in addition to the NPDES recommendations in Section B above, following these general steps:7 a. EPA recommends using draft method 1633 to analyze biosolids at POTWs for the presence of 40 PFAS chemicals.8 b. Where monitoring and IU inventory per section B.2 and B.3.a above indicate the presence of PFAS in biosolids from industrial sources, EPA recommends actions in B.3.b to reduce PFAS discharges from IUs. c. EPA recommends validating PFAS reductions with regular monitoring of biosolids. States may also use their available authorities to conduct quarterly monitoring of the POTWs (see 40 CFR 403.10(f)(2)).

 

Tony Kollasch, an environmental consultant specializing in remediation, tells us to use precaution and learn more about what plans are underway in your state. In his Wisconsin Agri-Business article, BIOSOLIDS and PFAS – NUTRIENTS with a SIDE OF CONCERN, he walks readers through the most recent reports and studies using plain language.

The issues and questions that come up are solvable. There are treatments for removing PFAS, and as an environmental engineering and consulting firm, we solve these types of challenges. We encourage the safe use of by-products and urge you to learn more about specific products by joining associations where you can educate yourself – it’s good for business and for understanding pending regulations that may impact your operations. It will help you run your business sustainably by making sound decisions based on human health, the environment, and economic demand.

 

Additional Resources:

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

UPDATE: Illinois EPA NPDES Industrial Storm Water Discharges

January 26, 2023

NPDES Permit for Industrial Storm Water Discharges
NPDES changes are coming! All comments on the draft permit and requests for a public hearing must be received by the IEPA no later than February 11, 2023.

 

Attachment 1 of the NPDES Permit No. ILR00 Newly Published

 

On January 11, 2023, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency posted the General NPDES Permit for Industrial Storm Water Discharges (NPDES Permit No. ILR00) for public review and comment. You will find the document here.

Please note that numerous modifications and additions are proposed for Attachment 1 of the NPDES Permit No. ILR00. The Attachment was just made public by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. We are preparing a summary of the changes associated with each subsector.

Modifications and added parts or sections are summarized below:

  1. Modification to Part F.1 – Storm Water Controls for permittees to consider stormwater control measure enhancements for major storm events (storm surges).
  2. Indicator monitoring (measuring and reporting with no benchmark threshold) for pH, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) has been modified in many subsectors for benchmark monitoring, as described in Attachment 1.
  3. Indicator monitoring (measuring and reporting with no benchmark threshold) for polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been added for certain subsectors, as described in Attachment 1. This pertains to areas within a property where storm water is exposed to surfaces initially sealed or re-sealed with coal-tar sealcoat.
  1. Benchmark threshold values have been updated for aluminum, copper, selenium, cadmium, magnesium, and iron in Attachment 1.
  2. The benchmark monitoring schedule has been updated for many subsectors, as shown in Attachment 1. We anticipate that the IEPA will require benchmark monitoring to occur in the permit’s first and fourth years of coverage.
  1. Additional implementation measures have been revised for some of the subsectors in Attachment 1.
  2. A sign of permit coverage (except in instances where other laws or local ordinances prohibit such signage) must be placed in a safe, publicly accessible location in close proximity to the facility and include the following:
    • The NPDES ID Number
    • Information about how the public can request the facility’s SWPPP
    • And how they contact the facility and IEPA if stormwater pollution is observed.
  1. Submit an updated Notice of Intent (NOI) within 150-days of the permit renewal date (to be determined)

All comments on the draft permit and requests for a public hearing must be received by the IEPA no later than February 11, 2023.

Our team of Storm Water professionals in Illinois includes Spencer LaBelle and Scott Knoepke, who are ready to answer your NPDES Permit questions and discuss how the proposed modifications to the permit may impact your operation.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 10:36 am

How Air Permitting Compliance Impacts Your Business

January 25, 2023

SCS Engineers Air Permitting
Air permitting compliance can be complex and time-consuming, which is why hiring a specialized environmental engineering firm brings value.

 

Air permitting compliance is a crucial aspect of operating a facility that generates air emissions. The process involves obtaining permits from regulatory agencies that establish requirements to demonstrate that the facility operates within limits set by air quality regulations.

 

Air permitting is not just for industrial operations but impacts many businesses.

In Miami-Dade County, Florida, the agency responsible for issuing air permits is the Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM). Businesses that emit air pollutants, such as fine particulate matter (dust), volatile organic compounds, and hazardous air pollutants, or which operate combustion equipment such as ovens, furnaces, boilers, and backup power generators must obtain air permits to operate legally. The Florida Department of Environmental Quality provides state guidance here. These permits are required to ensure that the facility’s emissions are within limits set by air quality regulations and that the facility is taking the necessary steps to control and reduce emissions.

 

Local business example

In the case of one apparel printing facility in Miami-Dade County, SCS Engineers (SCS) was hired to assist with obtaining the necessary air permits from DERM. The scope of services included reviewing current and proposed operations information, calculating air emission estimates, and preparing the narrative and application forms. SCS also prepared a Request for Information (RFI) to confirm the necessary background information, such as equipment specifications, facility layout, projected usage, and operating records. The deliverables included an Air Construction Permit Application and an Air Operating Permit Application. In this case, SCS could prove that the client did not need a permit even though the regulatory agency thought they might.

 

What are the steps?

The process of obtaining an air permit can be complex and time-consuming, which is why businesses often hire specialized environmental engineering firms to assist them. In this example, SCS provided DERM with a detailed report and application package, including a process flow diagram, equipment specifications, and actual and potential emissions calculations.

It’s important for businesses operating in Miami-Dade, or any county, to understand the air permitting process and the regulations set by local authorities. Environmental engineering firms can provide more accurate and detailed information, so management understands the specific air quality regulations that apply to their business.

The value is in implementing the practices necessary to maintain compliance with air quality regulations and keeps your reputation with workers and the community stellar. Businesses continuing to operate illegally face administrative and civil violations, court actions, and potential environmental insurance challenges. Another consideration is that the same engineering firm can likely advise you on stormwater and groundwater permits and compliance for your facility.

 

About the Author: Troy Schick, PE, is a Project Manager based in our Miami, Florida, office. He is a Professional Engineer licensed in Florida and a Qualified Stormwater Management Inspector.

 

Stormwater and Air Permitting Compliance Resources for Businesses:

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Illinois EPA Seeks Public Review & Comment on NPDES Permit for Industrial Storm Water Discharges

January 23, 2023

NPDES Permit for Industrial Storm Water Discharges
NPDES changes are coming! All comments on the draft permit and requests for a public hearing must be received by the IEPA no later than February 11, 2023.

 

On January 11, 2023, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency posted the General NPDES Permit for Industrial Storm Water Discharges (NPDES Permit No. ILR00) for public review and comment. You will find the document here.

Please note that numerous modifications and additions are proposed for Attachment 1 of the NPDES Permit No. ILR00. At the time of authoring this blog, Attachment 1 has not been made public by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Once this document is made available, a follow-up post will be prepared to summarize the changes associated with each subsector.

Modifications and added parts or sections are summarized below:

  1. Modification to Part F.1 – Storm Water Controls for permittees to consider stormwater control measure enhancements for major storm events (storm surges).
  2. Indicator monitoring (measuring and reporting with no benchmark threshold) for pH, Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) has been modified in many subsectors for benchmark monitoring, as described in Attachment 1.
  3. Indicator monitoring (measuring and reporting with no benchmark threshold) for polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been added for certain subsectors, as described in Attachment 1. This pertains to areas within a property where storm water is exposed to surfaces initially sealed or re-sealed with coal-tar sealcoat.
  1. Benchmark threshold values have been updated for aluminum, copper, selenium, cadmium, magnesium, and iron in Attachment 1.
  2. The benchmark monitoring schedule has been updated for many subsectors, as shown in Attachment 1. We anticipate that the IEPA will require benchmark monitoring to occur in the permit’s first and fourth years of coverage.
  1. Additional implementation measures have been revised for some of the subsectors in Attachment 1.
  2. A sign of permit coverage (except in instances where other laws or local ordinances prohibit such signage) must be placed in a safe, publicly accessible location in close proximity to the facility and include the following:
    • The NPDES ID Number
    • Information about how the public can request the facility’s SWPPP
    • And how they contact the facility and IEPA if stormwater pollution is observed.
  1. Submit an updated Notice of Intent (NOI) within 150-days of the permit renewal date (to be determined)

All comments on the draft permit and requests for a public hearing must be received by the IEPA no later than February 11, 2023.

Our team of Storm Water professionals in Illinois includes Spencer LaBelle and Scott Knoepke, who are ready to answer your NPDES Permit questions and discuss how the proposed modifications to the permit may impact your operation.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

MDE Finalizes and Publishes Draft New Maryland Landfill Air Regulation

January 19, 2023

SCS Engineers Landfill Methane Capture

 

MDE Regulatory Alert: Maryland Landfill Air Regulation

On December 30, 2022, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) published a proposed regulation addressing the control of landfill gas (LFG) methane emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills in the state. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) with a global warming potential of more than 25 times greater than carbon dioxide. The proposed regulation is modeled after similar rules in California and Oregon, incorporates provisions from the EPA’s federal landfill air regulations under NSPS & EG 40 CFR 60 Subparts Cf and XXX and NESHAP CFR 63 Subpart AAAA, and would become among the most stringent in the US.

The new regulation will be submitted to the EPA for approval as part of Maryland’s state plan for MSW landfills (state plan). The state plan will be equivalent to or more stringent than the EPA’s NSPS & EG 40 CFR 60 Subparts Cf and XXX and NESHAP CFR 63 Subpart AAAA, and will apply to smaller and mid-sized landfills not currently subject to the EPA’s federal rules.

MDE estimates that 32 active and closed MSW landfills in the state will be subject to the proposed regulation.

Some key provisions of the rule include:

  • The rule will apply to active and closed MSW landfills that have accepted waste after 11/8/1987 and that have a design capacity greater than or equal to 2,750,000 tons and 3,260,000 cubic yards, and active and closed MSW landfills that have accepted waste after 12/31/1993 that have less than 2,750,000 tons or 3,260,000 cubic yards of waste but greater than 450,000 tons of waste in place.
  • Closed or inactive landfills, or closed inactive areas of an active MSW landfill, that have commenced installation of solar panels or arrays on or before 1/1/2024 are exempt from the rule if they meet certain requirements.
  • MSW landfills with a calculated methane generation rate greater than 8,548 tons per year must install a gas collection and control system (GCCS).
  • MSW landfills with a calculated methane generation rate between 732 tons per year and 8,548 tons per year can either install a GCCS or evaluate surface methane emission rate, the results of which would determine if a GCCS is required.
  • If required, landfills must operate the GCCS for a minimum of 15 years and until the point that the methane generation rate has reduced to below 732 tons per year.
  • Specific requirements for the use of control devices such as enclosed or open flares. The use of open flares is permitted only until 1/1/2025. The rule includes minimum control requirements for devices and initial and annual source testing.
  • Evaluation of surface methane emission rates through both instantaneous (500 ppm) and integrated (25 ppm) monitoring requirements and standards.
  • Leak monitoring and standards (500 ppmv) for GCCS components that contain LFG and are under positive pressure.

This rulemaking has been several years in development and is consistent with Maryland’s GHG Reduction Act of 2009 and the recent Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 that requires Maryland to become “net zero” for GHG emissions by 2045, with an interim goal of achieving 60% GHG reductions by 2031 (over 2006 levels). MDE estimates that once implemented, this rule will achieve a 25-50% reduction in GHG emissions from affected landfills. MDE estimates the capital costs associated with rule compliance would range from $1 to $3 million, annual operating and maintenance costs range from $150k to $400k, and additional costs for monitoring (~ $60k annually), recordkeeping, and reporting.

MDE has scheduled a virtual public hearing on the proposed action at 10:00 am on February 1, 2023. Comments can be submitted by 5:00 pm (Eastern Time) on February 1, 2023, to Mr. Randy Mosier of MDE at .

 

For additional information on MSW regulations and GHG emission reductions, please visit scsengineers.com or one of SCS’s nationwide offices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

ON DEMAND: How to Choose Landfill Operations Technology

January 18, 2023

SCS Engineers Remote Monitoring and Control Technology
Get a holistic picture of your waste and organics management operations at one, or many sites.

 

Compounded by rising labor and regulatory costs, landfill operations challenges for owners and operators are liquids and greenhouse gases. Gas collection and control systems, leachate management strategies, and treatment technologies all help create efficiencies. But so does new technology.

In our two-part educational series, we use case studies to demonstrate combinations of integrated SCADA, IIoT, drones, satellites, and Geographical information systems (GIS) technologies. Using clear, straightforward language, our panelists explain which technology is best for what and when integrating these technologies better serves your landfill’s and composting operation’s challenges and budget.

Recorded in front of a live audience who send questions to our panelists specific to their operational needs we cover monitoring, liquids, and labor challenges – with an aim to introduce new technologies that solve some of your most expensive challenges. SCS’s forums are educational, non-commercial webinars with a Q&A forum throughout; they are free and open to all who want to learn more about landfill and composting technology. We recommend these discussions for landfill and organics management facility owners/operators, technicians, environmental engineers, municipalities, and environmental agency staff.

View Part I focused on drones, satellites, and GIS technologies which are valuable for landfill permitting, design, and monitoring liquids and gas well conditions.

View Part II focused on SCADA and remote monitoring & control systems – when and why using real-time data can create efficiencies and reduce risk at your landfill and are useful for compost operations, and anaerobic digestors.

 

If you would like to join our mailing list for these monthly forums, please contact us at – SCS never shares or sells your contact information.

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

EPA Alert: Fugitive Emissions Rule Granted Reconsideration

January 16, 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a proposed rulemaking (Federal Register, Vol. 87, No. 198, Friday, October 14, 2022) that would address a 2008 Fugitive Emissions Rule that was subsequently granted reconsideration based upon a petition from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).  The key issue is how fugitive emissions are considered under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), as related to the definition of modification.

Modification means any physical change in, or change in the method of operation of, a stationary source which increases the amount of any air pollutant emitted by such source or which results in the emission of any air pollutant not previously emitted. 42 U.S. Code § 7411(a)(4).

In 2008, the Bush EPA published its Fugitive Emissions Rule that sought to “reconsider” the inclusion of fugitive emissions under this language.  Fugitive emissions are defined as:

Those emissions which could not reasonably pass through a stack, chimney, vent, or other functionally-equivalent opening. 

NRDC’s petition for reconsideration argued that the Bush EPA weakened the standard for determining major modifications by excluding fugitive emissions from major Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and non-attainment New Source Review (NSR) applicability.

The proposed rulemaking would result in a formal reversion to the pre-2008 language.  EPA’s Director for its Office of Air Quality Planning & Standards (OAQPS) has indicated that the rule “would require fugitives to be counted in all new and modified major source determinations,” effectively ending the Bush-era limitations on counting of fugitive emissions.

The potential impact of EPA’s planned fugitive emissions rule may prove significant and is expected to affect a wide range of diverse industry sectors being impacted, such as power generation, oil & gas extraction, mining, paper mills, petroleum refining, chemical manufacturing, coatings operations, and solid waste facilities. In particular, both landfills and compost facilities can have significant fugitive emissions.

Based on our current understanding, the proposed rule will effectively eliminate the ability to exempt fugitive emissions under the current exemption in 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 52.21(i)(vii).  This would mean that if a source is an existing major PSD or non-attainment NSR source for ANY pollutant, and modifies, then both non-fugitive AND fugitive emissions for ALL pollutants must be counted to see if the project is a major modification under PSD/NSR.  Triggering a major modification would also mean that fugitive emissions are included in the various compliance elements of PSD or NSR (e.g., best available control technology [BACT], lowest achievable emission rate [LAER], modeling, offsets. etc.).

To add more context for landfills, as an example, if an existing landfill, which is already deemed major due to carbon monoxide (CO) or sulfur dioxide (SOx) emissions from flares (Potential to Emit [PTE] >250 tons per year [tpy]), conducts an expansion that will result in 15 tpy of new particulate matter less than 10 microns(PM10) [and/or 10 tpy of PM2.5] fugitive emissions from windblown dust, this would be a major modification under PSD, requiring BACT and modeling for fugitive PM.  This could also include BACT and other requirements for fugitive methane as a regulated greenhouse gas (GHG) or volatile organic compounds (VOCs)/non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs) from the additional fugitive landfill gas (LFG) emitted from the expanded landfill. Compost facilities can also have significant VOC emissions, which could put them at risk from this rule change.

Public comment on the rulemaking ends on February 14, 2023, which is an extension of the previous deadline. The solid waste industry will provide comments through the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the National Waste and Recycling Association (NW&RA). This will be the last chance to have any effect on the rulemaking. Otherwise, landfills and possibly compost facilities could face more stringent requirements under the PSD and NSR programs when it comes to fugitive emissions.

 

Landfill and compost facility owners and operators may direct their questions pertaining to specific facilities to their Project Managers or .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:21 am

Brownfield Redevelopment – Maximizing Resources, Prioritizing Health & Safety

January 16, 2023

SCS Engineers Brownfield Redevelopment Specialists
Always active, Amy is shown here attending a Brownfields conference.

 

Executing Brownfield Redevelopment 

Green spaces are dwindling rapidly as real estate development forges ahead; meanwhile, a plentiful inventory of brownfields lie idle or underused that have great potential to become vibrant, revenue-generating resources.

Well-executed brownfield redevelopment projects make the most of existing infrastructure, leaving green spaces green. They create jobs and increase property values. They improve the health and safety of the environment and people. And turning former liabilities into neighborhood jewels cultivates a spirit of goodwill among residents.

As developers and governments realize the benefits, old gas stations, defunct factories, and closed landfills are among the properties redeveloped into community parks, retail, industrial, or mixed-use properties to become productive assets.

But while communities and private investors can reap tremendous payoffs, successfully repurposing brownfields can be complicated. They may be laden with hazardous substances and other contaminants from past uses, calling for specialized technical expertise to ensure sustainable environmental and financial outcomes.

 

Meet Amy Guilfoyle 

SCS Engineers’ Amy Guilfoyle has been deeply rooted in brownfield redevelopment work for 20 years, supporting plans to ensure projects are technically sound, on time, and on budget.

Groundwater and soil assessment and remediation are her primary focus. Her job involves more than these essential tasks—from helping local governments apply for U.S. EPA Brownfield assessment and cleanup grants and voluntary cleanup state tax credits to ensuring and documenting regulatory compliance.

When Amy was a new biology graduate, she was not sure exactly what career direction she would choose until she got a full taste of fieldwork with an environmental focus.

SCS Engineers Brownfields Redevelopment
Amy working onsite.

“I like working on practical solutions to our clients’ day-to-day problems. And I like the creativity involved in finding and developing the best options in each case. Every scenario is unique, challenging you to keep the wheels in your mind turning,” she says.

Guilfoyle’s work typically begins with a Phase I Environmental Assessment, entailing an inspection of the property and a review of documents to evaluate for potentially hazardous pollutants and contamination. She will move on to a Phase II Environmental Assessment, depending on her findings, collecting and analyzing soil and groundwater samples to determine concentrations, locations, and other details to inform what may become her next course. The results help lead her team in developing and executing a rigorous cleanup strategy to meet regulatory standards.

The practiced brownfields veteran has her work cut out for her, especially on her dedicated turf; the state of Florida, whose groundwater and soil quality standards are even more rigorous than the U.S. EPA’s. Guilfoyle must not only stay on top of stringent regulatory demands but know how to strategically approach complex challenges tied to the region’s unique physical conditions.

“For one, as we monitor and plan remediation, we consider soil characteristics. Like much of the Southeast part of the country, Florida is sandy, making it easier for contaminated water and materials to move through the ground than in rocky areas,” she explains.

“Additionally, we give careful thought to the fact that the water table is shallow, which means saturated soil is close to the land surface, increasing the risk for groundwater contamination.”

Protecting groundwater is the most meaningful work she can do in her eyes.

“Keeping groundwater clean is so important to our public health and safety, as it is the major source of drinking water,” Guilfoyle says.

 

Sizing up cleanup options

In determining the best method to tackle soil and water impacts, she considers multiple variables: regional standards, the proposed use of the property, and clients’ overall goals.

Every success story hinges on protecting human health and the environment while keeping an eye on the bottom line—economics.

“Our clients are taking on huge projects that can have substantial cleanup costs. Our priority is to develop solutions that limit their out-of-pocket costs and liability. But doing it more effectively, so the outcome is a rich resource that serves communities well into the future,” Guilfoyle says.

A solid understanding of regulations is key to delivering sound technical and financially feasible outcomes.

She exemplifies this, beginning with a recent approach involving removing contaminated soil and using the nonimpacted soil as part of a pond construction to expand stormwater holding capacity.

“In this scenario, you save on the cost to transport hundreds of tons of soil and put it to use to build out existing infrastructure. Also, fewer trucks are coming in and out of the site, mitigating a nuisance and greenhouse gases.

“In other scenarios, we have been able to negotiate cleanup levels above the standard by providing documentation to show they are sufficient for full compliance.”

 

Forging industry relationships through professional engagements

Guilfoyle knows the agencies well through her work at SCS and professional engagements beyond.

Among her involvement, she’s a board member of the Florida Brownfields Association (FBA), supporting educational and outreach efforts and legislative initiatives to secure funding for cleanup projects.

She serves on the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals (FAEP) board, reporting business activity to local chapter members.

She lends her expertise as a board member for Metropolitan Environmental Training Alliance (METRA), promoting free and low-cost training on hazardous waste management requirements and other environmental regulations.

Outside her leadership roles in industry organizations, she finds time for her passion—telling others about the environmental industry. She has been involved with teaching Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts at Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) events and introducing college students to job opportunities in these disciplines.

“It’s important to provide a real role model in science and introduce youth to the wide range of job opportunities.  We need more sharp young minds. And we especially need more women in environmental sciences,” Guilfoyle says.

“We have done good work. But we have more ahead of us. We will continue making progress by increasing youths’ awareness of what we do and why we do it–and by educating and supporting industry organizations.”

 

Brownfield Redevelopment Resources, Funding, Careers:

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am