environmental consulting

$2 Billion to Fund Environmental and Climate Justice Community Change Grants

November 22, 2023

Grants - SCS Engineers

The Community Change Grants Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), administered through the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights (OEJECR), has several unique characteristics to advance environmental and climate justice, many of which are responsive to feedback and input the agency has heard from communities. The NOFO will be open for a year, closing on November 21, 2024, and the EPA will review applications on a rolling basis. This allows applicants to utilize technical assistance and possibly resubmit a new application if not initially selected. EPA encourages applicants to apply as early as possible.

OEJECR will also host multiple informational webinars while the NOFO is open, with the first being held on December 7, 2023. These webinars will address questions, and some may facilitate the formation of partnerships and information sharing. More information on upcoming webinars can be found on EPA’s Inflation Reduction Act Community Change Grants Program webpage.

Community Change Grants will deliver 100 percent of the benefits of this program to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized by underinvestment and overburdened by pollution. This program also dedicates $200 million of Inflation Reduction Act funding to provide technical assistance to applicants and grant recipients, which will enhance the ability of disadvantaged communities to access resources for environmental and climate justice activities. The activities to be performed under the grants are expected to fall under the following categories:

  • Climate resiliency and adaptation.
  • Mitigating climate and health risks from urban heat islands, extreme heat, wood heater emissions, and wildfire events.
  • Community-led air and other (including water and waste) pollution monitoring, prevention, and remediation.
  • Investments in low- and zero-emission and resilient technologies and related infrastructure.
  • Workforce development that supports the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants.
  • Reducing indoor toxins and indoor air pollution.
  • Facilitating the engagement of disadvantaged communities in state and federal advisory groups, workshops, rulemaking, and other public processes.

Environmental engineers, consultants, and scientists at SCS devise and implement solutions for pollution, energy consumption and emissions reductions, land remediation, water/wastewater treatment, and waste management. For assistance with Community Change Grants, contact or visit SCS’s Brownfields and Voluntary Remediation site.



Posted by Diane Samuels at 8:45 am

Doug Doerr, PE, Elected President and CEO of SCS Engineers

November 9, 2023

SCS Engineers provides environmental engineers, professional consultants, scientists, and field technicians who design, build, operate, and monitor sustainable environmental solutions.


SCS Engineers announces that the firm’s Board of Directors elected Doug Doerr as President and Chief Executive Officer. James J. Walsh, the current President and CEO, will turn over his responsibilities to Doerr on January 1, 2024.

Doug Doerr, PE, SCS Engineers

Doerr, a Senior Vice President, has over three decades of professional engineering experience spanning the firm’s solid waste and environmental services practices. He brings strategic direction and operations experience as SCS’s geographically largest Business Unit Director. Doerr also serves on SCS’s Board of Directors and was one of the founding principals of Aquaterra Environmental Solutions, Inc., which merged with SCS in 2013.

A Professional Engineer in six states, Doerr earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and his Master of Business Administration at the University of Kansas. He serves clients in North America by providing technical expertise, primarily in the solid waste management and utility sectors.

As an engineer and consultant, Doerr prides himself on providing environmental solutions to address clients’ technical and regulatory challenges by understanding the business, economic, and social drivers that frame each challenge. Over his career, he has successfully implemented hundreds of environmental solutions that involve studies, permitting, compliance, and design across multiple market sectors for public and private clients.

“Our deep bench of engineers, scientists, consulting professionals, and environmental technicians are employee-owners who drive SCS as one company, keeping us sustainable for over 50 years. From our client’s perspective, our stability and holistic expertise bring a wealth of resources to achieve their goals,” says Doerr.

Walsh will continue to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors and assist Doerr as he transitions into the CEO role. Walsh also plans to spend more time on technical and client work as an expert witness, an authority on elevated temperature landfills, and an expert in the solid waste industry.

Under Walsh’s 22-year tenure, SCS Engineers and its specialty practices, SCS Field Services, SCS Energy, and SCS Tracer have grown tremendously. Walsh, senior executives, and the Board of Directors feel 2024 is an opportune time for the transition.

“We have a stellar reputation, we’re financially healthy, our Employee Stock Ownership Plan is strong, and we have the next generation of leadership ready to lead the company into the future,” states Walsh.

SCS Engineers’ environmental solutions and technology directly result from our experience and dedication to industries responsible for safeguarding the environment as they deliver essential services and products. SCS Engineers has captured or beneficially used more greenhouse gases than any other environmental engineering firm in the U.S. Please visit our website for a greeting from our CEO elect, or watch our video to see what we can do for your business and community.


Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Open Doors for Properties with a Past

November 7, 2023

Open New Doors for Properties with a Past with Brownfields Remediation


The 2023 West Virginia Brownfields and Main Street Conference hosted by EPA Region 3 Technical Assistance to Brownfields (TAB) providers West Virginia University and Marshall University highlighted redevelopment projects in Wheeling, where EPA Brownfield Grant money has helped the community reimagine their downtown area. Wheeling is a city rooted in industry and was a center for glass-making in the 19th and 20th centuries. The conference reception in the “Glass Museum” displays examples of locally manufactured glass and provides the history and significance of the pieces.

The EPA’s grant writing workshop helped participants interested in applying for EPA Brownfields grants in the current FY24 cycle. The new grant recipient meeting, a requirement for all new grantees, brought together EPA Region 3 administrators, TAB providers, and grant recipients to encourage exchanging ideas and support for those navigating the complex programmatic requirements.

Mobile workshops offered opportunities for conference participants to experience first-hand the successes and challenges associated with brownfield properties. One mobile workshop included a downtown Wheeling tour highlighting the historic structures being repurposed thanks to Brownfields grants and historic tax credits. The Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle hosted a workshop consisting of a tour of three brownfield sites in nearby communities along the Ohio River and a discussion of the challenges associated with historic preservation and redevelopment.

SCS Engineers’ Candy Elliott, PG, presented Environmental Justice and Public Health, and Dave Palmerton, PG, presented Brownfields into Renewable Energy Hubs.

The final “add-on” to the conference was the traditional Women in Brownfields breakfast. A panel of three accomplished women who live and work in Wheeling participated in a conversation about their experiences with brownfield properties and historic redevelopment. All three women either have renovated or are in the process of renovating historic structures in downtown Wheeling. While each woman had a unique background and association with the City of Wheeling, they shared the goal of creating a thriving community by redeveloping brownfields.

It is challenging to restore properties with a past, but you can do it on time and budget if you plan ahead to address contaminated historic fill. Follow these tips and use the brownfield redevelopment checklist to keep your next redevelopment on track.



Case Studies

Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:06 am

Manufacturers Association Environment and Energy Summary

October 20, 2023

Industry decision-makers and operators learn how to be greener, plan for new regulations, and keep production goals.


This year’s annual Illinois Manufacturers Association Environment and Energy Conference attracted many attendees and presenters from industry, consultants, and regulatory officials. Notable takeaways included a passionate appeal from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to be patient and proactive on permitting issues as the agency expands its workforce to support Illinois manufacturers’ economic growth and expansion plans. IEPA notes that they seek a partnership with industry rather than an antagonistic relationship and strongly support the state’s development while acknowledging they are bound to federal regulations. The more timely, accurate, and clear permit applications can be prepared, the faster the approval process.

Clean Air Act Changes

Major focuses of the IEPA remain on tracking current and proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS), which currently designate East St. Louis and Chicago areas as non-attainment zones for ozone and portions of Madison County as non-attainment zones for sulfur dioxide. Proposed reductions in the allowable limits for particulate matter (PM) 2.5 micrometers (µg/m³) under the Clean Air Act, which could go into effect at any time, will result in the designation of additional non-attainment areas in Illinois and, accordingly, far greater difficulty in air permitting for new or expanding facilities. The current annual average primary standard for PM 2.5 is 12 µg/m³, whereas the proposed standard will likely fall to between 9-10 µg/m³.

Permitting and Enforcement of NPDES

Presenters also noted that in Illinois, the IEPA issues National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits rather than the USEPA. However, USEPA can still issue enforcement violations. Furthermore, many wastewater treatment plants have pre-treatment effluent requirements for industrial users to address potential pollution problems as part of their NPDES permits. These requirements will become increasingly strict when/if PFAS are declared a hazardous substance under CERCLA.

Extended Producer Responsibility

Another noteworthy topic was the burgeoning practice of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Much like RCRA, which requires cradle-to-grave tracking of hazardous materials, EPR deals with tracking non-hazardous materials, such as packaging, from creation through disposal with the goal of reducing landfill wastes via industry-subsidized source reduction and recycling programs. While Illinois is not currently one of the six states (California, Colorado, Maine, Oregon, New Jersey, and Washington) with mandated EPR or equivalent laws, multiple bills proposed in Illinois and elsewhere would require these types of programs for many market segments. Manufacturers are considering what steps they would need to take if a similar bill passes in Illinois. Particularly noteworthy is that these laws apply to states where products are distributed, not merely produced.

Sustainability and Decarbonization in the Energy Sector

Finally, presenters from various energy companies and consulting firms spoke about the path forward for sustainability and decarbonization in the energy sector, noting that it must combine natural gas, nuclear power, and traditional renewables like wind and solar to meet customer needs. SCS’s very own Dr. Charles Hostetler spoke on carbon capture methods (such as geologic sequestration of carbon in Class VI wells) and other operational strategies of manufacturers, electric utilities, solid waste facility owners/operators, and other property owners/developers to address the evolving landscape of environmental regulations.

Industry/Manufacturing Essentials

Keep close tabs on new legislation and regulation changes to assure compliance and avoid costly fines or operational delays. Partnerships with environmental consultants who have strong, established relationships with federal, state, and local agencies and have their finger on the pulse of the environmental landscape are the best way to accomplish your goals as the regulatory scene changes.


About the Author: Rachel McShane, LEP, has over 15 years of experience in environmental due diligence projects (Phase I, II and III Environmental Site Assessments) as well as Brownfields redevelopment, risk-based corrective action, and remediation projects. She is familiar with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental assessments, vapor investigations and mitigation, radon, asbestos, lead-based paint surveys, and leachate monitoring/solid waste management. Reach Ms. McShane at  or via LinkedIn.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:28 pm

Efficient Soil Transfer During Land Recycling

October 13, 2023

soil disposal and remediation
Environmental Consultant Keith Etchells’ advice in this C&D Magazine article to keep compliant with regulatory agencies and costs low during soil disposal.


By proactively complying with regulations and complet­ing a progressive assessment process, remediation con­tractors can avoid project delays and minimize the risks of improper soil transfer. While soil remediation in situ is preferable, it is not always possible.

Assessing and managing regulated waste soil and “clean” or inert soil is an important element in construction and demolition. To succeed, it’s necessary to understand the regulatory and legal framework regarding proper soil transport and disposal in a development setting and to develop best practices to avoid the risk and liability of ship­ping contaminated soil to unauthorized destinations.

Naturally occurring metals such as arsenic can be elevat­ed because of regional geologic sources that exceed regu­latory screening levels and disposal standards. Are these hazardous wastes? That depends on the concentrations of the chemical constituents or metals in the soil. Proper­ties with previous land use often show concentrations of these constituents in the soil below hazardous waste levels but high enough to designate certain soils as regulated non­hazardous waste. Contractors must dispose of or recycle this soil at a properly licensed facility or face heavy penalties.

If your project requires importing and exporting soil, follow Environmental Consultant Keith Etchells’ advice in this C&D Magazine article to keep compliant with regulatory agencies and costs low during soil disposal.

Read The Ins and Outs of Efficient Soil Transfer


About the Author: Keith Etchells is a professional geologist and hydrogeologist with 22 years of experience assisting clients in managing environmental risks associated with ownership, transfer, or operation of commercial, industrial, and waste disposal properties. His particular technical expertise involves aspects of groundwater science and engineering relevant to contaminated sites and landfills designing analytical, geotechnical, and hydrogeological data collection programs to complete subsurface assessment and land remediation. Reach out to Keith on LinkedIn or at .




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Ubiquitous Emerging Contaminant 6PPD in Rubber Tires

October 11, 2023

Emerging contaminants - 6PPD - 6PPD-quinone - 6PPD-q
Recent studies have shown that the reaction of 6PPD in rubber tires with the oxygen and ozone in the air generates transformation products, including 6PPD-quinone. Many questions remain unanswered before we better understand the environmental and toxicological impacts of 6PPD-q and develop potential solutions; here are some ongoing efforts.


In response to a significant decrease in salmonid fish populations in urban streams, including several listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), several West Coast organizations conducted studies to evaluate the cause. In 2020, a culprit was identified – a breakdown compound commonly found in tires: 6PPD.

6PPD (N-(1,3-Dimethylbutyl)-N’-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine; C18H24N2 CAS 793-24-8) is an additive in the manufacturing of both natural rubber and common synthetic rubbers such as butyl rubber and styrene-butadiene rubber. It is a highly effective anti-oxidant. In layman’s terms, it helps tires resist degradation caused by exposure to oxygen, ozone, and fluctuating temperatures. According to the US Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), all USTMA members use it (USTMA website, 15 Aug 2023).

Recent studies have shown that the reaction of 6PPD in rubber tires with the oxygen and ozone in the air generates transformation products, including storm (6PPD-q; 2-((4-Methylpentan-2-yl) amino)-5-(phenylamino) cyclohexa-2,5-diene-1,4-dione; C18H22N2O2; CAS 2754428-18-5).


As tires wear, tire wear particles (TWP) and fragments containing 6PPD-q can be carried by stormwater runoff from roadways and parking lots to aquatic environments, such as salmonid spawning streams.

For instance, recent studies indicate that 6PPD-q present in such waters may be acutely toxic to coho salmon, including juveniles. A study by Tian and others indicates that 6PPD-q toxicity to coho salmon ranks among the most toxic chemicals for which the US Environmental Protection Agency has established aquatic life criteria.

Subsequent studies indicate that 6PPD-q exhibits large differences in species sensitivity, with reduced toxicity to steelhead trout, Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and brook trout. No mortality was observed with sockeye salmon, chum salmon, Atlantic salmon, brown trout arctic char, and white sturgeon. Regardless, the impacts on coho salmon and other species may be significant.

Many questions remain unanswered before we better understand the environmental and toxicological impacts of 6PPD-q and develop potential solutions. Ongoing efforts include the following:

  • USTMA is working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Tire Industry Panel (TIP), and others to lead research efforts to fill data gaps. USTMA also works with EPA and state regulatory agencies in California, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State.
  • The Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC) developed a new Tire Anti-Degradants Team in 2023.
  • US EPA is considering 6PPD-q for the sixth Candidate Contaminant List (CCL). The CCL is a list of contaminants currently not subject to any proposed or promulgated national primary drinking water regulations that are known or anticipated to occur in public water systems and may require regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
  • The Puget Sound Federal Task Force Action Plan, 2022-2026, includes a series of goals related to 6PPD and 6PPD-q, including the development and standardization of analytical methods and additional aquatic toxicity research.

Whether 6PPD-q contamination will become a significant issue outside spawning regions of coho salmon and other ESA-listed fish species remains to be seen. Bioaccumulation in higher-order animals may also be an issue; more research is underway.


About the Authors:

Jeff MarshallJeff Marshall, PE in five states, is a vice president and the practice leader for the Environmental Services Practice for SCS offices on the eastern seaboard. He also serves as the SCS National Partner for Innovative Technologies and Emerging Contaminants. He has a diversified background in project engineering and management, with emphasis on the environmental chemistry and human health aspects of hazardous materials/waste management, site investigations, waste treatment, risk-based remediation and redevelopment, and environmental compliance/permitting issues.

shane latimerDr. Shane Latimer, CSE, is an SCS vice president. He is an environmental planner, ecologist, and toxicologist with three decades of experience in environmental assessment, planning, permitting, and implementation. His specialty is developing projects that challenge the interface between the built and natural environment, such as solid waste facilities, oil and gas infrastructure, mines, sewage treatment facilities, and similar developments. Solutions for these projects often require careful assessments of alternatives, impacts, and opportunities to successfully navigate the applicable public regulatory processes (e.g., NEPA, local land use, etc.) and ensure environmental integrity.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Solving the Saltation Problem

October 6, 2023

Saltation is particle transport driven by water or wind. It can be Zen-like or disruptive to the environment.


What is Saltation?

Wind, sand, and dust storms will become more prevalent as the dry season approaches. One phenomenon that occurs during dust storms is saltation. Saltation is a method of particle transport driven by a fluid—in this case, wind.

The winds mobilize the sand and dust, resulting in major impacts on the environment, economy, and human health.

Finer particulates (<0.1mm) are generally suspended in the moving fluid, are carried into the atmosphere, and can be brought back down to the surface via precipitation. These particulates can travel over hundreds of miles. Coarser particulates (0.5 – 1mm) exhibit “soil creep,” where they roll, slide, or are pushed along with the wind, rarely coming off the surface.

Mid-range particulates—those that fall in the 0.1 – 0.5mm range—are subject to saltation. With wind speeds that hit a critical value, these particulates are carried by the wind and exhibit a lifting and falling motion, similar to bouncing. Once the particle has gained enough acceleration, it can either (1) collide with particles on the ground and dislodge them into motion at wind velocities lower than those required to move them by wind alone. This process is called reptation. Or (2) through the process of attrition, break into smaller particles upon impact and continue the loop. Saltation occurs within 30cm of the surface and accounts for 50 – 90% of the total movement of soil by wind.

Regardless of the mechanism, these Aeolian processes create ripples and dunes in the landscape. Sand accumulates on the windward side and slides down the leeward face. Both ripples and dunes are comprised of an asymmetrical wave with longer, gradual upwind slopes and shorter, steeper downwind slopes.

What impacts does saltation have?

Sand and dust storms generally occur in arid and semi-arid regions but are also prevalent in agricultural areas and coastal zones. Notable areas in California that are subject to these storms are the Salton Sea, Mono Lake, the Central Valley area, as well as coastal dunes. These environments exhibit either sparse or nonexistent vegetation cover, plenty of fine sediment such as clay, silt, or sand, and relatively strong winds. The winds mobilize the sand and dust, resulting in major impacts on the environment, economy, and human health.

  1. Environmentally, salt and nutrients can be deposited in creeks and rivers, causing harmful algal blooms that disrupt wildlife and are toxic to humans.
  2. Agriculturally, saltation can remove the top layer of fertile soil and organic matter or can bury or sandblast pastures and crops. Both of these scenarios reduced the productive yield of the land and were experienced and well-documented during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
  3. Economically (aside from agricultural impacts), structures, fences, and roads can be sandblasted by windblown dust and buried.
  4. Health-wise, airborne particulates can impact air quality and visibility and cause asthma, COPD, and lung cancer, among many other health problems.

How do we measure saltation?

We can assess the emissions of particulates due to saltation in a few ways.

Sand Flux Measurements

Saltating particles travel relatively small distances during wind events, so measurements of horizontal sand flux can indicate the amount of wind erosion occurring. One method for conducting sand flux measurements requires two instruments: a Cox Sand Catcher (CSC)— essentially a particle collection bin—and a Sensit—a real-time particle impact sensor. Placing the inlet of the Sand Catcher and the sensor of the Sensit at the same height, generally 15cm above the surface, assures accuracy. These two instruments are collocated at sites 100 – 1000m apart, and placing additional CSC units in the field without collocated Sensits provides better spatial resolution.

Sample tubes within the Sand Catchers are collected monthly, or more frequently during windy periods, and then delivered to the gravimetric lab for weighing. Sensits use a piezo electrical crystal to continuously detect and measure saltation activity as particle count and kinetic energy. Saltation flux is a mass measurement of particles that pass horizontally through a vertical plane; this is measured in units of mass/area, as opposed to PM concentration, measured in units of mass/volume.

Once this is determined, PM can be estimated using dispersion modeling programs such as AERMOD or CALPUFF.


Particle Counters

The SANTRI (Standalone AeoliaN Transport Real-time Instrument) is a particle counter that operates on the principle of interruptions through a wavelength of light. It counts particles as they pass through an infrared beam, detecting up to seven (7) different grain-size ranges.

SANTRIs require a solar panel and a water-resistant electrical enclosure containing a 12V lead-acid battery to provide power. The enclosure mounts on a freely rotating pole with a wind vane attached, allowing it to align with the wind direction.

One problem with the SANTRI as an optical sensor is it can overestimate particle transport when particles moving largely outside the detection beam are partially registered and counted. Alternatively, finer particles may cause insufficient attenuation of the beam signal and, in turn, are underestimated.

Particulate Matter Monitoring

Ambient particulate matter monitors such as Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalances (TEOMs) and Beta Attenuation Monitors (BAMs) log hourly concentrations of PM10 or PM2.5.

TEOMs are gravimetric instruments that pull ambient air through a filter at a constant flow rate, simultaneously weigh the filter, and calculate the real-time mass concentration.

DustTraks Monitors are real-time, near reference instruments that can measure PM1, PM2.5, Respirable, PM10, and PM Total at the same time. It uses a light-scattering photometer. Due to their low power consumption, they can deploy easily in remote areas and help develop a correlation between Saltation and PM concentration in specific areas according to the soil type.

Studies show a strong positive correlation between saltation flux and downwind PM concentrations. Measuring saltation can allow us to estimate particulate matter lofted into the air we breathe; however, the inverse isn’t always true.

How do we mitigate saltation?

Depending on the local conditions, there are different means to reduce the occurrence or compounding effects of saltation. Soil properties, topography, and meteorology are driving factors. Common methods are:

  • Habitat restoration and managed vegetation – to protect the soil surface with plant residue or growing plants
  • Tillage – to form ridges on the soil surface at right angles to the prevailing winds
  • Engineered roughness – to decrease the distance across a field that receives no shelter from wind

Climate change, saltation, and the role of environmental professionals

Nature can create beautiful landscapes of seemingly endless rolling waves of sand, but it can also be a major source of economic and human loss. As the climate continues to experience extremes, water scarcity and drought will further exasperate this problem in the western United States, among other regions with similar climate patterns. Lakes have been and will continue to dry and recede, exposing playa, and consequently, a major source of minerals and hyper saline particles subject to saltation.

Measurements of these natural phenomena can help us understand and plan for coexisting with nature in areas prone to wind events and storms. Measurement studies involving installing systems to quantify, assess, and control particulate matter in various locations surrounding a source—while costly and time-consuming as measurements take place on a years-long basis—are highly informative and help us adapt or create environmental solutions.


Eva LuuAbout the Author: Ms. Eva Luu is a project manager for the SCS Engineers’ specialty Tracer Environmental practice. She has over five years of experience in ambient air monitoring, ranging from black carbon in the LA basin, and formaldehyde at the highest peak in Germany, to odor mitigation in different applications nationwide. Ms. Luu conducts routine operation and inspection of air monitoring stations as well as the calibration and operation of pollutant analyzers, meteorological sensors, chart recorders, data acquisition systems, computers, and their associated software and peripherals. She also compiles monthly air monitoring reports and submits validated, processed data for air monitoring stations to the California Air Resource Board and the Santa Barbara County APCD. Ms. Luu has conducted various odor assessment projects across the nation, ranging from alternative agriculture farms to landfills. You may reach Eva at or LinkedIn if you want more information.


If you are interested in a career where your work matters to human health and the environment as Eva’s does — we’d enjoy hearing from you!



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Benefits of the Brownfields Reauthorization Act

October 4, 2023

environmental justice on brownfields projects - scs engineers
There has never been a better time to revitalize your community, not only in California, but nationwide!


In a nutshell, the Brownfields Reauthorization Act of 2023 reauthorizes the Brownfields Program through Fiscal Year 2029 and makes the program more accessible to small and disadvantaged communities. The legislation does so by reducing financial barriers to participation and by encouraging greater community participation in decision-making processes. The following are highlights:

  • Removes the statutorily imposed 5% cap on administrative costs, providing grantees greater flexibility to manage their administrative burdens while aligning the Brownfields Program with other EPA grant authorities. This action also enables smaller communities to more effectively compete with larger government entities, which typically have greater budgetary resources to absorb the overhead costs associated with applying for and complying with grants.
  • Reduces the overall cost-share requirement from 20% to 10% while exempting small and disadvantaged communities from cost-shares entirely;
  • Amends the competitive grant’s ranking criteria to incentivize grant applicants to engage with local groups and organizations meaningfully;
  • Increases the amount that the EPA can award for each contaminated site to account for increased costs for assessment, cleanups, and technical training; and,
  • Increases the funding authorization for state cleanup programs to $75 million annually by Fiscal Year 2029.

Click here to access a slightly longer Brownfields Reauthorization Act summary.


Additional Resources to Jump Start Your Community Project:



Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

EPA FY24 Brownfields Grants Now Available

September 22, 2023

Revitalize your community!


Millions in FY24 Brownfields Grants Available – Deadline for Submissions is November 13, 2023

EPA anticipates awarding an estimated 60 Community-wide Assessment Grants for an estimated total of $30 million, subject to the quality of applications received, availability of funds, and other applicable considerations.

A Community-wide Assessment Grant is appropriate for communities beginning to address their brownfield challenges and for communities with ongoing efforts to bring sites into productive reuse. The project period for Community-wide Assessment Grants is up to four years.

Open EPA Brownfields Grant Funding Opportunities in FY24  — Applications for each are due November 13, 2023

FY 2024 Technical Assistance to Tribal Nations and Entities Addressing Brownfields Grant $4 million, with a $4 m ceiling, one grant expected

FY 2024 Multipurpose Grants $20 million, with a $1 m ceiling, 20 grants expected

FY 2024 Community-wide Assessment Grants $30 million, with a $.5 m ceiling, 60 grants expected

FY 2024 Assessment Coalition Grants  $40 million, with a $1.5 m ceiling, 26 grants expected

FY 2024 Community-wide Assessment Grants for States and Tribes $50 million, with a $2 m ceiling, 25 grants expected

FY 2024 Cleanup Grants $95 million, with a $5 m ceiling, 65 grants expected

The closing date and time for receipt of applications is November 13, 2023, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). You must submit applications through https://www.grants.gov/. Please take a look at the Due Date and Submission Instructions in Section IV.B. and Appendix 1 for more instructions.


Please contact your EPA regional support staff or SCS Engineers at for help. We’re happy to help answer questions.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:11 pm

EPA Releases First of Twelve Datasets on PFAS and Lithium in Drinking Water

September 14, 2023

SCS Engineers Environmental Consulting and Contracting
Managing and Treating PFAS and Lithium


On August 17, 2023, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the first of twelve datasets (representing approximately 7% of the total data that it plans to collect) on 29 polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and lithium (an alkali metal) in our nation’s drinking water. This sampling will continue through 2026, and is the latest action delivering on the EPA PFAS Strategic Roadmap, which dictates that PFAS (an emerging contaminant pending regulations under CERCLA) requires a multi-agency approach and specific actionable steps to assess risks to human and environmental health better, hold polluters accountable, and identify the extent of the problem.

Monitoring PFAS and lithium is currently under the fifth Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR 5). The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) requires that the EPA issue a list of unregulated but potentially harmful contaminants every five years and devise a protocol for monitoring those contaminants in public water systems (PWSs).

The current UCMR 5 regulatory framework allows for collecting PFAS and lithium data throughout the United States. It aims to create science-based decision-making regarding how to address these chemicals best. Results, which will get quarterly updates, can be reviewed by the public on the EPA’s National Contaminant Occurrence Database.

While there is not currently a final drinking water standard in place for PFAS, EPA has already issued health advisories for four PFAS compounds, and two of them – perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) – have also been proposed for entry as hazardous substances under CERCLA, as of March 2023. The timeline for the final rule on PFAS CERCLA designation is now February 2024. Landfills and other passive receivers are seeking relief from CERCLA contribution litigation prior to designating PFAS as hazardous substances, as they have no control over the use and disposal of hundreds of thousands of products containing PFOA and PFOS.

This first set of data does appear to raise some red flags, though it is not uniformly indicative of widespread contamination. In Missouri, for example, 1,923 distinct water samples were obtained from 22 different PWSs (from a mix of wells and treatment plants) in communities throughout the state. Of these samples, 23 are scattered between 11 facilities containing lithium at concentrations in excess of the laboratory Method Reporting Limit (MRL) of 9 micrograms per liter (µg/L), some by many orders of magnitude. Only two PFAS compounds (PFOS and PFHxS) are above their MRLs (0.004 µg/L and 0.003 µg/L, respectively), both from the North Rodeo Well of the Camdenton PWS.

This data will ultimately be immensely useful for public sector officials trying to make policy decisions regarding PFAS and lithium management, fine-tuning community engagement/education efforts, and for private sector industries seeking to get a handle on potential liabilities. SCS Engineers and other qualified environmental firms are poised to be essential partners to national leaders in identifying and remedying emerging contaminants such as PFAS. Many technologies proven to work on a large scale are available, with more promising technologies on the horizon.


Find additional regulatory information using the links below:


Impacts on Sectors and Treatments:


About the Author: Rachel McShane, LEP, has over 15 years of experience in environmental due diligence projects (Phase I, II and III Environmental Site Assessments) as well as Brownfields redevelopment, risk-based corrective action, and remediation projects. She is familiar with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental assessments, vapor investigations and mitigation, radon, asbestos, lead-based paint surveys, and leachate monitoring/solid waste management. Reach Ms. McShane at  or via LinkedIn.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am