Contact your local SCS Office to ask our professionals for guidance in your jurisdiction.
New Chicago office location at 40 Shuman Boulevard, Suite 216, Naperville, IL 60563
SCS Engineers continues expanding its environmental team in its Chicago, Illinois office to meet environmental engineering and consulting needs focusing on waste management and the needs of the electric utilities. Driving demands are industries and municipalities seeking to reduce their environmental footprint while providing essential services and products.
Leading the Chicagoland team, Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist Scott Knoepke. Knoepke serves clients needing remediation and site redevelopment. This includes commercial dry cleaners, retail petroleum sites, and heavy industries such as steel, rail, coal, mining, manufacturing, metal cutting, and plating.
Meet the Crew!
Richard Southorn, PE, PG, with 20 years of experience, joins Knoepke supporting solid waste and electric utility sectors. Southorn began his career in the field performing CQA oversight, environmental monitoring, and soil core/rock core logging at landfill sites. He moved into landfill design and modeling, primarily to support landfill expansion projects. Richard has extensive experience with site layouts, geotechnical stability, stormwater management, and leachate generation analyses.
Brett Miller is a Senior Designer with over 20 years of experience and proficiency in AutoCAD Civil 3D and Maya. Brett is capable of any production drafting and is highly skilled in understanding 3D space. This helps him support designs that fit into site-specific, real-world environments. Brett also creates 3D models and animations that illustrate the benefits of a design to our clients.
Niko Villanueva, PE, joins SCS with eight years of experience. Niko provides engineering and drafting support and is experienced in designing various landfill systems such as stormwater management, leachate and gas control, and foundation analysis. He has also prepared cost estimates and construction bid quantities for various projects and construction quality assurance services at multiple facilities.
Meet Spencer LaBelle, with six years of experience. Spencer provides solutions for stormwater-related projects, including stormwater management system design, permitting, and compliance. He provides a diverse portfolio of clients and industries with stormwater-related services and environmental compliance.
Zack Christ, PE, comes to SCS with 15 years of experience in solid waste and CCR landfill sectors. Zack has experience performing CQA oversight and CQA management of landfill final cover, base liner, and GCCS; environmental monitoring; and logging soil borings. He also has extensive landfill design and CAD experience in developing landfill siting and permitting application projects. Zack’s areas of expertise include geotechnical analyses, stormwater management, leachate management design, GCCS design, and cost estimating.
The International Awards Committee and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Board of Directors unanimously voted to honor Tom Conrad, the “C” in SCS, with the Robert L. Lawrence Distinguished Service Award at WASTECON 2021 in November. The Lawrence award is the highest accolade SWANA bestows on a member of the waste management industry, reserved for those making meaningful and lasting contributions.
“I’m honored and humbled to be selected for the Robert L. Lawrence Award. I thank you and am especially thankful for what SWANA and SCS are today,” stated Tom Conrad.
SWANA recognizes Conrad for over 60 years of significant influence on the waste management and environmental services industry. Conrad, a Founder, Executive Vice President, and Director Emeritus of SCS Engineers, dedicated his career to advancing solid waste management, most notably through the founding of SCS Engineers (Stearns, Conrad, and Schmidt Consulting Engineers) more than 51 years ago.
Tom Conrad worked on a wide range of environmental engineering projects touching almost every aspect of solid waste management throughout his career. As an environmental engineering firm and consultant to the newly created US Environment Protection Agency (EPA), the founders recognized that responsible solid waste management was increasingly important for protecting the environment and the health and safety of the general public.
Leading SCS, he helped the EPA develop the first federal regulations for sanitary landfills, managing and capturing landfill gas, waste sorting protocols, sludge management, and land remediation.
Environmental services, including wastewater management, were always a significant part of SCS services and the waste industry. When new regulatory policies began expanding in the ’80s, SCS’s techniques, technology, and expertise helped a broad range of industries comply with environmental needs and continues today with the firm’s greenhouse gas, landfill technology, renewable energy, remediation, and sustainable materials management programs.
Conrad is also known for hiring and mentoring today’s SCS leaders, many of whom are SWANA leaders, by creating and fostering SCS’s culture encouraging employee participation in industry associations, community, and SCS’s mentorship and leadership programs.
Before his retirement in 2016, Conrad held professional engineering licenses in 24 states. He was a member of SWANA, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Waste and Recycling Association, and the Society of American Military Engineers.
He maintains his “work hard – play hard” lifestyle. He is active at SCS, participating in Board of Director meetings and speaking at the Young Professionals Group events and celebrations. While no longer mountain climbing and biking cross-country, he has a vigorous walking, swimming, and biking schedule.
“SCS is helping clients conserve natural resources, prevent and mitigate air, water, and soil, and revitalize properties once thought unsafe. It’s rewarding to know I’m supporting our clients, our citizens, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, and New Mexico Environmental Department with today’s environmental issues,” said Olness.
SCS Engineers’ Iain Olness, has more than 28 years of experience in the environmental industry, is now the Arizona and New Mexico senior project manager.
Olness is responsible for all phases of project management, client service, business development, and technical leadership and will oversee teams of professional staff. He also is the Arizona and New Mexico environmental services practice leader.
Olness has extensive experience in petroleum remediation, surface and subsurface contamination investigation, and Phase I and Phase II environmental site investigations. He also has expertise with public water supply well installation and groundwater modeling. Olness has completed hydrologic studies for the placement of new municipal wells, including the specifications for the installation and testing of the wells.
“Iain is a solid scientist with extensive environmental experience managing the challenges of underground storage tanks, site investigation and remediation projects, said senior vice president and southwest environmental services leader, Julio Nuno. “He is the ideal person to take on challenging environmental projects, supporting our clients’ businesses.”
Olness earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geology from the University of Minnesota, Morris, and a Master of Science in Geology from Eastern Washington University. He served as a volunteer youth soccer coach through the City of Peoria’s Recreation Department for ten years.
SCS Engineers welcomes Tim Smith, P.E, to the firm’s environmental engineering practice. As the Alabama Project Director, he and his team provide engineering and consulting to public and private entities in the region from the newest SCS Engineers office in Mobile.
Smith brings over 20 years of expertise in civil and environmental engineering, with a recent emphasis on program and operations management. A Professional Engineer licensed in six states, he supports economic development through the design, construction, and implementation of environmental remediation systems and during the restoration of large-scale brownfield redevelopment of properties to pristine condition.
During his career, he also supported the US Navy Installation Restoration Program (IRP) and Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP) and other industries that protect the public and the environment from the potential hazards associated with military or operations in the petroleum, aerospace, solid waste, and transportation industries. His work experience includes NPDES compliance and liquids treatment systems for effluents and processes for industrial plants and manufacturing facilities.
Previously, Smith managed environmental consulting activities for the I-10 Mobility Partners Design-Build Joint Venture (DBJV) tender for the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) a $2 billion project funded by a public-private partnership relieves traffic congestion and includes increasing vertical clearance assuring continued operations of Mobile’s maritime industry while raising the Bayway above the 100-year storm surge level.
The project is of economic and environmental importance; spanning an industrial area of Mobile and five rivers, including waters of the United States, wetlands, and threatened and endangered (T&E) species habitats. The environmental scope of work for the current bridge and Bayway alignment includes review and evaluation of 20 industrial sites with impacted soil and groundwater, review and evaluation of potential impacts to wetlands and T&E species, and identifying and mitigating risks associated with permitting and compliance for the project given the involvement of numerous State and Federal agencies.
“Tim’s expertise and regional knowledge enhance our ability to provide environmental services in Alabama that help support Mobile’s vibrant economy while protecting air, water, soil, and natural resources,” stated Carlo Lebron, Vice President of SCS Engineers’ Southeast region.
Did you know that vapor intrusion is an environmental issue impacting property development? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and related state agencies continue to develop and refine vapor intrusion procedures. How and when you address vapor intrusion can have a significant impact on your bottom line. These tips will help minimize the risk:
Invest in Early, Accurate Detection
Vapor intrusion happens when volatile chemicals from soil or groundwater contamination migrate into nearby buildings. These vapors can come from places like dry cleaners, gas stations, or industrial facilities, and like radon can affect people who live or work in impacted buildings. Prioritize due diligence because waiting can drive up costs. In one recent case in the news, vapor mitigation systems had to be installed in more than 70 homes near a corporation in Wisconsin to mitigate vapor intrusion issues. Even a small error in the sampling technique can dramatically affect the results. So early, accurate detection is key before you buy or build.
Get to Know Your Options
Once assessed, developers have multiple options for saving time and money. For example, it is far more cost effective to incorporate vapor barriers or HVAC controls into building construction rather than to fix the problem after the fact.
Find a Partner Who Knows the Rules
In 2017, some state agencies will update their vapor intrusion guidance documents to include more details on requirements for remediation and redevelopment sites. These regulations are actively evolving, so it’s important to work with someone who knows the changes to regulatory requirements and how they apply to your specific property.
If you are buying or selling a property, it’s time to think about vapor intrusion. Even if a property doesn’t have a history of contamination, it may still be affected if a nearby property has soil or groundwater contamination.
“Vapor Encroachment and Intrusion, What are the real estate risks?”
Journal of Property Management
Is Vapor Intrusion Threatening Your Site?
Public Works Magazine
Contact your local SCS Office to ask our professionals for guidance in your jurisdiction.