environmental services

Meet Iain Olness – SCS’s Environmental Services Industry Lead in Arizona and New Mexico

September 11, 2020

“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.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:01 pm

Tim Smith, P.E. Joins SCS Engineers Expanding Environmental Services in Alabama

August 28, 2019

Tim Smith, PE, SCS Engineers, Mobile, AL

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.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am

SCS Advice From the Field: Vapor Intrusion Assessment and Mitigation

January 16, 2017

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

Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Systems

Environmental Due Diligence and All Appropriate Inquiries

Brownfields and Voluntary Remediation

Contact your local SCS Office to ask our professionals for guidance in your jurisdiction.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 1:24 pm