Vapor Intrusion – What is it and How Can it Effect Me?

Written by Steve Henshaw, P.G., President and CEO of EnviroForensics

As seen in the November 2008 issue of Western Cleaner & Launderer

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What is It?

Vapor intrusion is the migration of volatile chemicals, primarily volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) from the subsurface into overlying buildings. Vapor intrusion requires three components: a source, an inhabited building, and a pathway from the source to the inhabitants.

Over the past few years, vapor intrusion has become a significant environmental issue, one that may have a direct impact on your dry cleaning operation.  In fact, just last spring,  the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), the association responsible for creating the procedures and standards for conducting due diligence for banks lending and financing on real property, has suggested that vapor intrusion issues be considered when loaning on real property.   That is to say, is it likely that vapors are coming off of contaminated soil and groundwater that may migrate underneath buildings and enter basements, crawl spaces and confined spaces and rooms.    Figure 1 is an example of a situation where vapors could enter a commercial or residential building. Continue reading “Vapor Intrusion – What is it and How Can it Effect Me?”

Environmental Corner

Written by Steve Henshaw, P.G., President and CEO, EnviroForensics
As seen in the October 2008 issue of Western Cleaner & Launderer

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Over the past few years, Randy Wendt, the editor of Western Cleaners and Launderers, and I have talked about various environmental issues that threaten the financial viability of operating a dry cleaning business.  Last month Randy asked if I would be willing to prepare periodic articles for this publication focusing on educating dry cleaners about these various issues.  As a staunch supporter of the dry cleaner industry, I am pleased to share my experiences and thoughts with readers, in an effort to demystify the topic of environmental contamination, the process of site investigations, describe different remedial alternatives, and provide insight on ways to protect you from this long tail liability.  I welcome your feedback and topic requests. Continue reading “Environmental Corner”

Insurance Archaeology – What is it and Why is it Beneficial?

Published in Fabricare The Magazine of Drycleaning & Laundry Institute Sep/Oct 2008

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Insurance archeology is the process of location and finding historical insurance policies that covered individuals and businesses. Historical insurance can be a huge benefit to drycleaners, as old policies can be used to pay for costs associated with soil and groundwater contamination investigations, legal representation, and even the cleanup of contaminated sits. Continue reading “Insurance Archaeology – What is it and Why is it Beneficial?”

Finding Gold In Discarded Policies

By Neela Eyunni
As Published in Law Week Colorado, Sept. 1, 2008, Vol. 6, No. 35

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DENVER—Archeologist David O’Neill meticulously sifts trough historical artifacts in an attempt to reconstruct the past, O’Neill, however, isn’t searching for fossils or prehistoric creatures. Instead, he’s looking for old insurance policies.

O’Neill is the director of Policy Find, an insurance “archeology” firm that recovers lost insurance policies to provide indemnity for clients struggling with long-term claims, various state courts have evolved to revive general and product liability insurance policies that were once considered expired, said O’Neill.
“These lost or discarded policies have he potential to fund costly environmental investigations or pay product liability defense costs, often saving corporate and small business policyholders from economic ruin,” he said. Continue reading “Finding Gold In Discarded Policies”

Claim Digger

Written by Scott Olson
Published in IBJ Article August 25-31, 2008 Vol 29 No. 25

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Like an archeologist combing through artifacts of the ancient past. O’Neill labors to construct liability insurance policies once considered expired. They often are as valuable as lost treasures-funding expensive environmental investigations or paying product liability defense costs, and ultimately saving corporate and small business policyholders from economic ruin. Continue reading “Claim Digger”