You Sold Your Business and You’re in the Clear…..Not So Fast

Written by Steve Henshaw, P.G., President & CEO, EnviroForensics.
As seen in the September 2011 issue of Cleaner & Launderer.

PDF Version

You worked hard to grow your business and you had the good fortune to sell it for a profit.  You had your lawyer look over the sale contract and you even had the buyer indemnify you for future environmental claims, should they ever arise.  You did everything right and now it’s time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Several years pass and one day you get a letter in the mail.  The letter is sent “certified” and you have to sign for it.  You open the letter, it’s from the state environmental regulatory department informing you that as a past owner and/or operator of the sold business, you are responsible for groundwater contamination. Continue reading “You Sold Your Business and You’re in the Clear…..Not So Fast”

What Drives an Environmental Cleanup?

Written by Stephen Henshaw, P.G., President and CEO, EnviroForensics
As seen in the August 2010 issue of Cleaner & Launderer

PDF Version

I frequently get calls from dry cleaners asking for advice and one of the common questions is, “How much is it going to cost to cleanup my site?” Knowing that my dry cleaner friend is looking for an answer better than “depends” and realizing that it is impossible to give him an accurate cost without knowing a lot more about the site conditions, I find myself walking a bit of a tightrope. Environmental cleanups are driven by several factors, but the primary factor is risk. The risk is whether the chemical release could impact the environmental that supports animal life, as an example, wetlands, creeks, streams, lakes and oceans.

Of course, in stating these primary risk factors, one cannot ignore property damage immediately below the cleaners or at the adjacent properties where contamination has migrated. And last but not least, a regulatory agency can bring a third party claim against a dry cleaner to cleanup contamination to the lowest of levels, but in general the primary factors presented apply.

So, how can one determine whether or not a threat exists or is present to human health and/or the environment? We have to determine if the release has reached either people or the environment. Continue reading “What Drives an Environmental Cleanup?”

Good Housekeeping Includes Good Record Keeping

Written by Steve Henshaw, President and CEO of EnviroForensics and PolicyFind
As seen in the December 2009 issue of Western Cleaner & Launderer

PDF Version

You can tell a lot about a drycleaner’s operation by the way that he conducts housekeeping. That is to say that if a drycleaner keeps a clean store, he probably handles chemicals in a manner that minimizes environmental releases. However, good housekeeping alone may not keep you out of hot water with the regulatory agencies.

There are some simple, effective and inexpensive ways to protect your business and your assets from liability by keeping good records. If you’ve ever watched one of the procedural crime dramas, the plot usually turns around “the evidence.” Creating, organizing and maintaining records can be the evidence that keeps you out of trouble. Hazardous waste manifests, perc purchase/disposal records, transporter license numbers and treatment facility identification numbers are all examples of things you should (or, in some cases, must) keep records of. However, those records aren’t just in case of a major problem. They can help you identify a minor problem before it gets serious. Continue reading “Good Housekeeping Includes Good Record Keeping”

Locate And Keep Old Insurance Policies Safe to Protect Assets

Written By Steve Henshaw, P.G., President and CEO of EnviroForensics and PolicyFind
Drycleaners News June 2009 Issue

PDF Version

How many drycleaners do you know who own their business and building? Some drycleaners may have thought they had an asset, only to find out that the building is contaminated and cleaning it up will cost a lot of money.

Many drycleaners have always followed the law and managed a clean and respectable business, but they later find out that the rules they had followed for years have become more stringent. Other drycleaners would like to eventually pass the business on to their children but are afraid of handing them an environmental liability. Continue reading “Locate And Keep Old Insurance Policies Safe to Protect Assets”

State of California Targets Dry Cleaners

Written By Steve Henshaw, P.G., President & CEO, EnviroForensics
As seen in the May 2009 issue of Western Cleaner & Launderer.

PDF Version

Dating back to March 1992when the California Regional Water Quality Control Board published a report entitled, “Dry Cleaners – A Major Source of PCE in Groundwater,” the state of California has concentrated its regional groundwater investigations on dry cleaning facilities. Although the March 1992 report looked at other industries as potential sources of perchloroethylene (PCE) groundwater contamination, it concentrated its investigation on dry cleaners. Continue reading “State of California Targets Dry Cleaners”