Long-term Stewardship of Contaminated Sites, Vapor Intrusion Mitigation and Monitoring Fit the Requirements

Written by Stephen R. Henshaw, President & CEO, EnviroForensics

As seen in the December 2014 issue of Cleaner & Launderer

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The latest wrinkle in the cleanup process of sites contaminated with chlorinated solvents (PCE and TCE) is in understanding how long the site, and those sites downgradient, will need to be monitored when complete contaminant removal is not possible and potential human exposure remains. Generally speaking, the more contamination left in place, the longer the site will need to be monitored. I want to tell you this because the cleanup costs that will be generated for your site, will be greatly affected by two things; 1) the removal of contaminated soil and groundwater in the source area and 2) the long-term monitoring requirements (how many locations need to be monitored and for how long). If you are not aware of these two big issues, you are not looking at the full picture and you could be unwittingly reviewing cleanup cost estimates that may have been prepared using the old “bait and switch”.

Let me make no bones about it, the environmental consulting industry is highly competitive and like many purchases consumers make, price is a large factor when you select a consultant to clean up environmental contamination. Nowhere is this price more susceptible to variation than in asking for the consultant to give a true site closure cost estimate. The most important thing to understand about what I am telling you is that you know to ask the hard questions about the provided cost to closure and don’t get caught up in hearing what you want to hear. Consultants don’t enjoy being the bearer of bad news and they realize that they might be competitively shopped, especially if the provided costs are higher than the party paying for the contamination expects. Consequently, the consultant may try to soft pedal the remediation costs. I refer to this as, “telling people what they want to hear”. I see this all the time, particularly when insurance companies are responsible for paying for the cleanup. Continue reading “Long-term Stewardship of Contaminated Sites, Vapor Intrusion Mitigation and Monitoring Fit the Requirements”

Interview with Steve Henshaw and David O’Neill

David O’Neill & Stephen Henshaw, Edited for continuity and clarity.
Vol. 1, No. 2,Thursday, January 29, 2004

Stephen Henshaw is the founder and President/CEO of EnviroForensics (headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana), the only environmental consulting firm in the country (to our knowledge) that combines environment investigation/engineering/design expertise with insurance coverage and settlement resolution expertise. It is this latter specialty that interested us the most, as over the years the company has carved a niche for itself in the field of insurance archaeology, especially for small to mid-sized businesses. David O’Neill is the company’s chief insurance archaeologist. O’Neill, an attorney, with an insurance background, and Henshaw, in the following interview, gave us a primer on insurance archaeology. Continue reading “Interview with Steve Henshaw and David O’Neill”

Interview with Steve Henshaw and Dave O’Neill Part 2 of 4

USILR: What is the specialized set of tools that insurance archaeologists use

Interview with Steve Henshaw, P.G., President & CEO, EnviroForensics & PolicyFind, and David O’Neill, Director of Investigations, EnviroForensics and PolicyFind

O’Neill: First and foremost, the insurance archaeologist is a researcher. He must pay attention to detail and have strong perseverance. The insurance archaeologist needs awareness of the history of the insurance market; i.e. Lloyd’s development of the first broad-form third-party excess liability coverage forms, the emergence of the comprehensive general liability (CGL) policy in the American market and the revision of the policy forms by the Insurance Rating Bureau (IRB) and later the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO). Continue reading “Interview with Steve Henshaw and Dave O’Neill Part 2 of 4”