KEM has demonstrated its ability to combine building inspection and asbestos assessment services with expertise in engineering and the performance of abatement, remediation, construction, and construction management services. Our professionals are certified for asbestos work in accordance with EPA, state, and local requirements.
Our asbestos projects typically begin with an assessment quantifying the type, location, quantity, and condition of asbestos containing materials (ACM) in a building. Then, we develop the costs for necessary removal, encapsulation, or a combination of both. KEM then provides its clients with a customized package of services to address their needs in a cost-effective manner.
We have provided complete “turn-key” asbestos services including removal of all ACM from multi-story office buildings and abatement and demolition services for major health care facilities. In addition, KEM, as Program Manager for the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, manages the asbestos within their facilities in Philadelphia and surrounding counties. KEM’s employees have significant experience in prosecuting asbestos cases under the Clean AirAct and AHERA — and maintain a keen eye towards good management practices.
For projects involving abandoned, contaminated properties or “Brownfield” sites, KEM has developed and implemented comprehensive sampling and analysis plans to assess the environmental conditions of the properties, their structures, and the surrounding area. Sampling plans have been developed to enable a comprehensive evaluation of the environmental condition of the site, and to prepare risk evaluations, remedial action plans, and, where appropriate, to support grant/financial aid requests.
KEM’s project experience includes a wide variety of Brownfields properties which, appeared to be without value. Sites included orphaned, multi-acre parcels located within special industrial zones, derelict abandoned buildings within the inner city, and abandoned industrial properties of national historical significance. Working with banks, developers and regulatory authorities, we have provided important guidance to our clients and returned these properties to productive use.
Building Condition Surveys
As part of our support of real estate transactions, we integrate environmental assessments with surveys to assess and document the physical condition of buildings and their surrounding grounds. Emphasis is given to site conditions, building construction, structural, mechanical, and electrical systems. These surveys give buyers technical information to help develop pricing, maintenance plans, and operating budgets. The assessments frequently include a determination of any viable additions of alternative energy sources They provide property owners with an objective evaluation of their property holdings.
The development of engineering plans and specifications for construction is another service which KEM offers. We have prepared and directed the preparation of construction documents for a variety of projects including water and wastewater treatment systems incorporated into major industrial facilities, mechanical systems for buildings and remediation projects, and the evaluation and design of surface and subsurface elements for Brownfields redevelopment projects.
In addition, KEM’s personnel have provided all of the construction services needed to complete conventional and innovative engineered remediation projects. These have included estimating, scheduling, bid package preparation, bid evaluations and awards, on-site oversight of field activities, field documentation and measurements, and certification of completion documentation.
KEM routinely provides emergency response to environmental incidents within our clients’ facilities or at their properties. We have responded to incidents caused by oil and gasoline spills, over-filled product tanks, chemical releases, mercury spills, leaks from PCB transformers, and damage to asbestos-containing building materials. Our responses typically incorporate on-scene incident management with the mobilization of resources needed to contain the release and/or minimize the environmental impact. Our personnel interact directly with regulatory agencies and municipal response teams, including state and federal on-scene coordinators (OSCs). Throughout the response action, we remain cognizant of our client’s obligations to protect public health, safety and the environment, and our client’s desire to avoid or minimize liability exposure.
Environmental Program Management
Since our inception more than 20 years ago, we have provided comprehensive project and program management services. These services have typically been provided for clients without the expertise, time, resources, or inclination to manage complex environmental energy and sustainability projects. KEM has provided services under contracts giving our personnel a high degree of autonomy, as well as responsibility, for the successful outcome of the work. We understand what is needed to keep our clients informed, how to manage other consultants and contractors, and how to work with regulatory officials, financiers and attorneys to maximize outcomes.
For a major pharmaceutical company, KEM provided program management services at a highly-ranked NPL Superfund site. We coordinated the engineering design, subsurface investigation, and the remedial construction. KEM represented this company at meetings with the EPA, the state environmental protection agency and the public. KEM prepared and submitted all regulatory agency deliverable documents and certified the installation and operational status of the remedial systems.
For the School District of Philadelphia, KEM provides comprehensive program management services for PCB transformers at locations throughout the city. KEM also managed a comprehensive risk-based, lead-in-drinking-water program at over 300 locations. Working with personnel from the School District, KEM developed, identified and prioritized project goals and objectives and was responsible for its implementation over a period of years. KEM’s activities have included the development of technical work scopes, schedules, budgets, technical management and oversight of remedial contractors, interface with regulatory authorities, as well as the development of applications for State funding to assist with projects being performed under Pennsylvania’s Act 2 and other Brownfields legislation.
KEM provides industrial hygiene expertise in the identification, assessment and control of workplace exposure hazards which may impact employee health and productivity. The identification, assessment, and control of these exposures are mandated by OSHA regulations and are necessary to prevent occupational illness or injury. Failure to control exposure hazards may result in fines, worker’s compensation claims, even disability litigation. We routinely provide field investigation reports and sampling surveys, documentation and other data, as well as interface with OSHA, employee groups, insurance companies, attorneys, and others involved in the exposure management or claims/litigation process.
Our projects benefit from our employees’ application of conventional and innovative investigation methods and treatment technologies. Note: We never use a technology experimentally on a client’s project. KEM is constantly evaluating both well-known and widely used technologies and newer techniques. We will apply only the most appropriate, cost-effective and proven technology to address a given environmental issue.
Innovative technologies we have utilized include: soil gas in lieu of costly laboratory analyses; field test-kits for rapid screening of contaminants; geophysical techniques, including ground penetrating radar surveys for identification of subsurface tanks and similar items; remediation methods incorporating natural attenuation, enhanced bioremediation, soil venting and sparging; X-ray fluorescence to evaluate for lead-based painted surfaces, and others.
Lead Based Paints
The assessment of properties for lead-based paint is frequently performed as a part of the due diligence process for real estate transactions or prior to construction activities. Requirements of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have increased the awareness and need for services to determine the presence and condition of lead-based painted surfaces, and for the need to develop means to remove or encapsulate painted surfaces, and to protect workers.
We have performed these assessments utilizing laboratory analysis of selected paint chips, as well as by using portable X-ray fluorescence technology. Our personnel are experienced in lead-based paint inspection and risk assessment services. They have provided numerous clients with abatement services. Our projects have included the removal of lead-based paint from ornamental metal-work at National Historic Landmarks, and air monitoring during renovation activities to ensure the integrity of the containment devices utilized to control the spread of air-borne lead dust.
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBS)
The implementation of projects to ensure compliance with Federal regulations addressing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) is an area of concentration for KEM. Projects have ranged from regulatory compliance evaluations to complex turnkey PCB transformer evaluations, replacement and remediation assignments and industrial site remediation conducted under EPA-TSCA consent decrees.
Our transformer projects have included compliance evaluations and inspections at residential complexes and a high-profile PCB transformer compliance and replacement project performed on a city-wide basis for one of the nation’s largest school districts. KEM projects have included contaminant delineation assessments, remediation of contaminated floors, walls and worker contact surfaces, and disposal of transformers and other PCB contaminated materials.
KEM’s PCB industrial site projects have included serving as a special consultant to EPA’s TSCA compliance branch for the investigation and remediation of PCB contamination at a major industrial facility. Delineation and remediation of contaminated surfaces within an operating industrial facility, investigation and remediation of contaminated soils and groundwater, and recovery of free product were but some of the components of this project.
KEM’s work in PCB delineation, remediation and management is well respected. KEM personnel were invited speakers on the subject of “Transformer Management” at an EPA conference entitled “National Partnership for Environmental Priorities — PCBs: Serious Problem, Practical Solutions.”
We are experienced in the design of process treatment systems. This includes conceptual engineering, detailed engineering, procurement, shop drawing review, and testing/start-up of industrial, municipal, and domestic water and wastewater treatment systems.
We have designed systems including multi-bed ultra-pure water quality makeup demineralizers using activated carbon and other pretreatment technologies, vacuum degasification and membrane treatment technologies; condensate polishing systems; waste neutralization systems; metal oxidation and precipitation systems; oil/water separation systems; closed- and open loop evaporative cooling tower chemical treatment systems; chlorination and ozone systems; potable water treatment systems; sanitary waste treatment systems, air stripping systems, and stormwater management systems. These systems have been installed at fossil fuel and nuclear power electric generation stations, continuous metal casting facilities, remote self-sustaining radar installations, sites undergoing remediation, and at resource recovery facilities. We have developed and evaluated treatment systems for soil and groundwater remediation and for the treatment of exhaust gases from remedial systems.
Regulatory Compliance/Environmental Audit
KEM’s personnel, including a former USEPA assistant regional counsel, have a track record for assisting clients in determining if their existing operations, facilities, practices and procedures are in compliance with existing and proposed environmental regulations. At a minimum, when areas of non-compliance are noted, recommendations for change are made. These recommendations range from more detailed inspections, record keeping and reporting, to substitution of raw materials being used within a product, to process modifications, to eliminations of a waste stream through recycling. We have provided environmental compliance and regulatory audits for major federal regulatory programs, including TSCA, RCRA, SDWA and AHERA and for state regulations regarding emissions, stormwater management, storage tanks, and waste disposal.
KEM has an impressive history performing site assessments, regulatory compliance evaluations, and due-diligence for property transactions and as required by regulatory agencies. Site assessments typically begin as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Based upon the results of this evaluation, a more detailed Phase II Site investigation may be warranted and recommended. The Phase II investigations typically include sampling and analyses associated with underground storage tanks, electrical devices containing dielectric fluids, asbestos containing building materials, walls and windows painted with lead-based paints, subsurface areas, indoor air quality, and other items.
KEM has provided these assessments for many types of clients, including banks, real estate investors and developers, law firms, industrial healthcare companies, casinos, school districts, municipalities, insurance adjusters, and others. KEM is an “approved” and “preferred” consulting firm for many banks. In addition to serving their clients, we have helped multi-state banks with environmental services related to bulk sales of their owned real estate portfolios. Plus, we have completed environmental services for banks as part of their acquisition of other banks.
Subsurface Soils And Ground Water Investigations
Subsurface soil and groundwater investigations are a mainstay of KEM’s business. We evaluate and resolve releases from underground storage tank systems and spills and those from varied industrial operations. KEM has also been, the lead consultant on numerous Superfund and Brownfield sites and has performed remediation of subsurface conditions using both conventional and innovative technologies.
KEM’s personnel include registered professional engineers, geologists, hydrogeologists, an attorney with almost twenty years experience working with the EPA, state-certified subsurface evaluators, risk assessors and others. Our personnel understand the practices and procedures associated with the installation of soil borings and geoprobe assessments, groundwater monitoring wells, and product and groundwater recovery wells.
We have delineated, mapped, and evaluated the extent of subsurface contamination. We have modeled groundwater, aquifer response, contaminant transport, and natural attenuation, and developed viable means for the remediation of contamination consistent with the latest regulatory requirements. Our subsurface soil and groundwater services have been utilized on properties contaminated with DNAPLs, LNAPLs, PCBs, petroleum products, solvents, metals and other contaminants. This is one of the many areas in which we have provided law firms and other clients with expert opinions and witness testimony.
KEM’s experience with Superfund sites ranges from the investigation phase to the design and implementation of complex remedies. We have also provided technical, project management, and remediation construction services. Our experience includes working for individual potentially responsible parties (PRPs), multi-party PRP groups, and law firms.
We have served as the PRP’s Project Manager, responsible for design and construction activities, at a site once named as the EPA’s 25th “worst” Superfund site in the country. KEM has also provided a variety of engineering, public relations, construction, and regulatory interface services at a former industrial site where groundwater contamination impacted a wide area, including a number of private wells. In all we have worked at over 60 federal Superfund sites.
Underground Storage Tanks
KEM personnel are certified in several states for storage tank management work. KEM’s services have included the development of comprehensive storage tank management programs to minimize risk and ensure regulatory compliance. We conduct integrity testing and comprehensive subsurface evaluations around operating storage tank systems, closure of underground storage tanks, installation of new storage tank systems which incorporate state-of-the-art leak detection systems, as well as remediate soil and groundwater at locations where storage tanks have leaked. KEM has assisted banks and insurance companies when their owned real estate or that of their insureds has been impacted by catastrophic storage tank failures.
Similar assistance has also been rendered to school districts in both PA and NJ, municipalities at their public works facilities and to industrial clients. KEM’s remediation activities have included complete regulatory agency interaction and reporting, delineation of subsurface contamination, and evaluation and utilization of remedial measures that incorporate conventional and innovative technologies. KEM has provided expert testimony and developed opinions and reports to support litigation related to underground storage tank assignments. Our personnel are frequent speakers at conferences and meetings concerning above-ground and underground storage tank systems.
Leed Construction Coordination
KEM has delivered all the elements required to attain LEED certification. A requirement of the LEED process is retaining the services of a LEED Construction Coordinator. The LEED Construction Coordinator develops the LEED Action, Construction Waste Management, and Indoor Air Management Plans. The LEED Construction Coordinator also assists contractors with the development of the construction budget and tracking and submittal of all required reports relating to the use of regional, recycled, certified and low emitting materials. As the LEED Construction Coordinator, KEM develops — with the contractor — a construction schedule accommodating the commissioning process, and integrating the time for commissioning into the overall construction period. Finally, we develop project-specific requests for proposals that can be utilized for the solicitation of specific services or LEED project team members.
Leed Consulting And Documentation
KEM’s multi-disciplinary team of Professional Engineers, Architects, and LEED AP’s can advise an owner on the merits of a variety of sustainable design and operational strategies. We organize LEED project design charrettes to define project goals and develop preliminary basis of design. We manage all LEED project teams including coordination of the Owner’s Consultants, the Design Team, and Contractors. As Project Manager, we define and assign task responsibilities, set timelines, track progress, maintain the LEED scorecard, provide credit expertise, and support the owner in completing their responsibilities. We prepare all LEED credit documentation and manage the submission process. These services can be provided at project inception or to an owner who has already begun and seeks a holistic approach to the sustainability of their project.
Keating Environmental Management (KEM), a qualified WBE, possesses extensive experience in legal, design, construction, environmental, sustainability and purchasing. Our comprehensive services are well suited to assist Owners, Developers and Builders in all aspects of consulting and procurement. A number of areas where we provide assistance are described below.
Subcontractor and Equipment/Material Procurement
KEM offers a multifaceted solution for developing and negotiating subcontracts, as well as purchase orders for major building systems, such as HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, and Building Management Systems (BMS). This includes concept analysis, scope of work development, assembling bid packages and writing and distributing RFPs. KEM will evaluate subcontractors’ and equipment suppliers’ proposals for scope and specification compliance, we will then provide an analysis allowing for successful contract assignments.
Building Systems Coordination
KEM assists architects, construction managers and consultants in coordinating the development of documentation for projects and/or systems which require multiple prime contracts and skilled trades. This coordination frequently consists of reviewing the scopes of work and design documents of the various trades, while additionally identifying gaps or overlaps in responsibility. A typical review includes architectural detail and schedule impact on HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, Tele/Data, Security, Building Management and other Special Systems. KEM also assists in directing the development of coordination drawings for construction.
Our Management Liaison services are comprised of communicating with the project team, which may include the Owner, Developer, Consultants, Construction Manager and Subcontractors. KEM’s focus with regard to Management Liaison is to facilitate the often complex, multidiscipline interface between entities in the context of the design, budget and schedule responsibilities. These services ensure that project components are procured with the team’s complete understanding of the construction documents, site conditions, schedule and budget.
Cost Control is another service offered by KEM. This service consists of reviewing the progress drawings to identify deviations from the initial budget. During construction, KEM will review change order documentation for potential impacts to the budget and/or schedule, making recommendations to minimize these impacts. KEM also has the capability to review and negotiate change order proposals, including pricing and labor unit costs, job expenses and scope of work compliance. The specified cost control measures assist the construction team with achieving project completion within the Owner’s approved budget.
KEM has an extensive background in numerous industries, including Gaming, Hospitality, Educational, Institutional, Residential, Commercial and Healthcare sectors. This wealth of knowledge provides KEM with the ability to develop pragmatic budgets based upon real and current data. KEM also has a well-informed and long-standing network of manufacturers and suppliers who can provide real-time pricing based on conceptual documentation.
Value Engineering Analysis
KEM’s value engineering analysis services include reviewing value engineering proposals for their impact upon the project’s intent, schedule and budget. KEM uncovers the cost increases that could result in deviating from the original project design documents. These cost increases can occur as a result of increased labor or construction expenses associated with skilled trades, equipment and/or material substitutions. Our holistic approach to value engineering is another beneficial tool that can be utilized to assist in maintaining the project’s budget and schedule requirements.
KEM has worked closely with many attorneys in support of their clients and in litigation. Our personnel have been deposed, developed reports providing expert opinions, and provided expert testimony in complex environmental cases.
We have provided expert testimony regarding subsurface conditions, historical contamination, contaminant migration, site assessments, due diligence, and remedial action costs.
KEM has performed a critical role on behalf of our clients in public relations. We have led public meetings, strategized community relations activities, and developed chart boards, slides, and other materials for presentations. KEM also orchestrated the dissemination of technical information at a high-profile public meeting regarding a Brownfields site remediated under Pennsylvania’s Act 2. This public participation program was the first program developed for a Brownfields site within PADEP’s southeast region. Based upon the investigation reports and proposed remedial alternatives, the regulatory authority approved this historically industrial site for commercial revitalization.