Representative Environmental Projects

Applied EcoSystems has years of experience in a wide variety of environmental projects. Please contact us to discuss your specific project needs.

Environmental Assessments

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and Phase II Subsurface Site Investigation
aex00213A Phase I ESA identified environmental concerns associated with a site in Michigan, including adjacent gasoline stations and a former gasoline station with two USTs, a former dry cleaner, and a former automobile auto body repair shop. To address the identified concerns, Applied EcoSystems retained a subcontractor to complete a ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey to identify the possible presence of USTs on the site. The GPR survey identified fill material in the suspected UST locations. Subsequent subsurface soil sample collection and analysis identified residual petroleum contamination on the site. Ultimately, risk assessment of identified contaminants indicated that the site was suitable for residential redevelopment.

Phase I ESA and Baseline Environmental Assessment (BEA)
aex00202Applied EcoSystems completed a BEA investigation for a former airport site. A gasoline station was also formerly located on the property. Five USTs were registered for the airport location, and field observation indicated the possible presence of a sixth UST. Review of MDNRE Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) files indicated that three additional USTs were removed from the portion of the site occupied by the gasoline station. Applied EcoSystems retained a subcontractor to complete a GPR survey to identify the possible locations of the current USTs. Subsequent investigation activities revealed that the USTs had been removed. A subsurface investigation was completed which included the completion of 15 Geoprobe® borings in the area of the former USTs. In addition, groundwater samples were collected from existing on-site wells. Laboratory analytical data indicated that the site qualified as a "facility," in accordance with Part 201, Michigan Public Act 451, 1994, as amended. Subsequent reporting of these findings in the BEA report allowed for liability protection for the client in his purchase of the site.

Phase II Site Assessment
Following the completion of a Phase I ESA on a steel processing and coating facility in Michigan, a Phase II investigation was implemented to evaluate numerous areas of environmental concern identified in the Phase I ESA. The facility had also received citations from regulatory agencies regarding hazardous materials storage and disposal, and alleged illegal dumping activities. A comprehensive Work Plan was prepared and implemented in cooperation with representatives of the MDNRE, which prioritized the identified areas of concern, and outlined a phased approach to investigate each area of concern. Initial activities included the identification and segregation of drummed solvents and paint and the identification of drilling and electromagnetic survey locations. The manufacturing company has since become insolvent, and the site is currently being evaluated by the State of Michigan to determine if a publicly funded investigation and cleanup are warranted.

Phase I ESA and BEA
A Phase I ESA identified potential environmental concerns associated with the USTs and potential foundry fill sand on site. Applied EcoSystems retained a subcontractor to complete a GPR survey of the areas of the site suspected of potentially containing USTs. Subsurface formations consistent with fill material placed in possible former UST cavities were located; however, no indications of USTs were identified. A Geoprobe® was used to complete soil borings on the site. Soil samples collected from the borings indicated that the site qualified as a "facility," in accordance with Part 201, Michigan Public Act 451, 1994, as amended.

Phase I ESA and Phase II Subsurface Site Investigation
A Phase I ESA identified potential environmental liabilities associated with a former tank manufacturing facility and evaluated potential response actions that might be necessary for a prospective grantee of the site. Information provided through the Phase I ESA indicated that the facility was formerly used as a machine shop. Current operations on the site consist of plastic extrusion molding activities. Applied EcoSystems reviewed an historical subsurface site investigation report for the site completed by another consultant in 1994. Results of this report indicated the need for further investigations on the site. Several additional areas of concern were identified by Applied EcoSystems in the Phase I ESA. Applied EcoSystems completed a series of Geoprobe® and hand auger borings inside the building and around the site. Subsequent laboratory analysis of soil and groundwater samples collected identified residual concentrations of regulated substances at levels below applicable Residential Cleanup Criteria.


Groundwater Remediation
aex00206Historical data pertaining to a release from a municipal facility was evaluated. A thermal desorption unit had previously remediated over 2,000 cubic yards of impacted soils; however, groundwater continued to exhibit low levels of dissolved petroleum constituents. Sampling and evaluation of laboratory data indicated that a groundwater remediation system might require activation. Following subsequent changes to UST regulations and cleanup standards, the site was eligible for closure. Subsequent work at the site included the abandonment of groundwater monitoring wells and the termination of a surface water discharge permit established for the former groundwater treatment system.

Remedial System Design, Installation, and Management
Using data collected during initial abatement activities and a site inspection of a release from a fuel oil storage tank in central Michigan, a feasibility study was conducted to determine the most effective method of remediation of the site. Based on the results of the feasibility study, a Corrective Action Plan was designed for the site. A bio pump-and-treat system consisting of recovery sumps was installed. The output from the sumps was run through a product/water separator, treated and disposed. Impacted soil was excavated and disposed of at a waste management facility. The bio-pump-and-treat system was operated for six months and monitored weekly. After six months of operation, the system was dismantled as all free product had been recovered, and analytical data indicated that the groundwater was no longer impacted.

Remediation System Design, Installation, and Management
A feasibility study was conducted and a Corrective Action Plan designed and implemented at the site of a large release of gasoline from a UST system in central Michigan. Site assessments revealed that the groundwater contained highly elevated levels of gasoline contaminates and that a large volume of soil was impacted. The groundwater plume extended off site, eventually entered a creek, and produced a sheen. A remediation system was designed that utilized air sparging as the primary groundwater cleanup mechanism. Groundwater was pumped through an interceptor trench and a low profile air stripper to remove the gasoline contaminates, then passed through carbon drums and vapor phase carbon before discharge into the atmosphere.

PCB Remediation
During due diligence activities conducted by a purchaser's consultant, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination was discovered in a basement floor sump of a five-story bank building. Applied EcoSystems was retained on behalf of the bank to complete PCB remediation and reporting activities to facilitate the sale of the building. Applied EcoSystems conducted two cleaning events of the sump and surrounding floor in the boiler room. Multiple pipes that emptied into the sump were also assessed for PCBs. PCBs were detected in two of the pipes. Applied EcoSystems also conducted dye testing to confirm the discharge location of the sump to the sanitary sewer.

aex00205Further evaluation of the building for the source of the PCB release identified PCB-containing hydraulic fluid on the concrete floor or a subsurface elevator shaft in the subject building. A Work Plan for remediation was prepared and submitted to the Region V Environmental Protection Agency office in Chicago, Illinois. The Work Plan was approved. Remedial actions conducted consisted of cleaning or replacement of all areas of accessible impacted pipes and two cleaning events of the concrete elevator shaft. Fluids used in the elevator system were also tested to confirm compliance with current regulations relating to PCB use. Following verification sampling, six drums of PCB remediation waste were disposed of, and a Closure Report was filed with the EPA

image003In 2010, we assisted the Saginaw Valley Naval Ship Museum (SVNSM)with the approval of aPCB Compliance Agreement through the EPA and U.S. Navy to allow donation of the ex-USS Edson DD 946, a Forrest Sherman Class Destroyer, to the SVNSM and transport to Bay City, Michigan for mooring as a permanent museum. The USS Edson was commissioned in 1958, decommissioned in 1988, and designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1990 and will require on-going PCB management/reporting.

Wetlands Assessment and Management

aex00209Applied EcoSystems has assisted numerous clients such as real estate brokers, lending institutions, and site developers in wetland determination, delineation, and mitigation projects throughout Michigan. Our staff is experienced in delineation and permitting procedures under the jurisdictions of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Site Development


As an environmental management consultant, Applied EcoSystems has assisted a variety of clients with site development issues including site use evaluations, surveys, permitting, utility identification, construction testing, proximate compatible site uses including buffer zones between incompatible site uses, soil erosion and sedimentation plans, and redevelopment issues such as asbestos surveys, building demolition and water well abandonment.

Underground Storage Tank Removal/Closure


UST Assessment and Closure
An evaluation and risk assessment were completed for a municipal equipment garage in Michigan following the detection of a confirmed release of petroleum during UST removal and soil remediation. A Type B closure was approved by the MDNRE and allowed low levels of hydrocarbons to remain with no further investigative or remedial activities required.

UST Removals
A series of six UST removals were scheduled and completed at franchised automotive service centers. Prior to the UST removal, each facility was evaluated to verify regulatory compliance, and a turnkey UST management program was initiated. The turnkey approach allowed for the timely completion of regulatory reports; UST removal oversight; verification sampling and analysis; and liquid and solid waste disposal coordination to be provided at unit rates. The locations all received regulatory closure within six months of the UST removals

UST Removal and Site Assessment
Applied EcoSystems provided removal and site assessment activities at two locations of a plastic injection molding corporation in southeastern Michigan. At one location, a 3,000-gallon used oil concrete UST was removed and dismantled in place. A 2,000-gallon gasoline UST was removed at the second location. Verification sampling indicated that both sites were eligible for closure.

Leaking Underground Storage Tank (LUST) Assessment and Closure
Applied EcoSystems was retained by the owner of a former retail gasoline station to complete LUST assessment activities following the removal of six 10,000-gallon USTs from a site located in Genesee County, Michigan. Initial soil sampling indicated that elevated levels of petroleum compounds were present in soils surrounding the former USTs. Applied EcoSystems completed extensive soil borings and sample collection on the site, and delineated the release within the site boundaries. Review of local drinking water wells demonstrated a contiguous clay-confining layer in the area around the site. After eliminating groundwater, inhalation, and direct contact exposure pathways, Applied EcoSystems submitted a LUST Closure Report to the MDNRE, closing the site under Residential Cleanup Criteria with no land use restrictions.


Spill Prevention and Response Plans (SPCC)
aex00203Applied EcoSystems prepared SPCC plans for ten petroleum storage sites in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, and Michigan. Each plan met state-specific requirements. Facilities included gas stations, bulk terminals, chemical storage facilities, agricultural operations, and industrial facilities.

Effluent Monitoring and Permitting
After the receipt of a municipal order from the local waste water treatment plant, a stainless steel plating facility in Michigan required the development of a sampling and monitoring program to comply with federal categorical pretreatment standards, state self monitoring requirements, and local categorical effluent limitations. To achieve compliance, facility processes were evaluated and appropriate analytical parameters and effluent limitations were negotiated with the local wastewater treatment facility. Following local approval, a facility self monitoring program was initiated which included monthly effluent monitoring, waste stream characterization, and the completion of semi-annual and annual sampling events for priority pollutant discharges.

Surface Water Discharge Permitting
A major manufacturing facility in Michigan required the completion of a Surface Water Discharge Permit application to continue the discharge of stormwater, non-contact cooling water, and boiler blowdown to area surface water bodies from the facility property. To complete the permit application, the facility was first evaluated to determine if there had been significant process changes that would change the permit status. The permit application was then completed which maintained the discharge of non-contact cooling water and boiler blowdown discharges under a State of Michigan Surface Water Discharge Permit, while the stormwater discharges were permitted under the State of Michigan General Stormwater Discharge Permit. The coverage of stormwater discharges under the General Permit required the facility to prepare a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3) to identify sources of significant materials which could be exposed to stormwater and enter receiving surface water bodies.

NPDES Stormwater Discharge Compliance Evaluation
Potential non-compliance with stormwater discharge requirements under the provisions of the State of Michigan Water Quality Standards required evaluation of each of fifteen facilities for an automotive parts supplier in southeastern Michigan. Applied EcoSystems reviewed existing Stormwater Pollution Prevention (SWP3) plans, Spill Prevention Control/Countermeasures (SPCC) plans, and NPDES Stormwater Discharge Permits at each facility. A site evaluation was conducted for the purpose of determining the regulatory requirements for each site, and appropriate plans/permits were submitted to the MDNRE on behalf of the client. Applied EcoSystems-Great Lakes presented Stormwater Operator Training for personnel at each facility, in accordance with State of Michigan regulatory requirements.

Facility-Wide Air Emissions Audit
A Title V Renewable Operating Permit was prepared for a large automobile-related products manufacturer. The process included developing an air emission inventory, identifying regulated air pollutants, determining the federal and state regulatory applicability, calculating potential to emit figures, providing a database for information management, developing a compliance monitoring strategy, and completing the Title V permit application. Surveying the plant, auditing the material usage and manufacturing processes, calculating emissions and formulating a user-friendly information tracking system were components of the compliance effort. In addition, air emission studies were designed to determine actual emissions from the processes. The objectives of the study were to compile the appropriate information not only to complete the Title V application, but also to provide the client with the necessary tools to manage data and maintain operational flexibility and Auditing Services.

Compliance and Auditing Services
Environmental management services were provided for a foundry and wire drawing operation maintaining four plants in the state of Michigan. Responsibility included maintaining compliance status with state and federal regulatory programs. Reduced response time and increased efficiency of responses was achieved while working closely with plant management and production staff to understand the unique process flows in each plant. Some of the issues being handled at the state and federal level included preparation of Integrated Contingency Plans; Title V Renewable Operating Permit applicability determination; facility auditing; indoor air sampling; SARA Form R and Tier II preparation; MDNRE and US EPA liaison; PCB inspections; Standard Operating Procedures development and implementation; preparation of the notification of regulated waste activity; and drinking water sampling pursuant to the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Automobile-Related Products Manufacturer
A Title V Renewable Operating Permit was prepared for a large manufacturing firm. The process included developing an air emission inventory, identifying regulated air pollutants, determining the federal and state regulatory applicability, calculating potential emissions, providing a database for information management, developing a compliance monitoring strategy, preparing to complete the Title V permit application, and negotiating conditions of the permit. The compliance effort included surveying the plant, auditing the material usage and manufacturing processes, calculating emissions and formulating a user-friendly information tracking system for over 42 million pounds of product per year. In addition, air emission studies were designed to determine actual emissions from specific processes within the facility. The objectives of the studies were to compile the appropriate information not only to complete the Title V permit application, but also to provide the client with the necessary tools to manage data and maintain operational flexibility.

Military Contractor
An air use permit application was completed for a manufacturer that assembles and coats wood, metal, and fiberglass composite auxiliary parts for military vehicles. Permit preparation involved an emissions inventory accounting for both point source and fugitive emissions, a search for alternative solvent substitutions, an examination of waste minimization opportunities, and the design of several process changes that reduced volatile organic chemical emissions. In addition, a Best Available Control Technology (BACT) analysis was prepared supplementary to the permit application. The evaluation determined the maximum degree of reduction achievable for each regulated pollutant, taking into account energy, environmental, and economic impacts. The analysis identified alternative control strategies, including transferable and innovative control technologies and processes that inherently produce less pollution. Following the identification of alternative control technologies, a detailed financial analysis concerning installation and operation of the system and the total cost per unit of emission reduced was completed to determine the economic feasibility of implementing additional control technologies.

Wood Display Unit Manufacturer
Work was performed for a manufacturer of wood furniture and display cabinetry to prepare the facility for the implementation of Title V of the Clean Air Act. The process included developing an air emission inventory, identifying regulated air pollutants, determining the federal and state regulatory applicability, calculating the facility's potential emissions, and developing a compliance monitoring strategy. On-site activities included surveying the plant, auditing the material usage and manufacturing processes, pollution prevention measures, calculating emissions and developing an information tracking system.

Copper Mining Operation
Sulfur dioxide and particulate matter emission rates were determined from a coal-burning exhaust stack located within a power plant at a large mining operation. The emission rate determinations were made to demonstrate compliance with the special conditions of the facility's operating permit. The tests were performed using U.S. EPA Method 6C for determination of sulfur dioxide emission rate and Method 5 for determination of PM emission rate. Additionally, Methods 1 through 4 were completed, as required, prior to the completion of the tests.

Plastics Film Coating Manufacturer
An evaluation of emissions from a film coating manufacturing facility was completed with the goal of opting out of the Title V Renewable Operating Permit program. The work included an evaluation of actual and projected emissions and existing permits with respect to current plant processes, suggestions regarding design changes aimed at reducing fugitive emissions in the plant, permit modifications, and recommendations with regard to Title V applicability, and development of alternatives for opting out of the Title V program.

Metal Reclamation and Recycling Process
aex00204 A particulate matter emission sampling and analysis was completed for a wood waste-fired incinerator used to dispose of wood generated from a metal reclaiming process. The non-compliant process was tested and evaluated to determine emissions of particulate matter from the burn unit. In addition to testing, the unit was redesigned, waste disposal alternatives were evaluated, and a compliance plan for submittal to the MDNRE was completed.