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PFAS: One of NJDEP emerging contaminants of concern

ESI Hydrogeologist, Dan Hemmerlin, recently completed a PFAS course at Rutgers University.

ESI is your source for expertise in identifying and investigating newly regulated contaminants such as Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of man-made chemicals that have been identified by the NJDEP as contaminants of emerging concern; chemicals that have been discovered in the environment and have the potential to be an environmental health risk (PFAS are commonly found in cookware and waterproofing coatings, some food packaging materials and firefighting foams).

ESI is prepared to address the issues involved with emerging contaminants. There is no one-size-fits-all for PFAS evaluation and treatment. Compliance with the NJDEP is paramount when it comes not only to commercial/industrial real estate transactions but drinking water at home as well.

In New Jersey, contaminants of emerging concern such as PFAS or any other pollutants and discharged hazardous substances must be addressed during any site investigation under the direction of an LSRP to comply with the Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (N.J.A.C. 7:26E) governed by the NJDEP. LSRPs must consider PFAS during an investigation or remediation if a site is currently or was formerly occupied by a facility that stored, handled, used, or manufactured PFAS by evaluating the water, soil, and air for potential waste discharges. PFAS discharges to the environment range from industrial releases, sewage, and sludge discharges on land, to the use of firefighting foam.

Two of the most studied PFAS are perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). According to the EPA, studies have shown that PFOS and PFOA have been linked to reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. PFAS do not easily break down in the environment and have the potential to bioaccumulate in tissues of the human body. Drinking water is the primary human exposure.

As research into the impacts of PFAS advances, new guidance and regulations are being introduced on a continuing basis at both the state and federal levels. As recently as April 2021, the EPA has established the new “EPA Council on PFAS” to better understand the risks of PFAS and how they are impacting human health and the environment.

PFAS have been discovered in both drinking water and groundwater across the United States. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has estimated that 1,500 drinking water systems serving approximately 110 million Americans may contain PFAS. Although many states and the EPA have developed various limits on the amount of PFAS allowed in drinking and groundwater, the NJDEP has developed drinking water maximum contaminant levels and specific groundwater quality criteria for certain PFAS. In 2018 NJ established a drinking water standard having a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 13 parts per trillion (ppt) and an enforceable PFOA MCL of 14 ppt and 13 ppt for PFOS.

Although alternative options for PFAS treatment are currently being developed, current options for treating PFAS in drinking water include granulated activated carbon (GAC) filtration systems, ion-exchange treatment, as well as the use of high-pressure membranes.  

Although PFAS are widespread and persistent in the environment, one constant with these contaminants is change as regulatory agencies adopt policies and regulations to investigate and remediate PFAS. As government research and development continues to advance along with regulatory oversight, ESI will be at the forefront to address PFAS concerns in both public and private sectors while keeping up with all new regulatory obligations and requirements.

Whether you are a property owner, the prospective buyer of real estate, or are currently under regulatory oversight in NJ or elsewhere, connect with ESI, a leader in environmental consulting for over 45 years, both nationally and globally. ESI prides itself in providing innovative solutions for our clients wherever they are around the globe.

Have any questions, need to request a quote or need to test for PFAS, or have a need for any of our many consulting services? Reach out to ESI today for answers.

How New Environmental Justice Law Sets Stage for Sweeping Nationwide Changes

A pioneering environmental justice law, which may serve as a framework for a national drive for environmental justice, will be the topic of an online panel discussion on Thursday, Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. to noon ET. The event is open to professionals in the field as well as the public.

The Zoom session, titled “New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law as a Potential National Model,” is co-sponsored by Enviro-Sciences (of Delaware), Inc., a multi-media international environmental consulting firm, and the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP), an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to developing the highest standards of ethics and proficiency in the environmental professions.

The key aim of environmental justice is to ensure that everyone–regardless of race, income, or place of origin–benefits from an equal degree of protection from environmental hazards and that everyone has input into how those regulatory protections are developed.

Fighting for environmental justice is vital throughout the nation, but facilities with strong compliance histories should not be lumped in with the bad actors solely based on their geography, says Chris Whitehead, QEP, CESM, air practice leader at Enviro-Sciences Inc. (ESI) and moderator of the panel discussion. The most stringent controls should be reserved for the most egregious offenders, he asserts.

Citing New Jersey as an example, he notes that more than 300 municipalities in New Jersey alone (out of 565) could qualify as “overburdened.” That means these communities would continue to have facilities built within their borders that pose significant environmental hazards, had this landmark New Jersey law not been adopted. Using the New Jersey definition of “overburdened community,” the numbers are roughly proportional in other US states and particularly egregious in large cities like Boston, Washington, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles, though this issue is not limited to urban areas.

Under the New Jersey law, sponsored by one of the webinar’s featured speakers, New Jersey State Senator Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), residents of overburdened communities now have an opportunity to voice their concerns on the siting and potential environmental impact of future projects. In addition, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) is required to assess the environmental impacts to an area as a result of the project. For the first time, based on these anticipated impacts, the NJDEP is required to either deny permits or issue permit conditions to lessen potential impacts to the site.

During the two-hour panel discussion, national and state leaders dealing with this issue will examine the current environmental justice landscape, where the environmental justice movement will be five to 10 years from now, and if the New Jersey model–considered by many as the “gold standard”–can work nationally. Whitehead will moderate a panel of featured speakers, which includes, in addition to Senator Singleton:

* Matthew Tejada, director of the EPA Office of Environmental Justice

* Shawn LaTourette, NJ DEP Commissioner

* Sara Colangelo, director of the Environmental Justice Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center

Whitehead, who formatted this panel as a discussion, explains that “The federal government has their own environmental justice policies, but then each state government has the option to make a program stricter than EPA’s. New Jersey’s environmental justice law is an excellent example of that kind of initiative.”

Matthew Tejada, director of EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, points out, “The Biden-Harris Administration and EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan have mandated an unprecedented level of support for activities focused on advancing equity and justice across the federal government. Much of this important work follows the groundbreaking efforts of various states. New Jersey’s work to implement their new law is an exciting development, expanding the environmental justice horizon for everyone in the United States.”

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette adds, “Under Governor Murphy’s leadership, New Jersey has made an enduring commitment to equity and justice, which necessarily includes the determined pursuit of environmental justice on behalf of those long overburdened by pollution. Alongside partners in the New Jersey Legislature, the Murphy Administration enacted the most empowering environmental justice law in the country in September 2020 and, after a year of deep stakeholder engagement, DEP will soon propose the implementing regulations. In New Jersey, we are charting a new course for the future—with a stronger, more just environment at its center.”

The panelists will respond to questions from session participants–and from each other–during the webinar; questions placed in the chatbox will be answered at the end.

There is a fee for the webinar: NAEP members: $75;  NAEP student members: free; chapter members: $125;  and non-members: $140. To register for the webinar, go to https://naep.memberclicks.net/2021_september_webinar_registration#/.

Webinar: New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law: A Potential National Model?

New Jersey’s Environmental Justice Law: A Potential National Model?

ESI and the National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) invite you to this star-studded webinar featuring some of the biggest names in Environmental Justice (EJ).

EJ is hardly a new term. It refers to the fair treatment and involvement of all people regardless of their socio-economic conditions with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws. Our panel discussion gathers national leaders on the topic and addresses fundamental questions…

  • How did we get here?
  • What is currently being proposed by states and the EPA?
  • Where do we see the EJ landscape in five to ten years?
  • Can the New Jersey Model work nationally?
  • What does EJ mean for my business?

Panelists

  • Matthew Tejada, Director, EPA Office of EJ
  • Shawn LaTourette, NJDEP Commissioner
  • Sara Colangelo, Director, Environmental Justice Clinic at Georgetown Law Center
  • Troy Singleton, NJ State Senator and Bill Sponsor

Moderated by: Chris Whitehead, Air Practice Lead, ESI

When: September 2nd, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST
Where: Zoom
Register here: https://bit.ly/NAEPWebinar2021

Press Release

ESI CEO Interviewed on NCRMA’s ChronicRisk Podcast

Our CEO, Irving Cohen, was invited to The National Cannabis Risk Management Association (NCRMA)‘s ChronicRisk podcast to discuss mitigating the environmental hazards that can compromise the safety of your cannabis product.

If you’re looking to purchase a property for a cannabis operation, planning to expand your operation, or are a business owner looking to build your first facility, it’s important to understand that there are environmental hazards that can be associated with your potential property.

ESI’s team of experts develop compliant environmental solutions in the pre-application or application phase, providing site evaluations and consulting to help cannabis businesses achieve their goals safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively.

Tune in through your preferred podcast streaming platform or listen here: https://lnkd.in/gPjN6Qh

ESI is a proud Service Partner of the NCRMA, whose mission is to equip cannabis businesses for success through education, support, and expertise. 

Take Your Dog to Work Day!

ESI staff featured left to right: Chris Buck (LSRP, LEP, QEP), Kristie Samples (Hydrogeologist), and John McKay (CFO). ESI dogs featured left to right: Ollie, Abbey, and Sadie

As ESI welcomes back staff to the office, some employees are also bringing their faithful companions to work, whether to ease separation anxiety from almost a year of working from home or just to enjoy a day at the office.

While ESI has quite a few ‘office pets’, last Wednesday we brought in three of our employees’ dogs to take part in National Take Your Dog to Work Day. This picture was taken outside of our office building on a beautiful, sunny day in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey.

ESI is proud to accommodate the well-being of our staff – especially after the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world of business in 2020.

Flipping Horseshoe Crabs in Cape May, NJ

Horseshoe Crabs spawning in Cape May, NJ while migrating birds take a rest and eat the eggs

In celebration of World Oceans Day (6/8/2021), our own Kristie Samples, hydrogeologist, had the opportunity to take this photo at Reeds Beach in Cape May, NJ. The photo shows horseshoe crabs spawning and migrating birds taking a rest and eating the eggs. The Wildlife Commission encourages people to flip over stranded horseshoe crabs so they can return to the ocean.

Horseshoe crabs are…

• Estimated to be nearly 450 million years old
• Not actually crabs! They are closer to arachnids.
• …and their eggs are a source of food for migratory birds, sea turtles, and some fish.

ESI is proud to have a staff dedicated to environmental sustainability. Visit an aquarium, take part in a beach clean-up, or donate to a marine/ocean organization; these are some of the ways each of us can help improve and preserve water quality and the diversity of marine species for future generations.

Follow us on Facebook & LinkedIn and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to follow ESI as we continue our mission to keep the Earth clean.

Register – Offshore Wind Project Development Webinar

To register for our Offshore Wind Project Development Webinar, fill out the submission form below and check your email for the Teams link.

Topics include Timeline of Required Submittals, Best Practices in Air Inventories, Environmental Justice (EJ) Overlays, and the Jones Act.

Presented by: Enviro-Sciences (of Delaware), Inc. (ESI) and Riker Danzig
Speakers: Chris Whitehead (Air Quality Lead, ESI) & Laurie J. Sands (Counsel, Riker Danzig)
When: June 30th, 10 – 11 a.m. EST
Where: Teams

Webinar Registration

Celebrating our Return to the Office!

ESI was proud to host a celebratory lunch marking the full team’s return to the office since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pizza & ice-cream cake lunch, ESI celebrated new hires including Jim Chenard, Christopher Buck, Chris Whitehead, and Glenn Haines.

It was a beautiful day and a great opportunity to announce new initiatives, like our Air Quality Services team, to the entire ESI staff. We are thankful to those who came and are excited for a successful 2021!

ESI Welcomes Jim Chenard!

Jim Chenard, LSRP

Jim Chenard, LSRP, brings 30 years of experience to ESI. Jim has experience in management, hydrogeology and is a member of the LSRPA. Jim graduated from Kean College with a BA in Geology/Earth Science.

Jim is also a Professional Geologist, Subsurface Evaluator (NJDEP), is Closure Certified (NJDEP) and is trained and certified in OSHA 40 Hour, 8 Hour Supervisor, Trench Safety, and Confined Space Entry. He also has his Firefighter 1 Certification, Hazardous Materials Training and serves his community, Blairstown, New Jersey as a volunteer Firefighter.

In his spare time, Jim enjoys traveling with his wife Donna, being an amateur astronomer, conducting genealogy research, mineral collecting and spending time with his Shelties. He is a member of several exclusive genealogical/lineage organizations including the Sons of the American Revolution, Order of Founders and Patriots, and the General Society for the War of 1812.

Chris Whitehead joins ESI’s Air Practice Group

Chris Whitehead, QEP

Chris brings fourteen years of air quality compliance management consulting experience adding to ESI’s Air Quality and Permitting capabilities. He has been a national client manager for national accounts providing them with assistance in air related compliance and treatment issues. Chris most recently has been involved with environmental justice consultation and offshore wind permitting. He holds an M.S. in Environmental Management & Policy and a B.A. in Political Science.

Chris is a member of multiple professional affiliations including the Institute of Professional Environmental Practice (IPEP), the Chemistry Council of NJ, and the National Registry of Environmental Professionals. He has extensive experience in air permitting for industrial and commercial operations (Title V, major and minor operations), continuous emissions monitoring systems (CEMS), ISO14001 programs, and permit compliance assurance and monitoring programs.

Chris has been married going on seven years and has two children (4 and 2 years old). He enjoys golfing, working out, gardening, and cooking.