Client Spotlight: Matt Valentine, Regional Manager at Woodard & Curran

Matt Valentine Woodard and CurranFor Matt Valentine, Regional Manager for Woodard & Curran –a valued REGENESIS client and leading provider of integrated engineering, science, and operation services — a career in environmental remediation was an easy choice as it combined his love of the outdoors with his passion for science. The variety in his work has helped to provide an excellent outlet for combining the many skills he learned over the years in hydrogeology and geochemistry, with a practical approach to addressing real-life problems affecting people and our planet. He shares, “I enjoy finding solutions to problems of all kinds,  including solving technical challenges related to a project, making complex issues easier to understand, or mentoring our younger staff.” Valentine started out as a staff-level geologist in 1990 and advanced to the role of Project Manager, which he held for 13 years prior to merging with Cummings/Riter Consultants, which became Woodard & Curran. He continues, “Although my functional position is Regional Manager, I also serve as a Senior Project Manager, and in terms of company ownership, I am a Senior Principal with the firm.”

As a Regional Manager with Woodard & Curran, Valentine’s responsibilities include development, growth and financial performance of the Midwest-South Region Environment and Remediation Strategic Business Unit (E&R SBU).  This region has offices located in Atlanta, GA; Pittsburgh, PA; Tunkhannock, PA; and Elmira, NY.  “I really enjoy the day-to-day interaction with our staff and project managers,” he says.  “Helping them resolve the project, administrative, and technical issues they face on a daily basis is both challenging and rewarding. I also love a good technical challenge, although I don’t get to do as much technical work as I once did.” To prepare for a career in the environmental sciences, Valentine obtained a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and followed that with a Master of Science in Geology from West Virginia University. To stay current with industry trends and new technologies, he attends technical conferences, including the recent Battelle Bioremediation Symposium in Baltimore, MD, as well as technology-specific short courses.  He continues, “I also try to attend webinars on various technical subjects several times a month.” Valentine is dedicated to helping Woodard & Curran achieve its long-range goal of developing a nationwide footprint by expanding its remediation (and other) services into new offices in Florida and California. He shares, “Woodward & Curran continues to be a company that is able to attract and maintain all types of young, world-class talent, so I believe we are on track for our plans of sustainable growth.”

When it comes to working with REGENESIS, Valentine and his team appreciate the advanced level of expertise, and the collaborative, common sense approach that REGENESIS brings to its work. He continues, “REGENESIS employs some very sharp people who are on the forefront in advancing new remedial technologies.  In addition, they are easy to work with and typically maintain a practical approach to environmental problems.  They work with qualified DPT contractors around the country and these relationships have helped us complete projects on time and within budget.” He goes on to share, “Another benefit of working with REGENESIS is their ability to be flexible during field applications which has served us well on many projects.” One recent project in South Carolina serves as an example of how REGENESIS helped overcome a challenging soil condition. He continues, “We encountered very tight soils and were having trouble delivering the entire volume of remedial amendments.  We worked with REGENESIS and their contractor to develop an approach that allowed the full volume of reagents to be injected.  We also confirmed the effectiveness of the delivery using design verification borings. To date, the remedial work we completed is performing as designed.” When it comes to using specific REGENESIS products, 3-D Microemulsion®, HRC®, and Bio-Dechlor INOCULUM® Plus have proven to be successful, when used either independently or in combination. Valentine shares, “We have found different combinations of products to be effective in treating source areas versus treating downgradient plumes where conditions are often very different. REGENESIS has been a valuable partner in helping to design the appropriate combinations and related volumes/dosages of these products.”

Valentine has been married for 27 years, has three children and currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife and youngest daughter.  Valentine appreciates the flexibility of working from both his home office and the company office, located nearby in Monroeville, PA. Outside of work, he enjoys a variety of sports, especially golf, softball, and hunting.  “I’ve coached both youth softball and volleyball for many years,” he says.  “I’ve also been an avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and NHL Penguins all my life.  In the rare instance that I can sit down for a few minutes, I enjoy reading, especially biographies and books related to history.” When asked what he likes most about his work, Valentine points to helping those just entering the environmental industry, and observing their development. He also appreciates the challenge of harnessing support to facilitate project staffing, adding, “A large portion of my time is spent finding resources, usually people, to fill project needs, which is satisfying.  Overall, I just really like interacting with our staff and helping them overcome many of the work-related challenges they face.”

When asked how he would encourage others to join his field of study, Valentine feels the industry itself attracts its share of those who are meant to make a difference. He concludes, “If anyone has an interest in science and engineering, they cannot help but be impressed with what is happening in this industry. I would encourage anyone who has an interest in learning more about what we do, to attend college and job fairs, and talk to those of us who are passionate about what we do.  The diversity of the jobs that we get to work on is unmatched by practically any other industry.”

REGENESIS is proud to have Matt Valentine, Regional Manager for Woodard & Curran, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his dedication and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Amy Roth, Associate Vice President and Senior Geologist at Wilcox & Barton, Inc.

Amy CoxOver the course of her career, Amy Roth, Associate Vice President and Senior Geologist at Wilcox & Barton, Inc., a leading environmental services firm and valued REGENESIS client, has clearly established herself as an expert in the field of environmental remediation. With a background that includes several positions, such as Project Director, Senior Geologist, and Operations Manager, among others, Roth has been exposed to a broad spectrum of the environmental sciences industry, and in the process, has helped shape the continued growth of Wilcox & Barton, Inc. In her current role, Roth manages and provides technical direction for the firm’s Massachusetts-focused environmental scientists and engineers. “I also direct and/or manage larger projects,” she says, “I act as the Licensed Site Professional (LSP) of Record for a wide range of sites and clients.  I enjoy digging into the details of a project and helping people work through the technical and regulatory challenges.”

To prepare for a career in environmental science, Roth earned her undergraduate degrees in Earth & Planetary Science and English Literature while attending Washington University in St. Louis, then followed that with a Master of Science in Geochemistry, also at Washington University. “I really enjoyed my time at Washington University,” she says. “I was initially drawn to the planetary science program and remote sensing teams that work with NASA to develop scientific objectives and select instrumentation for missions. The Magellan Spacecraft, launched as I was graduating from high school, went into orbit around Venus right before my Sophomore year and it was amazing watching the teams analyze the data and imagery based on years of studying earth-analog remote sensing data.”

When asked why she enjoys working with REGENESIS, Roth points to the company’s high level of service. She continues, “I appreciate the full-service approach that REGENESIS provides.  They are experts in the field of remedial additives, and I appreciate being able to rely on that expertise for design, implementation, and evaluation. I also appreciate their willingness to work with us.  We had a project last year that required night work over the course of two weeks in January.  The REGENESIS crew accepted the challenge and came prepared for the weather and ready to work.” As for which REGENESIS products she uses, RegenOx® and ORC Advanced® are two that have performed well at several sites. She particularly likes their low cost and that they can be applied safely in a variety of situations. Roth has used other REGENESIS products as well. She shares, “We recently applied PlumeStop® with HRC™ and BDI® Plus at a chlorinated solvent site to rapidly decrease concentrations in a GW-1 (drinking water) area.  We’ve also applied PersulfOx® at a petroleum site, and we’re currently evaluating REGENESIS’ new carbon-based fluid, PetroFix™ for a petroleum site.”

To stay abreast of the latest trends in remediation, and as a LSP and Professional Geologist, Roth fulfills various continuing education requirements.  “I take at least 16 hours of training per year,” she says. “I also really appreciate the training sessions offered by the Licensed Site Professional Association (LSPA) at our monthly meetings.” Residing in Falmouth, MA, where she lives with her husband and two children, Roth enjoys a variety of family outdoor activities, especially camping and hiking. She adds, “We are lucky enough to live on a pond on the Cape, so we get to spend a lot of time in and around the water.  In April we are travelling to Utah to hike in the national parks and then ski for a few days.”  She also spends time volunteering as a member of the Solid Waste Advisory Committee, which tackles issues of solid waste and recycling, as well as waste minimization and litter reduction. When asked about the future goals of Wilcox & Barton, Inc., she points to the firm’s commitment to expanding its services throughout the region. She explains, “We want to continue expanding our environmental, civil, and geotechnical services throughout New England.  We have experienced steady revenue and staffing growth, nearly doubling in size over the past 5 years.  Given our work-from-home model, we tend to favor self-directed and efficient professionals, so our growth is more deliberate. That said, we also know it is important to maintain our core identity as a highly-responsive and flexible group of scientists and engineers that partner with individuals and teams to move projects forward.”

When asked what she thinks the future holds for environmental remediation, she feels the industry is definitely evolving. She continues, “We have seen the practice evolve from focused cleanup of releases to soil and groundwater, to larger-scale considerations. One example is understanding the complex ways in which releases to the environment impact indoor air, managing the underlying impact of ubiquitous historical fill, and evaluating the community impacts of persistent chemicals that were widely used.”  She also appreciates the opportunity to address various challenges associated with our environment. She shares, “The most rewarding part of my job is solving difficult problems.  Sometimes those problems are technical in nature, like trying to understand contradictory and changing indoor air data, and sometimes they are logistical, like wrapping remedial activities around a fast-moving construction project.” And the most challenging aspect of her work? “My most challenging experiences have been trying to help people understand the significant environmental exposures they have at home or at work. For example, explaining to a pregnant resident that the air in her home exceeds an Imminent Hazard level, or telling a room full of community members that the soil in their backyards and playgrounds has naturally-occurring arsenic concentrations that exceed risk standards.” To help encourage those who might be interested in joining her field of study, Roth suggests one should be prepared to get involved with details, and have an appreciation for variety. She concludes, “Environmental consulting is a great field for the hands-on scientist or engineer.  Between the contaminants, the impacted media, the property details, and the people involved, each site is different.  This industry also offers constant variety – you have the opportunity to work outside in the field, inside at a desk, in groups, alone, in emergency situations, and on projects that develop slowly over many years.  One day you are in a hardhat and boots in the mud, the next you are 20 stories above Boston Harbor in a suit!”

REGENESIS is proud to have Amy Roth, Associate Vice President and Senior Geologist at Wilcox & Barton, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates her deep experience and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Monica Young, Project Manager/Environmental Scientist with CGRS

Monica Young CGRSWith over 20 years of environmental experience, Monica Young, Project Manager/Environmental Scientist with CGRS, a leading environmental consulting firm, brings a diverse and accomplished background to her work. In addition to the broad experience she’s garnered while at CGRS over the past 16 years, Young has also served as an Environmental Protection Specialist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Denver, Colorado, where she performed inspections, managed contractors, and worked as a Project Officer for several states. She is also a Recognized Environmental Professional (REP) with the Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety (OPS) and works primarily assessing and remediating  petroleum hydrocarbon releases.  Her experience in such a specialized field is even more impressive considering that she entered the environmental remediation industry after working as a Legal Secretary for several years. She shares, “Prior to obtaining my B.S. in Soil and Crop Sciences from Colorado State University, I was a legal secretary for 12 years.  I got tired of the back and forth between different parties and wanted to do something for the environment.  Specifically, working to improve our planet by remediating the soil and groundwater.” In her current role with CGRS, Young is a team leader, and has a group working under her supervision on numerous projects.  She continues, “As the REP, I am responsible for the assessment, risk characterization, and remediation of petroleum releases to the environment.  I also represent my clients with the various regulatory agencies.”

Making a Difference by Improving the Enviornment

When asked what she enjoys most about her work, Young points to making a difference by improving our environment, while sharing her knowledge with others. She continues, “I really enjoy managing my sites, remediating the soil and/or groundwater, and getting sites to closure.  I also enjoy mentoring my teammates and others in our office because they represent our future.” To stay current within the industry she routinely attends conferences, webinars, and workshops and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Association of Environmental Professionals (RMAEP), Colorado Environmental Management Society (CEMS), and Society of Women Environmental Professionals (SWEP). She also fulfills coursework to satisfy her REP requirements. “As a REP with the Colorado OPS, I’m required to complete a number of professional development hours”.

Creative Solutions to Solve Remediation Problems

When it comes to working with REGENESIS, Young appreciates the company’s unique approach to project work. She shares, “REGENESIS provides innovative designs and creative solutions.  I really enjoy working with them on my projects.  For example, one of my LUST sites that is still in operation had multiple releases over the years and weathered bedrock is fairly shallow.  Due to this lithology, a mechanical system was not feasible.  Initial corrective action ideas with REGENESIS included performing traditional injections but these would have required injecting at five-foot centers, which was not feasible at an active facility.  So REGENESIS came up with the idea of installing two subsurface horizontal wells which would be our infrastructure that we could perform numerous injections through.  We partnered with a directional drilling company to drill and install the two horizontal wells and with REGENESIS to perform the injections.  We are partnering with REGENESIS this year to perform three additional injections through those wells.” As for which products she uses, PetroCleanze™, RegenOx®, PersulfOx®, and ORC Advanced® are at the top of the list. She continues, “I mostly remediate petroleum hydrocarbons, and these are the products designed to enhance desorption, perform chemical oxidation, enhanced biodegradation, or provide oxygen to the subsurface.  Another team at CGRS will be using PetroFix™ this year at one of its sites.”

Living in Ft. Collins, CO, where she works out of the CGRS headquarters, Young finds time away from her work to enjoy an array of outdoor activities that include backcountry skiing in the winter, and biking and hiking during the warmer months. “I also love learning Italian and going on bike tours in Italy,” she says. “I’ve been on bike tours in the Tuscany and Puglia areas, and in Sardinia.  I also did a bike tour in Vermont to see the fall colors.” Additionally, she finds time to volunteer with the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers (PWV), which partners with the US Forest Service.  She continues, “I perform hiking patrols to educate people on the “Leave No Trace” principles in the Canyon Lakes Ranger District.  I’ve been doing this since 2009.”

The Future of Environmental Remediation

When asked how she’s seen CGRS change over the years, Young states that the company has diversified in other areas of its business and they continue to provide solutions and excellent customer service to their clients/customers.  CGRS is expanding their environmental services and continues to grow its business in the waste water, compressed natural gas, biogas, and other engineering project arenas.  She shares, “I mainly work on LUST sites that are regulated by the OPS.  When I first started in this arena, the emphasis was on remediation.  Now, the emphasis is more focused on compliance.  If everyone is in compliance, there should be less releases to the environment.” And what does she think the future holds for environmental remediation?  “I think we will continue to remediate the environment.  It appears that as long as humans are involved with chemicals, products, substances, etc., that can harm the environment, there will be releases to the environment that will need to be remediated. There will always be other new emerging contaminants that we (the public) become aware of that will need to be remediated.” And how would Young encourage others to join her field of study?  She concludes, “If someone wants to improve the quality of our soil and groundwater, then study geology and/or the hard sciences, seek internship opportunities, join professional organizations, and seek mentors in this field.  It is so rewarding to observe beneficial results from your remedial efforts and getting an impacted site to closure.”

REGENESIS is proud to have Monica Young, Project Manager/Environmental Scientist with CGRS, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates her dedication and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Industry Expert Spotlight: John Wilson PhD

John Wilson PhD
John Wilson PhD, Principal Scientist of Scissortail Environmental Solutions

When John Wilson, PhD, decided to leave his position as a research microbiologist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and start his own environmental services firm, he chose a name for his company that reflected his spirited commitment to doing things the right way. “I retired from the U.S. EPA in April of 2014”, says Dr. Wilson. “That same month, my wife Barbara and I created Scissortail Environmental Solutions, LLC. Our company is named after the state bird of Oklahoma because the Scissortail Flycatcher is active and alert as it goes about its business, and we try to be the same in all our work.” As the Principal Scientist of Scissortail Environmental Solutions, Wilson, a distinguished REGENESIS Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) member, has transferred a deep reservoir of environmental remediation experience from a highly respected government agency to his own business, creating a comprehensive suite of consulting services for both industry and government. He shares, “Our work focuses on the natural attenuation and active bioremediation of organic contamination in groundwater. The importance of groundwater to economic development and the quality of life in the US will continue to grow as the demand for groundwater increases. We must do everything we can to protect and restore the quality of groundwater.”

Pioneering Remediation Research at the US EPA

Prior to his recent success with Scissortail Environmental Solutions, Wilson was primarily known for his career with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and his work at the Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center in Ada, OK. He continues, “From 1979 until I left the EPA in 2014, I worked on bioremediation of chlorinated solvents, and natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons, and fuel components such as MTBE and EDB. At the EPA I helped develop the logic used by the U.S. EPA to implement Monitored Natural Attenuation and to evaluate vapor intrusion from fuel spills.” Now, as the Principal Scientist of Scissortail Environmental Solutions, Wilson divides his time between reviewing the work of others and providing recommendations for improvements and his own applied research. He develops ideas, writes proposals, and does some experimental work, in addition to writing reports. He shares, “I enjoy working with other people to solve problems, and it helps that I like the people I work with. I also have a passion for the work we do.” His career path in environmental remediation originated from an interest in hydrology and from an initial assignment with the EPA that involved exploring the microbiology of groundwater. He continues, “I was originally hired by research managers at the U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development to evaluate whether the aquifers of the United States contained bacteria, and the impact those bacteria might have on groundwater quality. At the time (1978), most engineers and hydrologist thought the deeper subsurface was essentially sterile. I did find bacteria in aquifers and they were doing quite a bit to destroy organic contaminants like TCE and fuel hydrocarbons.”

A History of Accomplishments and Contributions to the Remediation Industry

In addition to his three plus decades of professional experience with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Wilson earned a B.S. in Biology from Baylor University, a M.A. in Microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from Cornell University. He served an Adjunct Appointment to Rice University from 1990 to 2000, has written more than 80 published journal articles on a wide range of environmentally-focused topics, and has served as a Member of the Editorial Board of Bioremediation Journal. He is currently an Associate Editor of Ground Water Monitoring & Remediation. To stay abreast of trends and new technologies, Wilson often lectures on industry-related topics. “I learn a lot getting ready to teach. In the past I have provided continuing education through the Battelle Conferences and the National Groundwater Association.” Currently, Wilson serves on the REGENESIS Science Advisory Board. He continues, “As an Advisory Board member my job is to make sure REGENESIS doesn’t miss anything as far as the science of their products goes.” He also appreciates the professional relationship that he and Scissortail Environmental Solutions have with REGENESIS. “I enjoy working with them because they combine a strong technical background with extensive practical experience. They understand what I tell them, but they also know enough to evaluate my recommendations against their own unique experience base.” When it comes to applying specific REGENESIS solutions and products to his work, PlumeStop® tops his list. He shares, “If we can learn when to use PlumeStop, where to use it, and how to use it correctly, we can bring a lot of contaminated sites to closure.”

Residing in Ada, Oklahoma, where his firm’s offices are located, Wilson and his wife, Barbara, enjoy the familiarity and pace of a town they have come to know and appreciate through the years. “We are surrounded by good people,” he shares. “We have known most of the people here for a long time.” Outside of work, a favorite hobby includes rock collecting. He continues, “If I can I’ll bring back a rock from each field site I work. When I take road trips, I like to look at the landforms as we drive by and imagine how they came to be. I have a shelf full of the Roadside Geology series of books that I enjoy reading from time to time.” He also volunteers with the local Boy Scout program, an association that he’s enjoyed in Ada for more than 30 years. He continues, “I am on the local District Committee for Boy Scouts, and work with Troop 4 here in Ada. In fact, Barbara and I teach the Sustainability and Environmental Science Merit Badges. All three of our sons are Eagle Scouts.” In addition, he is active in the Rotary Club, and is a past president of his local club.

A Challenging and Improving Industry

When asked about the most demanding aspect of his work, Wilson points out the importance of good writing in his work. He shares, “Writing is hard for me, and it takes me a lot of time and effort to produce something I am ready to send to the client. Early in my career there were no word processors or spreadsheets. I banged out my reports on a manual typewriter, working from handwritten notes of journals that I had read in a library. I drew up figures for journal articles in ink on a drafting table. But today, the modern tools allow me to spend more time actually thinking about what the data means, instead of being involved in the immediate process of producing the manuscript.” And when asked how he’s seen the industry change over the years, he points to an added emphasis on procedures, safety, and performance compared to what he experienced early in his career. He concludes, “There is more process in the process, and much more documentation of procedures. There are also more forms to complete and permissions that must be granted before we do anything. And there is a much greater emphasis on safety, and on the performance and reliability of the systems that we install. Essentially, our industry does a much better of job now than it did thirty years ago.”

REGENESIS is proud to have John Wilson, PhD and Principal Scientist of Scissortail Environmental Solutions, LLC, as a valued partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his vast expertise and ongoing efforts in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Bruce Thompson, Senior Project Director and board member at de maximis, inc.

Bruce ThompsonFor Bruce Thompson, the rigorous training of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned his BS degree in Oceanography, provided the appropriate foundation for a successful career in environmental project management. As a Senior Project Director and board member at de maximis, inc., a leading environmental project management firm and valued REGENESIS client, Thompson continues to leverage the leadership and management experience he garnered as a commissioned Naval officer to make an impact in the field of environmental remediation. He shares, “de maximis was founded in 1988 and I was recruited and came aboard in 1991, so I was one of the early employees. I was hired right out of the U.S. Navy, where I had been teaching leadership and management to newly commissioned officers. Prior to that, I was a Division Officer on the USS IOWA, a WWII era battleship homeported in Norfolk, VA.” Now in his 27th year at de maximis, inc., Thompson clearly enjoys his work, and continues to help the firm pursue its overarching goal as the leading provider of comprehensive project coordination and management services for environmental investigation and remediation projects.

A Diverse Range of Remediation Responsibilities

His role with de maximis, inc. includes managing staff and services for New England, which covers a diverse range of remediation sites and responsibilities. He continues, “I serve as the Project Coordinator for work under Administrative Orders on Consent (AOCs) and Consent Decrees (CDs). The Project Coordinator is the lead technical person for the PRP Group, and is responsible for the administrative, technical, and financial aspects of the project. Additionally, the Project Coordinator is the counterpart to the EPA Remedial Project Manager. Currently, I’m serving as the Project Coordinator for projects including the Solvents Recovery Service of New England (SRSNE) Site in Southington, CT; the Nuclear Metals, Inc. (NMI) Site in Concord, MA; Industri-plex OU2 in Woburn, MA; York Oil OU1 and OU2 in Moira, NY; and the Auburn Road Landfill in Londonderry, NH.” When asked why he enjoys working with REGENESIS, Thompson cites the company’s professional, technology-focused reputation. “REGENESIS brings an excellent technical approach to evaluating each site and tailors the application of their products to create a recipe to meet the unique site goals required,” he says. “I saw their PlumeStop® presentations at the 2016 and 2018 Battelle conferences and discussed the product with REGENESIS’ technical staff. The application of in-situ carbon for certain types of plumes made a lot of sense. I basically filed it away in my mental “tool box” to look at if the right need came up at one of our sites.” The SRSNE site was our first project to use PlumeStop®, and included REGENESIS’ Aqua ZVI™ product as well. The project went beyond dealing with low-concentration VOCs – adding PFAS to the contaminants needing to be addressed. Thompson continues, “Based on the success of that project, I proposed the use of PlumeStop® at an EPA Region II CERCLA site, where we had low concentrations of BTEX that needed to be treated. We just finished that injection last month.”

Although he has nearly three decades of experience under his belt, Thompson knows first-hand the importance of keeping up with new technologies in a constantly evolving industry. He routinely attends professional conferences, and notes that over the years he has had an opportunity to work with and learn from some great individuals in the remediation industry. When asked what he enjoys most about his work, he reflects on the satisfaction that comes with working on a project from start to finish. “The most rewarding part for me is seeing a project through the entire process,” he says. “I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to take several sites through the remedial investigation and feasibility study processes, and then through the remedial design and remedial action steps.” And the most demanding aspect? “Starting up a new site and trying to get my head around the myriad of issues, data, site conceptual modeling, and other elements of a large, challenging site. Large-scale, long-term sites are complex and have a lot of nuances to sort out.”

Issues Emerge, Get Traction, and Become Understood

When he’s not working, Thompson, who lives in Simsbury, CT with his wife, enjoys skiing. “I grew up in California and learned to ski in Tahoe,” he says. “It’s an activity I’ve been able to share and enjoy with both of our daughters. I also try to be a “slope chaperone” for an after-school ski club each January. We use all 625’ vertical feet of the Ski Sundown area in New Hartford, CT. It’s not much, but it is only 20 minutes away. We also explore Vermont and New Hampshire ski areas when we can.” In addition, he has mentored some high school students who have expressed interest in the environmental field. When asked how he’s seen the industry change over the years, Thompson responds by sharing his observations on contaminant identification and initial awareness. He continues, “I’ve watched the process of an issue emerge, get traction, and then become understood multiple times. For example, we delineated DNAPL (dense non-aqueous phase liquid) at one of my first projects in 1993. We hired a recent PhD named Bernie Kueper to help us understand this new type of problem before there was the guidance and books now available on the topic. Trichloroethylene has gone from being considered toxic to bacteria, to us now sending off samples for qPCR analysis to quantify the DHC that is degrading it. Next was 1,4-dioxane, and now we’re dealing with PFAS.” When it comes to the future of environmental remediation he points to the importance of efficient operations and maintenance. He concludes, “Due to the types of projects I am involved with, I feel there is a need to continue to optimize long-term operations and maintenance (O&M). All of my current sites have very long O&M horizons, so we want to be as cost-effective as we can over time.”

REGENESIS is proud to have Bruce Thompson, Sr. Project Director and board member of de maximis, inc., as a valued client in environmental remediation, and appreciates his expertise and ongoing efforts in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Mike Gefell, Principal Scientist at Anchor QEA

Mike GefellFor Mike Gefell, Principal Scientist at Anchor QEA, a nationally recognized environmental and engineering consulting firm and valued REGENESIS client, understanding the complexities of groundwater and protecting this resource deserves great attention, and it is an aspect of our environment he has devoted his entire career to. His specialized field, known as quantitative hydrogeology, involves the analysis of hydrologic processes, including precipitation, groundwater flow, water-well yield, discharge to surface water, and water quality. With 29 years of industry experience in hydrogeology, Gefell has become a highly respected specialist. “I really enjoy quantitative hydrogeology,” says Gefell. “Collecting various types of data in the field, conducting technical evaluations to create a picture of what is happening at a site, and predicting outcomes based on the type of remediation implemented—it’s all quite fascinating. All my work focuses on protecting ecological and human receptors and water resources, and understanding the relationships between water and environmental risk.” He also appreciates the inherent and diverse challenges of environmental remediation. He continues, “I like the fact that hydrogeology is so complex, multifaceted, and highly variable from site to site—and it’s constantly changing.”

The Path to a Career in Quantitative Hydrogeology

Prior to joining Anchor QEA over three years ago, Gefell practiced quantitative hydrogeology with other environmental firms, with a focus on quantifying the flow of water and oily substances known as “non‑aqueous phase liquids” (NAPLs) through spaces in soil, sediment, and rock. Prior to working in the environmental industry, he earned his bachelor’s degree in geological sciences from Cornell University and a master’s degree in geology (with a focus on structural geology) from the University of California, Davis. However, it was not until after he earned his master’s degree that he decided on a career in environmental remediation. He shares, “When I finished grad school, the petroleum industry was in a lull, but I was fortunate to have a personal connection to a firm that was hiring new graduates with degrees in geology. The environmental industry had gotten started already, and it continued to grow after that.” For ongoing education and training, Gefell often attends conferences and participates in technical working groups for ITRC (Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council) and ASTM International. He continues, “I also attend the Battelle Chlorinated and Sediments conferences, RemTEC, the biennial MGP series, and NGWA meetings.”

An Innovative Remediation Design for PFAS and VOC Contamination

When asked what he likes most in working with REGENESIS, Gefell points to a unique relationship between both companies. He shares, “REGENESIS understood our team’s vision and collaborated with us to help realize our objectives.” With regard to recent successes using REGENESIS products, Gefell highlighted the SRSNE Superfund Site project, which was unique because of the manner in which PlumeStop® and AquaZVI™ were used. “These two REGENESIS products were injected into a system of subsurface, gravel-filled trenches,” he describes. “The trenches were designed to collect, convey, and distribute groundwater passively, without pumping. PlumeStop® and AquaZVI™ were selected because of their combined ability to treat PFAS and VOCs, allowing us to replace an expensive pump-and-treat system that had been operating continuously for 23 years. By injecting the treatment reagents into the engineered groundwater flow path, we eliminated guesswork about whether or not we would hit the target with the injections.” To ensure the project’s overall success, Gefell and his team designed a treatment zone to facilitate adequate water flow. He continues, “We created a treatment zone to our own specifications, and the affected groundwater has no choice but to flow through it for proper treatment. The hydraulic aspects of the design were interesting, and we used groundwater flow modeling to accomplish that. Also, a tiny yet important detail was the comparison between the size of particles in the PlumeStop® and AquaZVI™ injections versus the pore sizes within the natural soil. We successfully worked through that with REGENESIS to help ensure the groundwater would continue to flow freely through the system and into the downgradient soil.”

Residing in Golden, CO, where he works from Anchor QEA’s nearby office in Lakewood, CO, Gefell is married and has two sons. In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar and is especially a fan of vintage rock ‘n’ roll. He also finds time for biking, archery, skiing, hiking, and walking many of the trails near his home. In addition, he provides support to the Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and other organizations that serve environmental causes. He serves as the Technical Spotlight Editor for Groundwater journal, a leading international publication focused on groundwater and its role in the environment. When asked about the most rewarding aspect of his work, Gefell is quick to point to how much he enjoys working with smart, creative people to solve challenging problems, using new technologies and methods, while also having fun. And the most challenging aspect of his work? “The sheer complexity of the systems we study and the problems we solve—3D, time-variable with multiphase flow, chemical and biological complexities with evolving regulations, public sensitivities, client expectations, and demanding deadlines.”

When asked what he feels the future holds for environmental remediation, he says, “The purpose for remediation is to protect ecosystems and people from potentially harmful substances. As more toxicological testing is conducted, more will be learned about substances that are not yet regulated, and new ones will likely be added to the list at some point in the future. These emerging compounds will drive the next wave of remedial responses. The current focus on PFAS is a good example. I also believe remediation will continue to shift toward problems that are larger and more complex.”

REGENESIS is proud to have Mike Gefell, Principal Scientist at Anchor QEA, as a valued client in environmental remediation and appreciates his specialized knowledge and ongoing efforts in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Jeffrey Holden, Senior Engineer at GEI Consultants, Inc.

Jeffrey Holden, Senior Engineer at GEI ConsultantsFor Jeffrey Holden, Senior Engineer at GEI Consultants, Inc., a leading environmental services firm and valued REGENESIS client, a career in environmental engineering came about after initially having interest in a career in the aerospace industry. However, he soon left the solar system behind for planet earth. “I had originally intended to pursue a career in aerospace engineering,” shares Holden, “But I was rather disappointed by my college internship experiences in that field. At about the same time, I also became passionate about the outdoors, and wanted to do something to help preserve and restore impacted land.” Holden’s efforts in helping to preserve our planet’s environment began upon graduation from Clarkson University, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in both Mechanical/Aeronautical and Civil/Environmental Engineering. He worked for nearly 25 years at a leading global design, engineering and management consulting company, ultimately managing roles as a Senior Engineer, Vice President, and Principal in Charge. He shifted gears to join GEI in December of 2016 and immediately found himself immersed in new and refreshing multi-disciplinary roles. He shares, “I manage a variety of projects, provide regulatory and technical guidance for projects, and support marketing and proposal opportunities.  I’m also the coordinator of GEI’s PFAS Team, which is aimed at developing, coordinating, and leveraging GEI’s experience and expertise related to emerging contaminants like PFAS compounds.”

A Constantly Changing Environmental Remediation Industry

At GEI, Holden appreciates the impressive wealth of knowledge, expertise, and steady growth the company has forged since it was first founded in 1970. Headquartered in Massachusetts, GEI was ranked #92 on the 2018 ENR Top 500 Design Firms list, and has climbed 30 positions just since 2013. In addition, the company is also ranked #66 on the list of Top Pure Designers in the United States, and has 38 office locations throughout the country. Adds Holden, “I really enjoy expanding GEI’s scope of services and mentoring junior staff. And as a P.E. and a Massachusetts Licensed Site Professional (LSP), I also have technical and regulatory compliance responsibilities. However, what I enjoy most about my position is the complex and highly diverse types of sites and projects that I’ve been fortunate to work on.  I’m also lucky to have worked with some excellent clients, coworkers, and collaborators.” When asked about the future goals of GEI, Holden points to a desire to foster even greater levels of client trust, ingenuity, and collaboration. He shares, “GEI’s goals are to be a preferred provider and trusted advisor to our clients; to be known for creative yet practical solutions to challenging issues; to be recognized for outstanding expertise in our service areas; and to be an employer of choice for the best people in our industry.  And we want to do all this while retaining the collaborative and entrepreneurial atmosphere of a small firm.” Not surprisingly, as a result of the company’s culture and objectives, Holden is pleased with the direction GEI is taking in accomplishing its objectives.  When asked about the most demanding aspect of his work, he points to the constant changes taking place within environmental remediation. He continues, “It can be difficult at times keeping abreast of new technologies and finding ways to be increasingly efficient in a mature and competitive marketplace.”

Preventing PFAS Migration at a Superfund Site

When describing his relationship with REGENESIS, Holden’s enthusiasm is quickly evident in the wake of GEI’s current project and initial use of PlumeStop®.  He continues, “Thus far, PlumeStop® and AquaZVI™ are the two products I’ve personally worked with. Right now, we are in the midst of a pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of PlumeStop® at preventing downgradient migration of PFAS in groundwater at a Superfund site.  Although I am aware that PlumeStop® has been used on hundreds of sites globally to address other contaminants, I understand this to be the first such application in treating PFOS and PFOA in the U.S. and I am eager to assess its effectiveness.  I have found the REGENESIS team to be forward-thinking, innovative, collaborative, and competent, which makes them enjoyable to work with.” Suffice to say, these attributes help illuminate some of the changes Holden has observed within the environmental remediation industry itself. These include changes in corporate attitudes toward environmental regulations and increased burdens on environmental agencies with shrinking budgets. He continues, “The amount of science supporting the industry has increased significantly, and I think we’re on the verge of seeing shifts in the types of contaminants we focus on within our industry.”

Residing in Ithaca, NY, Holden and his fiancé, Lisa, are each parents to two college-aged children, and are looking forward to continuing to integrate their lives and families. In his spare time, he enjoys watching soccer, a sport he has played, coached, and been a fan of throughout most of his life. He also enjoys gardening and cooking, and is especially proud of his baked Steelhead Trout and a homemade jalapeno tomato sauce dishes. “A neighbor dropped off a bunch of fresh garden vegetables once, and I had to come up with a creative way to use them. I ended up adding sausage and hot peppers to create something truly memorable.” In addition, he supports his local Ducks Unlimited chapter by volunteering at select events and activities. He also finds time to study and learn about current trends and developments within his industry by attending conferences and webinars whenever possible, especially within the areas of PFAS. He shares, “REGENESIS offers free webinars that I take advantage of whenever my schedule allows, and continuing education is required for my New York PE and my Massachusetts and Connecticut licensed professional certifications.”

When asked about what he feels the future holds for environmental remediation, he expects societal pressures will drive regulators and industry to consider a substantially expanding list of chemicals that have come to be present in the environment, with many representing a potential threat to human health or the environment. He concludes, “I think this will extend beyond “classic” contaminants, such as PCBs, to include things like caffeine and chemicals/pharmaceuticals we currently use on a routine basis, without much consideration of their ultimate fate.  I also expect cleanup goals will continue to get more and more stringent as the public becomes less tolerant of any level of contamination in air, water, and soil.”

REGENESIS is proud to have Jeffrey Holden, Senior Engineer at GEI Consultants, Inc., as a valued client in environmental remediation, and appreciates his wealth of experience and ongoing efforts in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Richard Desrosiers, Associate Principal and Hydrogeologist at GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

Richard Desrosiers, Associate Principal and Hydrogeologist at GZA GeoEnvironmentalWhen it comes to honing one’s expertise within the environmental remediation industry, Richard Desrosiers, Associate Principal and Hydrogeologist at GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., a leading environmental services firm and valued REGENESIS client, continues to excel. As a Connecticut licensed environmental professional and Professional Geologist, Desrosiers has more than 30 years of experience in Geology, Hydrogeology, and project management, and continues to build a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable remediation experts in his field. “I initially started my professional career in the mid-1980s in Massachusetts as a Geologist/Hydrogeologist with an A&E firm,” shares Desrosiers. “At that time my focus was aimed at locating water supply wells and evaluating resources for developing large tracks of land for residential, industrial and commercial development.  I moved to Connecticut to work on what became a major ATSDR hazardous waste facility that included PCBs, dioxin, chlorinated solvents (DNAPL), hydrocarbons (LNALP), metals and asbestos in soil. As the Project Manager and lead Hydrogeologist, I characterized the nature and extent of the contamination under an EPA administrative order, along with remedial actions to close lagoons.” Throughout the mid-1990s Desrosiers’ firm focused on Recirculation Well Technologies and innovative groundwater solutions for military, municipal and industrial facilities throughout the U.S. “This included managing a bioremediation study using UVB Vacuum Vaporization Well technology at an EPA Site Demonstration Project at several pilot studies at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, capturing and treating chlorinated solvents in a single pass.”

Characterizing Complex Plumes

In the early 2000s, Desrosiers joined another environmental firm as a Senior Associate/Hydrogeologist, characterizing and remediating various industrial sites.  One of his more technical projects involved providing environmental due- for the purchase and sale of a Base Realignment and Closure facility of the Department of Defense.  He shares, “The characterization identified multiple , three-release area that resulted in 6-groundwater plumes that migrated radially out for the releases.  At one release, 2-shallow and 1-deep plume migrated in 3-directions. The characterization delineated that the plumes impacted 1-square mile (chlorinated solvents and hexavalent chromium) and included the completion of an ecological risk assessment. Subsequently, remedial action plans were developed that included the in-situ chemical oxidation and biochemical stabilization.”

In his current role with GZA GeoEnvironmental, where he’s served for the past 12 years, Desrosiers is responsible for marketing efforts and project management. He adds, “I also continue to develop my technical skills by working with other GZA offices and with the staff in our Glastonbury, Connecticut office.” When asked about the future goals of GZA, a multidisciplinary environmental consulting firm with offices spanning much of the Midwest and Eastern U.S., Desrosiers’ thoughts turn to the future, saying, “Simply put, GZA’s mission is to be the premier provider of practical and innovative solutions to the 21st century challenges of natural and built environments, for the benefit of our clients, employees, shareholders, and society.” Throughout his career, he has lived and worked across much of the Eastern U.S., and earned his BS in Geology at Northeastern University. In fact, it was while studying chemistry at Northeastern University that Desrosiers decided to pursue a career in geology. He continues, “I was originally studying to be a chemist, but my education path changed at Northeastern and I fell in love with geology.  This opened many other opportunities exploring subsurface conditions, which to the natural progression to solving complex soil and groundwater issues using a variety of characterization and remedial techniques.”

Turning to the Suite of Innovative REGENESIS Products

When it comes to working with REGENESIS, Desrosiers quickly points to the company’s innovative products and experienced staff as keys to his success. He continues, “REGENESIS provides several specialty products that we have used at contaminated sites. They also have a very competent technical staff that provides the quantities of the product needed, but more importantly, an expert team to confer with for the ideal product selection.”  Among the REGENESIS products used, he cites PlumeStop® Liquid Activated Carbon™, 3-D Microemulsion®, RegenOx®, and Hydrogen Release Compound (HRC®) as solutions which have been particularly impressive.  When asked what he enjoys most about his work, he points to helping the environment and mentoring staff. “I enjoy the everyday challenges, and that includes helping to resolve a client’s environmental issues and facing technical challenges. I also gain satisfaction by helping junior staff grow so that they can become the future leaders of GZA.” And the most difficult aspect of his work? “After 33 years in the industry, the environmental industry still challenging to finding economic solutions for our clients’ needs as the industry keeps changing.”

Married for 30-plus years, Desrosiers and his wife Pam have three grown children and one granddaughter. Outside of work, his hobbies include travel, (he’s traveled to 46 states and counting), coached his kids soccer teams, (he was a licensed coach for 10 years), and working on various home remodeling projects. As an eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America program, he was an Assistant Scout Master and Charter Organization Rep he watched as his son earn his Eagle Scout award.  With regard to how he would encourage others to pursue a career in environmental sciences, Desrosiers suggests those interested in this field of study should focus on geology, chemistry, biology, and engineering. He concludes, “I would advise those who have an interest in our environment to concentrate on the core sciences and engineering degrees, and not the general environmental sciences. Our industry has evolved into one of specialization, so obtaining expertise in specific facets of environmental remediation should prove to be extremely beneficial.”

REGENESIS is proud to have Richard Desrosiers, Associate Principal, Hydrogeologist at GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., as a valued client in environmental remediation, and appreciates his wealth of experience and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Erin Huntley, Senior Technical Manager/Technical Principal at WSP

Erin Huntley WSPFor Erin Huntley, Senior Technical Manager/Technical Principal at WSP, a leading engineering and professional services firm and valued REGENESIS client, combining her experience in field geology with an interest in project management allows her to enjoy a diverse, satisfying role in her efforts to help sustain our environment.  With a background that includes geochemistry, environmental health & safety, and other areas of earth science, Ms. Huntley is able to identify and assist other team members in bringing projects to successful closure. “I started out as a field geologist and gained experience in hydrogeology, geology, and geochemistry,” shares Huntley.  “I worked my way up through various positions while at WSP.  Having had that experience really helped as a project manager because I can understand what can and will go wrong in the field, and how to adapt and recover.” In her current role with WSP, where she has worked since 2000, Huntley is fortunate to be involved in several aspects of environmental remediation. She continues, “I definitely wear a couple of hats – general project management, due diligence, and health & safety, but I really like working as the geological lead on a project and pulling all the historical and regional information together to develop an effective, comprehensive sampling plan that can translate into a realistic CSM.”

A Career in Remediation

To prepare for a career in remediation, Huntley earned her B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina, and shortly thereafter an M.S. in Geosciences from Pennsylvania State University.  Choosing a career path that would eventually lead her to WSP began with her early field work. Huntley continues, “My experience sloshing around salt marshes and collecting samples was better suited to environmental consulting, and I was quite interested in how the biome affects the geochemistry and vice versa. I found I much preferred the tangible experience of being in the field over sitting behind a computer constructing a model.” To stay abreast of the latest trends and technology in her industry, Huntley attends the Battelle Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated & Recalcitrant Compounds every two years. She adds, “The scope at this conference is very broad, but you can really drill down into a topic and learn about cutting edge technologies.” In addition, she attends various webinars on a regular basis. Her ongoing experience, successes, and continued training serve to help her and WSP reach their goal of providing their clients with innovative and effective solutions to address their most difficult business and technical challenges. She continues, “We are part of a global 43,000 plus multidisciplinary corporation, yet, we are able to still provide our clients with a strong local presence and need to continue to do so.  Additionally, we now have the ability to draw upon world-renowned experts to provide relevant specialty services. We want to ensure we maintain this level of service and expertise in the future.”

Working with REGENESIS to Achieve Destructive Treatment of Chlorinated Solvents

When it comes to partnering with REGENESIS, Huntley says she began working with the company in 2008, using Hydrogen Release Compound (HRC®) in upstate New York at an abandoned site. She shares, “Needless to say there were some challenges, but we also enjoyed great success. More recently, we’ve been using a combined remedy approach that incorporates HRC®,  Bio-Dechlor Inoculum® Plus and PlumeStop® to stimulate sorption and destructive treatment of chlorinated solvents. We’ve seen a  reduction in tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene concentrations and are approaching remedial objectives.”

Huntley and her 13-year-old daughter live in Pittsburgh, where she works out of WSP’s office. In her spare time she enjoys music, (“My daughter is finally old enough so I can drag her along with me to shows.”), and anything outdoors, especially water-related activities. She is also quick to point out that she and her daughter took up alpine skiing last year and are relieved there have been no major injuries yet!  Her volunteer activities include spearheading an office food drive for a local pantry, and she recently participated in a fundraiser and walk for Autism Connection. When asked what the most rewarding aspect of her job is, she says it’s the teamwork aspect. “I like working as a part of a project team and listening and learning from all the other perspectives and experience.” And the most challenging part of her work? “All the bureaucratic stuff, I have little patience for forms.” Throughout her career, Huntley has seen the remediation industry evolve, and feels it is trending in the right direction. She shares, “Although it would be great to find that “silver bullet”, a one size fits all solution, at least now we have a couple of decades of research behind us.  We are smarter as an industry, and we can collect the right data, target the sources, and today have more effective technologies to implement which actually close out sites.”

Appreciating How Things Should Be

Being a woman in a field that is dominated by men does not faze Huntley, who feels her field of study needs more women. She continues, “One of the reasons I decided to work for WSP (then ESC) was because there were women on the technical staff and my interview questions were about what I knew and my experience, not if I could carry a toolbox. We really need to have more women in leadership roles where we can influence policy, mentor, and ultimately change the culture.” When it comes to encouraging others to join her field of study, she says it’s important to get outside. “Get out of your house and experience the woods, mountains, and beaches,” says Huntley.  “You need to have an appreciation for how things can and should be if you want to make a difference.”

REGENESIS is proud to have Erin Huntley, Senior Technical Manager/Technical Principal at WSP, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates her dedication and diverse contributions in making a difference in successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.

Client Spotlight: Elliot Haro, Vice President and Principal Scientist at Haro Environmental, Inc.

haroChoosing a career in environmental sciences was an easy choice for Elliot Haro, Vice President and Principal Scientist at Haro Environmental, Inc., an environmental consulting firm and valued REGENESIS client. In high school, Haro was already interested in chemistry, math and biology, three important subject areas that would eventually frame his undergraduate studies in college. “I really enjoyed math and chemistry in the first two years of college,” says Haro. “Then I took an introduction course on soils and realized this field included a great combination of math, chemistry, and biology. I knew then that for me, environmental science was the perfect match!” As an executive with Haro Environmental, Inc., Elliot is responsible for a wide range of the firm’s services, which provides him with ongoing diversity in his work. He continues, “My current role with the company includes managing everything from procurement and marketing to project management and project implementation, including sampling and reporting.  As such, there’s a nice balance between field work and office work.”  He also likes the fact that each day is different. His work spans client and contract management, project management where he manages field services and reporting, to soil, soil vapor and groundwater investigations and site assessment.

The Path to Environmental Remediation

Haro’s path to environmental remediation started while in college. After earning his BS and MS in Soil Science from California Polytechnic State University, he worked as an Associate Soil Scientist, working his way up to Senior Soil Scientist for a several environmental consulting and engineering firms. He then helped form Haro Environmental, Inc. in 2013, with the goal of providing best in-class, client-focused consulting services. He continues, “I believe this is what sets us apart from other consulting firms. Unlike other firms which often utilize staff-level employees to perform the work which could result in critical items being missed, we have senior-level staff intimately involved in all of aspects of our projects.  This enables us to maintain close contact with the client to ensure their goals are met.” To stay abreast of changes in technology and advancements within the environmental remediation industry, Haro regularly attends webinars on remediation and monitoring trends. When asked what he enjoys most about his work he points to two simple words he likes to hear from clients. He shares, “The best part is when the client says ‘thank you’, because that tells me we are doing a good job and validates our commitment to client goals. Another rewarding aspect about the environmental field is the challenge and success of developing remediation alternatives that minimize the environmental impact.  For example, using in-situ remediation strategies instead of dig and haul can conserve resources such as diesel fuel for the excavation equipment, and the disposed soil to a landfill. This means fewer trucks on the highway and also eliminates the need to import clean fill soil.” And the most challenging aspect of his work? “Figuring out ways to reduce environmental contaminants to concentrations, for unrestricted land use.”

Partnering with REGENESIS in a Changing Environmental Industry

When he’s not involved in groundwater monitoring, investigating soil vapor, or a host of other day-to-day work responsibilities, Haro can be found surfing somewhere off California’s Central Coast, near Los Osos, where he lives with his wife and two children. “I’m up for anything in the ocean,” he says, “Except sharks!  I really enjoy surfing, and living on the central coast offers great opportunities for that.” He is also involved in charity work, and points out that Haro Environmental, Inc. donates its services to support local non-profit organizations, including the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo. When it comes to working with REGENESIS, Haro is especially impressed with the level of their technical expertise. He continues, “REGENESIS brings a strong technical background to each project.  We recently completed an injection of PlumeStop® and Hydrogen Release Compound (HRC®) to degrade chlorinated VOCs. The challenges of this project were the same as with most injection projects- distribution.  The pre-injection design verification field assessment was helpful in understanding the subsurface conditions, and the outcome was successful. VOC concentrations were reduced, and project goals were met within 2 years of the injection without the need for any follow up injections.” He is also pleased with how PlumeStop® has been shown to be rapidly effective for reducing dissolved-phase chlorinated VOC concentrations in groundwater, and feels Bio-Dechlor Inoculum® Plus is helpful with the full dechlorinating reaction.

In terms of how he’s seen the industry change over the past several years, Haro says he’s noticed the industry’s services have evolved, as well as changes in its overall approach to remediation. He continues, “I think it’s changed from an engineered approach to removing contaminant mass, to enhancing natural systems for reducing contaminant concentrations, with an emphasis on risk management.”  And when asked what he sees the future holds for environmental remediation, Haro quickly points to the field of biology as an essential focal point. “In my mind, without question the future is biology. The remediation industry is continuing to advance its understanding regarding the complex interactions between living organisms and the chemicals in their environment. This understanding is enabling consultants to take advantage of the natural biological systems to degrade environmental pollutants for efficient remediation.” And in offering advice to others who might be interested in a career in environmental sciences, he concludes by underscoring the need for practical work experience prior to completing university studies. “If someone is interested, an internship is a great way to learn more about the environmental field.  He also suggests joining clubs or organizations that are involved in the conservation on natural resources.  This is helpful to gain an understanding of the type of work environmental consultants do, and allows you to meet those in the field who may be helpful in starting a career after college.”

REGENESIS is proud to have Elliot Haro, Vice President and Principal Scientist at Haro Environmental, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his range of diverse experience in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.