For Cody Martin, Project Environmental Scientist with C&S Engineers, Inc., a leading environmental services company and valued REGENESIS client, a successful career path in environmental remediation began while he was exploring a field of study for his master’s program. Although he had earned his undergraduate degree in Anthropology, he soon realized his true passion concerned the mounting environmental challenges that were beginning to impact our planet. It was then that he decided to point his compass toward a career that would help treat contaminated properties while offering greater fulfillment, eventually leading to environmental site assessment. He shares, “I looked into other programs at the University of Buffalo (UB), where I’d earned my undergraduate degree, and soon developed an interest in the Geography Department and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I then went on to earn my MS from UB in GIS and Environmental Modeling.” After graduate school, Cody was hired as a GIS Technician for a small consulting company in Buffalo, where he trained to prepare Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments and eventually worked on remediation projects as an environmental scientist. He continues, “Initially, much of my education in my career came from years of learning on the job, and my first position out of graduate school was a great experience. When my mentor at the company I was with left the firm, he brought me with him to start the Environmental Department in C&S’s Buffalo Office. His guidance was invaluable, and he played a key role in developing my experience in environmental remediation.”
In his current position with C&S Engineers, Cody’s responsibilities focus primarily on Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP) sites, a state program regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The program incentivizes the remediation of properties that have been left vacant or abandoned for many years. He continues, “This program has helped encourage private development in many areas of Buffalo. In essence, I help private developers manage their way through the BCP process. This means balancing their needs with the requirements of the NYSDEC. There is a lot of administrative work required for the BCP, so I also design the remedial investigation and remedial action plan. Additionally, we are required to document and oversee the cleanup activities.” With such a demanding, complex role that includes so many aspects, Cody receives a great deal of satisfaction in his work. He shares, “I enjoy seeing projects develop from the conceptual phase all the way through to remediation and completion.” He also feels the BCP is a good example of what states can do to help mitigate and neutralize contaminated properties. He continues, “In New York, we have an incentive program with tax credits for property that is impaired by contamination. The BCP has been a major component in the revitalization of Buffalo, and shows that with the proper incentives and process in place, significant progress can be made. What I like about my work is that I help make it possible to repair the damage, cleanup the petroleum spill or remove the contaminated waste, and improve the health of the environment, while at the same time encouraging economic growth.”
When it comes to working with REGENESIS, Cody appreciates the level of expertise that the staff brings to his work, along with the range of proven products and solutions. He points to a current project he and his team is managing, “I am currently working with REGENESIS on a TCE groundwater plume in Jamestown, NY and there are multiple REGENESIS products that are being considered. REGENESIS provides multiple products that can be used in a wide variety of situations. In the case of the TCE plume in Jamestown, I reached out to the REGENESIS team to help me design a conceptual approach to treating this site. They were able to provide me not only estimated volumes for their product but also the estimated number of borings, spacing and depths. This was very helpful and shows they are willing to provide technical assistance for the entire project, not just in regard to their products.” Regarding specific REGENESIS products, RegenOx® has been used with success on several occasions. One recent example involved a BCP project, which was a former gas station with significant soil and groundwater contamination. Once the soil remediation phase was complete, Cody and his team reached out to a number of chemical companies for a product to help clean up the residual groundwater contamination, however, the product had to be non-corrosive to metal because the BCP project was the site of a multi-million dollar health care office complex. Cody explains, “We had two floors of underground parking with steel sheeting for walls and multiple new underground utility lines. Injecting a product with any corrosive effect was a concern for the project team. Ultimately, REGENESIS’ RegenOx® was successfully used to lower the petroleum contaminants in the groundwater.” To stay current on the latest industry trends and technology, Cody participates in various webinars, including those offered by REGENESIS. “In my opinion, the two best webinars are from REGENESIS and the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC),” he says. “I’ve attended a few webinars from REGENESIS about PFAS and “lessons learned” from other consultants that were very informative.”
With his wife and two young sons, Cody and his family live in a suburb of Buffalo, NY. In his free time, he enjoys running and helping with his family’s horse boarding facility. He shares, “I don’t ride horses right now, but I do a lot of odd jobs to help out because I enjoy it. I also enjoy running 5k races and am training to run some 10k races in the near future. Last year I ran the Envirun held by the Air & Waste Management Association on Earth Day. It was very cold and windy that day, but it was still fun to run along the Niagara River.” When asked what he likes most about his work, Cody says he enjoys being part of a project from start to finish. He continues, “From the conceptual idea of the project to the design, getting excavators onsite, and to seeing the project built, I know that in many cases the project would not have moved forward without my efforts and the assistance from the Brownfield Cleanup Program.” And the most demanding aspect of his job? “Every project has different, demanding elements. Sometimes it’s the schedule, or the weather, or the client.” When asked how he would encourage others to join his field of study, he stresses the importance of learning as much as possible, early on. He concludes, “If someone is interested in environmental remediation, then the best place to start is finding internship opportunities. The summer is the busiest time of the year for folks in the environmental consulting world. Even if there are no posted opportunities, ask anyway. Hands on learning will be the best way to see if you will enjoy this field.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Cody Martin, Project Environmental Scientist with C&S Engineers, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his diverse technical experience and knowledge base in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.