As our earth’s environment, and more specifically, environmental remediation, increasingly garner more attention, the challenges associated with successful site cleanup call for experienced professionals who truly want to make a difference, both now and for future generations. Enter Gordon Dean, Vice President with Advanced Environmental Technologies, LLC (AET), a valued REGENESIS® client and a leader in providing cost-effective solutions for an array of environmental challenges. As a Senior Professional Engineer for AET, covering several states in the Southeast, Dean takes great pride in helping to shape the future of bioremediation. “I really enjoy my work and derive a great deal of satisfaction in cleaning up waste sites and returning them to beneficial uses,” shares Dean. “Clean closure of a site allows my clients full unencumbered use of their properties while protecting the drinking water supplies for future generations.”
As one might expect, experience is paramount with today’s challenging combination of technical requirements and evolving federal and state regulations. That’s where Dean’s experience separates him from others in his field. Following earning his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida, his career path, which spans over 35 years, includes several field and executive positions with environmental firms specializing in soil and groundwater remediation, landfill monitoring and maintenance, contamination assessment, in situ intrinsic remediation, and other environmental restoration services. Shares Dean, “My current responsibilities at AET include reviewing, signing, and sealing engineering documents, preparing proposals, and managing hazardous waste cleanup sites. I also manage soil and groundwater sampling, laboratory analysis methodology, underground and aboveground storage tank site assessment, and a range of other responsibilities.”
When asked what he enjoys most about working with REGENESIS, Dean points to the company’s innovative products, specifically, PlumeStop®, which he recently used for a pay-for-performance site. He continues, “The Shell McClean site marks the first site where I used REGENESIS’ PlumeStop. The design was complicated by the fact that a large diameter auger source removal had previously been conducted by others, and the site was covered with approximately 15 feet of flowable fill. I was eager to try the liquid activated carbon™ amendment after seeing several presentations at the Florida Remediation Conference last year, and felt it gave me the best chance for a successful project completion.” The success of PlumeStop at this site made quite an impression. He continues, “PlumeStop has the potential to be a game changer in site remediation. It is unique in that it provides two complementary methods of remediation in a single long lasting application. The activated carbon provides immediate adsorption of the contaminants and also provides nucleation sites for biological degradation. Plus, theoretically, a single application could last for years.”
Working out of the Tallahassee AET office, Dean and his wife live on a 75-acre horse and cattle ranch in rural Jefferson County, Florida. Shares Dean, “We have a barrel racing arena and board eight horses in addition to our own horses. We also raise a small herd of 15 to 30 Texas Longhorn cattle.” And how did Texas Longhorn cattle find their way onto Dean’s farm exactly? “Longhorns are a heritage breed that almost became extinct due to cross-breeding after the Civil War. Several herds of purebred stock were saved and formed the foundation for all of today’s Longhorns. They are a very hardy, self-sufficient cow and are surprisingly docile. We sell them for roping stock and also process them for lean, grass-fed beef.” When he’s not working, Dean enjoys their ranch, and looks forward to cooking up grilled steaks and fried turkey, as well as other ranch-type specialties. In addition, he also finds time to donate to the local Chamber of Commerce, has served as Treasurer of the Monticello Opera House, and as a board member of the Southern Music Rising festival.
When asked about the most demanding aspect of his job, Dean explains that each site can present a multitude of challenges. He continues, “It can be challenging with site access, financial constraints, compressed schedules, cleanup target levels, lithology, and hydrology issues. Time consuming and intrusive – cleanups generally take one to several years to reach site goals, and construction activities can then take weeks or months, which significantly impact a client’s business operations. However, products and solutions like PlumeStop offer the possibility of a one-time application that can rapidly remediate sites with minimal impact to the business operations.”
When asked how he would encourage others to join his field of study, he suggests it’s best to obtain an engineering or geology degree and obtain your professional certifications. “I see too many job candidates with some type of environmental science degree that does not include professional certification, and this limits their future job prospects.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Gordon Dean, Vice President of Advanced Environmental Technologies, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his experience and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.