With 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.