When you ask Nick Alfino, Project Professional at Antea Group USA, Inc., about his role within the company, it quickly becomes apparent he is tasked with a broad range of responsibilities. As a leading international engineering and consulting firm, and valued REGENESIS client, Antea Group USA, Inc. relies heavily on Alfino to manage field oversight that includes site investigations, soil sampling, remediation implementation, System Operation and Maintenance, Phase I investigations, and Storm Water Pollution Protection Plans (SWPP)/Spill Prevention Control Plan (SPCC) inspections. In addition, he’s also responsible for technical report writing for air permit applications, emission inventories, remedial action plans, work plans, performance monitoring reports, and closure requests. Suffice to say, the depth and volume of these responsibilities keeps Alfino extremely involved and busy, yet he wouldn’t want it any other way. Shares Alfino, “I really enjoy my position, especially the diversity of the projects I work on. I like that each day is a new challenge in a different industry or practice area. It allows me to expand my knowledge in multiple fields through Antea Group’s wide variety of experienced Consultants and Project Managers.” His broad range of work is further amplified by the varied and extensive capabilities of Antea Group’s vast operations, which as an international health, safety and environmental consulting firm, employs more than 3,500 employees in over 75 offices on six continents.
Nick’s Path to a Career in Remediation
Alfino’s path that eventually would lead him into environmental remediation was sparked while working on a senior design project in college. Initially, through his early education, he was interested in structural engineering, with his sights on bridge construction, but in college he was unable to find a suitable design project. He continues, “The project that interested me the most was designing a mobile treatment system for produced and flowback water from hydraulic fracturing. My work on this project encouraged me to switch directions and focus on environmental remediation.” This directional change in his studies culminated with Alfino earning his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University , and he began his career with Antea Group USA, Inc. shortly thereafter. To stay current within the industry he takes additional coursework through the University of California Irvine (UCI) Extension program. “I have taken an Air Permitting Course through UCI”, he says, “and an Advanced Tanks – Air Emissions course offered by International Liquid Tanks Administration (ILTA). I also attend various webinars offered by REGENESIS which include recent webinars, “Safe and Effective In Situ Remediation: Best Practices for Amendment Selection, Design and Project Execution” that my colleague, Jack Sheldon presented on and “Demonstrating Contaminant Biodegradation in Conjunction with PlumeStop Liquid Activated Carbon.” Not surprisingly, his steadfast efforts to continually stay abreast of the latest trends in land sciences, coupled with his day-to-day responsibilities and academic background, have positioned Alfino as a member of the industry’s new breed of rising stars.
Trusting REGENESIS to Understand the Site
When asked what he enjoys most about working with REGENESIS, Alfino points to the close working relationship between Antea Group USA and REGENESIS, and how it has helped in achieving his objectives. Shares Alfino, “I enjoy working with REGENESIS because they have the feel of a partner more than that of a contractor. As an example, when working on a project in Yuma, AZ, Dan Nunez, REGENESIS Southwest Technical Manager, made the effort to come by our office multiple times during the process to have discussions with us about our understanding of the site, our remediation goals, and to ultimately help us select the correct solution for our site. We received other bids from contractors for this project, yet none asked what our remediation goals were or took the time to understand our site. It appeared they had just plugged numbers into a spreadsheet and sent the information to us in a bid. Our trust in REGENESIS’s understanding of the site made using their products an easy decision.” Alfino and Antea Group USA have used a variety of REGENESIS’s products, including PlumeStop®, PerfulfOx®, RegenOx® and ORC®/ORC Advanced®. He continues, “I would not say there is a specific REGENESIS product I favor most, however, what I enjoy about working with REGENESIS is the wide variety of products they offer. We are able to sit down with their team, evaluate our site conceptual model, and then select the product we believe will be the most effective given all of the information that we discussed for a given site.”
Although he maintains a demanding work schedule, Alfino tries to find time for hiking, skiing, and fly fishing. “My favorite river to fish is the South Platte (Colorado)” says Alfino. “Especially Eleven Mile Canyon, The Dream Stream, and Cheeseman Canyon. I also enjoy fishing the Yampa in Steamboat Springs, where my parents now live. My favorite hike is probably Potato Chip Rock in San Diego, and for a top ski resort I’d have to say it’s Steamboat and Winter Park, both of which are in Colorado.” He also enjoys donating his time for charity. While attending college, he helped Habitat for Humanity build homes in Fort Collins, CO. He continues, “I also raised money for Saint Baldrics Foundation by shaving my head in honor of my sister who beat leukemia at the age of 14. At Antea Group, they give the staff one day per year, with pay, to volunteer for a charity of our choice. This past year our Long Beach office used our day to work with the Catalina Island Conservancy to remove invasive species from the beach along the island.”
Working Hard for Remediation Success
When asked what he likes most about his work, Alfino points to the success of his and Antea’s efforts in water quality. “I think the most rewarding aspect of my job is getting groundwater or soil data post remediation and seeing decreases in concentrations. Much of this job is unseen, and it’s hard to know if it worked until the results are in, so getting that data and calculating a percent reduction is quite rewarding.” And the most challenging part of his work? “The extended travel can be demanding at times. This job has taken me all over the western United States- the good and the bad, and sometimes up to months at a time in rural areas which can be challenging.” One project in particular comes to mind that required several weeks and some extremely long hours. He concludes, “One of the most challenging projects was the site in Yuma, AZ I mentioned. I was essentially living in the Best Western Inn for almost three months. Due to project delays, we were working for almost two months consistently, including weekends, to achieve deadlines. The project required me to fly home from Yuma on Thanksgiving Day to be with my family. In the end, we were able to complete the project on schedule and budget. The project was one of the more challenging but also one of the most rewarding.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Nick Alfino, Project Professional with Antea USA, Inc., as a valued client and rising star in environmental remediation, and appreciates his dedication and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.