What Does CSC Do?

Environmental Consulting

We will always know more tomorrow than we know today. The only finality that exists is recognition of and compliance with fundamental physical and chemical principles. The real issue in environmental science is when did we know enough. That point was decades ago.

CSC provides a wide range of technical and consulting services related to environmental chemistry and regulatory compliance. CSC specializes in addressing issues focusing on the sources, reactions, transport, effects, and fates of chemical species in water, soil, air and living environments, and assessing the positive and negative impacts of human activities thereon. Our greatest strength lies in our ability to tackle emerging environmental issues by building upon our foundation of traditional environmental consulting services. CSC is well-positioned to undertake the challenge ofassisting clients in their efforts to implement sustainable ecological practices and to reduce business environmental risk factors associated with the recycling of former industrial properties.

CSC offers both Phase I and Phase II environmental assessments of properties in real estate transactions, investigation and feasibility studies of contaminated sites, evaluation and/or management of remedial actions, and representation before regulatory agencies.Over the years, we have established a solid reputation as litigation consultants who thoroughly understand client requirements and expectations when conducting investigative reviews and when providing expert assistance in civil and criminal cases involving Superfund liability, toxic torts, environmental damage claims, and regulatory enforcement actions.

Project experience ranges from third-party document review to risk assessments; from property assessments to small,pilot-scale and large monitoring and remediation project management; and from permitting to providing technical oversight for multimillion-dollar operations. Principal clients include industrial and chemical manufacturers, aerospace firms, commercial and industrial developers and realtors, banks and other lending institutions, commercial printers, insurance companies and law firms.

Real Transactions

Range of Services Offered:

  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
  • Phase II Environmental Site Investigations
  • Brownfield Assessments
  • Business Environmental Risk
  • Remedial Action Oversight and Ongoing Monitoring

Recent trends in federal, state, and local law dictate that if a purchaser of real property fails to detect hazardous materials including petroleum hydrocarbons on the site before or during escrow, the cleanup can become the new owner's responsibility. A pre-transaction environmental assessment of the site assures owners, developers, commercial real estate professionals, government redevelopment agencies, and lending institutions that all due diligence activities related to environmental concerns have been executed in accordance with the most stringent industry standards. CSC 's objective is to provide our clients with the environmental information necessary to make an informed decision regarding a real property transaction and its ongoing management.

The purpose of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is to meet one of the requirements that will qualify a buyer for the innocent landowner defense under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The term "recognized environmental condition" is used to establish a standard of good commercial and customary practice for conducting an environmental site assessment. In its most common usage, "recognized environmental condition" means the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substance or petroleum product on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release or a material threat of a release into structures on the property or into the soil, groundwater or surface water of the property. The term includes hazardous substances or petroleum products even under conditions in compliance with law.

Normally, the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment process can be completed within 15 working days. In its report, CSC focuses on factual information relevant to the property transaction and includes its professional opinion and conclusions.

A confidential report provides each client with an accurate, thorough environmental profile of the subject property. Upon request, CSC can also address liability control strategies, investigate business environmental risks that may be associated with the property, and carry out a more detailed Phase II Environmental Site Investigation. No one, unless authorized by our client, has access to the information provided.

If the results of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment indicate strong evidence of contamination, a client may ask us to propose a site-specific, effective, economical, and scientifically valid approach to examine the property further. The goal at this point is to ascertain whether an environmental liability truly exists and, if present, what the potential economic costs associated with that liability are. CSC generally does not recommend groundwater sampling during the initial Phase II Environmental Site Investigation. Contaminated groundwater flowing under a property is not necessarily the responsibility of the property owner. Once the analytical results of the investigation are received, CSC prepares a report detailing the approach used in conducting the investigation, the results of the soil analysis and conclusions. This information is presented in a clear, concise manner easily understood by clients.

Business Environmental Risk Analysis bridges the gap between the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and the Initial Study conducted under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment can be expanded to include topics such as the presence of asbestos-containing materials, radon, lead-based paint, wetlands, regulatory compliance, cultural and historic resources, industrial hygiene, health and safety, ecological resources that may be impacted by development, and other risks that may have a material environmental or environmentally driven impact on the business associated with the current or planned use of a parcel of commercial real estate.

CSC is frequently called upon to comment on property rehabilitation strategies and, where appropriate, present alternative and more cost-effective mechanisms for removal of chemical contaminants. Clients range from prospective purchasers of small retail strips to national corporations with operations located throughout the United States. If our client acquires a Brownfield, we often serve as oversight consultants during the remediation to ensure that our client's interests are properly represented throughout the cleanup process.

Litigation Consulting

Range of Services Offered:

  • Identification of Relevant Scientific and Technical Documents
  • Document Review
  • Research, including Oversight of Material Sampling and Testing
  • Exhibit Preparation
  • Expert Testimony

CSC has extensive experience in litigation consulting, investigative review, and expert assistance in civil and criminal cases involving Superfund liability, toxic torts, Proposition 65, environmental damage claims, and regulatory agency enforcement actions. The staff routinely performs third-party evaluation and review of various environmental reports, such as Site Assessments, Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Studies and Corrective Measure Plans authored by other consultants. The staff is highly skilled in "team" document review; data interpretation; process research; "forensics"; and meeting tight, unyielding deadlines. All work is conducted under strict adherence to confidentiality protocols.

Remedial Actions

Range of Services Offered:

  • Subsurface Investigation
  • Remediation Design and Implementation
    • Groundwater pump and treat extraction systems
    • Soil-vapor extraction systems
    • Traditional excavation and removal of contaminated soil
    • Natural attenuation
  • Ongoing Monitoring and Project Oversight

CSC can provide project management services for the full range of remedial services including the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of various environmental systems. General factors to be considered include the property value, cleanup cost, remediation time frame, safety of workers and nearby residents, and any long-term liability to the property owner.

If a Phase II Environmental Site Investigation has identified that a property has been contaminated by hazardous materials, the next step is to identify the most appropriate strategy for cleanup. Using existing information and reports, the project team will review the data and determine if there are data gaps that must first be addressed. Whatever the source or extent of contamination, CSC can quickly design and implement a remedial action plan that is cost effective for the intended use of the property.

Throughout the process, the project manager will keep the client apprised of the situation and ensure that all decisions are made in the most efficient manner consistent with the property owner's needs, desires, and responsibilities. A true understanding of the physical, chemical and toxicological properties of the contaminants is essential in recommending the most economical remedial approach. Moreover, this approach must be defended in all documents submitted to regulatory authorities and be based solely on sound scientific principles, especially if there is public controversy associated with the subject property.

Remedial Actions

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Environmental Compliance

Range of Services Offered (Partial List):

  • Preparation of Chemical Inventories
  • Employee Training
  • Facility Audits
  • Development of Hazardous Materials Response Plans
  • Health Risk Assessments
  • Air and Wastewater Environmental Permitting
  • Point Source Emission Reductions
  • Development and Implementation of Non-point Source Pollution Abatement Strategies
    • Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)
    • Best Management Practices (BMPs)
    • Standard Urban Stormwater Mitigation Plans (SUSMPs)

CSC has performed site studies, soil and hydrogeological investigations and permitting starting with the initial Environmental Impact Statement through the actual construction of an industrial solid waste landfill. Our staff has obtained air permits for new air pollution control devices and wastewater treatment units. Included in the firm's project experience is the closure of hazardous materials/waste treatment, storage, and disposal units in compliance with all local, state and federal regulatory mandates applicable to the project.

Industrial clients have come to rely on CSC to develop, maintain, improve, and amend internal policies as rules, regulations, and industry practices change. Most clients opt for an informal inspection that will identify common-sense alternatives for hazardous materials handling and record keeping. However, compliance audits can be conducted using the same protocols employed by regulatory officials.

Problem Solving

Representative Areas of Expertise and Interest:

  • Industrial Ecological Sustainability
  • Sustainable Municipal Policy Facilitation and Implementation
  • Research/Studies in Support of the CEQA/NEPA Process
  • Special Topic Studies (Partial List)
    • Urban Hydrology
    • Phytoremediation and Wetland Restoration
    • Stormwater Mitigation Plans and Best Management Practices

CSC believes that a disciplined and logical approach should be the basis for addressing any environmental challenge. This process has been described by Elving, Grasselli, and Lucchesi (Analytical Chemistry, 1976, Vol. 46, p. 1034A) as "the analytical approach". It requires having a staff that possesses a solid foundation in chemistry, geology, environmental science, and engineering. The team assigned to the project must be acutely aware of the interplay between chemical theory and common practice.

The first step is to define the problem at hand through interaction with the client to obtain his or her knowledge of the problem and to understand the requirements to be met by the solution in terms of needed level of expertise and timing. CSC firmly believes in communicating answers, not data. Reports provide an interpretation of the information obtained on behalf of the client in a clear, consistent, and meaningful format that can be used to help solve the problem. Our commitment is to complete all tasks using the highest level of expertise and ensuring that all underlying chemical theories relating to the problems are thoroughly investigated.

Clearing the Air About Environmental Consulting

Site Assessment

In today's litigious society, environmental consulting has become both commonplace and necessary. In fact, many real estate transactions and business ventures require environmental consulting as part of their due diligence. Yet no two sites are ever the same. Not only do the tasks vary greatly, but so do the budgets, time constraints and communities affected. That is why we begin every environmental consulting with the goal of investigating every lead that we can follow to determine a clear understanding of the site in question and the unique challenges that may lie ahead. If you desire this kind of thoroughness in the preparation of your environmental consulting, Clark Seif Clark (CSC) is here to help.

Facts About Environmental Consulting

What you don't know can hurt you

Having a clear understanding of all the regulations as outlined by CERCLA, RCRA, NEPA, TSCA, AHERA, and HUD, as well as other federal, state and local environmental regulations, can be quite daunting. That is where our staff of engineers, certified industrial hygienists, geologists and highly trained technicians can help. Over the years, Clark Seif Clark (CSC) has investigated and managed hundreds of sites and provided the guidance necessary to comply with environmental regulations while avoiding litigation.

When you need a thorough investigation

Site Assessment

Before any site testing even takes place, we start by visiting the site and the properties directly adjacent to visually determine any problem areas. Next, we review the records of any and all regulatory agencies for information and data about the site. Our research continues until we have determined the historical land use patterns for the site and the surrounding area. And finally, we conduct personal interviews with any knowledgeable people who have been associated with the site over the years.

We're with you every step of the way

In addition to Phase I and II environmental consulting, we also provide hazardous waste site characterizations; soil, air and water testing; soil gas surveys; OSHA compliance services; Phase III site remediation plans; and industrial hygiene consultation. All of our Phase I and II environmental consulting are conducted in compliance with the current ASTM standards. The thoroughness and technical expertise of Clark Seif Clark (CSC) with all aspects of environmental consulting and remediation projects has provided our clients with needed peace of mind that they will not be facing costly and untimely disruptions. Furthermore, we know how time-consuming and complex the remediation process can be, so we guarantee that our services will be there for you until your project reaches completion.