environmental compliance
for a changing world

soil | water | air
compliance consulting

We assist buyers, sellers, and lenders in meeting
environmental due diligence requirements

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Whatcom Environmental Services Inc. provides a wide range of environmental consulting services to municipal, commercial, and industrial clients in the Northern Puget Sound Region. We specialize in providing regulatory compliance solutions for air, water, soil, and waste media.

Soil

We specialize in the collection of defensible soil and waste samples for contamination characterization and perform Phase I Environmental Site Assessments to assist with due diligence requirements during property transfers.

Water

We provide groundwater contamination delineation and remediation services and perform complete hydrogeologic assessments on large and small sites.

Air

We specialize in air permitting, Greenhouse Gas reporting, Toxics Release Inventory reporting, Leak Detection and Repair monitoring, Benzene Waste operations NESHAPS compliance, and SARA 312 Chemical Inventory Reporting.

OUR SERVICES

Whatcom Environmental has several AHERA trained asbestos sampling technicians who provide asbestos containing material surveys on structures. Asbestos surveys can be required in order to obtain demolition permits. We provide cost effective and timely asbestos surveys for residential and commercial clients.

Large chemical plants and oil refineries are often subject to the Benzene Waste NESHAPs (BWON). We can assist your facility in evaluating your waste streams to determine if your site is subject to the BWON standards.

Our technicians can help you collect samples of your waste streams in accordance with EPA Method 25D. We can help you determine your compliance options and assist with the design and monitoring of control devices.

The BWON standards have rigorous requirements for inspections of sewers, above ground lines containing BWON waste, containers, and sour water lines. We can help your site meet all the inspection requirements.

We at Whatcom Environmental Services understand that managing stormwater is not your core business. The less time and money you spend on it, the more you can spend on what you are really about. We are committed to helping you face your stormwater management by working with you to find cost-effective solutions and avoid expensive treatment systems and Department of Ecology fines.

Thinking upstream saves you money. If your stormwater samples tell you your turbidity levels are high you could pursue costly stormwater treatment. However we prefer to help our clients devise creative solutions that are much less expensive and that prevent sediment loss in the first place.

We provide:

  • Construction Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans,
  • Stormwater Sampling and Inspections of BMPs,
  • DMR submission to Ecology,
  • BMP maintenance for your site,
  • Assistance in navigating and understanding the Construction Stormwater permit requirements.

The Washington Department of Ecology requires all construction activities which disturb more than one acre to apply for coverage under the Construction Stormwater General Permit.

Whatcom Environmental helps potential buyers, owners, and operators learn about the environmental condition of real property.

Public awareness of environmental laws has created both obvious and unexpected liabilities in real estate transactions. Environmental laws related to liability and cleanup of contaminated properties include the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), Business Liability Relief and Revitalization Act (“the Brownfields Law”), and the Washington State Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA). One way for a prospective purchaser to minimize liability for cleanup of contamination caused by a prior owner is to conduct an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA).

Parties who wish to assess the environmental condition of commercial and non-commercial real estate conduct ESAs on a voluntary basis. An ESA evaluates the historical uses and succession of owners or occupants of a site. Due to the unique history and circumstances associated with every real property, the scope of an ESA should be determined on a site-by-site basis.

When conducting an ESA, we compile a thorough site history, conduct site reconnaissance and interviews with appropriate parties, and develop conclusions regarding recognized environmental conditions at the real property under investigation. Our phase I ESA follows ASTM Standard Practice E1527-13 and includes these tasks:

  • Review of federal, state, and local regulatory information pertinent to the property and surrounding properties
  • Review of historic site information concerning past business practices
  • Interview people familiar with the property
  • Conduct a visual inspection of the property
  • Provide an inventory of underground storage tanks on or near the property
  • Assess environmental conditions and risks
  • Write/develop a report of findings, conclusions, and recommendations

The Washington State Department of Ecology recommends that prospective purchasers of real property seek the advice of professionals experienced in conducting ESAs.

Whatcom Environmental has extensive experience providing site investigation services to owners and operators of contaminated properties.

The majority of our experience in the Puget Sound Region is focused on properly evaluating sites to determine the presence or absence of subsurface environmental contamination. We perform site assessments at Underground Storage Tank (UST) sites. We have successfully closed a number of UST systems including systems that have been out of service for several years.

We have an extensive inventory of field investigation equipment including a variety of electronic measuring equipment (flame ionization and photoionization detectors) and stainless steel field sampling equipment. We subcontract with several drilling companies for hollow-stem auger drilling and direct-push sampling.

Whatcom Environmental is experienced with the following field investigation techniques:

  • Conceptualizing subsurface and contaminant conditions to adequately focus subsurface investigations
  • Selecting and using appropriate drilling and soil sampling techniques, including direct-push equipment
  • Classifying, describing, and sampling soils
  • Designing and installing groundwater monitoring wells and monitoring systems
  • Sampling and monitoring groundwater and soil gas

The Washington Department of Ecology has established the Voluntary Cleanup Program to allow property owners to conduct remedial actions at sites without Ecology oversight. We have assisted a number of clients in performing Voluntary Cleanups. The process requires that the site be investigated and that the extent of soil and/or groundwater contamination be delineated. We characterize site conditions through the collection and analysis of soil and groundwater analytical data. Based on the results of the site investigation, we recommend an appropriate remedial action in accordance with MTCA guidance.

When cleanup actions are completed at the site, we prepare an Independent Remedial Action Report and submit it to Ecology. The report documents the site investigation and remediation. Ecology reviews the report and determines if the cleanup actions undertaken at the site are sufficient. The ultimate goal of an Independent Cleanup is to receive a “No Further Action” letter from Ecology.
We specialize in the following remediation options:

  • Soil bioremediation
  • Soil removal and disposal at approved treatment facilities
  • Soil vapor extraction and bio-venting
  • Monitored natural attenuation of groundwater
  • Pump and treat systems for groundwater

Our experience with numerous site remediation projects in the Puget Sound Region provides clients with cost-effective and practical solutions to remedial actions.

Whatcom Environmental is contracted with multiple facilities to perform Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) monitoring.

LDAR is a program implemented to comply with environmental regulations for reducing the fugitive emissions of targeted Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) into the air. Components subject to LDAR include many different types of processes equipment. The components are periodically monitored with electronic detection equipment to detect VOC leaks. If any leaks are found, they are required to be repaired within a predefined time period.

LDAR requirements are spelled out by a facility’s air operating permit or consent decree with reference to a variety of regulations including 40CFR Part 60 (NSPS), 40CFR Part 63 (NESHAPs), other Federal rules, and local air quality rules.

Whatcom Environmental uses state of the art Thermo Scientific TVA-1000B Flame Ionization Detectors. Whatcom Environmental personnel use a variety of data collection devices including Symbol, Archer, and Intermec handheld devices. Whatcom Environmental personnel are trained on the leading LDAR electronic databases.

Whatcom Environmental provides our clients with audit support. Whatcom Environmental has assisted our clients during agency, internal, and third party audits.

Click here for more information about LDAR.

We have assisted clients with RCRA/Hazardous Waste permitting and corrective action. If your site generates hazardous waste, we can help you determine the proper permits needed, in addition to the proper storage and disposal options for the waste. If you generate a waste which needs to be sampled to determine if it is Hazardous Waste, we have trained technicians who can come to your site and sample the waste for analysis.

We have experience working with Treatment, Storage, and Disposal (TSD) facilities, including the expertise to apply for or modify a Part B operating permit, and with Small or Large Quantity Generators. We can assist you with your recordkeeping and annual reporting requirements.

Think Upstream
Remember: thinking upstream saves you money. If the zinc levels in your stormwater samples are high, you could pursue costly stormwater treatment. However, if you are thinking upstream you could investigate the source(s) of zinc on your site and devise simple inexpensive strategies to prevent zinc from interacting with stormwater in the first place.

How We Can Help You
We are committed to working together to find practical, economical solutions. We can help you improve your stormwater management program by:

  • Ensuring you are under the correct permit
  • Helping you understand the Industrial Stormwater General Permit requirements
  • Updating your current SWPPP or creating a new one for you
  • Reviewing your data results
  • Identifying sources of pollution
  • Helping you choose appropriate corrective actions
  • Conducting quarterly stormwater sampling, submitting samples to lab, and DMRs to Ecology
  • Performing required annual stormwater training for your staff
  • Evaluating best management practices (BMPs) for your site
  • Reviewing the PARIS database to make sure publicly viewable information about your site is correct

Steps You Can Take

  • Collect stormwater samples early in the quarter, every quarter
  • Implement corrective actions on time
  • Submit Discharge Monitoring Reports and Annual Reports on time
  • Perform a site inspection every month, and follow up on all issues identified during the inspection
  • Periodically review your facility’s public information webpage (PARIS database, created by Ecology)

Free No Obligation Site Visit
Contact us now and schedule a time to meet in person, at your site, to discuss your stormwater needs.
This meet and greet will help you establish priorities for your site and provide you with an opportunity to decide whether our services are right for you, without having to worry about getting a bill in the mail.

WES has expertise in Title V Air Permit compliance. We can help you determine the compliance requirements for your facility, and we will work with you to develop cost effective solutions for your compliance needs.

Underground Storage Tanks (UST systems) fall under a specific set of Federal and State regulations. We can help in determining the regulatory status of your UST system. We can assist you with removal of the UST and the assessment of the site following the UST decommissioning.

We have worked on many UST sites where no contamination has been discovered. If contamination is discovered on your site, we can work with you to cleanup the site and can assist you in getting reimbursed by prior owners or operators of the UST.

Vapors from volatile chemicals released into soil or groundwater can migrate through soil gas to reach the surface and can even migrate into nearby buildings, posing a potential exposure risk. This is known as vapor intrusion.

Whatcom Environmental conducts Vapor Encroachment Screening to determine the risk of vapor intrusion during Phase I Environmental Site Assessments and when conducting cleanup operations at contaminated sites. The screening process uses background information regarding soil and groundwater and nearby contaminated sites to broadly determine if a site is at risk for vapor intrusion.

If a site fails the screening, a Site Investigation can be conducted to further delineate the likelihood of vapor intrusion at a site. Site Investigations involve using soil, groundwater, and soil gas data to determine if additional investigation is needed or if the site needs to be managed for vapor intrusion. Whatcom Environmental uses a gas vapor probe kit and summa canisters to collect near-slab and sub-slab soil gas samples.

Whatcom Environmental has extensive experience working with the Washington Department of Ecology’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP). The VCP provides guidance to site owners who wish to clean up sites but are not mandated to do so by the Department of Ecology.

The VCP program can help site owners, operators, and consultants benefit from easier property sales and expedited environmental cleanups and bank loans.

If a site is properly cleaned up, Ecology will issue a No Further Action (NFA) letter for the site. Ecology issues NFA letters if the Agency determines a release no longer poses a threat to human health or the environment.

We have worked with our clients to receive over twenty NFA letters for residential, commercial, and industrial properties. We have also performed interim actions under the VCP at large sites.

Checklists & Templates

Starting June 1, 2016, all Remedial Investigation reports, Feasibility Study reports, and Cleanup Action Plans submitted to Ecology for review under the VCP must contain certain information specified by Ecology in one of three checklists. Ecology will not review any submittal that does not contain all of the required information. Whatcom Environmental utilizes these checklists and a Remedial Investigation report template provided by Ecology to ensure all requirements are met.

Whatcom Environmental can assist you with your waste management needs. We have experience sampling and characterizing unknown wastes and will determine your disposal options. Whatcom Environmental has expertise in the Federal waste rule (RCRA) and state rules. Whatcom Environmental can help set up waste hauling with licensed transporters and disposal or recycling facilities. We can also assist with recordkeeping and waste and manifest tracking.