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Environmental Consulting Services

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)



The purpose of a Phase I ESA is to review past and present land use practices and site operations at the subject site and its vicinity to evaluate the potential presence of “recognized environmental conditions” at the site.

The scope of services of a Phase I ESA includes:


  • A site reconnaissance

  • A drive by survey of the site vicinity

  • The review of records at local and regional public agencies through agency visits, telephone contact and agency environmental database searches

  • Historical research, including aerial photograph, city directory and map review

  • A review of nation-wide radon surveys


After completing the Phase I ESA, SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc will make recommendations for any further environmental work that may be needed.

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Preliminary Endangerment Assessments (PEA)



Preliminary Endangerment Assessments are activities which are performed to determine whether current or past waste management

practices have resulted in the release or threatened release of hazardous substances which pose a threat to public health or the



Objectives of PEA:


  • Determination of release of hazardous waste/substance and depiction of general extent of the contamination

  • Estimation of potential threat or risk to the public health and/or the environment

  • Determination of the need for an expedited response action to reduce the threat or the risk


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Phase II Subsurface Investigation



The purpose of a Phase II Subsurface Investigation is to determine whether current or former activities at the subject site and its vicinity

have environmentally impacted the soil and/or groundwater beneath the subject site.

The scope of services for a Phase II includes:


  •     Preparation and implementation of a site-specific Health and Safety Plan

  •     Marking boring locations and obtaining utility clearance

  •     Drilling borings

  •     Collection of groundwater samples and/or soil samples

  •     Delivering the samples to a California Department of Health Services certified laboratory for analysis

  •     Backfilling borings

At the conclusion of the Phase II Subsurface Investigation, SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. provides a report on the data obtained during the Phase II work and makes recommendations regarding the need for any further environmental investigations.

Monitoring Well Installation & Destruction



Monitoring Well Installation


Monitoring wells are usually constructed to observe conditions at defined or required locations.  Well locations are usually selected

on the basis of known or expected hydrologic, geologic, and water quality conditions and the location of pollutant or contaminant

sources.  They frequently need to be located close to or within areas of pollution or contamination.


Monitoring Well Destruction


A monitoring well or exploration hole that is no longer useful, permanently inactive or "abandoned" must be properly destroyed to:


  1. Ensure the quality of groundwater is protected, and,

  2. Eliminate a possible physical hazard to humans and animals


Information courtesy of Department of Water Resources

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Groundwater Monitoring



Groundwater monitoring wells are defined by Section 13712 of the California Water Code as “…any artificial excavation by any method for the purpose of monitoring fluctuations in groundwater levels, quality of underground waters, or the concentration of contaminants in

underground waters.” [EPA]

SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. personnel are experienced in groundwater monitoring and well installation/destruction. Samples are

collected using appropriate sampling protocols and chain-of-custody procedures. Data is evaluated using strict Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) criteria.

With the information obtained from groundwater monitoring, appropriate remedies can be designed to mitigate groundwater contamination. SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. uses guidelines developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for well construction, monitoring, and decommissioning.

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Soil Vapor Surveys



Soil Vapor Surveys are a non-invasive method for the detection of volatile or semivolatile organic contaminants in shallow subsurface soil.  The technology is especially useful in the analysis of soils with a high sand content and of shallow groundwater.  A probe is driven into the ground, and samples of vapors in the soil are drawn to the surface for analysis.


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Indoor Air Quality Surveys



Bad air quality can make people sick. Indoor air quality problems can be caused by inadequate ventilation, indoor contamination,

outdoor contamination, microbial contamination, contamination from building fabric and soil and/or groundwater contamination beneath the building. Some common reasons for air problems are carbon monoxide, mold and fabrics.

SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. uses various methods to assess indoor air quality. One method of indoor air sample collection is to use

time-weighted SUMMA canisters. Other methods include the use of Gore-Sorber modules, sampling fabric or using Tedlar bags. For the testing of airborne particles, we use air pumps and collect time-weighted samples. In addition, SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. investigates the potential for the intrusion of contaminated vapors into the building from the subsurface by collecting subslab soil vapor samples. SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. collects radon samples using Track-Etch sampling devices.


SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. also specializes in mercury testing of indoor air, using an Ambient Air Sampling System with a carbon vane pump/critical orifice.


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Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) Surveys



A Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) is a multipurpose tool for mapping soil and groundwater contamination, specifically volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as halogenated solvents and petroleum compounds.  MIP environmental site assessments usually take place at dry cleaners, gasoline/fuel retail stations and petroleum terminals, manufacturing facilities, warehouses, railroads, military installations, brownfields, superfunds, landfills, and various other places.


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Soil Testing



A soil test is a process by which elements (phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, manganese, copper, and zinc) are chemically removed from the soil and measured for their "plant available" content within the sample.


Why you need a soil test:


  • Encourages plant growth by providing the best lime and fertilizer recommentations

  • Diagnoses whether there is too little or too much of a nutrient

  • Promotes environmental quality

  • Saves money that might otherwise be spent on unneeded lime and fertilizer


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Underground Storage Tank (UST)



According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a UST is a tank for storing either petroleum (gasoline) or certain hazardous

substances. Until the mid-1980s, USTs were made of bare steel, which is likely to corrode over time and allow UST contents to leak into the environment. The greatest potential hazard for a leaking UST is that the petroleum can seep into the soil and contaminate

groundwater, the source of drinking water for most Americans.

SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc.’s scope of work for a UST site may include:


  • Removal of surfaces and equipment overlying the UST area

  • Excavation of soil above and adjacent to the UST

  • Removal of product and piping from the UST

  • Rinsing and rendering the UST inert

  • UST removal and inspection

  • Removal/abandonment of piping

  • Soil and groundwater sampling

  • Backfilling the excavation

  • Paving the former UST site


At the conclusion of the UST removal, SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. makes recommendations regarding any further environmental

investigations or remediation work that may be required.


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Above-Ground Storage Tank (AST)



According to the EPA, ASTs were designed to hold fluids or liquids (primarily petroleum) used by the chemical process industry. In the

1980s, a series of leaks and spills occurred which had long-lasting and dangerous consequences for the environment. Federal, state

and local standards were developed as a result, requiring compliance with these standards.

SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. will remove an existing AST, with site cleanup and off-site disposal, or will complete site destruction/cleanup at the location of a former AST. SCHUTZE & Associates, Inc. also provides inspection and certification of existing ASTs by preparing, implementing and maintaining a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC).

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Remedial Action Plans (RAPs)



RAPs are developed and implemented through an ecosystem based, multi-media approach for assessing and remediating impaired

uses.  The RAP process is a model of grassroots environmental democracy, stressing empowerment of the affected public within Areas of Concern (AoC).  A RAP is developed in three stages: Stage I identifies and assesses use impairments, and identifies the sources of the stresses from all media in the AoC; Stage II identifies proposed remedial actions and their method of implementation; and Stage III documents evidence that uses have been restored.


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Human Health Risk Assessment



A human health risk assessment is the process to estimate the nature and probability of adverse health effects in humans who may be

exposed to chemicals in contaminated environmental media, now or in the future.


To explain this better, a human health risk assessment addresses questions such as:


  • What types of health problems may be caused by environmental stressors such as chemicals and radiation?

  • What is the chance that people will experience health problems when exposed to different levels of environmental stressors?

  • Is there a level below which some chemicals don't pose a human health risk?

  • What environmental stressors are people exposed to and at what levels and for how long?

  • Are some people more likely to be susceptible to environmental stressors because of factors such as age, genetics, pre-existing health conditions, ethnic practices, gender, etc.?

  • Are some people more likely to be exposed to environmental stressors because of factors such as where they work, where they play, what they like to eat, etc.?


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Dual-Phase Extraction Systems



Dual-Phase Extraction (DPE), also known as multi-phase extraction, vacuum-enhanced extraction, or sometimes bioslurping, is an

in-situ technology that uses pumps to remove various combinations of contaminated groundwater, separate-phase petroleum product,

and hydrocarbon vapor from the subsurface.  Extracted liquids and vapor are treated and collected for disposal, or re-injected to the

subsurface (where permissible under applicable state laws).


DPE systems can be effective in removing separate-phase product (free product) from the subsurface, thereby reducing concentrations

of petroleum hydrocarbons in both the saturated and unsaturated zones of the subsurface.  DPE systems are typically designed to

maximize extraction rates; however, the technology also stimulates biodegradation of petroleum constituents in the unsaturated zone by increasing the supply of oxygen, in a manner similar to that of bioventing.


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Agency Case Closure for Contaminated Sites



Case closure is a milestone achieved when the remaining contamination in the soil, surface water, groundwater, or air meets a risk or

cleanup threshold determined not to pose a threat to human health or the environment.  Determining the end point of a corrective action

at a leaking underground storage tank (LUST) site may involve reaching a targeted concentration for certain contaminants or reducing the risk of contamination to a specific threshol.  Risk-based decision-making (RBDM) criteria are applied more and more frequently to enable tank owners and operators to achieve a quicker and more cost-effective site closure.  RBDM allows cleanup to be performed a risk level that reflects the future use of the site rather than a generic, potentially more stringent cleanup level that is difficult to justify in the context of certain site uses.


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Tank Fund Application & Billing



The Underground Storage Tank (UST) Cleanup Fund provides a means for petroleum UST owners and operators to meet the federal

and state requirements of maintaining financial responsibility to pay for any damages arising from their tank operations.  The Fund

assists a large number of small businesses and individuals by providing reimbursement for expenses associated with the cleanup of

leaking USTs.  The Fund also provides money to the Regional Water Boards and local regulatory agencies to abate emergency situations or to cleanup abandoned sites that pose a threat to human health, safety, and the environment, as a result of a UST petroleum release.


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