RT Environmental Services – We Were Already Redeveloping Pennsylvania’s Brownfields sites

August 28, 2015

 

When Governor Ridge came into office, Act 2 of 1995 gave new promise to hundreds of Pennsylvania’s communities with run down and abandoned or undeveloped industrial sites, many of which were already in decline. The promise and hope for future employment in these communities was being lost, although many of those who worked at these industrial sites and lost their jobs still lived nearby. 
We, at RT, saw that the concepts which were to be included in the Act 2 of 1995 Land Recycling Program’s process not only made common sense, but afforded a positive economic incentive to clean up sites quickly and efficiently, and was considered a major breakthrough at the time. Prior to establishment of the Land Recycling process, efforts to cleanup sites led to wastes remaining at sites for indeterminate periods of time while waiting for regulatory responses and the agency’s determination of whether a cleanup effort was satisfactory. These regulatory decisions were made on an individual site by site basis, with no uniform standards for cleanup.   
RT has now handled more than 200 Act 2 Land Recycling sites throughout the Commonwealth. One of our largest current projects is at Beaver Valley Slag, located in Aliquippa directly northwest of Pittsburgh. The site was formerly one of the world’s largest steel mills, and millions of tons of slag were deposited at and around the site. This led to what is currently the largest slag deposit east of the Mississippi River. The site is currently undergoing a slag reclamation process, and recently was awarded a Pennsylvania Environmental Council Award for the positive impacts to the environment and Western Pennsylvania. 
As our company has expanded over the years, we have also been asked to assist on notable Brownfields Projects in:
• Mare Island, California (PCB Remediation Demonstration)
• Bermuda (Two Defense Bases)
• New Jersey (Throughout the State – Industrial Parks, Service Stations, Chemical Facilities and three Major Landfills in Bellmawr)
• The Ohio State Library
• New Retail Stores at Brownfield Sites, including retail pharmacy chains, convenience store chains, and retail donut shops in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and along the east coast extending north to New England. 
We give the same level of focus and attention to each and every opportunity, no matter the size. We always help a buyer or seller quickly determine environmental costs and how best to manage them along with remediation activities during the redevelopment process.   
Pennsylvania is well beyond the times when there had to be extensive excavations and removal of all contamination from a site. We can now use a multitude of techniques to manage environmental conditions and impacts at a site, while still maintaining protection of human health and the environment. 
Some other project examples include:
• Installing a large scale vapor barrier at a leading US home/building supply retail location where elevated benzene concentrations were present in groundwater due to a nearby refinery; 
• Use of in situ remediation at a number of South Jersey service station sites, using the most practical and appropriate treatment reagents at each site, while preparing for future use; 
• Consolidating and capping impacted material while providing capacity for reuse of millions of tons of soil material.  
• At some of the more difficult remediation sites, we have been able to determine the most efficient methods for phasing cleanup activities and redevelopment, to make redevelopment economically practical even when grants and loans are not available due to economic conditions.
• In Pennsylvania and New Jersey, soil material reuse has been a key focus of our company, and in Pennsylvania, RT obtained General Beneficial Use Permits for more than 90 sites, which has led to the reuse of what were initially believed to be waste materials, and has greatly minimized the volume of material that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. 
When it is necessary to “step up” and provide answers to public questions on cleanups and redevelopment at sites, our principals can be instrumental in letting the public appreciate how cleanup and redevelopment can go hand in hand, while adequately protecting nearby residents and the surrounding environment. 
One of our biggest areas of focus is assisting and taking a second look at projects having technical difficulties. We often find that historically, the best techniques were not brought to remediation sites, and the most flexible redevelopment approach was not properly identified. 
Since our start up in October 1988, we have successfully completed thousands of projects and obtained several liability release for our clients. We welcome each and every opportunity given to us by potential clients. Our client retention rate is very high as compared to our peers, and our proposal acceptance rate routinely exceeds 65%. At RT, each site deserves our close attention, so that we can help our clients understand what we can do for them to help achieve their objectives.
Whether in Pittsburgh or in Philadelphia, we serve all of Pennsylvania and welcome further opportunities to be of service.
Call us if you need us.
Gary R. Brown, P.E. is president of RT Environmental Services, Inc. Phone:(610) 804-8657 or Email:gbrown@rtenv.com

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