Oxbow Restoration Benefits Wildlife, Landowners, Communities, and the Bottom Line

Rivers naturally want to curve and meander through our landscape. Over time, the force of the water erodes through bends and river banks causing portions of the old channel to become abandoned as the river creates a new path. These abandoned channels in the river are called oxbows.

In the 20th century, landowners straightened rivers to increase land availability. Floodwaters, instead of soaking into the water table, sliced straight down the river channels, which in turn increased erosion, nutrient runoff, and the likelihood of downstream floods. At the same time, landowners began spreading manufactured nitrate fertilizer on their fields. That nitrate washes out into river channels, contaminating water sources.

Over time, many oxbows dried up and disappeared, and with them—specifically in states like Iowa—went habitat for 54 species of birds, 23 species of fish including the endangered Topeka shiner; and natural storage of 1M gallons of floodwater per acre of oxbow wetland.

To restore an oxbow, restoration crews excavate accumulated sediment down to the original level of the stream channel. The restored oxbow is left to fill with water and the banks are seeded with natural vegetation. Once reconstructed and naturally refilled, oxbows:

  • Offer an efficient way to rebuild water storage
  • Create a habitat for both birds and fish
  • Help control flooding
  • Provide reliable water sources for livestock
  • Remove and sequester 45-90% of nitrates from water runoff
  • Create enhanced recreational fishing opportunities

Oxbow restoration provides an economic opportunity for Apex and it’s a natural fit for our already extensive stormwater management business. It’s good for the earth, good for local residents, and good for the bottom line.

The Path to Restoration - Apex Success Story

Since 2017, 14 oxbows have been recreated in communities across Iowa under a partnership between the Nature Conservancy and the Polk Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). We helped with one of those (and another one is currently in the works!) Details below:

Client: The Nature Conservancy, via a Wildlife Conservation Society Climate Adaptation Fund grant

Challenge: Provide safe, effective water resource management in a local watershed, which the Nature Conservancy seeks to protect and preserve.

Solution: After the Brenton Arboretum, a 141-acre botanical garden in Iowa was identified as a site where oxbow restoration could lead to significant benefits, our Apex team excavated 3K+ cubic yards of soil from a 400-foot section of an abandoned river channel in this 100% self-performed project. After the oxbow was created, the team seeded the banks to a mix of native wildflowers and grasses before installing straw matting to hold soil and seed in place during the establishment phase.

Results: Our work restored the oxbow which now reduces nutrient levels in the river, establishes wildlife habitats for a variety of species, filters water for improved quality, and helps ensure flood management for the arboretum.

Click here to learn more about our Natural and Culture Resources.

Prem NeupaneAs an experienced Program Manager with Apex Companies, LLC, a leading environmental services firm and valued Land Science® client, Prem Neupane has an ongoing appreciation for seeing firsthand how his efforts and those of Apex can make a difference in site cleanup. “When I compare the before and after activities at the remediation site,” he says, “Especially those in the State Voluntary Cleanup Program, Brownfield program and sites located in urban areas, our project work continues to provide me with great satisfaction.” With 18 years of experience at Apex, first as an Environmental Scientist, then as a Project Manager and now as a Program Manager, Neupane has been involved in a diverse range of remediation projects. In his current role, he manages several clients, participates in business development, and manages all aspects of his project work- from initiation to close-out. He shares, “I like interacting with clients, our trusted vendors and suppliers/lab, and fellow Apexians, and ultimately finding the optimum solutions for environmental remediation problems.” Prior to joining Apex, Neupane performed a year-long internship with the USGS in Dover, DE working on the Air Force Base projects. To prepare for a career in environmental science he earned a BS in Environmental Science from Troy University, followed by an MS in Science and Water Resources at Miami University in Ohio. He continues, “I became interested in the environmental field during high school. After completing my undergrad studies at Troy University, I went straight to graduate school to further enhance my knowledge of environmental issues. While working on my Master of Science at Miami University, I was able to take a few advanced level courses in contamination and shifted my focus toward environmental characterization and remediation. Aside from seeing projects through to fruition, it’s the interdisciplinary nature of this field that interests me the most.”

With nearly 20 years of experience in the environmental industry, Neupane takes great pride in his work, while continuing to focus on the company’s long-term goals, which include the practice of utilizing sustainable remediation technologies. He continues, “At Apex, we plan to strategically grow the company by harnessing the power of innovation, especially in the use of green remediation. We continually invest in leading-edge, sustainable remediation technologies and in remediation experts who can develop and deploy them. Beyond our use of evaporative desorption technology (EDT), ex-situ on-site bioremediation, cryogenic vapor treatment technology (CVTT), and remote station soil vapor extraction (SVE)—which are just a few ways we help our clients move to more effective results—we plan to adopt and deliver more efficient, practical, and sensible remedial strategies that continue to benefit our clients and communities.” When it comes to working with Land Science®, he continues to be impressed with their client service, responsiveness, and their ability to assist with product recommendations that fit a variety of challenges and situations. He points out that on a recent project, and on short notice, Land Science® met the Apex team at the job site to discuss solutions for an existing issue. As for which Land Science® products Apex uses, two come to mind. He shares, “Geo-Seal® and Retro-Coat™ vapor intrusion coating are those we have used the most. However, we are open to the new products Land Science® has rolled out recently. Geo-Seal® is a composite vapor intrusion barrier system that consists of chemical resistance high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and spray applied asphalt latex. It is ideal for installation on new construction. Retro-Coat™ consists of a chemically resistant material that is applied to existing structures to prevent potential vapor intrusion risks. I like them both because they are relatively easy to apply, are compatible and effective with VOCs from petroleum as well as chlorinated solvents sources, and they are very popular and well liked by regulators.”

When asked about the future of environmental remediation, including trends on the horizon, Neupane points to advancements in technology that enable more accurate targeting of contamination in subsurface and faster analysis. He also expects to see more cost-effective solutions, greener cleanups, and green remediation to minimize the environmental “footprint” of remediation activities, emerging contaminants, and vapor intrusion solutions. He notes that the EPA describes green remediation as “The practice of considering all environmental effects of remedy implementation and incorporating options to maximize net environmental benefit of cleanup actions.” He continues, “Some local and state regulatory agencies, such as the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) in Washington, DC, are encouraging responsible parties to consider and report green remediation strategies for remediation sites. Green remediation allows us to reduce the environmental footprint of a cleanup project.” To stay abreast of emerging technologies and trends, Neupane regularly attends seminars and training modules and participates in webinars offered by remediation industries and coalitions, such as those offered by the Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC). He shares a recent example of a training seminar he attended in May of last year, “I attended Vapor Intrusion (VI) & Soil Gas Training provided by Dr. Blayne Hartman of Hartman Environmental Geoscience, at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago. The training was very informational and covered the latest in regulatory, assessment, sampling, analysis and mitigation, as well as legal considerations.” When prompted about the most challenging aspect of his work, he feels accounting for project uncertainties and including contingencies to complete the remediation work on budget and on time can be difficult. “Weather can also be a challenge sometimes,” he says, “Especially with large scale water-related projects during winter months.”

Currently residing in Chicago, with his wife and daughter, Neupane works out of Apex’s downtown Chicago office, and frequently travels to the company’s Washington, DC region for project work and meetings. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, biking, and visiting new places with his family. He shares, “Having grown up in Nepal, I was always drawn to the beauty of the Himalayas. I visit Nepal and try to hit the hiking trails there whenever possible. I was in Nepal just this past October with the family and did some hiking near Mt. Annapurna (10th tallest mountain). Whenever I travel to a new place I seek out nearby hiking/biking trails.” And how would he encourage others to join his field of study? He concludes by emphasizing the potential long-term contributions that his profession makes possible. “Remind those who may be interested that they can make a positive impact on human health and the environment. Look at the bigger picture and think of your contribution to future generations.”

Land Science® is proud to have Prem Neupane, Project Manager for Apex Companies, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his expert knowledge and experience in providing successful remediation outcomes for Land Science® and its clients.

This article was sourced by Land Science. For more information click here.

Apex Acquires Retention Pond Services

Expands Stormwater Services in Texas, Gulf Coast, Ohio, and Mid-Atlantic Region

Rockville, MD—Apex Companies, LLC (Apex) today announced the acquisition of Retention Pond Services, Inc. (RPS), a regional leader in stormwater compliance, maintenance, and repair services. Through this transaction, Apex—an award-winning water resources, environmental services, and industrial hygiene firm—solidifies its position as the largest mid-market stormwater compliance and services provider in the United States.

RPS has more than 23 years of experience inspecting, maintaining, and repairing stormwater systems & infrastructure for companies and municipalities, including supporting the largest brick-and-mortar retailer in the country since 2002.

“Like Apex, RPS has evolved with the regulatory environment and is adept at solving our clients’ most complex stormwater challenges,” said David Fabianski, Apex’s President & CEO. “Additionally, their regional presence complements our nationwide capacity in stormwater management and their talent brings added depth that we’re thrilled to have as part of Apex.”

“RPS and Apex have many shared capabilities and values that are vital to growth and innovation in the stormwater sector,” said Edward Coleman, RPS Chief Operating Officer. “Joining Apex provides an exciting opportunity for us to evolve even further and we look forward to working, growing, and innovating together.”

Apex is backed by Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in buying and building businesses in the lower midmarket in the United States and Canada in partnership with management.

Former Tetra Tech Business Unit President Joins Apex

Rockville, MD—Apex Companies, LLC—a leading water resources, environmental services, and industrial hygiene & safety firm—welcomes Darwin Nelson as their new Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Darwin brings three decades of experience in operational leadership, organizational effectiveness, and strategic growth to Apex. As COO, he will lead the company’s nationwide business operations across multiple geographies, end markets, and service areas. In addition to ensuring that Apex continues to operate in a highly effective, safe, and efficient manner, he will align the company’s people, processes, and culture to deliver exceptional client satisfaction and sustainable growth.

Prior to Apex, Darwin served as President of Tetra Tech AEG and previously as President of CDM Smith’s North America Unit where he led daily business operations, improved operational processes, optimized talent and directed integrated growth strategies. A registered Professional Engineer with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering, his expertise spans several markets including water, environmental, solid waste, energy, infrastructure, construction, and international development.

“Darwin brings a unique and invaluable skillset to Apex as his effectiveness leading people and optimizing business processes are as impressive as his track record facilitating strategic growth,” said David Fabianski, Apex CEO. “The intersection of people, process and pace is where we continue to differentiate ourselves as a mid-market leader in environmental services and Darwin’s signature strengths will help us continue to deliver excellence to our clients, while enhancing our culture and competitive standing.”

Apex Companies, LLC Acquires HSE Consulting Business of Bureau Veritas

Forms One of the Largest, Private HSE Consultancies in United States

Rockville, MD—Apex Companies, LLC (Apex) today announced the acquisition of the Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) Consulting Business of Bureau Veritas. Through this transaction, Apex, an award-winning water resources, environmental services and industrial hygiene firm, will strengthen and diversify its portfolio of services across the health safety and environmental value chain, while also expanding geographically. The transaction brings together two highly respected and formidable consultancies in North America that will offer the following combined capabilities:

  • Approximately 1,000 health, safety & environmental professionals and 50 nationwide offices;
  • The largest private industrial hygiene practice in the United States;
  • The largest private stormwater management/compliance practice in the United States;
  • Industry leaders in safety, ergonomics, sustainability, compliance & mgmt systems; and
  • A continued partnership with Bureau Veritas on international and cross-disciplinary projects.

HSE will integrate as a business unit of Apex and will be led by Erik Siver, who will report directly to David Fabianski, Chief Executive Officer at Apex. Mr. Siver has been with HSE for ten years, serving in a leadership role since 2011.

“We are excited to join Apex, a firm with a reputation for technical excellence in many complementary areas to HSE,” said Siver. “We view this as a partnership and an opportunity to provide new services and expanded national coverage to our clients. We are also excited at the prospect of learning from one another and the opportunities this presents for the growth and advancement for all of our people.”

“The HSE Consulting Business of Bureau Veritas has developed an outstanding reputation for service excellence and thought leadership and, like Apex, cares deeply about the work they do and the clients and communities they serve,” said Fabianski. “We are delighted to welcome the HSE team to Apex and are excited about what our combined talents and capabilities will mean for our clients and employees.”

Apex is backed by Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm that specializes in buying and building businesses in the lower midmarket in the United States and Canada in partnership with management.

We celebrate it! Do you?

Wetlands preserve our shorelines, reduce flood impacts, absorb pollutants, improve water quality, and provide wildlife habitats. Our wetland services help our clients protect these valuable natural resources while moving their projects forward safely and effectively.

Fun fact: Pennsylvania has “swamps” (mature Palustrine wetlands) on top of mountains?! Check out Ricketts Glen State Park! Where are some of your favorite wetlands?

Development Team Selected For Howard University’s Highly Competitive Bond Bread/WRECO Project

April 1, 2019 | Written by Howard Newsroom Staff

WASHINGTON – Eighteen months after launching a highly competitive developer selection process, Howard University has identified its preferred development partner to redevelop the Bond Bread Factory and Washington Railway & Electric Company buildings, located across from Howard University Hospital, at Georgia Avenue and V Street, Northwest. The University’s Board of Trustees approved plans to enter into exclusive negotiations with EDENS, Fivesquares Development and the Menkiti Group (The Bond Partnership) to reimagine the 2.2-acre project into a 600,000 square foot mixed-use hub of activity. Under a capitalized ground lease structure, Howard will maintain fee simple ownership of the property to preserve and enhance its real estate portfolio – realizing fair market value and capitalization, as well as long-term participation in the project’s economic success.

This project furthers the University’s real estate strategy, championed by President Wayne A. I. Frederick, to monetize underutilized real estate assets and generate capital for mission-based reinvestment. The Bond Bread project fulfills Howard’s desire to revitalize the Georgia Avenue corridor and create significant opportunities for minority business participation in major projects.

“Bond Bread/WRECO presents a unique opportunity for Howard University to energize the revitalization of our community. The Bond Partnership has proposed a compelling destination for students and the greater District of Columbia community that will generate local jobs and offer value for Howard to reinvest in its mission,” says President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “We carefully selected this team because of their innovative vision for the site, respect for its historic structures, experience working with diverse stakeholders, and their ability to generate value. I am thrilled to work together to transform this site into a thriving part of the surrounding Shaw and Pleasant Plains neighborhoods. We look forward to partnering with a development team that can bring this vision to life.”

After receiving more than 20 responses to its Request for Qualifications, Howard University carefully reviewed detailed responses to a Request for Proposals from six down-selected teams. During the 18-month selection process, Howard outlined detailed financial, programmatic, and mission-based criteria for the project, including the desire to create a gateway to the University, instilling a sense of place through the use of high-quality urban design, and including a thoughtful interface with the adjacent campus and hospital. Teams were required to incorporate community and campus requests from a Howard-led survey with more than 1,000 respondents. The University worked with local and national experts in real estate, architecture, historic preservation, and environmental remediation to assess each proposal and conducted interviews with all RFP respondents. Howard will now enter into exclusive negotiations with The Bond Partnership to define financial and business terms. If the University is unable to execute an agreement with the preferred development team, Howard will return to the next two highest ranked teams to begin negotiations.

“We are honored,” said the Development Team of EDENS, Fivesquares Development, and The Menkiti Group (The Bond Partnership). “To work on this transformational project to further Howard University’s vital mission and legacy through the creation of a dynamic new neighborhood development concept centered on a multi-tiered, actively programmed public space that will create a vital neighborhood center at this important intersection of the local community and Howard University. We believe our concept will achieve the long-held aspiration of Howard University and the DUKE Plan to “knit the community together through new development.”

The proposed program seeks to bridge the gap between Howard’s central campus and the vibrant U Street community while addressing the vision outlined in the Duke Small Area Plan. The site will offer multifamily, hotel, and in-line restaurant and retail use, in addition to a marketplace and public park.

The development team plans to leverage the site’s grade change innovatively by locating a marketplace beneath the public park, which will span much of the block. The market and park will be programmed with events to create a vibrant destination and offer new amenities to serve students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community.

Beyond physical attributes, the project will offer mission-oriented benefits to Howard stakeholders, including internships for students, a retail incubator for student ventures, and collaboration of the use of spaces for Howard events. The Bond Partnership is dedicated to creating opportunities for minority participation in the project, at both the ownership and service provider levels. At least 20 percent of project equity will be sourced from minority-owned Menkiti Group, creating a critical wealth generation opportunity.

“Bond Bread will play a pivotal role in the revival of Georgia Avenue by creating a unique 24/7 environment, and I am proud that the University had a diverse set of development options from which to make a selection,” says Howard Real Estate Executive Anthony Freeman. “As one of the most active institutions throughout the country that is implementingcomplex on-campus and off-campus real estate and privatization transactions, the Real Estate organization and its diverse evaluation team are proud to have selected this development partner in response to the comprehensive requirements outlined in the RFP. Howard will benefit from having a well-capitalized partner that is both experienced in placemaking and understands the unique needs of institutional owners.”

Howard will now work with The Bond Partnership to program the site collaboratively and launch a multi-year entitlement process prior to groundbreaking. The University’s development partners will lead the design and financing of the development, as well as efforts to obtain zoning and historic preservation approvals. The proposed development program must progress through historic preservation and campus master plan reviews, during which stakeholders will have an opportunity to review and comment.

Howard has relied on a dedicated team of industry leaders in real estate, finance, historic preservation, and environmental remediation to reach this milestone, including: Alvarez & Marsal; Apex Companies; EHT Traceries; and Lerch Early & Brewer.

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About the Development Team

EDENS, Fivesquares Development and the Menkiti Group are responsible for a number of high-profile projects in the DC area and together form the selected development team, the “Bond Partnership.”

EDENS is a retail real estate owner, operator and developer of a nationally leading portfolio of 125 places including Washington, D.C.’s Union Market and Fairfax County, VA’s Mosaic District. Their purpose is to enrich community through human engagement.

Fivesquares Development is a developer of mixed-use projects and partners with non-profit institutions to unlock the value of their real estate holdings to further their missions and create value. The experience of their principals includes redeveloping the block-long Whitman-Walker Health property at 14th and R streets with a new cultural center and park, Washington’s Anacostia Waterfront Revitalization (which framed developments like The Wharf and The Yards), City Center, Bethesda Row, and London’s Olympic Park. At the helm of Fivesquares is the former DC Director of Planning Andy Altman who is the Managing Partner of the Bond Partnership and oversaw the creation of the original Duke Small Area Plan.

The Menkiti Group is a minority-owned multi-disciplinary development company that invests in emerging neighborhoods and is known for transforming and strengthening communities through community-focused development. The company has invested more than $200 million into emerging neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., and Worcester, MA, has delivered or has in its pipeline more than 1.5 million square feet of property, and has helped more than 2,500 families realize the dream of homeownership. One notable current Menkiti project is the long-awaited MLK Gateway in Southeast Washington.

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.

Media Contact: Alonda Thomas, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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