This article was sourced by Environmental Analyst. For more information click here.
Much of the corporate communications in response to the latest COVID-19 outbreak is rightly centered on the gargantuan global health and economic challenges it poses. But some of the businesses operating in the environmental services space have the perfect opportunity to pivot towards helping the global response to the virus, using their valuable expertise to support clients and others through the challenges.
A number of consulting firms with strengths in disaster planning and preparedness; health, safety and environmental (HSE) services; and/or epidemiology and laboratory services; are well positioned to help mitigate and turn the tide on this pandemic. Already a number of businesses have stepped up their efforts in recent days/weeks.
In the US for example, Rockville, Maryland-headquartered engineering and environmental consultancy Apex Companies is making its industrial hygiene and safety professionals available for its clients. The firm is offering support for infectious disease outbreak planning; contamination protocol reviews; personal protective equipment consulting and process conformance evaluations.
Apex has been closely monitoring the developments surrounding the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic. We are responding to this crisis on a nationwide basis, while ensuring the health and safety of our workers, clients, and the greater public.
As we continue the performance of services for our clients, we are closely monitoring federal, state, and local developments to ensure continuity of service is achieved in accordance with all federal and local directives. Our staff are trained and well-versed in CDC directives and guidelines and we maintain rigorous OSHA health and safety training and standards with our workforce and subcontractors. Across our offices and in the field, we have instituted additional practices regarding hygiene, potential COVID-19 exposure protocol, and responsible social distancing practices.
As your partner in health and safety, we understand that the impact to employees, businesses, communities, and the economy will be significant and that the coming weeks and months will remain uncertain. Through it all we are here to support you across your company and workforce.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we recognize that in times like this, we owe it to one another to rise above the turmoil and disorder and be civil, kind, and accountable to one another. We are committed to doing our part to assist you and our communities in any way possible.
Yours in health and safety,
President & CEO
Apex Companies, LLC
The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) 2020 Board Elections are now open from February 14 to March 6. AIHA is a nonprofit organization with over 8,500 members that are dedicated to promoting and educating health and safety in the workplace. The Board Elections are open to all active members of AIHA. Members will be able to vote through a secure link that will be sent directly to the members’ email address. For additional questions regarding the election, please contact AIHA.
Don’t wait. Vote today!
Click here to see AIHA’s Board of Directors for 2019-2020.
Donna Heidel, MS, CIH, FAIHA
National Practice Leader of Industrial Hygiene
Apex Companies, LLC
John Moore, MS, CIH, CSP
Bradley S. King, PhD, MPH, CIH
CAPT U.S. Public Health Service Senior Industrial Hygienist
NIOSH Western States Division
Michael D. Larrañaga, PhD, PE, CIH, CSP, FAIHA
Managing Principal and President
Insight Risk, LLC (DBA R.E.M.)
Kimberly Castillon, CIH
Region 1 Audit Program Manager
Bernard L. Fontaine, Jr., CIH, CSP, FAIHA
The Windsor Consulting Group, Inc.
Maharshi Mehta, CIH, CSP
International Safety Systems, Inc.
Rick Newman, CIH
Health Informatics Lead/Sr. Industrial Hygienist, Corporate Health Services
Marathon Petroleum Company
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:
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.
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.
As 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.
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.”