Our primary services fall into 4 broad categories, that include Environmental Compliance, Occupational Safety, Hazardous Materials Management, and Industrial Safety and Compliance.
Learn more about Stonehill Environment’s and CEA’s EHS and compliance services by downloading our EHS SOQ.
Per- and Polyfuoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Assessment and Sampling
PFAS are a family of man-made chemicals that have been used industrially and in consumer products since the 1950s. Some products containing PFAS include firefighting foams, non-stick coatings and cleaning products. PFAS are persistent and resist degradation in the environment. They also bioaccumulate, meaning continued exposures result in concentration increases in the blood and organs. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) are two PFAS that have been produced in the largest amounts within the United States. Both PFOS and PFOA are classified by the EPA as emerging contaminants having potential or real threat to human health or the environment. Therefore, Federal, State and local agencies are focusing on identifying sources of PFAS in soil and groundwater, with particular attention on potentially impacted public and private drinking water supplies.
A common source of PFOS in the environment is firefighting foam known as aqueous film forming foam (AFFF). When PFOS-containing AFFF is used for firefighting or training purposes, the PFCs in the foam can contaminate soil and sediment in nearby surface water bodies.
StoneHill has extensive experience in the sampling, identification, and assessment of PFAS in the environment, and remains current on the complex PFAS environmental regulations in the New England states.
Heating Oil, Gasoline, and Diesel Releases
StoneHill is highly experienced investigating and remediating releases of heating oil at residential and commercial properties, and gasoline and diesel at underground and above ground storage tank facilities. StoneHill managers are experts in the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) Petroleum Reimbursement Fund Program, which in many instances covers the cost of investigation and remediation of petroleum releases in New Hampshire. StoneHill is also highly experienced managing petroleum releases in other New England states including Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont, and work efficiently with state regulatory agencies. StoneHill employees are licensed as Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs) required in Massachusetts, and licensed Professional Geologists in New Hampshire and Maine.
Underground/Above Ground Tank Audits/Closure/SPCC Plans
StoneHill’s experts can audit the compliance status of tank facilities and manage the testing, upgrade or removal of regulated or unregulated underground or above ground petroleum or hazardous material storage tanks. Spill Prevention (SPCC) Plans can be prepared or updated. StoneHill oversees the tank closure process with ICC certified managers. Detailed documentation is prepared to avoid future concerns regarding a closed tank facility.
Water Resource Impact Studies & Water Supply Services
As groundwater withdrawals from aquifers continue to increase, it is becoming more difficult to locate and permit newwater supplies, and protect existing supplies. The presence of contaminants such as PFAS and petroleum- and chlorinated solvent-related compounds, and lawsuits over water use rights complicate the process even further. The geologists and hydrogeologists at StoneHill can provide the expertise to locate, permit and develop new supplies, as well as prepare and implement wellhead protection plans to preserve existing water supplies. StoneHill can also develop supplies for groundwater heat pump systems. Further, StoneHill is highly experienced conducting nitrate loading assessments related to land development with septic systems.
Vapor Intrusion Assessment and Mitigation
The intrusion of contaminated vapors into indoor air from subsurface groundwater or soil contamination is a significant issue and State environmental regulatory agencies have established regulations and policies which trigger investigation of soil vapors at waste sites and adjacent properties, as well as the assessment of indoor air quality.
StoneHill is highly experienced assessing and mitigating indoor air in a wide variety of settings including fuel oil releases in residential and commercial settings or chlorinated solvent releases at dry cleaning facilities and industrial sites that have impacted subsurface material and indoor air with tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, and associated degradation products.
Many investigations require soil vapor and groundwater sampling to determine the potential contaminant sources and degree of subsurface contamination. Investigaion results may indicate the need for indoor air sampling. If unacceptable levels of contaminants are found in indoor air which can be attributed to the subsurface contamination, StoneHill can implement remedial actions which may include improving building ventilation, eliminating pathways for vapor migration into the building, and installing subslab depressurization systems to prevent the migration of soil vapor into the building. Following implementation of remedial measures, StoneHill then conducts detailed performance monitoring which is critical to document that the measures were successful in eliminating or reducing the migration of contaminated vapors into the building.
PCB Investigation and Testing
StoneHill is highly experienced investigating, remediating, and testing for polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) impacted soil, groundwater, and building materials. StoneHill can explain the significance of finding PCBs in common-sense terms, addressing the complex PCB regulatory issues, putting the risk of exposure in perspective, and providing public relations support. These services are particularly useful due to the sensitivity of detecting PCBs in locations such as schools and other public settings.
Although federal regulations have prohibited the manufacture of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) and controlled the phase-out of their uses since 1977, PCBs can still be found in older paints, caulking, oil, and electrical equipment. PCBs were widely used as coolants and insulating fluids (dielectric fluids) in the manufacture of electrical equipment such as transformers. PCBs were used in fluorescent light fixture ballasts, locomotive electrical transformers, industrial caulks and adhesives, marine paints, stabilizing additives in flexible PVC coatings of electrical wiring, pesticide extenders, cutting oils, lubricating oils, hydraulic fluids, adhesives, wood floor finishes, waterproofing coatings, and in carbonless copy (“NCR”) paper. StoneHill has the experience to identify and test these products for the presence of PCBs.
Blasting Impact Assessment and Monitoring
In recent years there has been much focus on the impacts that explosives used in rock blasting have on groundwater and surface water quality. Initially, perchlorate, a product within some explosives, was identified as a concern by some State regulatory agencies. More recently, nitrate impacts from the widely used explosive ammonium-nitrate-fuel-oil (ANFO), have proven to be the more prevalent and serious issue with respect to impacts on water supply wells. At several locations in southern New Hampshire, nitrates due to ANFO use have been detected in groundwater at concentrations significantly greater than the 10 milligrams per liter (mg/l) drinking water standard, above which nitrates have been linked to blue baby syndrome.
StoneHill has gained significant experience investigating the impact to groundwater from explosives and the use of best management practices (BMPs) to reduce those impacts. Additionally, in many cases it is necessary to assess the potential for impacts to nearby water supply wells. Some municipalities are now requiring groundwater monitoring wells be installed prior to commencement of blasting activities to monitor groundwater quality prior to, during and following blasting operations. StoneHill can assist municipalities, developers and blasting companies throughout this process including the design and implementation of groundwater monitoring programs, implementation of BMPs, interfacing with regulatory agencies, and providing public relations support, a critical component of these cases when water supply wells are threaten or impacted.
Environmental Due Diligence – Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
Banks, attorneys, businesses, and property owners alike have found StoneHill’s pragmatic approach to completion of “all appropriate inquiry” suits their needs with respect to Superfund liability. StoneHill’s Phase I Environmental Site Assessment reports effectively and rationally communicate key environmental liabilities regarding recognized environmental conditions and provide straight forward recommendations in perspective with the client’s particular needs.
Phase II Site Investigation
If environmental concerns are identified on a property, “all appropriate inquiry” would include design of a data collection plan to gather adequate information concerning the extent and magnitude of contamination, physical and chemical parameters, and the potential impact to receptors, while minimizing costs to the greatest extent possible StoneHill has extensive experience with vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation. Assessing the risk to human health and the environment, and costs of cleanup, are evaluated to select appropriate remedial response activities as appropriate.
StoneHill develops common sense remediation plans suited to each individual case and closely manages implementation of the remediation program. StoneHill specializes in vapor intrusion mitigation, and soil and groundwater remediation. StoneHill has has also completed numerous fuel oil spill remediation jobs in residential settings where sensitivity to the homeowner’s concerns and minimizing remediation time and property disruption are strategic priorities.
Insurance Claim Management/Cost Control
Insurance companies rely upon StoneHill to obtain the data required to assess whether insurance coverage applies to spills or other incidents involving oils or hazardous materials, and to conduct third party reviews to minimize wasteful activities and identify inappropriate costs. StoneHill also conducts site investigations and cleanups directly for insurance companies and insured parties. Our extensive hands-on experience and cost control oversight has resulted in significant cost savings for the insured and their provider.
Expert Litigation Support
StoneHill takes pride in providing straight forward and pragmatic expert litigation support for cases involving environmental contamination, geology, soils, and water resources. We believe that to minimize the cost of litigation, efforts should often be focused on utilizing available data to meet clearly defined objectives and develop conceptual models readily understood by the layperson.
Brownfields Redevelopment Services
Reclaiming under-utilized contaminated urban and industrial properties is a priority of federal, state and local governments. StoneHill’s investigations, risk assessment and remediation services are a key component of a successful brownfields redevelopment project.
Licensed Site Professional Services
In Massachusetts, the Department of Environmental Protection requires that a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) directly supervise most response actions at contaminated sites in Massachusetts. StoneHill’s LSP will provide project oversight utilizing the available options to minimize response action costs, liability and time to site closure.