The True Cost of Environmental Assessment

When my son was little, he was tasked by his second grade teacher to build a scale model of the Alamo.  Like some children, he was impatient and wanted to get started – no pre-planning,  sketches of potential ideas – just draw Alamo heroes and cut them out.  Of course he quickly realized that we had cannons that were twice the size of  Santa Ana’s soldiers.

As a twenty year veteran in the environmental consulting business, I know how some clients with environmental issues want to grab the bull by the horns and just do “some remediation”.  I have seen clients collect many samples for assessment themselves and pay thousands for chemical analyses only to have the TCEQ reject the results only because they could not adequately document the sample collection methodology.  Additionally, I have seen remediation plans developed from historical data by a long list of previous consultants with no updated assessment.

We live in a time with seemingly instantaneous data delivery.  However, the old rules of thought and analysis still apply.  First, talk  with your consultant.  Be clear on your goals – there are many choices in Texas for closure at many different costs.  Secondly, an ounce of assessment is worth a pound of remediation.  If you do not know the source area, it is hard to achieve a clean-up objective. Thirdly, understand the process as a client.  You are ultimately responsible to achieve closure.  Communicate periodically with your consultant.  I have learned a lot from my client’s questions and believe I am a better consultant because of their comments.  You and the consultant become a team and the objective can be more easily reached.

Got an environmental issue on your plate?  Come join the Terrain Solutions Team and lets get it done at an understandable cost.

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