BIA's professional geologists, scientists, and technicians help clients meet the local, state, and Federal environmental requirements that are part of project development. We have helped clients obtain and execute Growing Greener and other grants, and have received statewide honors for environmental assessments, remediation, restoration, and preservation. Our department includes Sewage Enforcement Officers, PA-licensed professional geologists, and a soil scientist. Staff members hold certifications in lead, asbestos, and OSHA 40-Hour Hazardous Training.
Phase I & II Environmental Site Assessments
Phase I Environmental Assessments are usually part of the due diligence process in commercial real estate transactions to determine the potential for environmental risk and minimize future liability. BIA regularly works with a variety of local and national banks to complete these assessments. All environmental assessments are performed in general accordance with current ASTM Standards. If areas of concern emerge, a customized Phase II Assessment should be conducted. Accurate assessments of potential environmental liabilities keep these projects on track.
Carbonate Geology Studies are performed to meet county or township requirements in areas underlain by Karst geology. These studies document sinkhole activity and assess potential for future sinkhole development. Hydrogeologic studies are of value if public water is not available to a site. A Fracture Trace Study can be used to identify locations for potential water supply wells. Performing pump tests on potential wells can determine safe well yield, potential for well interference, aquifer characteristics, and be used to accurately assess water quality.
Wetlands are recognized as extremely important to the ecosystem. Federal, state, and local regulations are involved when wetlands are present. BIA's Environmental Scientists can complete Wetland Identification and Delineation, Bog Turtle Habitat Assessments, and negotiate permitting with the Army Corps of Engineers and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Examples of permitting include Jurisdictional Determinations with the ACOE and General Permits or Joint Permits with the PADEP. In addition, BIA can mitigate wetland impacts through relocation and/or wetland construction to meet requirements of the appropriate regulatory agency.
Sinkholes are depressions or subsidence that occur naturally, though the formation of these features can sometimes be accelerated by human influence. Sinkholes are caused by the dissolution of carbonate bedrock. When sinkholes develop, BIA engineers investigate the reasons for the occurrence and develop a mitigation design based upon geologic and/or structural principles.
Watershed Assessment and Riparian Restoration
A watershed is the topographic region that drains to a river, creek, or tributary. BIA is experienced in conducting watershed assessments that examine the quality and quantity of water and in identifying potential sources of both point and non-point source pollution. We can assess and develop plans that promote environmentally friendly restoration efforts, such as improve riparian buffers along streams, in-stream habitat improvements, and stream approaches and/or structures. BIA has assisted many municipalities and organizations in applying for grants and financial aid to fund such studies.
Soil Evaluations and On-lot Sewage Disposal
Properties not served by public sewers or wastewater treatment plants must utilize on-lot sewage systems. BIA employs a thorough understanding of landscapes, soil conditions, and restrictive features to determine the most effective and economical method for long-term, on-lot sewage disposal. BIA is experienced in evaluating and designing standard on-lot septic systems, as well as many alternate and experimental systems. BIA routinely assists clients in meeting the requirements of Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act 537 by filing for planning exemptions and completing comprehensive sewage facilities planning modules.
Tank Services and Site Characterizations
Storage tanks are recognized potential sources of pollution. Stored materials have the potential to leak into the soil and cause ground water contamination. BIA's geologists employ comprehensive geophysical investigations to identify the presence of underground tanks. Our staff provides professional oversight and documentation of tank removal activities to negotiate case closures with regulatory agencies. If necessary, BIA monitors the excavation, recovery, and disposal of contaminated soils. BIA is experienced in conducting site assessments to evaluate soil and ground water impacts resulting from storage tank releases.
Indoor Air Quality, Asbestos, and Lead
BIA has assisted clients with the identification of indoor air quality problems and provided cost-effective solutions. These projects range from addressing mold and moisture problems to providing personal air sampling for employees exposed to solvents. Our staff also includes Certified Asbestos and Lead Building Inspectors, who can take samples of bulk materials for analysis. BIA has assisted many clients, including the City of Hazleton and PennDOT, in completing comprehensive asbestos surveys in order to obtain demolition permits.