Vapor Intrusion – Beware of Biased Results

Vapor Intrusion, or “VI” occurs when there is migration of vapor-forming chemicals from any subsurface source into an overlying building, negatively effecting the quality of the indoor air. VI quickly became and has continued to be a hot button topic for the environmental consulting field. This is due to the fact that, based on the current science and current screening levels, VI is the most likely potential exposure pathway to people at and/or near contaminated sites.

While environmental professionals have been collecting and evaluating soil and groundwater samples for decades, collecting empirical data to evaluate for the VI pathway is relatively new. Further, representative air samples can be difficult to collect due to a variety of reasons. Different seasons, various heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) settings, differing atmospheric conditions, numerous building construction approaches (specifically foundations and subsurface utility connections, etc.) lead to potentially biased results. Possibly most importantly, the chemicals that are stored at a house or facility (be it cleaning supplies, gas for equipment, paints, materials for hobbies, or even if the occupants smoke or burn candles, etc.) can have a big effect (and the representativeness) on the data collected.

With the spotlight on VI from many regulators, and the fact that the data collected frequently drives the next steps for a project, it is imperative to understand how to collect representative data in order to correctly evaluate this potential exposure pathway. As such, many state regulatory agencies have adopted guidance that includes a series of steps to follow that assist in collecting air data and interpreting the results.


Ohio’s Cessation of Regulated Operations Program

Abandoned sites can be damaging to the environment and can lead to expensive cleanups. Take for example the former Dayton Tire and Rubber Facility. In 1987, vandals entered the closed tire and rubber plant to recover salvageable materials. While removing copper cores from electric transformers remaining at the facility, the vandals drained the Askerol (PCB-containing) … more »

Environmental Considerations with Land Use Redevelopment

The range of land use in the United States is extensive, varying from agricultural land use to heavy industrial use. Not only do environmental considerations arise when redeveloping a Brownfields site, they must also be taken into account in nearly all redevelopment scenarios whether it is agricultural to residential or residential to commercial.  These environmental … more »

Mobile Elevated Work Platforms – How Have Standards Changed?

  The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and Scaffold and Access Industry Association (SAIA) standards were updated for Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) (sometimes previously referred to as “aerial lifts”) in June of 2020. These updates included new classifications (groups and types) which can impact facilities and industry. These revisions that OSHA has adopted as … more »


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