Category Archive: Alerts

Firefighting foam remains on the ground surface following a tanker truck accident.

Not so PFAS: Emerging Contaminants Increasingly a Factor in Due Diligence

A class of emerging containments known as polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, has been getting an increasing amount of attention at all levels of government and the media lately. These human-made substances are described as “forever chemicals” given the way they can linger in the environment for decades without breaking down.

Unfortunately, they can also persist in the human body for long periods of time and are linked to several types of cancer, infertility, thyroid problems and other ailments. In June of 2022, the U.S. EPA issued guidance indicating that PFAS chemicals pose a greater health threat than originally thought.

Chemical companies have been using PFAS compounds to create a variety of products including nonstick cookware, cosmetics, moisture-repellent fabrics and fire-fighting foam. As reported by local media, PFAS was in the foam that was used to suppress the fire on the doomed Spirit of Norfolk harbor cruise ship near ONE Environmental’s Tidewater, Virginia location.

Until recently, PFAS was not necessarily a material issue for those performing due diligence during property transactions. Things began to change in late 2021, when the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) issued a new Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) standard that included guidance on considering PFAS in completing an ESA. The new standard, ASTM E1527-21, officially took effect on January 1, 2022.

In March of 2022, the EPA published a direct final rule to incorporate ASTM E1527-21 into “all appropriate inquiries” (AAI) procedures. However, the EPA did not change reference to the previous standard, ASTM E1527-13, nor did it amend AAI regulation. This means that for now, a commercial property stakeholder can follow either standard depending on their tolerance for risk, past property use, and other factors.

For example, buyers of property where there is low likelihood of historical PFAS use may be willing to assume more risk and follow the faster, less costly ASTM E1527-13 standard. Risk-averse purchasers, especially at properties where PFAS was potentially used at the property, may choose to follow the ASTM E1527-21 standard.

The rules can be confusing, since technically, the inclusion of PFAS in in ASTM E1527-21 is not quite a requirement yet. But the writing is on the wall, and prudent stakeholders would do well to start considering PFAS in their due diligence practices immediately.

ONE Environmental has vast expertise in due diligence processes, supporting clients all over the United States. Our team stands ready to help stakeholders navigate the complexity of the various standards and make the best possible decisions for their requirements.

Municipalities Encouraged to Apply for a VBAF Grant to Revitalize Brownfields

Grant funds are available to transform your brownfield into an economically viable property.

FY21 applications are available from the Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic Redevelopment Assistance Fund Review Committee, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

The deadline to apply is April 1, 2021. Find the application here. Awards are expected to be announced in May 2021.

Jeff Duncan, Principal at ONE Environmental Group with offices located throughout the Commonwealth, encourages municipalities, eligible for awards up to $500,000, to apply.

“If you have a property in need of assessment or planning or if you want to remediate the site, these funds could be just what is needed to support revitalization,” he said.

Grants help fill a financing gap for projects or phases of work for restoration and redevelopment of brownfield sites as well as address environmental problems or obstacles to reuse so that these sites can be effectively marketed to new economic development prospects that have not already commenced.

Virginia Brownfields Restoration and Economic (VBAF) Site Assessment and Planning Grants, in amounts of up to $50,000, are available to assist with the costs of:

  • Environmental and cultural resource site assessments.
  • Development of remediation and reuse plans. 
  • Necessary removal of human remains, the appropriate treatment of grave sites, and the appropriate and necessary treatment of significant archaeological resources, or the stabilization or restoration of structures listed on or eligible for the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register.
  • Demolition and removal of existing structures, or other site work necessary to make a site or certain real property usable for new economic development.

VBAF grants do not reimburse costs already incurred for a project or phase of work that has begun or is already completed.

Remediation grant funds, in the amounts of up to $500,000 can be used for:

  • Remediation of a contaminated property to remove hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, or solid wastes.
  • Necessary removal of human remains, the appropriate treatment of grave sites, and the appropriate and necessary treatment of significant archaeological resources, or the stabilization or restoration of structures listed on or eligible for the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register
  • Demolition and removal of existing structures, or other site work necessary to make a site or certain real property usable for new economic development.

Duncan said ONE recently completed a successful project for the Parks and Recreation Department of a municipality in the west-central portion of the state. ONE assisted with the application and obtaining grant funds to complete assessment and remediation work to obtain a Certificate of Satisfactory Completion within the DEQ Voluntary Remediation Program (VRP). The property was remediated to render the property available for future recreational use by the Department.

The grants are coordinated, administered and awarded by DEQ and VEDP.

Duncan can answer questions about the application and help with its completion. Contact him at .

Join the team at ONE Environmental Group

ONE Environmental Group is looking to add an Environmental Consultant/Project Manager to its team.

This new hire will be responsible for business development, expanding the company’s network and supporting the overall growth of ONE, while ensuring consistency with company culture and vision.

ONE offers environmental consulting and industrial services to commercial, industrial and government clients that are regulated by environmental state and federal regulations or transactional requirements of lending institutions. ONE strives to provide value-based consulting services through innovation, integrity and a profound respect for our client’s objectives.

The position will support the Richmond and Norfolk offices primarily but will be remote during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The essential job functions include:

  • Focusing on increasing business opportunities in the Carolinas and South Atlantic regions.
  • Managing all aspects of projects, including setup, performance tracking, invoicing and collections. This includes taking responsibility for the quality of work product on all projects, meeting project budgets, and ensuring deadlines are met.
  • Interfacing directly with regulatory agencies on behalf of customers, with focus on environmental compliance and project management.
  • Supervising, mentoring and delegating project tasks to junior staff.
  • Preparing technical compliance documents required by local, State, and Federal regulations with minimal supervision, oversight and revisions. Examples include (but are not limited to) Permit Applications for various media (air, water, waste); SPCC Plans; and SWPPPs and associated documents (SOPs, DMRs, Inspection Reports and Corrective Action Reports).
  • Scheduling and performing Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessments (ESAs) in accordance with ASTM standards with minimal supervision by an Environmental Professional.
  • Completing risk assessment analyses. Examples include (but are not limited to) surficial and subsurface soil, groundwater, soil gas, vapor intrusion and encroachment, and indoor air.
  • Scheduling and performing field work, including (but not limited to) sample collection, compliance inspections, soil borings, monitoring well installations and various remedial activities. All field work must be completed in accordance with both company and customer health and safety guidelines.

The ideal candidate must have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering or a scientific discipline with at least six to 10 years of experience working in the environmental industry. Preferably that experience would involve environmental compliance projects involving both federal and state regulations, such as RCRA, CAA, CWA and OPA. 

Preferred qualifications include a 40-hr HAZWOPER certification and licenses in Asbestos and/or Lead Based Paint. A physical exam is required to obtain medical clearance for hazardous waste work. Passage of a drug test and a background check are additional requirements. Candidates must have a valid driver’s license and be flexible to work outside of normal business hours if necessary.

The position may require up to 20% overnight travel.

Salary range is $50,000 – $100,000 with benefits.

Achievement-oriented, innovative independent candidates encouraged to apply. At ONE, our culture is both detail- and outcome-oriented with a focus on team and people.