Environmental Services

VOTED Best Environmental Company in Brooklyn, NY

2018: Brooklyn Voted American Environmental Assessment & Solutions, Inc. Best Environmental Organization!

 

American Environmental Assessment & Solutions, Inc is a leading environmental company providing environmental services. They offer a wide range of environmental services providing its customers with the safest and most cost effective solutions to all their environmental needs. Their services include Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), soil and groundwater investigation remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, NYC E-Designation investigation, soil sampling, groundwater monitoring and environmental compliance.

About the Contest

Now in its sixth year, the Dime Best of Brooklyn program has grown to be a coveted award for Brooklyn’s best businesses. Hundreds of businesses are nominated and thousands of the public vote each year. There will only be one first place winner in each category crowned the absolute “best” of Brooklyn.

The exposure of Dime Best of Brooklyn – affiliated with BrooklynReporter.com, The Home Reporter and The Brooklyn Spectator – is enormous for the businesses involved.

Recognition means the world to the winners, and along with that distinction comes a great deal of pride. The Best of Brooklyn’s impact is undeniable—it touches hearts and changes lives with these unique and distinguished marks of excellence.

For Homeowners

Home Owner Information and Assistance

Oil Cleanup Information for Homeowners and Insurance Companies

Update

Many residents whose homes were flooded during Hurricane Sandy also had their heating oil tanks flooded or damaged releasing oil that contaminated their home or outside property. During the initial weeks of the response to Hurricane Sandy, the NYSDEC acted quickly to prevent additional spills by removing oil from basements and damaged tanks. As of early December, the NYSDEC’s emergency response actions have largely been concluded.

The NYSDEC’s actions are now focused on responding to any remaining actual spills where there is recoverable petroleum or to situations that present a significant threat of a release (e.g., a petroleum tank which is damaged and in imminent danger of releasing oil). If you need to have storm water removed from an otherwise intact heating oil tank, you must contact your home heating oil company and/or insurance company and arrange for water removal.

Where homeowners have insurance that covers an oil spill, they are submitting claims asking their insurance company to fund or to directly undertake the cleanup of the oil contamination. Others do not have insurance that covers oil spills and are wondering what they should do.

Guidance

To prevent any delays in cleanups, NYSDEC offers the following guidance:

  • If you find recoverable oil in or near your home that has not already been reported, you should contact the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Spill Hotline at 1-800-457-7362 to report the spill (note that the hotline is only for reporting spills and does not provide guidance or general information).
  • Insurance companies should act quickly to address oil contamination covered by their policies. Due to the thousands of spills created by Hurricane Sandy, insurers should take actions needed to restore homes to a habitable condition without waiting for written instruction from the DEC.
  • Homeowners who do not have insurance that covers oil spills may seek assistance from FEMA by calling 1-800-621-FEMA and requesting Individual Assistance (IA). The IA inspector will assess the situation as part of their overall evaluation of flood damage.
  • All discharged petroleum should be recovered to the greatest extent practicable. To prevent the further spread of oil contamination and as part of New York’s State’s efforts to aid in the recovery from the hurricane, NYSDEC has responded to thousands of spill reports and has collected hundreds of thousands of gallons of recoverable oil from basements and from flooded tanks. NYSDEC will continue to collect recoverable oil (i.e., oil that can be pumped rather than oil-soaked debris or from intact tanks) in the coming days and weeks.
  • Much of the oil spilled outside of structures onto yards and other areas was washed away after the storm or has evaporated. Although there may be some staining on grass and other surfaces from residual petroleum, these small amounts do not pose a significant environmental or public health threat and will continue to naturally degrade over the winter. However, if there is localized puddling of oil or areas with a thicker film of oil, avoid dermal (skin) contact, don’t let children play in areas that are visually contaminated with oil, avoid tracking oil inside the home on shoes or on the feet of house pets, and use cat litter or other absorbent materials available at home improvement stores to absorb the oil (where practical). Many lawns were also damaged by salt water and may need to be replanted in the spring.
  • When petroleum is spilled inside a structure, residual amounts that remain after recoverable oil has been collected may create indoor air/odor problems that make the structure uninhabitable. To address this problem, the structure and contents may be cleaned if practicable or contaminated items should be properly disposed. Information on how to address oil contamination within a home and about health effects can be found in the New York State Department of Health’s publication  “What Do Homeowners Need to Know About Oil Spills and Flooding?” (PDF) (156 KB).
  • Under New York law, the person who owns the tank from which oil was released is considered to be the “discharger.” A discharger of petroleum is strictly liable for any resulting damage even if it was caused by an event, like a natural disaster, for which they had no control (see Navigation Law § 181.1).
  • If a discharger fails to cleanup significant impacts to the environment, New York State through NYSDEC may complete the cleanup and then bring an action against the discharger to recover these costs (see Navigation Law § 187).
Blog

Revisions To CERCLA Due Diligence Requirements

CERCLA Due Diligence Requirements Revised to Reflect Updated Phase I Standard for Forested and Rural Land

Spencer Fane LLP
Paul Jacobson
July 11th, 2017

Purchasers of rural and forested land need to be aware of a recent change in EPA’s environmental due diligence rules. On June 20, 2017, EPA published a Direct Final Rule in the Federal Register, amending the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule, 40 CFR Part 312, to reflect 2016 updates to ASTM E2247, a standard for Phase I investigations on rural and forested land.

The AAI Rule sets forth requisite practices for satisfying CERCLA § 101(35)(B) so as to obtain CERCLA liability relief, i.e. the innocent landowner defense, bona fide prospective purchaser liability protection, and contiguous property owner liability protection. The AAI requirements also apply when conducting site characterizations and assessments with the use of a Brownfields grant, under CERCLA § 104(k)(2)(B).

For years, the AAI Rule has referenced two voluntary industry standards for conducting Phase I site investigations, both published by the standards setting body ASTM International. One of these standards, ASTM E2247, only applies to forestland and rural property, and the other standard, E1527-13, is not limited in applicability to only certain types of property. The AAI Rule has allowed purchasers to establish compliance with the requirements of the AAI Rule by adhering to these industry standards (as makes sense, parties may not use the E2247 standard for property other than forestland and rural land). The June 20 Direct Final Rule merely replaces the reference to the 2008 version of E2247 with a reference to the updated 2016 version. No changes are made regarding the other ASTM standard referenced by the AAI Rule, E1527-13.

A summary of the differences between the 2008 and 2016 versions of E2247 is available here. One notable difference is that the 2016 version does away with the requirement that the site be at least 120 acres, so that the 2016 version applies to rural or forested properties of any size. E2247 in some ways requires less rigorous site investigation than E1527-13, so this widening of the applicability of E2247 is a welcome change to property purchasers. Individuals interested in obtaining a copy of the 2016 E2247 standard can do so from ASTM International at this link.

Purchasers of forested or rural land will not be required to use the 2016 version of E2247. Rather, this standard will merely be an allowed alternative to walking through the actual requirements of the AAI Rule itself. Nevertheless, once the Direct Final Rule goes into effect, property owners should ensure that their environmental consultants are not using the 2008 version of E2247, because it will no longer satisfy the AAI Rule.

EPA views the incorporation of the 2016 version of E2247 as noncontroversial, and thus published it as a Direct Final Rule, without a prior proposed rule. The Direct Final Rule will go into effect on September 18, 2017, unless EPA receives adverse comments by July 20, 2017. If EPA does receive adverse comments, the Direct Final Rule will not take effect. Rather, EPA would address the comments before issuing a subsequent final rule.

This post was drafted by Paul Jacobson, an attorney at Spencer Fane LLP.

Environmental Services

Remediation Amendments to Brownfield Cleanup Program

NYSDEC Adopts Amendments to Brownfield Cleanup Program at 6 NYCRR Part 375 – Effective August 12, 2016

NYSDEC Update

On June 10, 2015, DEC formally proposed revisions to 6 NYCRR Part 375 to meet the statutory mandates in Part BB of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2015, which amended and added new language to Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) Article 27, Title 14 – Brownfield Cleanup Program (BCP), and certain other laws. The proposal of these regulations resulted in amendments to the BCP law becoming effective on July 1, 2015.

The amendments to Part 375 are effective August 12, 2016. There are two new definitions, one for “affordable housing project” and a second for “underutilized” in 6 NYCRR Subpart 375-3 of the BCP regulations. The 2015 BCP law directed DEC to define these terms in regulation. These definitions, along with the other criteria for eligibility for tangible property tax credits (the site’s location in an environmental zone or the site meeting the statutory definition of “upside down”), will be used to determine whether a site in New York City is eligible for those credits. The “affordable housing project” definition will also be used statewide to determine a site’s eligibility for the five percent affordable housing tax credit bonus.

The “Brownfield site” definition at 6 NYCRR 375-1.2(b) has also been amended to meet the definition in the 2015 BCP law and 6 NYCRR 375-3.3(a)(1) has been deleted to conform to this definition.

In part, the 2015 amendments to the BCP law address the large differences in the potential state tax liability between New York City BCP sites and those in the rest of the State. The primary driver for the regional imbalance within the BCP is high development costs for some downstate projects, which resulted in excessive tangible property tax credits. Limiting the eligibility of New York City sites to specific affordable housing projects and underutilized properties through criteria established by regulation, in addition to sites which are in an environmental zone or “upside down,” should help target funds and projects in New York City areas with the most need. The amended definition of “brownfield site” implements a statutory amendment that clarifies DEC’s use of an environmental standards-based approach to site eligibility determinations to ensure that tangible property tax credits are only afforded to sites with actual contamination rather than potential contamination. The ‘underutilized’ definition encourages industrial and commercial development under the BCP. Properties that are not zoned for commercial or industrial use would be zoned for residential use; and while they would not qualify as underutilized, they could qualify as affordable housing, be located in an environmental zone, or possibly be “upside down.” The other eligibility pathways provide separate avenues for tangible property tax credits for residentially-zoned properties.

Read more here: Environmental Remediation – Brownfield Cleanup Program

Environmental Services

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