Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) June 18, 2015
For over 13 years since its initial release, stakeholders and critics of the US Environmental Protection Agencys draft of the Vapor Intrusion Guidance has been a controversial topic based on the fact that it was developed on what is now considered outdated science. In 2002, vapor intrusion exposure concerns were just beginning to emerge as part of the Federal Corrective Action Program. As a result, vapor intrusion was identified as a major exposure concern at many environmental sites where volatile organic compounds had been released into soil and groundwater. Vapor Intrusion assessment guidance was released at the time based on contemporary science. Since then, major scientific and toxicological advancements have made the past guidelines inadequate. A final version of the Vapor Intrusion Guidance was released late last week and there is already an immense amount of chatter, assessment, and debate that will only grow over the coming weeks, months, and foreseeable future as the industry realigns their practices. The Guidance documentation can be found at http://www.epa.gov/oswer/vaporintrusion/.
For years, communities impacted by the guidelines have awaited the final version in order to move forward with appropriate policy setting and corrective action including vapor intrusion mitigation. In the interim, states have adapted individual policies and guidelines to effectively reduce existing for threatened vapor intrusion exposures. Stakeholders (largely regulated businesses in the dry cleaning and manufacturing industries, among others) relied upon expert firms, such as Indiana environmental consultants EnviroForensics, to investigate, assess and mitigate vapor intrusion to help them navigate the complicated regulatory setting.
Licensed Professional Geologist, Jeff Carnahan (also EnviroForensics’ Director of Technical Services) comments, During the time period when the Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance was being developed and no up to date regulatory guidance was available, we performed our vapor intrusion assessments based on strong scientific methods, multiple lines of evidence, and thoughtfully conservative assumptions. Scientific accuracy is paramount as a base for good vapor intrusion work.
EnviroForensics is leading the charge in the assessment and implementation of the final vapor intrusion guidelines on behalf of clients across the country. Businesses have expressed great concern for the consequences of poor assessments, and the liability associated with unidentified vapor intrusion exposures in surrounding communities. Regulatory enforcement actions have also been on the rise when inappropriate steps for vapor intrusion investigation and mitigation are taken.
Carnahan adds, “While the government has been going back and forth on the verbiage and contemplating political factors, we practitioners and researchers have been making great strides and advancements in the field of vapor intrusion investigation and mitigation. Ultimately, our clients should be largely unsurprised by the technical requirements of the final version of the guidance, because our scientific and technical methods are state of the art already. However, with the release of the final guidance, it will be interesting to see how some less prepared practitioners are able to service their clients.
Carnahan continues, “Although drafts of the Final document were issued long ago, and public comments have been considered by the EPA, one can be certain that much effort will be spent in the coming months to realign current Vapor Intrusion assessment and mitigation practices with the new guidance.”
For more information on responses to the EPA’s final guidance or how to enlist services for a vapor intrusion investigation, please contact EnviroForensics at any of the following numbers: 317-972-7870 (Indiana), 262-290-4001 (Wisconsin), 925-362-4706 (California).
Enviroforensics provides advanced, comprehensive engineering and litigation support services to businesses, law firms and municipalities. The firm devotes itself to accurate, defensible work products on time and within budget. The team of engineers and scientists resolve environmental issues cost effectively to protect the long-term interests of its clients. EnviroForensics has offices in Indiana, Wisconsin, and California.
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