Field & Support

Emergency Response to Fuel in Creek

Blackshare was contracted to respond to an emergency situation when floating gasoline was discovered in a creek in an urban area. A service station adjacent to the creek denied that they had a release and stated that they had lost no inventory. Blackshare traced the fuel source back to the service station and informed them that the regulatory agency was requiring them to take their tanks out of service. The fuel also made it into a storm sewer where a PVC water line was located and the fuel penetrated the glue in the joints allowing benzene to get into city water distribution system. The fuel was removed from the creek, the source eliminated, and the joints repaired in the water line abating all hazardous conditions.

Emergency Fuel Spill Response

Blackshare is the first responder for spills at two metropolitan airports. In the last eight years, Blackshare has responded to more than fifteen emergency fuel spills including F-14 jet fuel on a military ramp, a jet fuel spill from a DC-10, a jet fuel free product released from a UST system, hydraulic oil and aviation gasoline from a crash, and others. The responses have included mobilizing to the site, assessing the situation, directing response activities, deploying booms/pads or retaining structures to contain the release, notifying appropriate agencies, and performing cleanup and disposal activities as necessary. Blackshare is on call 24/7/365 and is normally on site within one hour of receiving an emergency page.

Soil Sampling Event

Blackshare conducted a soil sampling event in order to determine if debris from a bridge collapse had resulted in soil contamination. Items in the pile contained lead-based paint and were a concern for both residual contamination left at the site and for disposal purposes. Because of the accident and subsequent demolition, paint had been damaged and reduced to dust in many instances. The dust is particularly susceptible to mobility and presents various hazards. Blackshare established a grid and performed statistical sampling to identify impacted soils and confirm that levels of lead remaining at the site were acceptable and within guidelines. Excavated debris piles were also sampled per protocol for waste characterization and disposal purposes.

Asbestos Surveys of Residential Homes

As part of a noise mitigation program to reduce air traffic noise in homes close to the airport, Blackshare has conducted asbestos surveys and collected samples of suspect asbestos containing material in over 600 homes. Noise mitigation for each home includes installation of noise reducing features such as additional sound insulation, triple pane windows, and central HVAC systems. The asbestos surveys are required to determine the presence of asbestos so that it can be safely removed prior to construction. Blackshare assisted in removing the asbestos and conducting air monitoring during and after the removal process.

Stormwater Sampling and Inspection

Blackshare conducts stormwater inspections and sampling on over 150 industrial sites on at least a quarterly basis. Some facilities require monthly inspection and sample collection of stormwater runoff is required at most. Blackshare coordinates chain-of-custody forms for all samples collected to legally transmit them to the laboratory when necessary. Samples are also properly preserved and strict quality assurance/quality control observed such as split samples, duplicate samples, field blanks, trip blanks, and rinsate blanks. Blackshare also frequently performs inspections on construction projects to ensure compliance with permit conditions and requirements.

Public Meeting for Highway Project

Blackshare was hired by a State highway department to conduct an Environmental Assessment (EA) for a proposed widening project that was approximately 25 miles long. Part of the scope of the project involved holding public meetings to inform them of plans, environmental effects, proposed mitigation, and to get their input and comments. For these meetings, Blackshare prepared all materials and lead the meetings speaking, showing a presentation of the project, producing exhibits, and answering questions from the crowd. Comments were also recorded and tracked as all required response in the EA.

Water Permitting Expert Testimony

Blackshare provided expert testimony in a case where adjacent landowners were in dispute over rights, permits, plans, and history. To complicate matters, one of the property owners formerly owned the other site and had detailed knowledge of the history and conditions. The dispute alleged that the change in runoff diverted by the upstream property adversely affected the downstream property. However, the diversion was required by the regulatory agency and permit. Eventually, the dispute was settled largely because of Blackshare’s testimony.

Public Meeting for Proposed Casino

Blackshare lead a public meeting for a proposed casino following preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA). In preparation for the meeting, Blackshare prepared all exhibits to display, a PowerPoint presentation, tracking mechanisms for three different methods for the public to submit comments, and coordination of all Stakeholders. Federal regulators were present as well. The meeting was successful and the project approved with no adverse comments received.

Expert Witness for Air Permitting

Blackshare provided expert witness services to evaluate historical air permitting applicability and compliance at an industrial facility for NSPS, PSD and Title V. This case was the result of enforcement activity from the ODEQ and was complicated by the fact that facility was owned by a third party when the alleged violations occurred. Blackshare performed significant analysis where data was lacking and evaluated regulations in effect at the time of the alleged violations. Blackshare's analysis and evaluation resulted in successful resolution of the enforcement action.