Published On: Sat, Jan 9th, 2016

Environmental Testing Benefits in Civil Engineering

For the immense amount of planning and coordination that goes into a civil engineering project, one area that may be overlooked is environmental laboratory testing. Planning to incorporate environmental services testing from the beginning of a project eliminates surprises at the end, helps protect workers, and ensures compliance with federal regulations.

Even if your practice does not fall under the branches of environmental, geotechnical, or water resources engineering, each project has potential to affect natural resources and features, including streams and other waterways. In addition, you inherit whatever problems already existed in the land.

 photo D. Sharon Pruitt from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, USA

photo D. Sharon Pruitt from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, USA

In the recent past, far less attention was paid to the potentially harmful effects that could be caused by manufacturing and other processes. This led to contamination of groundwater, surface water, and soil by solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, petroleum products, and other compounds. Whether assessing the redevelopment of brownfields or determining the impact of a project on relatively unadulterated land, environmental testing offers a key insight into the chemical compounds that impact humans and wildlife.

Incorporating environmental lab tests

To minimize negative impact on the environment while ensuring compliance with state and federal laws, consider consulting with an environmental testing laboratory. Partnering with a specialized lab can enable you to identify potential problems and test for contaminants already impacting the area as well as those that may be released because of the project.

Just a few of the many examples of where environmental testing is often beneficial:

  • Planning for remediation of a contaminated site before a project is undertaken
  • Making decisions about waste disposal generated through construction activities
  • Accounting for how the site’s intended activities could impact the local environment
  • Maintaining a healthy and compliant work site during project construction
  • Determining how and where to utilize storage tanks

Some of the tools available from a lab focused on environmental testing include:

  • TCLP testing, or toxicity characteristic leaching procedure, which can show whether waste is hazardous
  • Pesticide analysis that can involve broad screening for panels of compounds or targeted testing for specifically-identified chemicals
  • Groundwater testing and surface water testing necessary to ensure compliance with certain federal regulations
  • Total Recoverable Petroleum Hydrocarbons analysis to determine petroleum byproducts that may have contaminated soil and water because of commercial and private activities
  • Air and vapor monitoring for substances like the carcinogen formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds that can harm employees and others who are exposed

Benefits of partnering with an environmental testing laboratory

State and federal environmental regulations are voluminous and detailed, touching on every aspect of hazardous waste and contamination from generation to handling to disposal. Some of the regulations to be aware of include:

  • The Toxic Substance Control Act
  • The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
  • The Clean Water Act
  • The Clean Air Act
  • The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • Various state regulations

A high-quality environmental testing lab has expertise in the current regulations to ensure that you have a handle on what testing is appropriate and necessary for the situation.

George Fernandez of Phoslab Environmental Services says, “Planning to incorporate environment services testing from the beginning of a project eliminates potential issues, helps protect works and ensures compliance with federal regulations. An environmental lab professional can spot potential problems and come up with a plan for intelligent testing. Modern advances also allow highly accurate results with fast turnaround that minimizes delay.”

Author: Adolf Aikn

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



The Global Dispatch Facebook page- click here

Movie News Facebook page - click here

Television News Facebook page - click here

Weird News Facebook page - click here