Athenica Advocate
April 2018


Identifying Invisible Invaders: Is Your Building Safe?

Contaminants in the soil and groundwater, even from off-site sources, can volatilize and become vapor. Due to the porous nature of soil, these vapors can rise through the soil to permeate into buildings to pose health risks for inhabitants, and liabilities for property owners. Most vapor intrusion (VI) issues stem from historical site uses, surrounding property uses, or other environmental factors such as contamination of groundwater from upgradient sources. Therefore, the identification of potential VI concerns during a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and the subsequent evaluation of soil vapor are crucial procedures for property transactions and developments.

The VI evaluation process entails the collection of sub-slab samples, ambient indoor air samples, and ambient outdoor air samples. These samples allow environmental professionals to determine migration pathways and assess the threat to public health at any property, be it a residential, commercial, office, or industrial building. Establishments likely to exhibit vapors of concern in high concentrations in ambient indoor and/or outdoor air samples, such as gasoline/automobile service stations or dry cleaners, also benefit greatly, as it helps to determine the extent to which site usage has an impact on sub-surface conditions, if any. For more information on vapor intrusion evaluations, please contact Athenica at 718-784-7490.


Did you know?: Updated New York State Waste Management Practices

The October 2017 edition of the Athenica Advocate included an article highlighting the adoption of the revised NYSDEC Part 360 Rule. The revised Rule provides updated regulations governing solid waste management in New York State. Included in the revisions are allowances for Self-Assessed Pre-Determined Beneficial Use Determinations (BUDs), which allow property owners and developers to self-regulate the on-site reuse of certain materials, including masonry (concrete and brick) and stone as engineering aggregates. The revisions are aimed at lowering the volume of waste streams exported from New York construction sites and allowing developers to implement what the NYSDEC considers “common sense practices”. Last month, Athenica attended an invitation-only discussion panel and forum with state and city regulators to discuss the implications of the revised Rule 360 and how to best utilize the new Rule to service clients and developers. To read more about the revisions, please click here.