Over the past decade, the engineers and scientists of the SoundEarth Strategies Environmental division have surmounted many challenging regulatory and technical obstacles for our clients. We invite you to learn more about our Environmental Consulting Services offerings, or browse a selection of our best case studies below.

Case studies

  • Shilshole Bay Marina Determination of Nonsignificance Seattle, WA

    Shilshole Bay Marina Determination of Nonsignificance

    Seattle, WA

    Shilshole Bay Marina Landside Renewal and Replacement Project Determination of Nonsignificance, Port of Seattle.

    Read the case study
  • Brownfield redevelopment Regata Condominiums, Seattle, WA

    Brownfield redevelopment

    Regata Condominiums, Seattle, WA

    The former NORTAR/American Tar Company site received a ranking of 1 (highest risk) by the Washington State Department of Ecology because of the large volume of chlorinated solvents and carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH)-containing coal tars and mineral spirits historically released to soil and shallow groundwater. In addition, pentachlorophenol (PCP) was confirmed in the soil; because PCP is an F-027 land-banned waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the high potential disposal costs were stalling future development.

    To address these issues, SoundEarth Strategies personnel conducted a $1.5 million Formal Brownfield Cleanup Project under the state’s Model Toxics Control Act. Notably, SoundEarth prepared a Contained-Out proposal that received approval from Ecology, enabling off-site disposal of the contaminated soil at a RCRA Subtitle C landfill under Ecology’s Contingency Management Option. In addition, SoundEarth employees prepared a cleanup action plan, public participation plan, prospective purchaser agreement proposal, and engineering design document, as well as assisted with the negotiation of a Prospective Purchaser Agreement Consent Decree. Following implementation of the cleanup action plan, Ecology referred to the project as “one of the fastest Consent Decree cleanups in our history.” A Notice of Completion was received for soil within one week of completing the soil excavation and four quarters of groundwater monitoring. The site was delisted less than two years following project startup.

    Read the case study
  • Due diligence and technical support Seattle, WA

    Due diligence and technical support

    Seattle, WA

    SoundEarth Strategies provided detailed technical support and due diligence services to a real estate developer prior to the purchase of this brownfield, which was the former site of a window manufacturer. Acids and bases had been used to etch window frames, and chlorinated solvents had been used in high volumes as a catalyst in on-property generation of sulfuric acid. Degreasers (chlorinated solvents) and metals were also chemicals of concern. SoundEarth’s technical support included reviewing the feasibility of installing the first reactive iron wall that utilized EnviroMetal’s patented technology to remediate chlorinated solvents and their degradation products in groundwater. In addition, SoundEarth provided an engineering cost estimate for the remediation of contaminated soil beneath the building (should future land use change) and of dense nonaqueous-phase liquids (DNAPLs) present along the downgradient edge of the site. SoundEarth also reviewed multiple rounds of groundwater and remedial system monitoring data, conducted oxygen-releasing compound injection events to hasten the natural biodegradation of solvents outside the influence of the reactive iron wall, assessed the area hydrogeology to evaluate fate and transport/contaminant migration to the adjacent Lake Washington Ship Canal, prepared a cleanup action plan to address impacted media remaining beneath the building slab, and performed an asbestos and lead-based paint survey of existing buildings.

    Read the case study
  • Heating oil tank remediation Private Residence, Bellevue, WA

    Heating oil tank remediation

    Private Residence, Bellevue, WA

    SoundEarth managed the remediation of a heating oil tank release at a residential home on the shoreline of Lake Washington and adjacent to a home with a steep (>40 percent) slope. The site was within the shoreline buffer zone and designated as a critical land use area. Prior to excavating, SoundEarth evaluated previous site investigation reports, conducted subsurface investigations, developed a site conceptual model, and evaluated the most feasible cleanup alternatives, all of which were summarized in a remedial investigation/feasibility study and cleanup action plan in accordance with the Model Toxics Control Act. Gaining the Washington State Department of Ecology’s concurrence on the remedial alternative was critical to facilitating the permitting process with the City of Bellevue, which involved a State Environmental Policy Act review, habitat assessment and restoration, and development within critical land use and shoreline buffer zone areas-all in addition to the conventional clearing and grading permit, building permit, and utility and right-of-way permits. The shoring of the residential home required special inspection reports, weekly survey monitoring, and continual correspondence with City building officials and permit inspectors.

    SoundEarth interacted with City permit inspectors, Ecology, multiple stakeholders, and insurance company representatives. We successfully coordinated the removal of 1,300 tons of contaminated soil and replacement and revegetation of the hillside. A determination of No Further Action was issued by Ecology on October 3, 2011.

    Read the case study
  • Petroleum remediation program management Various locations, Oregon/Washington

    Petroleum remediation program management

    Various locations, Oregon/Washington

    SoundEarth has provided technical support to TOC Holdings Co.’s petroleum program since its inception in 2005. Engineering tasks include conducting and compiling feasibility studies and disproportionate cost analyses; preparing detailed cleanup action plans and engineering design documents; conducting pilot tests, bench-scale tests, and treatability studies to develop the most efficient methods for removing contaminants from the subsurface; designing a variety of in-situ remediation systems, including those that incorporate dual-phase extraction, air sparge, soil vapor extraction, and groundwater recirculation; developing and implementing chemical injection programs that utilize hydrogen peroxide, sodium persulfate, and a number of oxidants and surfactants; and conducting confirmation soil and groundwater sampling to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedial actions. SoundEarth has designed, bid, and observed the installation of systems at six facilities and designed and implemented chemical injection programs at 11 facilities since 2005. SoundEarth has secured No Further Action determinations for 16 sites in this program, with 11 more pending and the remainder expected to be received within the next five to seven years.

    This successful petroleum program has provided SoundEarth Strategies a wide array of experience implementing a number of site-specific cleanup technologies. It has also allowed us to apply a program management system that efficiently manages a multitude of activities conducted at numerous sites, as well as administrative reporting to the client and regulatory agencies that aids in the clear understanding of the site closure plan. The scope of work for the program includes identifying affected media and associated chemicals of concern in accordance with applicable regulatory guidance documents; coordinating, permitting, and observing the removal of underground storage tanks and associated petroleum-contaminated soil and groundwater; and preparing reports under the guidance provided by the Washington State Department of Ecology or the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Additionally, several of the sites are impacted by commingling plumes from releases at two or more properties; costs for cleanup activities are frequently allocated based on the findings of forensic analyses. Throughout these endeavors, SoundEarth’s project planning and implementation techniques have successfully incorporated the priorities of the stakeholders while keeping the work as cost-effective as possible for our client.

    Read the case study
  • Asbestos survey of historic buildings Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA
  • Brownfield redevelopment Ballard Blocks, Seattle, WA

    Brownfield redevelopment

    Ballard Blocks, Seattle, WA

    This property consists of two upland parcels that historically operated as an automotive repair facility adjacent to the Ballard Metal Works and as a Seattle utility pipe treatment facility. In 2007, SoundEarth Strategies coordinated the excavation of 20,000 tons of soil contaminated with metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and petroleum hydrocarbons to facilitate development of a mixed use, retail and commercial building.

    Read the case study
  • Remediation, cost-recovery, and litigation support Former Calvert Industries, Maltby, WA

    Remediation, cost-recovery, and litigation support

    Former Calvert Industries, Maltby, WA

    This property consists of nine parcels where a metal works and sandblasting facility operated for more than 30 years. Soil beneath the site was highly contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, and lead.

    Read the case study

Services provided