On June 8, 2017, Brickhouse Environmental helped sponsor the 6th Annual Trail Blazer Run and Family Fun Hike. With great friends, beautiful weather, scenic trails, delicious food, live music, prizes, lots of laughs, and nearly 300 participants, the event was outstanding! All proceeds from the 5-mile run/1.5-mile fun hike benefit East Bradford Township’s Public Trail Program. Brickhouse proudly supports our community and looks forward to sponsoring this wonderful event again next year!
Brickhouse’s newest employees include: Anthony Nicolardi, Spencer Vokorokos, Chérie Enderlin, and Becky Hingley, who joined out team to meet our growing demand for field work in site investigation, site remediation, and groundwater monitoring projects.
Anthony Nicolardi is a graduate of West Chester University and interned with us during the Summer and Fall of 2016, as he completed course work for his degree in Geology. With a strong work ethic, eagerness to learn, and ability to master new skills, we welcomed Anthony to our team full-time in December 2016.
Spencer Vokorokos, a Lancaster native, relocated to Colorado and obtained his B.S. in Geology from Fort Lewis College. Afterwards, he gained industry experience in water supply and exploration. His skills include groundwater and stream sampling, stream gauging, aquifer testing, and data analysis and reporting. Spencer is also skilled in machinery and vehicle repair, and holds a Ford Motor Certification. He joined our team in January 2017 and has become a key part of our field services crew.
Chérie Enderlin is from Southern New Jersey, where she obtained degrees in both Digital Design and Studio Art, as well as a B.A. in Business Studies from Stockton University. With five years’ experience reviewing technical documents in the legal field, Chérie brought her unique experience, attention to detail, and creative flare to our Administrative Marketing Assistant position in April.
Becky Hingley is a recent graduate of Juniata College. She interned with us during the Summer and Winter of 2015 and also completed an internship at the University of Oregon in the Summer of 2016. Her experiences includes completion of site investigations and corresponding written reports in accordance with state regulatory requirements, groundwater and stream sampling, and data analysis and reporting. In May, we were pleased to welcome Becky back to our team and we congratulate her on her academic success!
Brickhouse Environmental is a proud member of The Chester County Commercial Industrial Investment Council, a non-profit organization that works closely with the Chester County Economic Development Council. The organization strives to ‘promote collaboration, education, and networking’ in an effort to ‘keep Chester County one of the fastest growing, economically vibrant, and business-friendly counties in Pennsylvania.’
Their more than 200 members include commercial and industrial developers, title companies, bankers, attorneys, real estate agents, and others leaders involved in commercial development. According to those in the business, “While the residential real estate market has rebounded at a slow, uneven pace, Chester County’s commercial and industrial real estate markets have been going strong for awhile.”
Brickhouse helped sponsor the CII Council Annual Meeting and Lunch on April 20, 2017, which featured keynote speaker Dr. Mark G. Dotzour, former chief economist of the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University for 18 years. He has given more than 1,450 presentations and his research findings have appeared in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money Magazine, and Business Week.
Among other relevant topics, Dr. Dotzour discussed the national market and commercial real estate trends, stating the American commercial real estate market remains the envy of the world and produces better returns than the stock and bond markets, as well as hedge funds. “It will end when commercial real estate has a viable alternative,” which he does not believe will happen any time soon. “Don’t believe the doom and gloom media reports,” he advises; “Our economy is the strongest on earth- period. Everybody wants to invest here.”
Dr. Dotzour ranked industrial real estate as the best non-single-family home market, followed by multi-family, office, and retail.
You’ve heard the saying, “April showers bring may flowers”, but it’s also the time of year when the groundwater table is likely at its highest point. What you may not have realized is that there’s more to the equation than just rainfall.
The elevation of the groundwater table fluctuates throughout the year between seasonal lows, highs, and somewhere in between. The amount of variation depends on several factors, such as topography, soil type, overburden material, and the underlying bedrock geology. To see changes of 10 feet or more between the seasonal high and seasonal low groundwater table is not rare. However, on the opposite end of the spectrum, some local water tables may only fluctuate one or two feet.
When water migrates from the ground surface (i.e. precipitation or surface water) to the underlying water table, it is called groundwater recharge. In southeastern Pennsylvania, the average annual rainfall is 40 inches, while the average groundwater recharge rate is about 10 inches per year. In other words, of the nearly 3,000 gallons per day per acre of rainfall, less than 1,000 gallons per day per acre recharges the groundwater aquifer. The rest of it either evaporates, gets used up by plants, or runs off to rivers and oceans before making its way to the water table.
While rainfall does tend to increase in early Spring, there is also melting of Winter’s leftover snow cover and frost layer, which adds even more recharge to the groundwater table. Trees and vegetation are also in a dormant state, so their roots are not soaking up the moisture in the soil. This is why more precipitation is able to migrate down towards the water table and create more groundwater recharge at this time of year.
Groundwater recharge is an important aspect in maintaining an adequate supply of groundwater, which is used by millions of people as a sole source of potable water. Without this groundwater recharge, we would see a gradual decline in the amount of groundwater available beneath us. Brickhouse Geologists and Engineers have spent years collecting and analyzing this type of data when designing new water supply sources, stormwater management systems, and community wastewater infiltration systems. Click here to learn more about these types of projects or call us today.
When applying for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit in Pennsylvania for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities (PAG-02), it’s important to know whether any past or current environmental contamination exists on the property. This can be done by following proper environmental due diligence procedures. NPDES Permits come in two forms, including the General Permit and the Individual Permit. For your future project, the difference between these two permit types could mean big delays for construction.
General Permits (GPs) are ineligible for sites with the potential to discharge contaminants, and these include sites remediated under Pennsylvania’s Land Recycling (Act 2) Program. So, do all remediated sites require Individual Permits? No. Sites that have already been remediated to the Act 2 Residential Statewide Health Standard for soil and groundwater are not considered contaminated, and a General Permit can be obtained. But for those sites remediated under the Site Specific, Background, or Special Industrial Area Standards, regulated substances remain in soil and/or groundwater at concentrations that could theoretically result in discharge of contaminants both during and after construction.
What’s the difference between a General and Individual Permit?
For most sites with contaminants above residential standards, Individual Permits are required to allow more DEP oversight and reduce the potential for discharge of those contaminants. This means additional review time and fees. Conversely, under a General Permit, the County Conservation District conducts all reviews and inspections. PADEP’s Standard Operating Procedure details the process of obtaining an individual permit.
Other additional requirements may include:
- Site plans showing all “hot spot” areas of contamination are required, along with Best Management Practice (BMP) measures to address these areas.
- Leachability tests, known as Synthetic Precipitate Leachate Procedure (SPLP) on soil samples.
- Additional BMP Controls or re-location of designed structures.
- Alterations to construction sequence to minimize disturbance.
And remember, an Individual Permit does not mean you cannot manage stormwater onsite. With some planning early on in the land development process, there are ways to manage stormwater both during construction and post-construction, even on sites where contamination remains present above residential Statewide Health Standards. For more information, contact Al Yates at email@example.com.