The Monitor: A Terradex Blog

Becoming Familiar with Terradex’s Real Estate Monitoring

Terradex can monitor numerous transactional real estate data sources permitting the detection of problematic real estate scenarios at tracked properties.  The sources include monitoring new residential and commercial listings, new sold properties, pre-foreclosure actions, foreclosure actions, tax liens, bankruptcies, new easements and new occupants. Thorough real estate monitoring is critical when the responsible party no longer owns the land, and tracking ownership and the owner’s financial health are duties to help assure the integrity of institutional controls.

Terradex alerts metatrader 4 upon key changes including a listing of a property, ownership change, financial duress, or placement of new liens or easements.  The expanded real estate monitoring services were inspired at a California site monitored by Terradex – in this case the then owner entered bankruptcy, the property foreclosed, and the convenants agreed to by the then current property owner were vanquished.  This suite of real estate sources raises the reliability of institutional controls monitored by Terradex.

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Long-term Stewardship at Federal Facilities

A strategic direction for Terradex has been to augment federal stewardship of environmental sites with our LandWatch service.  The Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Managers invited Terradex to present at their symposium Beyond Construction Completion:  Long-Term Protection of Human Health and Environment at Federal Facilities. Terradex LandWatch is monitoring numerous federal facilities including active bases and formerly used defense sites.

States Evaluate Institutional Control Monitoring and Oversight

A recent study by the Association of State Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO) highlighted the importance of cleanup site land use controls (LUCs) and listed needed improvements and further research.  “[T]here is an ever increasing universe of sites relying on LUCs as an integral part of an overall protective remedy” for cleanup of environmentally impaired property.  The success of these cleanups and subsequent redevelopment, according to ASTSWMO, “will rest on understanding and effectively using LUCs.”

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Terradex Receives United States Environmental Protection Agency 2008 Environmental Achievement Award

On April 14, 2008 Terradex was awarded a 2008 Environmental Achievement Award. In the award the agency cited Terradex’s groundbreaking work in communicating environmental information to the public enables individuals and communities to make informed decisions regarding both exposure and contaminant contributions. Terradex’s innovative prototype of layering real-time air data on top of the powerful imagery of Google Earth was the inspiration behind the EPA’s recent launch of AirNOW. This tool provides communities, including sensitive populations and emergency responders, with up-to-the minute air quality information over specific geographic areas. Terradex also created a carbon footprint calculator that enables communities to measure and understand their greenhouse gas contribution. The innovative communication tool informs and inspires individuals to reduce their contribution to global warming.

Read The Coverage: Press Release by United States Environmental Protection Agency

ABC-KGO TV Reports on Terradex in “Fighting Global Warming At Local Level”

Reporter Lyanne Melendez of KGO TV reported on the Association of Bay Area Government’s effort to confront global warming. San Jose Councilmember Cortese liked the online Terradex emissions models. It calculates the level of greenhouse gases for each major city based on data from the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Watch The Coverage: Fighting Global Warming At Local Level as Seen on ABC

Enforcement First to Ensure Effective Institutional Controls at Superfund Sites

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has adopted an “enforcement first” policy for institutional controls, which will likely increase both recording and monitoring of ICs. The USEPA Office of Site Remediation and Enforcement has directed the agency’s program and enforcement staff, as well as Department of Justice, to pursue any action needed to ensure the implementation and effectiveness of institutional controls. This policy promotes the “polluter pays” principle. Potentially Responsible Parties shall “play a significant role in supporting a robust analysis of the effectiveness of Institutional Controls and in implementing necessary controls at Superfund sites.”

Learn More:OSWER Directive No. 9208.2 dated March 17, 2006

USEPA Releases Study Citing Terradex’s Protection of the Los Angeles Public Water Supply

Terradex avoided a “disaster” threatening the potable water in Los Angeles, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The local permit agency approved the installation of a cathodic protection well. This type of deep well, used to prevent pipeline corrosion, has perforated walls and can thus allow groundwater to flow downward from a shallow aquitard to a deeper one. The permit agency did not flag the fact that a benzene contaminant plume existed in shallow groundwater at the well site. However, Terradex did proactively detect the conflict. The responsible party, alerted by Terradex, prevented an installation that would have become a conduit from the benzene plume to the deeper, potable water supply aquifer for Los Angeles.

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Leading ASTM’s Continuing Obligations Practice Standard

In October 2005, Bob Wenzlau of Terradex was appointed Task Group Chair to build a practice standard for Landowner Continuing Obligations. When complete, the practice standards will systematically improve the long-term public and environmental safety at brownfields while limiting financial liabilities brownfield redevelopers. The Task Group includes participation from USEPA, state government, brownfield redevelopers, environmental professionals and legal counsel.

Learn More: Notes from the Field: Standard Practice for Appropriate Care and Continuing ObligationsContinuing Obligations Resource Website

Working with Excavators Clearance Systems to Proactively Inform of Environmental and Health Hazards

The excavation limits of a new water main are marked on the street. Consistent with state regulation, the excavator calls in the excavation limits to the One-Call System. Soon the street is marked with utility locations. Surprisingly, the excavator receives a fax describing that the excavation site as occurring in a zone of environmental contamination. The responsible party who faxed the notice of contamination is pleased to have averted a hazardous substance release and to have protected the excavators and the public from harm. The excavator, however, is not pleased; their fixed bid did not anticipate the cost of handling contamination and work delays.  Can we improve the use of One-Call Systems, and have these two stakeholders be friends?

This article describes the appeal and the challenge of using One-Call Systems to notify those who need to know of the existence and location of engineering controls (ECs) and institutional controls (ICs). The article is divided into seven sections:

  • Background on ECs and ICs
  • The Need to Protect ECs and ICs from Excavation
  • Why Can’t Excavators Call Before They Dig?
  • Benefits of Using One-Call Systems to Protect ECs and ICs
  • Experience with Using One-Call Centers – the One-Call Pilots
  • Excavation Contractor Concerns and Issues
  • Next Steps

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