CSR Spotlight: NAIOP NJ Community Action Volunteer Day

On July 20, 2018, Roux’s Bryanna Danyluk of our Somerset, New Jersey office volunteered at NAIOP New Jersey Community Action Day at the Community FoodBank of New Jersey in Hillside.

Over 120 additional NAIOP members and colleagues volunteered to sort incoming donations, repack food and household items, and distribute the goods to those in need across eighteen different New Jersey counties. Bryanna shared that 504 boxes were packed just during the morning shift! The day was split into morning and afternoon shifts.

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey fights hunger and poverty by assisting those in need and seeking long-term solutions. They engage, educate, and empower all sectors of society in the battle against hunger, reminding us that hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation. Click here to learn more and see how you can help support their cause.

 

CSR Spotlight: CSLI Field Trip

Coastal Steward Long Island

For the second year in a row, Coastal Steward Long Island (CSLI) hosted a field trip with Deer Park High School’s Life Skills class, made possible by Roux’s donations. This year, the class was split into two groups who went on field trips Friday, June 8th and Monday, June 11th to offer the students more hands-on learning and one-on-one time with CSLI’s marine educators in Mt. Sinai.

Coastal Steward Long Island

Monday’s field trip began with students volunteering to don rubber waders and cast seine nets in the harbor, where they caught shrimp, fish, and hermit crabs while encountering some horseshoe crabs in their natural habitat. The three marine educators showed the students around the Marine Environmental Stewardship Center, where they examined marine life up close in touch tanks, watched an educational video about Mt. Sinai’s geography, and were free to observe the indoor tanks and play touch-screen games.

Coastal Steward Long Island

After lunch, the students saw deer and rabbits on the nearby nature walk, and ventured to the Shellfish Hatchery to learn about how CSLI’s shellfish restoration program grows and plants oysters. Before returning home, students and teachers spent some leisure time on the beach. Click here to read the full story, see more photos, and find out how to book your own field trip with CSLI.

CSR Spotlight: Record Year for NY 7th Annual Fundraiser

The New York office hosted our seventh annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS) this year; we selected this charity because the battle against cancer is ongoing for many of our friends, family, colleagues, and loved ones of all ages.

The American Cancer Society was founded in 1913 and has since been removing barriers to quality health care by providing transportation to treatment and other cancer-related appointments, access to lodging for patients seeking treatment away from home, and cancer education and screenings—overall averting 2.1 million cancer deaths since 1991.

This year’s event was the most successful one to date! More than 120 people attended and took part in our raffles. Because of the overwhelming generosity of our employees, friends, and family, we raised over $16,000. All proceeds from this record year will go directly to the American Cancer Society.

Thank you to all who participated and donated to this cause for making this year’s event a groundbreaking success for our firm and our CSR team. To donate to the cause, visit the ACS website at the link above.

American Cancer Society Fundraiser

Employee Spotlight: Marlon Wilson

At Roux Associates, we stand behind the fact that our best product is our smart and creative thinking, leading us to focus much of our time and energy into our people. Hiring, training, and keeping our valued staff is one of our core values, and we revel in the opportunity to highlight our employees’ outstanding achievements, both on and offsite.

Marlon Wilson, an Onsite Environmental Monitor at Roux, is one of our exemplary employees. Over the past 3+ years, Marlon has worked on one of our busy Brownfields sites in Brooklyn, New York. His onsite work focused primarily on monitoring our client’s contractors, ensuring they are following specific environmental requirements which are in place to keep the surrounding community safe and unaffected. For example, Marlon enforced high standards of keeping dust, noise, and traffic-related impacts of the site at a minimum, so these factors did not interfere with the local community and their daily routines. Marlon himself is a member of the Brooklyn community, which added a vested interest to his work performance.

In addition to monitoring, Marlon also trained contractors, implemented community air monitoring plans, reviewed data, and performed Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) inspections. All of his tasks entailed a large amount of reporting and paperwork. According to his supervisor and Principal Engineer, Omar Ramotar, Marlon worked long shifts and weekends without a complaint, often coming in to work with very short notice.

While Marlon is a valued member of our team, his service and experience was needed outside of our firm for longer than five months. As a member of the United States Coast Guard and Atlantic Strike Team, Marlon was called on August 31st, 2017 to aid environmental efforts in areas of the country that were devastated by hurricanes. From August to January 18th of this year, Marlon was away from home, serving about 3-4 weeks at a time in Texas, the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Key West, Jacksonville, and Miami, Florida.

Marlon Wilson U.S. Coast GuardMarlon’s first assignment, which at the time he thought would be his only one, was working with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Houston, Texas. Though Marlon was used to his work with the Coast Guard taking place within the coastline, in Texas he was assigned inland work as well. Specifically, his task in Texas fell under Emergency Support Function (ESF) 10, which is the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) oil and hazardous materials response. Marlon’s HazMat training made him especially qualified for this job, which is a requirement of all Roux technical staff. Due to the hurricane and the rising water levels, refinery tanks overflowed with product; Marlon and his team documented how much oil was spilled, and followed up with the appropriate parties or contractors to make sure it would get cleaned up as soon as possible. His scope of work in Texas included recording the placement of orphaned oil tanks and containers, and monitoring contractors—similar to his Roux job—who removed hazards from the environment.

As more of the Texas responsibilities got passed on to locals and different sectors of the Coast Guard, Marlon was unexpectedly called to the U.S. Virgin Islands while still working under ESF 10. This time, his duties were more directly related to the coastline. As the coastline receded from the storm, many vessels were sunk or stuck in nearby mangroves. Marlon and his team pinpointed each sunken vessel, gathered boating registration numbers, and contacted owners. To carry out this task, they talked to marina owners, and even individuals at the Department of Interior, as boats were showing up on their land. Members of the Coast Guard split up to work on the islands of St. Thomas and St. John, where Marlon spent most of his time, to document, tag, and give owners a thirty-day notice to pick up their boats. Teams split up further with two Coast Guard members and one EPA contractor. Over 200 boats were documented on the shores of the three islands before he left.

For the next few weeks, Marlon’s scope of work shifted as he was transported to Puerto Rico. The aftermath of the hurricane in Puerto Rico was particularly destructive, causing FEMA to borrow many individuals from different agencies due to the overwhelming need for relief. “In Puerto Rico, I got to see the bigger picture,” explained Marlon, who had spent his last few weeks working in the field. Ironically, this time he got to “see” everything from an office, as part of ESF 5, which handles information and planning. He worked alongside two lieutenant commanders in a branch in charge of creating reports—they received information on which areas needed food, medical supplies, shelter, and so on. As part of the planning department, Marlon then read through the reports, synthesizing the information into spreadsheets. His team also created maps, charts, and presentations to show the branch director. This reporting made it possible to coordinate efforts, decide which group of people should tackle which task, and confirm efforts were not duplicated. The reports and presentations made by Marlon and his team outlined which barrios in Puerto Rico needed electricity, food, and water; which areas were in danger of flooding; where pets and animals needed rescue and aid; areas requiring medical supplies; and sites with homes that needed roofing, where the Blue Roof Program provided blue tarps as temporary roofs.

FEMA Puerto Rico Convention Center

Marlon worked out of a large convention center in San Juan, which he called “the eyes and ears of the whole operation.” Amid crisis, the center held members of the Army, FBI, FAA, Coast Guard, Customs, ICE, and other Homeland Security agencies, just to name a few. Members from some of these organizations worked out of their own sectioned off areas, and all were called in by FEMA to play a different role in supporting the island. “We were responsible for over 700,000 people,” said Marlon. For long, eleven-hour days for two weeks, Marlon worked out of the office. During one of these days, he volunteered to deliver food and water to a deaf community in Morovis. “I prefer being in the field, but office work is equally important,” Marlon speculated. “It was a great opportunity and I learned a lot. I was able to see first-hand how FEMA works and how big the response was.”

Finally, Marlon’s last stop was Florida: first Key West, and then Jacksonville and Miami. In Key West he had similar responsibilities as he did in the Virgin Islands, dealing with displaced vessels. This time, the Coast Guard had to determine whether removing the boats was in the best interest of the environment; vessels had to be moved with minimal impact to the surrounding mangroves and seagrass. Marlon and his team monitored contractors removing hazards from the boats that could be harmful to the ocean and marine life, like batteries, propane tanks, and sailing masts. They performed thorough assessments to guarantee no vessels were missed, and certified the Coast Guard’s contractors had the proper number of people, pumps, and materials they needed, ultimately checking for billing accuracy. In Jacksonville and Miami, he again performed cost documentation, reviewing the costs of 4-5 contractors per location assigned.

In Marlon’s absence at Roux, Omar first needed to transition his site from having two Onsite Environmental Monitors to one. For approximately half the time Marlon was gone, Omar supplemented different members of our Roux field staff (engineers, scientists, and geologists) to help with his workload onsite, which was an effective way to challenge and develop our younger staff. Now that Marlon has returned, Roux is beginning to transition him from a technician to an engineer as he takes civil engineering classes; this means he has moved to a different Roux site with a closer focus on engineering. Omar mentioned he was sad to see Marlon leave his site as he’ll miss his dedicated work ethic—but he knows this next step in Marlon’s career will be beneficial, ultimately offering him more growth within the company.

During his time serving for the Coast Guard, Marlon shared that he and his family had a lot of support from Roux. “Omar kept in contact and asked if I needed anything,” Marlon recalled. Omar reminded Marlon to keep in touch, as well as that our new office near Houston was there for his use if necessary while he was in Texas. Marlon’s efforts also inspired all of Roux to participate in hurricane relief fundraising efforts, resulting in over $40,000 of donations. Omar and Roux’s reassurance and high regard for the Coast Guard granted Marlon feelings of support and pride, despite the distance between him and his family, friends, and workplace.

Marlon Wilson U.S. Coast Guard

On February 16, 2018, Marlon and Michael Chierico, New York Area Chair of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), honored Omar at a small ceremony at Roux’s New York headquarters. ESGR develops and promotes a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. At the ceremony, Marlon and Michael presented Omar with a pin and plaque, commemorating his employee support of the Guard and recognizing him as a patriotic employer. Before presenting the awards, Marlon expressed his gratitude toward Omar for his compassion, professionalism, and understanding during Marlon’s time away from Roux.

Marlon looks forward to the challenge and the change of scenery offered by his new job site, gaining his Master’s and another Bachelor’s degree while furthering his career at Roux, and continuing to support those in need through service to his country. Roux, as a proud military employer, thanks Marlon for his quality work on our field sites, within our coastlines, and beyond.

CSR Spotlight: An Unexpected Rescue, West Coast Edition

Roux CSR

Los Angeles’ downtown area is home to an assortment of industrial facilities that are being rebuilt, renovated, or demolished. Our Long Beach, California office is working at a former asphalt plant which is being rebuilt in the industrial area near downtown. Remedial excavations are currently underway at the asphalt plant, and as mentioned in a similar CSR Spotlight, no two days are alike for Roux field staff.

Around lunch one day at the Site, field personnel heard whining coming from inside the engine compartment of an excavator. Realizing it was a kitten’s cry, Roux staff along with city workers and the site superintendent opened up the excavator to find a 3-4-week-old kitten next to the engine. After a day of sampling, Paige Farrell (above), the Roux Staff Geologist on the Site, sent an email to our Long Beach office asking if anyone was interested in a new family member. Fortunately, Maya Sederholm, Staff Scientist, stepped up to adopt the kitten.

The next morning, Paige arrived at the Site to the heavy equipment operator yelling “We’ve got another one!” That’s right, there was new kitten in the engine compartment the next morning. Most likely the mom had placed her kittens there to keep them warm. Since there was no way of knowing if the mother cat would be back, the decision was made to send another email to the office. This time, Long Beach’s founding Principal, Mauricio Escobar, decided to take home the newest refugee from the asphalt plant.

Roux CSR

Maya’s newest family member, Nala Cat Sederholm, is happy and healthy in her new home. The other kitten, Calvin Roux Escobar, is also doing well with his new dog and human brothers and sisters. These kittens appear to be siblings so they’re being kept within the Roux family so they can visit each other from time to time.

Not unlike the East Coast offices, the Long Beach office has always had a big place in its heart for animal rescue. In fact, most of the employees in the office are rescue parents. As part of their 2017 CSR efforts, the office participated in an event put on by Best Friends Animal Society. The organization’s mission is make Los Angeles and other large cities across the county no-kill cities, and promote adoption over purchasing animals from breeders. The event included a walk around the city and various obstacle courses for dogs. The office plans to make this event a new fixture in their CSR efforts for this year and beyond.

 

Nala (left) and Calvin (right) enjoying their new homes

Roux’s Year in Review 2017

This year has been another successful year for Roux Associates. We’d like to thank all of our clients for contributing to our firm’s growth and progress. To wrap up 2017, we would like to highlight a few of our projects from several of our practice areas—projects that stand out and represent the Roux team’s hard work and ingenuity. Check out our Year in Review below:

Roux Associates

Megamall Redevelopment Project

Brownfields

“Megamall” Redevelopment Project
New York 

One of our largest Brownfields sites is an 85-acre commercial site that is currently undergoing a 445,000-square foot (SF) expansion project, transforming a mall into a 1.6-million SF “megamall.” Additional restaurants and retail stores are included in the expansion plans. The mall expansion Site is enrolled in the New York City Office of Environmental Remediation’s Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP).

Roux completed a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment and Remedial Investigation. We also prepared two Remedial Action Work Plans (RAWPs) for the Site and are responsible for overseeing all excavation, soil disposal and manifesting, and community air monitoring. As part of the RAWP, we have designed and will oversee the installations of vapor barrier systems and active sub-slab depressurization systems to mitigate organic vapors and methane.

Solar Field Development on Brownfield SiteEcological

Solar Field Development on Brownfield Site
New Jersey

Nearly 20 years after Roux Associates completed remediation, a defunct industrial site found new life as a solar field. Due to the small size and an undesirable location, the property had little redevelopment potential and sat underutilized for almost two decades. As part of an aggressive sustainability program, a neighboring business is seeking to source 40% of their electricity from renewable sources by the year 2020. In order to help meet this goal, the remediated industrial property was purchased specifically for the purpose of developing a solar field.

Roux was retained by the original responsible party and the solar developer to provide environmental support for the project. We provided due diligence activities to support acquisition of project financing, and support both the buyer and seller with the transfer of permits and institutional controls. Additionally, we provided wetlands and ecological surveys to help maximize the number of solar panels that could be installed, determined regulatory needs, and obtained the requisite coastal zone permit for the work. Roux also implemented ongoing construction and maintenance support for the Site to ensure the engineering and institutional controls remain protective and continue to comply with regulatory requirements.

Solar Field Development on Brownfield Site

Economics & Complex Analytics

2017 Overview

In the past year, Roux has established a new Economic & Complex Analytics (ECA) practice area. Our ECA professionals identify, quantify, and forecast current and emerging environmental and product liability risks. Within just one year, our ECA team has taken on many high-profile litigation projects—such as providing strategic consulting and expert services to estimate damages in a public water contamination case, involving thousands of claim allegations of residential loss, business interruption, and personal injury damages.

Additional ECA engagements during 2017 included providing strategic consulting and/or expert services regarding asbestos litigation claims, environmental contamination, sports-related head trauma, and coverage disputes regarding damages allocation across various industrial sites. The ECA team also grew its legal auditing services, conducted claim file reviews, engaged in public policy projects, and assessed damages for environmental and product liability litigation in both underlying matters and insurance coverage actions. In 2017, ECA Principals testified in litigation proceedings and were invited to present at industry conferences on topics of asbestos, product liability, environmental contamination, and construction defect damages.

Sempra (SoCal Gas) Natural Gas Leak

Industrial

Remediation of 1,1,2 TCA via Soil Blending and Direct Injection
Southeast Kansas

Roux Associates was retained by a railway equipment leasing corporation to remediate chlorinated volatile organic compound (CVOC) contamination at the client’s 38-acre rail car maintenance facility, located in southeastern Kansas. CVOCs, mainly 1,1,2 trichloroethane (TCA) and 1,1 dichloroethene (DCE) and their associated breakdown products, were present in soil and groundwater as a result of the historical operation of a process water holding pond. Rail car servicing, cleaning, and painting had been conducted at the Site since 1963. Spent car cleaning liquids were discharged to a five-pond recirculating system equipped with an oil recovery unit. Site investigation activities were initiated in 1986, and the pond system was closed and decommissioned the following year.

Based on the results of an in situ chemical reduction (ISCR) pilot test program, the former pond area was treated using Anaerobic BioChem® (ABC®) and zero valent iron (ZVI) [ABC+]. The former pond area (approximately 20,000 square feet) was treated by removing the upper eight feet of unsaturated overburden to create a work platform. A total of 3,246 gallons of ABC® and 104,105 pounds of ZVI were introduced in the blended area, and 24,280 pounds of ABC+ was injected at 147 Geoprobe® injection points. The combination of soil blending and direct push injection delivery techniques achieved greater than 99 percent contaminant reduction at source area wells.

Sempra (SoCal Gas) Natural Gas Leak

Insurance

Sempra (SoCal Gas) Natural Gas Leak
Aliso Canyon, California

On October 23, 2015, SoCal Gas discovered a leak at one of its injection and withdrawal wells at its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, located in the northern part of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County. SoCal has operated the Aliso Canyon facility since 1972. The well is more than one mile away from and 1,200 feet above the nearest homes. It is one of more than 100 injection and withdrawal wells at the storage facility. The leak initially released approximately 53 metric tons of methane per hour or a total of 1,300 metric tons per day. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) estimates that the incident resulted in a total emission of almost 100,000 metric tons of methane.

Roux was retained by several layers of the tower of insurance carriers that are based in the US, London, and Bermuda. The total estimated cost of the response is over $1 billion—the majority of the costs were for the temporary relocation of over 8,000 area residents. Roux was retained to review invoices and categorize the costs according to the type of work performed. Due to the size of the claim and volume of documents provided, Roux selected the top 10% of costs for review and extrapolated the analysis over the remaining costs in environmental, legal, and relocation. In particular, Roux focused on the relocation expenses, as those comprised 69% of the costs claimed. In doing so, Roux was able to provide our clients with appropriate due diligence in a cost-effective manner.

Distribution Asset Assessment & Remediation

Petroleum

Distribution Asset Assessment & Remediation
New Jersey

Roux Associates investigated three refined petroleum product infrastructure facilities subject to New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) requirements associated with the sale of assets. After completion of a preliminary assessment and subsequent site investigation activities, Roux’s Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) issued unrestricted use final remediation documents providing regulatory closure for the distribution facility and pipeline.

Roux continues to implement investigation and remediation support associated with a gasoline release and subsequent groundwater plume at the petroleum product station. Key site assessment and remediation work for this project includes soil and groundwater characterization, light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) investigation and recovery system operation, waste disposal support, Spill Compensation and Recovery Act discharge case management, remedial alternatives analysis, remediation design, regulator interfacing, and facility compliance activities.