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March 2022 – New Northern Appalachia Office

Team to Focus on Northern Appalachia

Environmental Standards officially expanded its Wheeling, West Virginia remote employee location into the new Northern Appalachia Center on January 1, 2022. This Center focuses on geosciences, brownfields, and supporting local industry in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland.

The focus on Northern Appalachia is a “labor of love” for several Environmental Standards staff members because of their personal connections with the region. A prime example is Senior Advisor Patty Hickman. Patty grew up in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and has lived in Wheeling most of her life. “I recall during my childhood when the air was often smokey and you could see a haze hanging over the Ohio Valley as you drove in from the surrounding hills. The Ohio River was a rusty brown and was known to be unsuitable for fishing or swimming,” said Patty. “This inspired me to want to help rehabilitate former industrial properties in the area so they could be used to benefit the community in a positive way.”

The Northern Appalachia Team includes:

  • West Virginia Licensed Remediation Specialists (LRSs)
  • Ohio EP Voluntary Action Program (VAP) Certified Professionals (CPs)
  • Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs)
  • Chemists
  • Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Professionals
  • Professional Geologists
  • Professional Engineers
  • Technical Writing Specialists
  • GIS Mapping Technicians

Primary technical staff members involved in the Northern Appalachia center are Ms. Lydia Work, LRS and Principal Chemist; Ms. Patty Hickman, Senior Advisor; Ms. Leah Mistick, MBA, LRS, CP, and Senior Geoscientist; Ms. Kelsey Morton, Staff Geoscientist II; and Mr. John F. Bolakas MBA, MS, PG, LSRP, and Associate Principal/Energy Executive. These individuals provide a local presence and knowledge base, while having the diverse capabilities of the entire Environmental Standards network at their disposal for their clients. This Team understands the importance of using strategies that make the best use (and sense) of the flexibility allowed in various environmental programs – with successful remediation and redevelopment as the result. We take pride in being a responsive firm, with projects and redevelopments completed on time and within budget.

Environmental Standards’ Northern Appalachia Team has long-term success with United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) Brownfield grants in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, and throughout US EPA Region III. We are familiar with US EPA brownfields reporting procedures, including minority and disadvantaged business/women business enterprise (MBE/WBE) utilization requirements, SF-424 financial reports and drawdown requests, and the US EPA’s ACRES database.

The Northern Appalachia Team has experience and knowledge with the unique challenges of industrial sites, and that experience can assist in the best outcome of brownfields grants. We use our experience to be strategic in completing the requirements of the West Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program (WV VRP), Ohio VAP, Pennsylvania Land Recycling Program (Act 2), remedial planning, grant management, public involvement, and site remediation. We have mutually respectful relationships with state and federal organizations and have direct experience with achieving Certificates of Completion at impacted properties via the WV VRP and have successfully closed (i.e., received a release of liability from PA DEP) more than 70 Act 2 projects. We have served, and continue to serve, as the lead environmental consultants for the implementation of successful private and public-funded redevelopment valued in the $100Ms.

The North Appalachia Team also has National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Superfund Enterprise Management System (SEMS)/Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)/Superfund experience, including Hazard Ranking System (HRS) scoring. Environmental Standards is currently managing site assessment and remedial activities at US EPA Superfund sites across the United States in Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, and Nevada. Additionally, our Data Management Team can perform in-house analytical data verification and validation of CERCLA, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), WV VRP, and brownfield Sites.

The Environmental Standards local professionals round out with extensive energy sector expertise, including: state and federal oil and gas permitting and compliance in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio; stray gas investigations; compliance monitoring; Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG); auditing; and emergency release responses. Additionally, the Environmental Standards Management Team is known for providing energy clients with technical and business expertise, including with their ESG programs. Environmental Standards has accreditation as an independent Equitable Origin (EO) and Methane Intelligence (MiQ) assessment body, helping operators achieve market recognized and certified natural gas.

The Northern Appalachia Team members have the expertise and are passionate about supporting this region. “I am excited to have the opportunity to focus on assisting communities in the area I live in and to see old vacant properties repurposed for new uses to benefit those communities,” said Patty. “My hope is that we can assist businesses and communities achieve their vision for the future of this region by helping them navigate environmental concerns and alleviate liabilities. We can provide the expertise to understand environmental regulatory requirements and how to resolve issues so businesses can operate most effectively, and communities can provide a healthy and productive setting for support and growth.”

Leah D. Mistick

Project Geoscientist