Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council Brownfields Support Services

E Sciences provided environmental consulting services in support of the implementation of two Brownfields assessment and remediation grants. In this role, E Sciences conducted Phase I and Phase II ESAs, site assessments and remediation planning. We also provided the EPA required reporting to comply with grant provisions. The following provides highlights of projects completed under this contract.

 

Ballet Florida, 500 Fern Street, West Palm Beach

The City of West Palm Beach CRA was conducting a Phase I ESA to support due diligence activities associated with assisting Ballet Florida, a professional ballet company located in downtown. E Sciences’ quick response allowed the deliverable report to be provided within five business days of email authorization to proceed.
 

Seaboard Train Station, 201 Tamarind Boulevard, West Palm Beach

This Phase I ESA was conducted to support securing financial assistance for pedestrian enhancement for transit riders from the FDOT. The focus of this assessment was to identify potential environmental issues that may impact the pedestrian enhancement construction project. Historic documentation revealed an old UST located within the right-of-way near the proposed improvements. Since this was not a typical real estate transaction, E Sciences prepared a map of areas of potential contamination to support the design process and recommended appropriate precautions be taken if construction activities were planned for these areas. The project engineer for the pedestrian enhancement project reviewed the scope of the work to determine how these findings may affect the project. It was also advised that the review be coordinated with an environmental professional who can assess how these environmental concerns may affect the construction or design. E Sciences further indicated that environmental impacts can be managed with proper planning in order to inform FDOT that potential contamination issues should not stop the project funding, but rather be a consideration during planning and construction. This project is just one example of E Sciences’ ability to work with our clients in removing environmental impediments to redevelopment opportunities.
 

Former West Palm Beach City Hall

West Palm Beach’s abandoned City Hall has been identified as the CRA’s prime site for redevelopment. It is the City’s vision to bid the project to be redeveloped as an urban, waterfront hotel. E Sciences was requested to assess the environmental condition of the site as they prepare for the bidding process. A Phase I and Phase II ESA identified numerous historical land activities that could result in contaminated soil and groundwater. Historical land uses included automotive repair facilities with USTs, laundry facilities, railroad spurs and industrial/manufacturing activities. Surficial soil impacts beneath the parking lot were identified and a SAR was submitted to FDEP. To develop our recommendations, we utilized FDEP’s guidance that allows a “weight of evidence” demonstration that detected parameters are not site-related and do not require remediation. Using the rationale in this document, we recommended that in lieu of remediation, soils disturbed and disposed during redevelopment be managed properly under a soil management plan. FDEP agreed with our approach. This will allow redevelopment of the former City Hall property and save about $1M in unnecessary remediation costs. This project was featured by the EPA and TCRPC during a trolley tour at the Annual Florida Brownfields Association conference. Following the SAR, we prepared an Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives.
 

1400 Henrietta – Community Gardens

E Sciences conducted Phase I and Phase II ESAs for this property in preparation for use as an urban garden. The site has been vacant for over a decade and was historically occupied by residential dwellings. The urban farm will provide access to fruit and vegetables to the surrounding community. According to the USDA 2010 Census, Coleman Park and surrounding neighborhoods are considered a food desert. USDA defines a food desert as low-income census tracts with a substantial number or share of residents with low levels of access to retail outlets selling healthy and affordable foods.

 

This Phase I ESA revealed that numerous and varied historical activities in the vicinity of the Site commonly associated with contamination have occurred in close proximity to the Site. These facilities largely operated prior to the existence and enforcement of current environmental regulations and therefore the presence of contamination could have gone undetected. Historical facilities identified included lumber yards, dry cleaners, gasoline filling stations, auto repair shops, and railway maintenance facilities. Based on the proposed use of the Site as an urban garden, Phase II ESA activities included soil sampling and analysis to explore the possibility of undetected contaminants. Incremental sampling methodology (an emerging sample collection and analysis technique) was used to provide a better statistical evaluation of potential exposure to soils in a garden setting.