Phases III-V Detroit, Michigan – 2013-2021
The project involved the redevelopment of the largest (140-acres) public housing project, the former Herman Gardens, in Detroit, Michigan. ECS was retained for development Phases III through V to provide pre-purchase environmental due diligence (Phase I/II/BEA) and prepare Response Activity Plans, No Further Action Reports and Documentation of Due Care Compliance reports. These efforts were associated with securing state and federal funding.
The Site was found to contain widespread heavy metals and semi-volatile compounds that exceeded the Michigan Generic Residential Cleanup Criteria for the Direct Contact exposure pathway. In addition, one area on Phase V also had volatile organic compounds that exceeded the Volatilization to Indoor Air exposure pathway screening levels.
ECS designed engineered exposure barriers to address the Direct Contact exposure pathway and designed a passive Vapor Intrusion Mitigation System (VIMS). In addition, ECS performed oversight of the installation of the systems and completed the System Prove Out program for the VIMS. This resulted in securing funding which allowed for construction of the project, which is now fully occupied.
This project involved completing the federal environmental procedures required for disposition (sale). The property was the historic Lee Plaza in Detroit, a 16 story apartment building owned by the Detroit Housing Commission (DHC) and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. ECS was retained by DHC under our 5-year contract for environmental, engineering, and geotechnical services, and due to our ability to assemble a team consisting of ECS personnel and cultural resource specialists that met the federal qualifications under 36 CFR Part 61 in the areas of history, archaeology, and architecture.
The ECS team conducted a Phase I ESA, a NEPA Environmental Assessment, and a Section 106 Project Review application. An architectural historian and archeological consultant assisted ECS in the literature review, historical property research, assessing the physical integrity of the property in terms of its location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association; and evaluating the potential for intact archaeological deposits that may be affected by the project.
DHC used our work product to support their Section 18 (of the Housing Act) application demolition and disposition of public housing. Ultimately the application was approved.
ECS has several public and private educational institution clients. One of the driving factors for these institutions in retaining ECS is that we bring a diverse array of services, some of which are specific to educational institutions such as the Federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA). AHERA requires all public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools (K-12) to complete an initial inspection for asbestos and a reinspection of known and assumed asbestos at least once every three years in each building. ECS has developed AHERA management programs for some of its clients to ensure that they remain in compliance.
In addition to asbestos services associated with AHERA, ECS also provides numerous other building-related services including pre-renovation asbestos surveys and post abatement clearances, lead-based paint inspections/risk assessments and post-remediation clearances, mold/microbiological assessments and radon testing/mitigation. We have also completed Authorizer (typically universities, community colleges or school districts) mandated drinking water testing at many charter schools.
When our educational clients purchase properties, we provide a full range of environmental due diligence services including Phase I/II environmental site assessments, Baseline Environmental Assessments, Due Care Plans and UST assessments and closures.
ECS has been retained by several Host municipalities (i.e., municipalities where the landfills are located) or their engineering consultants to conduct periodic review and evaluation of the landfill operations and monitoring systems. These services provide the municipalities with an understanding of how the landfill operations may affect residents and provide a basis for municipal staff to respond to resident requests for information.
These activities typically occur on a quarterly basis and the services include site visits and reviews of monitoring reports. Technical summary reports are submitted to the municipalities and on occasion, ECS staff are invited to council meetings to discuss our findings.