Brownfields & Urban Core Redevelopment
Many cities in the United States are faced with abandoned or underutilized properties due to real or perceived environmental contamination. These properties are broadly referred to as brownfields. TGE has conducted subsurface investigations, risk assessments and necessary closure activities at many underutilized properties within multiple inner city environments, often in "multiple block" redevelopments. As a result of TGE's efforts, and combined efforts of the redevelopment team, many parcels of real property are again usable and rejoin the local tax base. This program area is often combined with state Voluntary Clean-up Programs (the VCP), which provides, in many states, a certificate of completion to protect future land owners, at least in part, from ongoing/future environmental liability.
Discovery Green (Houston, Texas)
TGE was retained to conduct an in-depth Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and a preliminary Phase II ESA for Houston’s Downtown Park (“Discovery Green”), which consists of a 12 acre site (the “Superblock”) in front of the famous George R. Brown Convention Center located in downtown Houston, Texas. Assessment and delineation of areas of historical concern (various automotive body and repair shops and/or gasoline service stations) resulted in the location and proper removal of nine “ghost” underground storage tanks and the identification of seven separate affected areas (as documented in the Risk Assessment). Delineation of affected property areas was followed by comprehensive remediation through excavation and off-property recycling of impacted soils, and in-situ treatment of petroleum hydrocarbon impacted soil/groundwater via carbon injection. Project efforts were conducted in an unobtrusive and timely manner in coordination with on-going construction of the public park and sub-surface parking garage without project delays.
Allen Parkway Village (HUD Re-development)
Federal Housing And Urban Development (Houston, Texas)
With EPA accompaniment, TGE conducted a comprehensive site assessment, lead-based paint risk assessment, asbestos review, comprehensive work plan and specification preparation and contaminant risk assessment for this high profile re-development property. This property was historically developed during the “Allen Brother’s era”, encompassing multi-use housing, retail development, and a turn-of-the-century graveyard in historic “Freedman’s Town”; the development was occupied post-World War II by veteran housing. This project involved more than 3 years of multi-phased work and is now fully re-developed and used for more modern public housing.
Firestone Brownfields Redevelopment - Pension Fund for Mortgage Financing (Fort Worth, Texas)
This 350 unit multi-family redevelopment project encompassed three city blocks within the downtown Fort Worth historic area. Prior occupants of the 11+ acre tract included several environmentally significant businesses including auto repair facilities and the original Firestone Tire/service center. Following completion of TGE’s efforts, which included extensive file reviews, historical research and evaluation of possible risk factors associated with former use, the site is fully utilized and a key housing project within metropolitan Fort Worth, Texas.
National Bank - Branch Bank Redevelopment (Six State Area)
Select properties with a history of underground storage tank use (retail) were to be rebuilt as bank-owned locations, prompting comprehensive environmental assessments related to potential or known risks of ownership. TGE managed tank removal efforts, ground water and soil assessment, exposure assessment, risk-based closure and submission of funds for reimbursement from the associated state fund (when available). TGE continues to function as this client's on-call consultant during its expansion efforts and during construction of associated banks on affected property.
Solid Waste "Dump" Response – Notable Private Foundation:
TGE responded upon discovery of 20+ years of unauthorized “dumping” (by trespass) of 10s of thousands of tons of mixed solid waste at a client-owned property positioned along the steeply sloped (and erosive) banks of the Brazos River near Houston, Texas. Owned by a highly respected, charitable (private) foundation, TGE coordinated state and local agencies in conveying facts of the case while mitigating risk of possible (and multiple) violations being levied against the owner. With possible violations successfully (and favorably) managed, emergency mitigation measures were executed to control downslope waste release to the river and approval secured to address long term extraction of the total waste volume with the goal being unrestricted property use thereafter. Without any event of loss, TGE used site-specific engineering design strategies, re-stabilized the river bank, controlled degradation of local resources and implemented emergency/contingency measures for unknowns within the waste accumulation. Having first assessed the material using geophysical methods for buried (and possibly explosive) hazards, TGE located and removed underground storage tanks, hundreds of buried barrels, thousands of tires, apparent pesticide-related materials, asbestos waste and metal debris along with affected soils while simultaneously reclaiming excavated areas with clean fill to re-form the river bank and protect it from erosion. With previous waste characterized for a broad spectrum of chemicals and clean-up confirmation testing proving the work complete, the site eventually received commended “case closed” status from Fort Bend County.
Tres Management Company/Lenore Estate
Commercial Downtown Houston Property (Houston, Texas)
The Tres Management/Lenore Estate Facility represented a classic inner city Brownfields within the Downtown Houston area. This property was formerly a portion of a major lumber mill and later a steel pipe manufacturer, threader and finishing facility, which was active from the 1920s-(post war) and into the 1980s under various ownership and uses. Other historical uses, both on the site and in the near vicinity, involved auto repair, spray painting, gasoline fuel facilities, manufacturing and rail service.
TGE performed due diligence efforts intended to redevelop various tracts and represented parties which were either buying or selling such tracts for intended use as office warehouse facilities and light manufacturing. TGE conducted no less than three Phase I ESAs using both standard ASTM methods and expanded scopes of work intended to identify site historical use back to pre-development/vacant land (pre-1900). TGE also conducted Phase II Site Assessments and asbestos abatement/removal consulting work at this property, which facilitated entry (and successful completion) of the Texas Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) certification for the site.
Dollinger Steel Company (Beaumont, Texas)
TGE performed a preliminary due diligence assessment (ASTM Phase I) of the entire plant site at this abandoned 50+ acre industrial, rail-served tract in close proximity to natural water ways (Neches River), residential subdivisions and mixed-use industrial/commercial facilities. During the course of the project, TGE conducted exposure monitoring for stormwater and air, and conducted comprehensive RCRA Site Characterization/Closure efforts. Ultimately TGE achieved hazardous waste remediation using alternate technologies to provide the lowest cost approach and RCRA Closures Group approved closure of the site.