On the Road with Rich Townsend – November 2017

Article by Rich Townsend, Director of Business Development

Having spent most of my career working for consulting firms in various business development and marketing roles, it has been an interesting year having the opportunity to meet so many consultants throughout the country in my role as Director of Business Development for HIG.

Whether it’s the office of a large multi-national firm or a small company in the basement of the owner’s home, most of the people I meet enjoy their work and that makes it equally enjoyable for me in my position.

In addition to in-person meetings, I have also had the chance to travel to meet many new consultants at conferences in different states. For those of you who don’t have the opportunity to get out, here are some key highlights:

Groundwater Association of California (GRA) Annual Conference – Sacramento, CA – the main focus of the sessions involved the new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) which requires that each basin develop its own groundwater sustainability plan including management of both groundwater quantity and quality.

Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC) Remediation Conference – Tacoma, WA –like many remediation conferences, this highlighted new technologies, case studies, etc. The one huge takeaway however, was the fact that brownfield redevelopment is very hot in the Puget Sound area. The main driver is that there is so much competition for highly valued in-fill sites that developers in Seattle, sometimes up to a dozen, are competing for prized properties. In some cases buyers are willing to take on the potential environmental liability on the site in order to acquire the property.

Association of Environmental and Health Sciences (AEHS) Fall Conference, Amherst, MA – PFAS and more PFAS was the topic here. For those not aware, PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are commonly found in fire retardant chemicals. There is still a lot to learn about how these emerging contaminants impact the environment, and they are yet another hazardous substance that may need to be accounted for in the due diligence process.  On a positive note, the keynote luncheon speaker was Gina McCarthy, the former US EPA Administrator. She gave an honest but uplifting message on the challenge that all of us have to keep up the fight for science as the driver for making future policy decisions.

Let HIG help you!

With all of these issues, HIG can be your go-to historical information provider.  Most previously unknown environmental concerns identified during the due diligence process are discovered when consultants are provided with high quality historical data that allows for proper identification of past property uses.  HIG’s historical aerials and fire insurance maps make it easier for you to see where potentially hazardous substances were stored. Combine these images with the best city directory research in the business, and you will be able to best protect your client from future environmental liability concerns.