Blog & Recent Projects

Data Needed to Drive Success in EPA's Shift to Performance Based Contracting (PBC) for Superfund

Posted by John Sohl on Apr 28, 2015 4:03:01 PM

 John Sohl, COLUMBIA Technologies' CEO, attended the 8th Symposium on the Design and Construction of Hazardous Waste Sites hosted by the Philadelphia Post of the Society of Military Engineers (www.samephildelphiapost.org). The focus of the symposium was how to incorporate performance based contracting into the environmental restoration of complex sites covered by the nation's Superfund Program.

John's key take-a-ways from the symposium were:

  • The remaining Superfund sites are extremely complex. Successful restoration will be driven by detailed characterization built upon multiple lines of evidence and the best available science and technologies.
  • Successful participants in future cleanups will be characterized by highly collaborative teams with aligned goals, risk, and reward.
  • Information will drive clarity and successful communication with all stakeholders involved in the restoration efforts. Even after restoration efforts begin, there will be a continuing need for adaptive management using data-driven performance metrics.

The PBC contracts will be procured across multiple EPA regions in three major groups: Design Environmental Services (DES), Remediation Environmental Services (RES), and Environmental Services and Operations (ESO). Procurements will be open to both large and small businesses. The new contracting acquisition framework is being handled through EPA's Office of Superfund Remediation Technology and Innovation (OSRTI) (http://www.epa.gov/superfund/partners/osrti/) and FedBizOpps (www.fbo.gov).

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Tags: High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), News, SAME

COLUMBIA Technologies to Support 24th National Tanks Conference & Expo in Denver, CO

Posted by admin on Jul 18, 2013 1:54:48 AM

 24th National Tanks Conference & Expo organized by 
NEIWPCC, EPA, ASTSWMO, and CDLE in Denver, CO on September 16-18, 2013

COLUMBIA Technologies is pleased to announce our support for the upcoming 24th National Tanks Conference in Denver, CO with two presentations and an exhibit booth.

On Sunday, September 15, 2013, our CEO, John Sohl and Vista GeoScience's President, John Fontana, will present a pre-conference workshop Improved In-Situ Remediation using Advanced High Resolution Site Characterization Tools for Remedial Design Characterization and Advanced Injection Technologies from 1:00 - 5:00 PM.

On Monday, September 16, 2013, our CEO, John Sohl, will present Improving LUST Management through High Resolution Data on LNAPL and Permeability to Close Those Pesky Sites during the Advanced LNAPL Assessment I session from 1:30 - 3:00 PM.

COLUMBIA staff will be present at the 24th National Tanks Conference & Expo and will be pleased to meet you at Booth 219. If you would like to organize a meeting in advance, please contact Dov Hoffman at (888) 344-2704 ext. 207 or dhoffman@columbiatechnologies.com.

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Tags: John Sohl, LNAPL, NEIWPCC, News, UST, UST Cleanup Funds

COLUMBIA Technologies Presenting at the Second International Symposium on Bioremediation and Sustainable Environmental Technologies

Posted by admin on May 15, 2013 9:22:17 PM

 On Wednesday, June 12, 2013, our CEO, John Sohl will present Leveraging Advanced High-Resolution Site Characterization Best Practices to Plan, Target, and Enhance Bioremediation Efforts during the Innovative and Developing Processes and Protocols platform session of the Methodologies for Planning and Evaluating Bioremediation track. This year, the Second International Symposium on Bioremediation and Sustainable Environmental Technologies will be conducted June 10-13, at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel in Jacksonville, FL. The Symposium is organized and presented by Battelle, and conference sponsors are other organizations active in site investigation and remediation.

Attending John's presentation,   Leveraging Advanced High-Resolution Site Characterization Best Practices to Plan, Target, and Enhance Bioremediation Efforts,  you'll learn about:
  • The effectiveness of leveraging high resolution site characterization (HRSC) approaches which permit involved stakeholders to significantly reduce the risk, cost, and uncertainty in support of in-situ bioremediation (ISB) efforts
  • Case examples where high resolution data mapping contaminant distribution has effectively supported targeted bioremediation efforts
  • Weighted lines of evidence to measure mass contaminant distribution, identify transport and permeability zones, and establish water quality parameters for improved ISB efforts while significantly reducing the cost of remediation activities

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), John Sohl, News

Hydraulic Permeability: The Key to Identifying Contaminant Transport Zones at LNAPL and DNAPL Sites for Remediation-Focused Site Investigations

Posted by admin on Feb 19, 2013 3:00:47 PM

For the remediation-focused site investigation professional, we believe that hydraulic permeability is no longer an option, but a requirement. As this post will outline, hydraulic permeability is key to identifying contaminant transport zones at LNAPL and DNAPL sites for remediation-focused site investigations. Hydraulic permeability data, which is collected with a Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), enables decision makers to understand contaminant mobility and migration. Today, responsible parties and involved stakeholders are looking for more than just lab results from samples and screened well intervals, and are instead looking for data which enables them to minimize risk, reduce costs, and enhance remediation design efforts.

Below is an example of an HPT log from a site with multiple contaminants at concentrations up to and including NAPL. The combined Membrane Interface Probe-Hydraulic Profiling Tool (MiHpt) was used to delineate the horizontal and vertical extent of contamination and collect hydraulic permeability data simultaneously.

Key takeaways from the log included above:

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Tags: Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), Membrane Interface Probe-Hydraulic Profiling Tool, News

COLUMBIA Technologies to Sponsor Environmental Industry Summit XI and John Sohl, CEO to Participate in the Executive Response Panel

Posted by admin on Feb 8, 2013 3:21:52 PM

COLUMBIA Technologies is pleased to sponsor the upcoming Environmental Industry Summit XI in San Diego, CA. The Environmental Industry Summit is a national three-day learning event bringing together professionals from the environmental industry. The Environmental Industry Summit offers a unique opportunity to gain valuable perspective on today’s environmental industry providing ample networking opportunities, presentations, and panel discussions from the industry’s lead executives and analysts.

Environmental Industry Summit XI is March 6-8, 2013 at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA. The 2012 EBJ awards will be presented at a special ceremony at the Environmental Industry Summit XI.

COLUMBIA Technologies CEO, John Sohl, will participate in the Executive Response Panel during the Environmental Industry Summit XI. During the Executive Response Panel, executives from 3-4 prominent firms will stress test the industry outlook and render opinions on how their companies will strategically and tactically address industry challenges. John will give perspective on how clean-up technologies are being used on different sites, and how they have evolved with the various challenges presented.

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Tags: John Sohl, News

COLUMBIA Technologies Recognized with EBJ’s 2012 Business Achievement Award for International Expansion

Posted by admin on Jan 31, 2013 12:17:28 AM

Environmental Business Journal® (EBJ), a business research publication which provides high value strategic business intelligence to the environmental industry, has honored 50 companies for revenue growth, acquisitions, innovative project designs, technology applications, new practice areas, social contributions and industry leadership in 2012.

COLUMBIA Technologies is pleased to announce that it was chosen to receive the EBJ award for International Expansion.

“In an industry that has just managed to out-perform the overall economy but still presents challenges in many segments, a number of companies have achieved double-digit growth, sustained high profitability, built solid backlog, made successful forays into new practice areas or geographic markets, or developed technologies that can build a more sustainable economy,” said Grant Ferrier, President of Environmental Business International Inc. (EBI, San Diego), Publisher of Environmental Business Journal. “Historically, EBJ has known COLUMBIA Technologies as an industry leader in site characterization, but it’s their recent expansion into Mexico and Brazil which has positioned them as a global expert in the field and the recipient of a 2012 EBJ Business Achievement Award.”

COLUMBIA was recognized for establishing operations and formal partnerships in both Mexico and Brazil, thereby expanding its business model into Latin America in 2012. Expanding into Mexico and Brazil extended COLUMBIA’s international portfolio to more than 1,000 global project opportunities throughout Canada, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and 45 out of the 50 United States, including Hawaii. In 2012, COLUMBIA successfully completed over 100 projects throughout North America including Hawaii, provinces in Canada, and in Brazil for 54 different clients, with 63% of those firms being repeat customers. Since 1999, COLUMBIA has contracted with 26 of 40 firms from the Environmental Business International’s top rated environmental consulting and engineering firms on a diverse range of commercial, federal, and military sites.

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Tags: John Sohl, News

Resurgent Petrochemical and Manufacturing Industries Spur Solid Growth for COLUMBIA Technologies

Posted by admin on Jan 24, 2013 2:47:52 PM

Article originally featured in the Environmental Business Journal (EBJ) Executive Review 2013 Issue, Volume XXVI, Number 1, 2013

 Columbia Technologies, LLC (Baltimore, MD), is a global provider of high-resolution direct sensing and mapping technologies, such as the membrane interface probe (MIP), laser-induced fluorescence (LIF), and the hydraulic profiling tool (HPT), for application in contaminated site characterization. Founded in 1999, the 17-employee company has successfully completed approximately 1,000 high-resolution site characterization surveys throughout Mexico, Canada, and 45 of the 50 states, including Hawaii, serving oil companies, government agencies, commercial real estate owners, developers, and architectural and engineering firms. John Sohl is the company’s CEO.

EBJ: What kind of year was 2012 in terms of revenue growth and profitability for your firm?

John Sohl: It was a good year. We had 20% revenue growth, and roughly 30% growth on the profit line. We had a good, solid set of projects that contributed to growth and profits.

EBJ: What client sectors and regions provided the best opportunities, and what factors were driving those opportunities? Any shifts in the sectors you’re serving?

J.S.: For what we do, the clients that are engaging in more complex projects, where the site characterization and remediation challenges are significant, that’s where we get our best match in terms of value proposition. They often tend to be petrochemical clients and manufacturers.

We did see a good amount of work in the Midwest, which has offered good growth through the resurgence in the economy. General Motors, Ford, and other manufacturers are trying to resolve issues with the assets on their books. I think we’ll see more and more positive impacts when cheap natural gas affects the petrochemical and manufacturers. These clients did do well.

There were no dramatic shifts in our client base. We maintain a fairly broad base, and we’re active in both the industrial sector and the Department of Defense (DOD) market. In the commercial market, if there has been any kind of shift, it’s been by reaching out beyond our traditional borders. In 2012, we’ve done a couple of projects in Hawaii. We have a partner in Mexico, and we’ve done some work in Canada, so we’re exporting our work on a regular basis.

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), John Sohl, News

The 7 Biggest Myths of Direct Sensing (Part II)

Posted by admin on Oct 3, 2012 1:07:12 PM

We hope you enjoyed our last blog post, The 7 Myths of Direct Sensing (Part I) outlining the three basic assumptions or principles we have in mind when deploying high resolution direct sensing tools, defining high resolution and direct sensing tools, and disclosing the first three myths related to site characterization projects.

Below are four additional myths related to detection levels, remediation programs, cost of direct sensing, and the need for real time data with the corresponding truths.

Myth 4: The detection levels of direct sensing tools like the Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) are not low enough

If you’re going off the basis that the contaminant levels at your site are too low for direct sensing tools, you’re probably should ask yourself do I really only have 10 ppb and if so, why do I still have 10 ppb? Direct sensing tools for contaminant profiling are first and foremost source area characterization tools.

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Tags: Direct Sensing, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), Membrane Interface Probe-Hydraulic Profiling Tool, Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), News, Site Characterization

The 7 Biggest Myths of Direct Sensing (Part I)

Posted by admin on Sep 19, 2012 11:17:20 AM

After 20 years in enviromental sampling and analysis we have come to believe in direct sensing as a means of providing the most rapid and comprehensive information about the distribution and composition of soil and groundwater contamination. Ever evolving, today’s direct sensing tools for remediation focused site characterization projects continue to add a greater range of high resolution information on subsurface conditions including hydrology, lithology and contaminant distribution to support environmental liability decision.

Although direct sensing approaches are used throughout the environmental industry supporting cleanup and closure efforts, there are still several myths associated in applying these methods to site investigation and remediation projects.

There are three basic assumptions or principles we have in mind when deploying high resolution direct sensing tools with as near real time decision-making information:

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Tags: Direct Sensing, News

ReLASC 6th International Seminar Characterization and Remediation of Sites Impacted by Hydrocarbons - Mexico City

Posted by admin on Sep 15, 2012 12:01:14 PM

COLUMBIA Technologies recently supported the Sixth International Seminar on Environmental Characterization and Remediation of Sites Impacted by Hydrocarbons - 2012 in Mexico City, Mexico. The seminar was hosted by Rede Latino Americana de Prevenção e Gestão de Sítios (ReLASC) in partnership with PEMEX Refinery and Ecoterra Servicios Ambientales.

On Friday, September 14, COLUMBIA presented Rapid High Resolution Site Characterization Using Direct Sensing Technologies. With local teaming partner, International Products and Organic Solutions (IPOS) on Saturday, September 15, COLUMBIA provided a hands-on demonstration displaying how these advanced tools can be applied to a wide range of contaminated sites.

For more information contact:

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Tags: High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), LNAPL, News, Mexico