Environmental Enlightenment

On Being an Expert

On Being an Expert

Environmental Enlightenment #235 ​Asserting oneself an expert bears responsibility. What is an expert? Here are thoughts, humbly submitted for your inspection. Expertise is a graduated, spirally climbing scale, ever returning to itself at higher and higher plateaus....

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment—Probabilities and Possibilities

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment—Probabilities and Possibilities

Environmental Enlightenment #245Probability is the extent to which something is probable; the likelihood of something happening or being the case. (Google) Probability is a scale of certainty: How certain is it that an undeveloped piece of land will be contaminated...

Environmental Base Line

Environmental Base Line

Environmental Enlightenment #175 In dealing with physical matters, absolutes do not exist. One establishes value only by comparison. A “base line” is any precisely determined line forming a side of a triangle so that when the adjacent angles are measured, the relative...

Basins

Basins

Environmental Enlightenment #313 If you dip into environmental reports, you will likely run into the term basin.   The essential concept of basin is water container (derives from Latin bacinus, bacca) A natural depression on the earth's surface, typically containing...

Groundwater Gradient and Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

Groundwater Gradient and Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

Environmental Enlightenment #312 Gradient is the inclination of a riverbed, usually described as the number of feet the river drops per mile. Water flows downhill. Always? Take a close look at the water in the creek as it bounces from rock to rock on the way down and...

Spill Containment and the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

Spill Containment and the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

Environmental Enlightenment #311 Proper spill containment in the storage of hazardous substances reduces environmental liability. In conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments on commercial or industrial real estate, our eyes are tuned to telltale signs of poor...

Water Planet

Water Planet

Environmental Enlightenment #310 — Seventy percent (70%) of the surface of the earth is mantled in water.

Groundwater

Groundwater

Environmental Enlightenment #309 Groundwater is vital for our existence. The information below has been extracted from a publication by the United States Geological Survey and enriched with images borrowed or procured on the web. The ground-water environment is hidden...

Bio Slurping

Bio Slurping

Environmental Enlightenment #308 Bio means Life, and Slurping is the action of sucking a fluid or solids with a strong flow or air. When your drink has reached the bottom of the glass and you want the last few drops, you “slurp” with the suction straw. The suction...

How Clean Is Clean?

How Clean Is Clean?

Environmental Enlightenment #305 There’s a common misconception floating amongst parties transacting with environmentally impacted properties. Many are familiar with the “NFA” terminology. An “NFA” letter is a formal statement from a lead regulatory agency declaring...

Air Stripping

Air Stripping

Environmental Enlightenment #307 When you strip something from something else, you remove it. In the image below, the worker is stripping bark off the tree. Take water and mix an alcoholic drink into it. Alcohol dissolves in water like sugar. Take a straw and blow air...

Path of Least Resistance

Path of Least Resistance

Environmental Enlightenment #306 Here’s a simplified, conceptual image of the fate of leaking petroleum fluids in soil and groundwater. It omits certain phenomena that the pedantic amongst us may fault me on; and my justification is, it’s being done for sake of the...

Where Did That Chemical Go?

Where Did That Chemical Go?

Environmental Enlightenment #189 Acknowledgement is given to a book of this name by Ronald E. Ney, Jr., Ph.D., Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1990, on which this material is based.To dissipate in the environment means to reduce to the point of disappearing....

Is it Advection? Convection?

Is it Advection? Convection?

Environmental Enlightenment #118 About 80 percent of the entries in any English dictionary are borrowed, mainly from Latin. Over 60 percent of all English words have Greek or Latin roots. In the vocabulary of the sciences and technology, the figure rises to over 90...

Soil Vapor Surveys in Real Estate Transactions

Soil Vapor Surveys in Real Estate Transactions

Environmental Enlightenment #304 Toxic, volatile substances in soils present a specter of intrusion into inhabited spaces and impact on the health of the occupants. The volatile chemicals can originate on the property or invade from spills in the neighborhood. Here’s...

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