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What Does an Environmental Consultant Do?

What Does an Environmental Consultant Do?

After decades of pursuing technological progress, unconcerned with side effects, humans have become increasingly aware of our fast-paced development and its impact on the environment. The unregulated industrial expansion has left scars on the ecosystem, such as air pollution, water pollution, climate change, soil contamination, etc. To minimize the consequences, governments introduced strict regulations, imposing standards based on the implementation of renewable sources of energy. As a result, sustainable growth and energy efficiency have become dominant characteristics of future technological progress.

Ensuring compliance with government regulations and minimizing the effects of hazardous substances on human health and the environment requires the knowledge and insights of specialized professionals. Emerging from the needs of a new, ecologically aware age, environmental consultants have become one of the most pursued occupations in our society.

But, what exactly does an environmental consultant do, and what are the educational requirements for following this career path?

Educational Background

To become an environmental consultant, the most common educational background is environmental science.

Assessing air, water, and soil contamination and identifying contaminant sources demands sophisticated and comprehensive knowledge. As a multidisciplinary field of study, environmental science comprises multiple areas: geology, chemistry, biology, ecology, and engineering. 

Furthermore, analyzing legislative and regulatory compliance calls for specific legal skills, which is also an area of study environmental consultants must be closely familiar.

Combining scientific and technological expertise with regulatory knowledge is vital for dealing with the demands of this highly challenging profession.

Fields Of Work

With a comprehensive academic background, environmental consultants can provide clients (both governmental and private) with a wide variety of services.

In general, environmental consultants provide a detailed assessment of air, water, and soil, identifying whether they contain contaminants harmful to human health and the environment. In addition, they issue special reports presenting the level of contamination and the compliance with relevant federal and state regulations. When an environmental dispute arises, they offer expert opinions and participate in court proceedings as expert witnesses.

Environmental Due Diligence

Environmental due diligence is a complex area of work consisting of evaluating a property or land for potential environmental contamination risks. As a result of due diligence, consultants create a report known as Environmental Site Assessment (ESA), identifying site contamination (existing or possible). The document can show the existence of groundwater or soil contamination as the most common risk associated with real estate. A proper environmental due diligence enables potential buyers of commercial or industrial property to assess the risk when purchasing real estate or avoid environmental liability by proving that they did not cause the contamination.

Regulatory Compliance

Complying with state regulatory and legislative requirements is key to avoiding environmental liability and fines. Environmental consultants will create a remediation plan enabling the clients to achieve the so-called No Further Remediation (NFR) or No Further Action (NFA) Letter from the state. In addition, the state imposes various land-use restrictions, determining the post-remediation land use and acceptable contamination. NFR and NFA letters show that the owner has complied with relevant regulations, protecting them from future liability.

Litigation Support

Litigation support is another area where environmental consultants can play a decisive role. Site contamination disputes require using expert opinions and expert witness testimonies. Possessing in-depth knowledge in geology, contamination, and remediation, environmental professionals can provide litigation support by assisting the parties with advice or witnessing in court. Their expertise will help you present accurate scientific data in a clear legal language.

Health and Safety Guidance

Government agencies, companies, and individuals can benefit from health and safety guidance from environmental consultants. Without thorough investigation and a detailed assessment of potential contamination risks at your property, safe use of commercial or industrial real estate is unthinkable. Ecological consultants will ensure your land does not contain toxic substances and hazardous waste by investigating past use, reviewing state regulatory records, and identifying past incidents. That way, you can rest assured the property you use is risk-free to human health and the environment.

Contact Us

Environmental consultants at Hanis Consulting combine highly-sophisticated scientific knowledge with technological expertise. At the same time, we are well-versed in legislative and regulatory requirements at the federal, state, and municipal level. Therefore, we will ensure your project is up to date with the latest regulations and in compliance with governing laws.

Whether you come from the public or private sector, we can help you get along with increasingly popular trends of renewable sources of energy implementation. Our environmental site assessments, guidance on health and safety standards, regulatory compliance, and waste management will be your best ally in achieving energy efficiency and ecological accountability.