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News Briefs

Environmental Assessment Services Forms Joint Venture with Federal Engineers and Constructors

Richland, Wash. – EAFES is an ANC-owned joint venture combining the strengths and capabilities of two small businesses to face the challenges presented by the toughest environmental remediation projects. EAFES is comprised of Environmental Assessment Services (EAS) and Federal Engineers and Constructors (FE&C) and blends front-end site characterization, data evaluation, and assessment of environmental quality with high-hazard nuclear waste remediation. Together, EAFES provides one seamless team to implement solutions to environmental remediation projects.

View the EAFES Capabilities Statement

Mission Support Alliance Contracts with EAS to Provide Environmental Document Support under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Richland, Wash. – In December 2016, Mission Support Alliance (MSA) contracted with EAS to help the U.S. Department of Energy meet its objectives and obligations for public involvement in Hanford Site decision-making under NEPA and other federal, state, and local laws, statutes, and regulations.

EAS, working with Point Environmental, will prepare environmental documents that may include Categorical Exclusion Determinations, Environmental Assessments, Findings of No Significance, and Records of Decisions. The purpose of these documents is to analyze the effects of proposed infrastructure upgrades and construction projects on the Hanford Site in a variety of areas. These include but are not limited to, public and worker health and safety, air quality, water resources, biotic resources, ecosystem functioning, cultural resources, socioeconomics, land use, and environmental justice.

NEPA is the basic national charter for protecting the environment. It requires all federal agencies to use a systematic, interdisciplinary approach in planning and decision making for proposed actions that may significantly impact human health and the environment.

YAKAMA NATION CONTRACTS WITH EAS FOR ON-CALL ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT SERVICES

Richland, Wash. – Habitat restoration in the Columbia River is key to restoring viable and sustainable populations of salmon, steelhead, and other at-risk fishes in the region. The Yakama Nation’s Upper Columbia Habitat Restoration Project (UCHRP) partners with the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board to assess, design, and implement restoration projects in priority streams and reaches of the Methow, Entiat, and Wenatchee rivers. The Yakama Nation, on behalf of its Fisheries Resource Management Program contracted with EAS to provide on-call Phase I Environmental Site Assessment services at targeted UCHRP sites in Okanogan and Chelan counties, Washington.

Under the direction of Yakama Nation fisheries staff, EAS will 1) conduct an environmental data review and agency file review; 2) perform site investigations; 3) interview owners, operators, and past owners/operators; and 4) prepare a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report. This is a two-year contract.

EAS TO ASSIST USACE RESTORE NATIVE RIPARIAN SHRUBS AND TREES AT CENTRAL FERRY AND RICE BAR HABITAT MANAGEMENT UNITS

Richland, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District awarded EAS a contract to assist in creating and enhancing lost wildlife habitat as a result of Lower Snake River Project (Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite dam) construction.

For this three-year, multi-million dollar award, EAS will prepare a planting design for Central Ferry and Rice Bar Habitat Management Units along the lower Snake River and plant native riparian shrubs and trees. The plantings will support wildlife food and habitat requirements. EAS also will maintain plantings to ensure establishment to a 65% survival rate per performance requirement and remove and control invasive plant species to facilitate planting success.

This project assists the Walla Walla District in ensuring compliance with the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act and meeting goals of the Lower Snake River Fish and Wildlife Compensation Plan.

EAS TO PROVIDE HABITAT RESTORATION SUPPORT TO CH2M HILL ON THE HANFORD REACH

Richland, Wash. – As hazardous waste on the 560-square-mile Hanford Site is cleaned up, the Department of Energy is required to assess potential natural resource damage from cleanup actions and mitigate or restore native plant communities. In September 2016, CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company, DOE's prime contractor for environmental remediation of the site, awarded EAS a contract to provide habitat restoration support along the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.

For this project EAS is providing CHPRC a restoration scientist to design and implement habitat restoration activities, including re-vegetation and re-contouring, to meet land-use objectives. Since 2006, EAS has worked with prime contractors on the Hanford Site to successfully restore native riparian and shrub-steppe plant communities. The team has conducted more than 150 revegetation, restoration, and mitigation projects on the site, according to applicable laws, regulations, and guidance documents, including the DOE Biological Resource Management Plan.

MISSION SUPPORT ALLIANCE AWARDS EAS CONTRACT TO SUPPORT INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL INSPECTION ON THE COLUMBIA RIVER

Richland, Wash. – As part of DOE's role to ensure the safety of human health and the environment on the Hanford Site, it maintains and implements institutional controls, through its prime contractor Mission Support Alliance. MSA contracted with EAS to provide boating support to Long-Term Stewardship Program personnel as part of an institutional control inspection related to Hanford Site access restrictions, including warning notices posted along the Columbia River.

EAS's small vessel support allowed program personnel to observe existing "No Trespassing" signs along the high water mark of southern and western river shorelines from Vernita Bridge to the 300 Area (~51 miles). Signs are spaced at 500-foot intervals as required by the Sitewide Institutional Controls Plan for Hanford CERCLA Response Actions and RCRA Corrective Actions.

EAS maintains a fleet of fully equipped research vessels in Richland, Washington, and a large pool of U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains, experienced deck-hands, divers, scientists, and technicians.

EAS SELECTED TO PROVIDE DECISION ANALYSIS AND RISK MANAGEMENT SUPPORT TO MISSION SUPPORT ALLIANCE ENVIRONMENTAL SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM

Richland, Wash. – Since 2011, the EAS team has provided dedicated support to the DOE Public Safety and Resource Protection (PSRP) Program, which is operated by MSA. In April 2016, MSA awarded the company an additional contract to provide technical expertise in decision analysis and risk management. The work will support process improvements to the PSRP Environmental Surveillance Program identified in MSA's Get-To-Excellence Plan.

The purpose of surveillance is to monitor the environment to better understand potential radiological dose and risk from Hanford contaminants, including chemical and metal levels in Columbia River water, sediment, and fish and wildlife. To assist MSA optimize the Environmental Surveillance Program, EAS will 1) perform a detailed review of available program information and documentation regarding sampling and analytical methods; 2) evaluate program pathway models and environmental media sampled that will support developing a technical basis for all sampling using a Structured Decision Making process; and 3) facilitate Data Quality Objective meetings.

The EAS team has supported more than 95% of PSRP-subcontracted services in Environmental Surveillance, Ecological Monitoring and Compliance, and Cultural and Historic Resources since 2013.

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS AWARDS EAS MULTI-YEAR CONTRACT TO PROVIDE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE SUPPORT FOR NATURAL AREAS AND PARKS ON COLUMBIA AND SNAKE RIVERS

Richland, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District selected EAS to provide natural resource maintenance support at more than 20 Corps-operated recreation areas along the Columbia and Snake rivers, including parks, nature trails, beaches, and boat ramps and basins.

This contract, which begins May 1, encompasses grounds and landscape maintenance, including maintaining hiking trails, irrigating, and vegetation removal, at McNary, Ice Harbor, and Lower Monumental Hydroelectric Projects.

Specific recreation areas EAS will support include the McNary Wildlife Nature Area, Hood Park, Warehouse Beach Recreation Area, Devil's Bench Boat Ramp, Lewis and Clark Commemorative Trail, and Indian Memorial.

EAS CERTIFIED AS MINORITY BUSINESS ENTERPRISE

Richland, Wash. – "Corporations, the federal government, and state agencies all want to do business with minority-owned companies," Sarah Kessler said in Inc. magazine. "To meet their objectives, private and public sector firms search for minority-owned suppliers through programs that have formal certification processes."

In May 2016, after undergoing a rigorous process, EAS was certified as a Minority Business Enterprise by the Northwest Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council, a regional affiliate of the National Minority Supplier Development Council. This formal certification provides a gateway for corporations and public agencies to more easily do business with EAS.

U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS AWARDS EAS MULTI-YEAR CONTRACT TO PROVIDE GROUNDS MAINTENANCE SUPPORT FOR NATURAL AREAS AND PARKS ON COLUMBIA AND SNAKE RIVERS

Richland, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District selected EAS to provide natural resource maintenance support at more than 20 Corps-operated recreation areas along the Columbia and Snake rivers, including parks, nature trails, beaches, and boat ramps and basins.

This contract, which begins May 1, encompasses grounds and landscape maintenance, including maintaining hiking trails, irrigating, and vegetation removal, at McNary, Ice Harbor, and Lower Monumental Hydroelectric Projects.

Specific recreation areas EAS will support include the McNary Wildlife Nature Area, Hood Park, Warehouse Beach Recreation Area, Devil's Bench Boat Ramp, Lewis and Clark Commemorative Trail, and Indian Memorial.

EAS SELECTED TO MAP AQUATIC INVASIVE PLANTS IN THE ROCKY REACH HYDROELECTRIC PROJECT AREA - UPPER COLUMBIA RIVER

Richland, Wash. – Chelan County Public Utility District awarded EAS a contract in May 2016 to map aquatic invasive plants at and near the Rocky Reach hydroelectric project. EAS will conduct field surveys and monitoring in the upper Columbia River to support Chelan PUD compliance with federal, state, and regional laws and agreements that protect and enhance fisheries in the Federal Columbia River Power System. These include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission License, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion, and the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification issued by the Washington Department of Ecology.

To assist the Chelan PUD meet FERC and Ecology requirements related to 401 Water Quality Conditions, EAS will monitor the project area for all aquatic invasive plants listed on the Washington State Noxious Weed List. Beginning in August 2016, EAS will work closely with Chelan PUD biologists to re-map 46 known weed beds (~406 acres total throughout the project area) as part of the project’s Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring and Control Plan. Scientists will identify newly introduced aquatic invasive species and map and track their movements as well as those of existing invasive plants.

Specific objectives for this effort are to provide Chelan PUD 1) updated GIS shape files of the weed bed polygons mapped during late summer/fall season, and 2) a summary of dominant and subdominant species composition of the 46 sampled weed beds. Information gained from this project will assist Chelan PUD meet requirements to monitor for the presence of new invasive species at or near project facilities.

EAS AWARDED SUBCONTRACT TO SUPPORT PACIFIC NORTHWEST FISH TISSUE SAMPLING AND WATER QUALITY MONITORING

Richland, Wash. – EAS's extensive knowledge of Pacific Northwest aquatic ecosystems earned the company a new contract in May 2016. TetraTech, under prime contract with PacifiCorp, hired EAS to provide professional technical services supporting fish-tissue sampling, water quality monitoring, and other aquatic-related services throughout the region.

EAS tasks under aquatic services, may include 1) conducting rare, threatened, and endangered species surveys, fisheries inventories and population surveys; 2) benthic invertebrate sampling; and 3) external and histopathological and physiological analyses of fish health.

EAS researchers will also perform water quality measurement and monitoring, as required, reservoirs, lakes, impoundments, rivers, streams, wetlands, powerhouse forebays and tailraces, and natural and man-made waterways. Water quality samples (physical parameters, chemical analysis, phytoplankton analysis) and measurements will be conducted at various sites to assess the water quality conditions in a particular area and examine spatial and/or temporal trends and relationships among water quality parameters.

EAS Announces Change in Ownership

Richland, Wash. – EAS is pleased to announce that the company has been acquired by KOMAN Holdings, LLC, which is owned by Natives of Kodiak, an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC). KOMAN Holdings is a tribal corporation that is classified as a small, Native American-owned business and is certified under the Small Business Administration 8(a) program. As a subsidiary of KOMAN Holdings, EAS is now classified as a Small Disadvantaged Business. This change in status will not only bolster our ability to bring state-of-the art sampling techniques and technologies, environmental experts, and a proven track record of field performance to our clients, but expand and streamline federal contracting opportunities.

EAS to Support U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Biological Studies in the Snake and Columbia River Basins

Richland, Wash. – In June 2014, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) selected EAS, working with Normandeau Associates, to provide professional and technical scientific expertise to support biological evaluations related primarily to the Anadromous Fish Evaluation Program in the Snake and Columbia River Basins.

EAS fisheries biologist Dennis Dauble will provide senior fish passage expertise to USACE as part of this project, and principal scientist Brett Tiller will afford his extensive experience conducting environmental sampling and characterization in aquatic and riverine environments of the region. EAS also will serve as the primary vessel provider for the biological investigations. With its fleet of fully equipped research vessels outfitted with specialized equipment and instrumentation and pool of U.S. Coast Guard-certified captains, EAS is in an ideal position to provide boating services.

This indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract will help the USACE fulfill specific biological objectives identified for the program and respond to litigation-related issues associated with implementation of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Endangered Species Act s and resulting FCRPS Biological Opinion.

National Forest Service Awards EAS Contract to Support Natural Resource Projects

Richland, Wash. – In May 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Forest Service awarded EAS an indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract to support the agency and other government entities with vegetation management activities in the Blue Mountain Acquisition Management Area.

EAS experts will work with the Forest Service to inventory and map native vegetation in a range of ecological settings, including the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests. As part of this project, staff will identify and collect phenologically appropriate native tree, shrub, fern, forb, grass-like, and grass seed over a wide range of elevations and habitats in Washington and Oregon. EAS will be responsible for cleaning and testing seeds.

The second part of the project involves collecting native vegetation—from small twigs and rhizomes to large poles—and recording collection sites, species, and phenology. EAS will also be responsible for handling, storage, and transport of vegetative materials. This may include long-term (2-4 month) cold storage before nursery planting. Both parts of the project may require significant driving and/or hiking to collection sites located in remote areas and working along heavily traveled highway corridors.

The contract assists the Forest Service fulfill its vegetation, land use, and resource management functions required by federal laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), National Forest Preservation Act (NFPA), National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), National Forest Management Act (NFMA) and others.

EAS Awarded Contract to Create Mitigation Plan in Support of the Hanford Site Plateau Remediation Project

Richland, Wash. – EAS's extensive knowledge of the Hanford Site's ecological systems and experience with successful restoration and revegetation efforts on the site earned the company a new contract in June 2014. CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC) hired EAS to create a mitigation action plan for the 200 West Pump and Treat system. Construction of the groundwater treatment system impacted previously undisturbed old growth sagebrush habitat, which is considered essential to the biological diversity of the Hanford Site and Columbia Basin Ecoregion.

Over the next three months, EAS's restoration experts will administer shrub-steppe revegetation on the Hanford Site in support of CHPRC's 200 West Pump and Treat mitigation work scope. Based on experience, EAS will develop a schedule defining the optimum timing and season for planting or seeding, identify candidate mitigation sites, and prepare a site-specific mitigation plan. This plan will include details on site soil composition and adjacent vegetation, site preparation techniques, seeding rates and species composition, methods of seeding application, planting rates for shrubs, mechanical contouring methods, and proposed implementation of irrigation.

To ensure successful revegetation at the sites EAS also will oversee collection of native forbs and shrubs at multiple locations, as well as propagation, delivery, and installation of seedlings. Revegetation implementation activities for this project are expected to be completed by September 30, 2014.

Mitigating the loss of mature sagebrush habitat on the Hanford Site assists CHPRC and U.S. Department of Energy Richland Operations Office (DOE-RL) achieve long-term stewardship goals and meet cleanup and revegetation requirements mandated in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980, other federal and state laws, and DOE directives.

Dennis Dauble Selected for Statewide Salmon Monitoring Expert Review Panel

Richland, Wash. – The State of Washington Recreation and Conservation Office selected EAS fisheries biologist Dr. Dennis Dauble to serve on an independent expert review panel to advise the Salmon Recovery Funding Board (SRFB) on policies related to funding habitat protection and restoration projects. The Washington legislature established the SRFB in 1999 to support salmon recovery programs and activities in the state.

The expert review panel comprises experts in engineering, fish ecology, and natural resource management. Dauble was selected for the independent panel because of his extensive research, knowledge, and experience in fisheries and regional salmon ecology, as well as salmon habitat protection and restoration approaches, watershed processes, strategic planning, and monitoring efforts. Dennis has worked for nearly 40 years with federal, state, and local agencies and stakeholders on regional salmon recovery plans and ESA-listed salmon stocks. His publication of more than 60 peer-reviewed journal and symposium articles, 50 technical reports, and 120 presentations at scientific symposia, educational workshops, and public forums also contributed to his being chosen for the panel.

Beginning in summer 2014, the panel will provide the SRFB recommendations for funding different salmon monitoring components and guide them in implementing monitoring programs according to Recreation and Conservation Office draft monitoring evaluation strategy. The aim of the strategy is to determine how well salmon restoration works in the state. Dauble will serve on the independent review panel until at least September 30, 2015.

EAS Selected to Study Migratory Bird Use of Exposed Columbia River Shoreline Areas as a Result of Drawdown of Wanapum Reservoir

Richland, Wash. – Significant water level reductions in the Columbia River as a result of a crack in a Wanapum Dam spillway created problems not only for farmers and boaters, but for birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. In May 2014, Grant County PUD selected Environmental Assessment Services to study migratory bird use of newly exposed shoreline areas because of a concern about the potential impact to nesting species when water levels return to normal after the dam is repaired.

For this study, EAS scientists will document migratory bird use of exposed riverine areas between Wanapum and Rock Island dams over three months. EAS will conduct surveys on land and water to locate and estimate the number and types of bird nests and nesting territories along the shoreline. EAS principal scientist Brett Tiller says the study team expects to find birds such as killdeer, common nighthawk and mourning dove, as well as Caspian tern and Forester’s tern (Washington Monitor species), and American white pelican (Washington Endangered species) in the exposed areas. Scientists are concerned terns and gulls could use these areas for foraging, which potentially could affect the survival of migrating juvenile salmon.

EAS also is conducting surveys for Grant PUD to assess other species potentially affected by the drawdown, including freshwater mussels—one of the most imperiled groups of organisms on the planet—clams and fish such as Pacific lamprey, part of an ancient lineage of fish culturally and religiously important to tribes in the Mid-Columbia River region. Tiller said, “The scientific information we gain from these studies will help Grant PUD and federal, state, and tribal governments make decisions on mitigating and restoring declining and protected species in the project area.” The PUD is required, as part of its federal licensing agreement and mission, to protect and conserve natural resources while generating power.

grant county pud awards environmental assessment services contract to asssess benthic community impacts as a result of significant water level reductions in the wanapum reservoir

Richland, Wash. – In March 2014, EAS was awarded a contract to support Grant County Public Utility District to characterize benthic community impacts that may have resulted from a nearly 27-foot water level drawdown on the Columbia River in central Washington state.

The discovery of a crack in a spillway at Wanapum Dam prompted dam operators to reduce the water level of Wanapum Reservoir, behind the dam, from about 570 feet to as low as 543 feet. As a result, portions of the river shoreline were exposed that had been inundated since the dam was constructed in 1963. The water reduction potentially stranded freshwater mussels, snails, fish, including juvenile lamprey, and other organisms, many of which are state and federally listed species.

As part of its federal licensing agreement and mission to protect and conserve natural resources while generating power, EAS and Blue Leaf Environmental were requested to design a field study and conduct the surveys to assess stranding of benthic fauna, fishes, and other organisms as result of water level reductions in the reservoir.

The EAS team will characterize freshwater mollusks (mussel, clam, and snail) species composition and densities in de-watered areas and areas unaffected by the drawdown; characterize other benthic community fauna (fish, including juvenile lamprey, crayfish, and amphibians) potentially affected by the drawdown; and monitor water quality conditions to assess potential changes in pH, temperature, total dissolved solids, turbidity, and total dissolved gas.

Information gained from EAS’s land- and water-based surveys will assist Grand PUD and federal, state, and tribal governments make decisions on mitigating and restoring declining and protected species in the project area according to natural resource management plans.

environmental assessment services to continue to support army corps of engineers in identifying and count migrating fish in the columbia river system

Richland, Wash. – In Spring 2013, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers selected Environmental Assessment Services, working with Normandeau Associates, to provide adult fish counting services at mainstem dams with fish passage facilities on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

EAS staff will continue to take daily fish counts of adult salmon, steelhead, shad, lamprey, and other migrating and resident species as they pass through counting stations at the dams. Ongoing data on the status of fish that pass through the dams are required to evaluate the status of fish stocks, particularly threatened and endangered species. EAS’s fish passage work assists federal, state, and tribal governments protect and restore targeted species.

prosource technologies selects eas for cascade natural gas hanford natural gas pipeline project

Richland, Wash. – In Spring 2012, ProSource Technologies, Inc. selected Environmental Assessment Services to assess potential biological impacts from constructing, operating, and maintaining a 30-mile-long section of natural gas transmission line located in southeastern Washington.

The EAS team conducted biological resources surveys to assess potential disturbances from the Cascade Natural Gas Corporation - Hanford Natural Gas Pipeline Project. EAS team botanists focused on locating and documenting occurrences of priority species and habitats defined in the DOE Biological Resource Management Plan. They local several state plant species, including Coyote tobacco, Thompson’s sandwort, and hairy bugseed. Wildlife teams documented new locations of burrowing owl nests and ground squirrel colonies along the proposed transmission line corridor. Specialists also documented significant aggregations of special-status butterflies and invertebrates and a relative abundance of sagebrush lizards in the study area using GPS points or polygons.

EAS was selected for this project because of its cost-competitive advantages and biological and institutional knowledge of natural resources in the shrub-steppe region of eastern Washington.

mission support alliance awards environmental assessment services contract to provide long-term monitoring and surveillance of natural and cultural resources on the u.s. department of energy hanford site

Richland, Wash. – Beginning in 2011, Mission Support Alliance contracted with Environmental Assessment Services to provide dedicated support to the Department of Energy’s Public Safety and Resource Protection program. The program is charged with long-term monitoring of the Hanford Site to foster preservation of important natural and cultural resources and assess potential impacts from site operations.

The Hanford Site contains an abundance of rare species and habitats as well as cultural resources and archaeological deposits that been protected from disturbance for more than 65 years. Because of this protection, native plant and animals thrive on the site that no longer exist in other parts of the region. An estimated 100 federal and state special-status species are known to occur on the site. Federal and state laws protect these species and numerous archeological and historical sites and districts, traditional cultural properties and artifacts dating from approximately 11,000 years ago to the present. EAS continues to work with MSA, DOE-RL, and its stakeholders to preserve biological and cultural resources and minimize impacts to them through the Ecological Monitoring and Compliance project and Cultural and Historic Resources Program.

EAS also conducts multimedia environmental surveillance to assess contaminant levels in the Hanford environments and nearby communities. Based on these measurements and surveys scientists can calculate potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic risks to humans, aquatic organisms, and terrestrial biota. The Department of Energy shares this information with tribes, regulators, stakeholders, and the public through its annual Hanford Site Environmental Report, which has been produced since 1959.

environmental assessment services played key role in supporting noaa natural resource damage assessment of the deepwater horizon oil spill

Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Mississippi – In response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill emergency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration employed EAS to support its Natural Resource Damage Assessment of the MC252 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. EAS played a key role in developing and performing sampling operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

From 2010 through 2011, EAS established satellite sample intake facilities, developed rapid sample intake and sample accessioning protocols, and provided cruise sampling support throughout the Gulf region. The company assisted with sampling campaigns on land and aboard research vessels; managed sample receiving, accessioning, and shipping activities; and performed field data reviews and uploads. EAS also assisted NOAA in developing and providing sample collection training to field teams and trustees throughout the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA chief scientists specifically requested that EAS personnel lead sampling and data management operations aboard NOAA cruise vessels.

Brett Tiller, EAS CEO and principal scientist, was instrumental in recruiting and retaining qualified personnel, establishing the satellite sample intake facilities, developing rapid sample intake and sample accessioning protocols, administering sample collection training to field teams Gulf-wide, and providing the large staff resource pools necessary to accomplish this assessment. Working in emergency-response mode, EAS performed more than 100,000 staff labor hours on this project with no significant safety or quality-related issues.

eas honored with annual richland rotary club entrepreneurial spirit award

Richland, Wash. – In Winter 2009, the Richland, Washington, Rotary Club honored Environmental Assessment Services with its twelfth annual Entrepreneurial Award. The club recognized EAS for “demonstrating an exemplary spirit of entrepreneurial success” during its four years in business. The Richland Rotary Club started this awards program in 1997 to recognize the importance of entrepreneurial spirit in the community for future economic diversification. The program spotlights businesses that are not fully mature, but show promise for the future.

environmental assessment services carried out first successful pore-water sampling and groundwater upwelling mapping project in the columbia river for the department of energy

Richland, Wash. – Amidst World War II and the Cold War, the federal government produced plutonium to fuel nuclear weapons on the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site. During plutonium production, some contaminants were released to the Columbia River and others to the soil at nuclear reactor sites or as unplanned spills or leaks. Contaminants migrated from soil into the groundwater and eventually discharged into the Columbia River. These discharges, known as upwellings, occur where groundwater seeps up into the river bottom in spaces between rocks and sediment. The water in these sediments is called pore water.

Beginning in 2008, Washington Closure Hanford, the Department of Energy’s river corridor contractor, selected Environmental Assessment Services to map groundwater upwelling locations and measure Hanford Site contaminants in sediment, pore water, and surface water in areas where groundwater upwelling occurred. Previous efforts to collect this information had been unsuccessful because the technology did not exist to map upwelling and collect pore water samples offshore in the Columbia’s rocky river beds and turbulent waters.

To solve this problem, Brett Tiller, EAS CEO and principal scientist, collaborated with the developer of the liquid-tip Trident probe to tailor the technology specifically for the Columbia River’s offshore waters and coarse riverbed. Tiller developed an integrated river stage-specified field deployment technique because the river’s stage (level) affects groundwater discharge patterns and contaminant concentrations. This had not been done before.

Information EAS gains from locating and characterizing groundwater upwellings in the Hanford Reach continues to foster a greater understanding of the connection between groundwater and river water. This more precise information is an important component in assessing injury to surface water, groundwater, and aquatic biota from Hanford Site operations.