The smartest thing ever said in government was when Donald Rumsfeld said: there are things we know, there are things we know we don’t know, there are things we don’t know we don’t know. We make decisions every day with imperfect information. We do the best we can and we seem to get by as
You’ve asked the internet what the best environmental engineering companies are in Chicago and the internet delivered you to the website of A3 Environmental Consultants. Full disclosure, we’re not environmental engineers, we’re environmental consultants. My first question for you, is do you know the difference? Are you sure you need an environmental engineer? Unless you’re
I know you can hardly contain yourself. The new Small Business Administration (SBA) Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Record Search With Risk Assessment (RSRA) is OUT!! Download Official RSRA SBA SOP 50 10 6 by clicking here. While you’re waiting, let’s talk about how we can work together. If you’re a lending institution, we can
You’re here because you need a SBA Environmental Reliance Letter. You most likely just had a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment done and now you’re submitting it to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for approval. You also work for a bank or other financial lending institution and you don’t do this very much. If you
You’ve asked the google-tubes who the best environmental consulting firms are in Chicago and it delivers you to A3 Environmental Consultants corporate marketing posts. You’re probably thinking, you’re in for some completely biased information. To be clear from the outset, I think A3E is pretty amazing but I’m going to do my best at guiding
An EDR Report is an Environmental Database Report which costs $127 and is completed in 24 hours in most cases. To be fair, “EDR” is also a company which creates these EDR Reports. When A3 Environmental Consultants prepares these reports we use a data provider called ERIS who’s data we believe is better than EDR.
A desktop risk assessment is an environmental database report (EDR) where the scientist who is performing the report doesn’t leave her desk. So much of what we do involves sampling, testing and site visits. It makes the distinction between “desktop” work and “field” work that much more poignant. Desktop risk assessments are done by computer
The average cost of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is about $1900 depending on who you call and how involved the site is. That’s what we here at A3 Environmental Consultants charge for most projects. But there’s a lot more to it, so stick with me if you’re interested in learning more. What kind
Due Diligence is a legal contract term which affords the buyer to inspect a property and run appropriate financial modeling to determine if a transaction is worth the price being paid. When purchasing really expensive assets there is a lot of things that are unknown to the buyer while the buyer is still prospective. The
What is a brownfield? It’s an urban or suburban site which had a former use such as housing or a factory. Very often, these sites are diminished in value and sit fallow for years because of real or imagined contamination at the site. There are more brownfield sites than you think. Think of any corner
Here at A3 Environmental Consultants, we’ve found the general public doesn’t know much about what we do and has more than a few preconceived notions. This post is about some of the the things we’ve come across which people frequently didn’t know. Environmental Remediation: Once soil is contaminated, there’s no cleaning it. No matter what
CCDD stands for Clean Construction Demolition Debris. Similarly, USF is an abbreviation for Uncontaminated Soil Fill. Both of these terms refer to a body of laws unique to Illinois whereby clean materials can be put into old gravel, sand or limestone mines. These deposits of materials are an alternative to landfills which are much more
MAC stands for Maximum Allowable Concentration. It refers to the maximum allowable levels of contamination in clean fill (CCDD). CCDD stands for Clean Construction Demolition Debris and is a body of laws from the IEPA (Illinois EPA) that regulate clean fill operations in Illinois. Only the State of Illinois has CCDD regulations so if you’re
The information below represents a EULA, End User License Agreement regarding A3 Environmental Consultants services. This document can be downloaded for your records by clicking here. 1. Estimated Fees Unless the Scope of Work provides otherwise, the Estimated Fees contained therein constitute A3 Environmental’s estimate of the probable cost required to complete the proposed Project.
You’re probably wondering how you’ve lived so long on this planet without ever knowing how Illinois landfill pricing works. Settle down nerd. I’m not going to answer every question you have, just give you a slightly better understanding. This article is designed for regular people, new environmental consultants and trucking companies that haul clean fill,
The following is a guide for regular people regarding CCDD – which stands for Clean Construction Demolition Debris. In this primer, we’re going to take a beat to cover background information you’ll need to keep in mind while reading. I’m making the assumption that you, the reader, is not an engineer or environmental consultant but is in an industry that is touched by these regulations.
As an environmental consultant, we’re frequently asked for advice that veers out of our lane and into what environmental lawyers do best. While I’ve never meet or talked to the good people over at Spencer Fane, they seem to have some pretty good, concise, advice about environmental law. The following is gleaned from their website,
I thought this article was great information that most people in a property transaction never hear about. You can read the whole thing by clicking here. Lenders, borrowers, purchasers, sellers, and even contractors sometimes get annoyed with environmental lawyers when we insist on reviewing Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) draft reports, looking at the
You have (or think you have) a leaking underground storage tank (UST). Maybe you’re about to buy or sell a property. Either way, you know it’s going to be a problem. The government doesn’t like underground tanks, it especially doesn’t like them leaking and it gets twitchy if the tank isn’t being currently used for
Marketing Scientific Services: What Website Functionality Looks Like As far as I’m concerned, there’s only one type of website functionality that matters, and all things flow from it. In our world functionality and “strategy” are the exact same thing. The strategy is to get the person on your website to email or call you. The
Office culture drives who arrives at your doorstep to be hired. If you want a place people want to come work, you have to be a place people want to come work. Below is our bosslady having fun on the electric scooters we bought to go to the local restaurants at lunch. It’s covid times
My wife has been in the environmental consulting business for her whole career. There’s been a repeating pattern I watched her go through while working for other people. They take scientists and rightfully give them all the scientific work they can do. All the while, they do absolutely no marketing. Then, for whatever reason, their
I’m a big fan of being yourself even if being yourself is a little weird. Below is a video of the skeleton crew which was left after COVID struck in March, clowning around and vamping on the 40 year anniversary of the Breakfast Club movie. You might think something about you, the job you do
It’s hard to find and retain talent. Anyone who manages a business, or owns one could attest. The job we do is hard. Environmental Consulting is often hot, wet, loud, dry, dusty, cold, windy and dirty. Other times you’re grinding out reports in an office, using every bit of your knowledge but it’s silent and,
The Golden Gate Bridge is an amazing structure. Massive, sitting across a fault line, beautiful and elegant in a way that complements nature and the surrounding city. The Hoover Dam is enormous too. It holds back mind-boggling volumes of water. It makes electricity. It was built with architectural style as well as engineering grace. Both
Before we start we should get on the same page about why environmental consultants are hired by commercial lenders to begin with. An Environmental Consultant’s job is to limit downside risk on a commercial loan. Too often lending institutions business practices encourage environmental consultants to raise costs, increase environmental risk, or both. How can this
So this is a marketing blog and I’m telling you nobody cares about your marketing. What gives? This is old-guy logic going on here. Building a website is slow difficult work which draws on many skills you may or may not have. Copyrighting is difficult. Coming up with the right artwork is difficult. Putting it
Hosts: A host is the company you get to host your website. First and foremost you don’t want to host this thing yourself, I don’t care what industry you are in or how good you are with computers. You don’t have a fiber optic line to your building. You don’t have solid state hard drives
Where to start with this… I really don’t like doing web work. I would love to outsource this task but I have found it impossible. Maybe I’ll bitch for a while and it will be helpful. Then we can move on. Websites are an artistic endeavor. It’s not a comfortable place for me. Not because
This article is how we chose Digium for our office phone service provider. To start at the beginning of the thread, start here. We talked about all the hardware and software that goes into taking a phone call. We talked about how your company is being judged, not on the quality of the scientific services
The ESA Questionnaire is an important part of an ASTM 1527-13 Phase 1 ESA. A3E wants to help Freelance Environmental Consultants to do more work, faster and ultimately get paid more. Why? Because we’ve been there, done that. Let’s work together!
Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Checklist for Freelance Environmental Consultants. Download.
Welcome, 1099 contractors! It was 5 short years ago that A3 Environmental Consultants was started by our fearless boss lady, Alisa Allen. Her initial goal was to be an Independent Environmental Consultant to her friends in the environmental industry. Somehow that exploded into a ton of work and 12 employees. We have a hundred freelance
This article is how we chose Digium for our office phone service provider. To start at the beginning of the thread, start here. In selecting a phone system I knew I wanted something that was “Bulletproof” in that it wouldn’t break on me. I needed to minimize outages in every way. The most likely ways
This article is how we chose Digium for our office phone service provider. To start at the beginning of the thread, start here. Economical to most people means cheap. To me it means; what’s my least expensive option IN THE CONTEXT of meeting all my needs. A cheap option that doesn’t do all the things
Everyone needs to start somewhere. Commercial investors are no different. Sometimes a commercial building is bought by a business owner because they need it for operations. Other times the commercial investors are buying the property to become a landlord. The building is inventory for potential renters. What do commercial investors need to know? If your
Before we start we should get on the same page as to what constitutes a “bad” environmental report. You might think bad is the same as saying that your environmental consultant found a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC). A REC generally means issues for buyers, sellers, and lenders while casting a shadow over the transaction. This
This article is how we chose Digium for our office phone service provider. To start at the beginning of the thread, start here. You might think scalability is the least of your worries because you never plan to get so big that you’ll run into problems. You’re missing the point. Old school scalability is about
This article is how we chose Digium for our office phone service provider. To start at the beginning of the thread, start here. I wanted a phone system that would give a great customer experience and I have strong opinions on what that looks like. Auto Attendant: Answer the call with an auto attendant. Not
Commercial Real Estate Professionals don’t typically hire environmental consultants themselves, but as a trusted professional, they can influence the buyer on who gets used. CRE Pros know they get paid when a property closes. In reality, they get paid IF a property closes. That’s why managing the process after the contract is signed and on
This article is how we chose Digium for our office phone service provider. To start at the beginning of the thread, start here. If you are responsible for marketing scientific services, that last stop on the funnel to landing a client is the company phone system. Picture this; your potential client knows nothing about you.
We did a huge overhaul of our marketing this spring. The hardest part was trying to figure out what to change first. After some good hard thinking, I decided the place to start was with the phones. A3 Environmental Consultants started with one person working as a 1099 contractor. The logical choice for our founder
For many people, purchasing a commercial property is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s not surprising that most don’t know the terminology. There’s no such thing as a “Level One Environmental”. It’s called a “Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment”. This post is dedicated to all the ways people get their terminology understandably wrong. It makes it difficult
To answer the question of which is better, the Environmental Desktop Report (EDR) or the Record Search with Risk Assessment (RSRA) you must first know what each is. Environmental Desktop Report (EDR) This is a light form of environmental due diligence done by an environmental consultant to determine quickly what kind environmental risk is
RSRA is the abbreviation for Record Search with Risk Assessment (RSRA). It was developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a less expensive form of environmental due diligence when applying for SBA backed commercial loans. With a price-point of less than half the cost of a Phase I ESA, these environmental reports lowered the
There are three phases for environmental investigations, conveniently called Phase I, II and III. Phase I Environmental Assessment: Phase I is an environmental audit. It starts with a database and historical record search. We request data from the city and fire department and an environmental professional walks through the site looking for past, present or
Environmental Database Reports (EDR Reports) are low cost, high level data regarding the environmental risks affecting a target property. They are sometimes called Desktop Assessments, Desktop Due Diligence or Desktop Environmental Reports. The desktop refers to the fact that an environmental consultant does not visit the subject property like they do in a Phase I
The organization that established guidelines for the Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment is the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). They aren’t guidelines so much as they are a standard way of conducting a Phase 1 ESA. In much the same way as accounting has Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and manufacturing has the
Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments have a component in their scope of work where an environmental professional who is trained to find past, present or future threats of environmental contamination walks through a property and inspects for environmental risks. Phase 1 ESAs are done by environmental consulting companies, and environmental professionals as one of the
When buying commercial real estate everyone knows about Phase 1 Environmental Reports. The Phase 1 ESA is the gold standard when it comes to environmental due diligence. Most investors don’t know that there are other options, less expensive options that are often better choices for determining environmental risk based on constraints of money and time.