Environmental Consulting Fundamentals: Investigation and Remediation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environmental Consulting Fundamentals

Investigation and Remediation, 1st Edition

By Benjamin Alter

CRC Press

422 pages | 147 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2012-06-25
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Written by an environmental consultant with more than 20 years of experience, and based on a course he taught for 10 years, Environmental Consulting Fundamentals: Investigation and Remediation introduces the basic building blocks of environmental consulting. Rather than formulas and equations, it emphasizes the thought processes that go into designing an environmental study, interpreting the data, and selecting the next step—be it further investigation or remediation.

The book begins with an overview of environmental consulting, the regulatory structures that impact the work, and the underlying science of environmental processes. It then takes you through the steps of subsurface investigations and remediations, from Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments through to remedial actions. This is followed by an outline of ecological risk assessment and mitigation and a chapter on environmental impact assessments, a large subfield in environment consulting.

Moving indoors, the book then covers environmental issues related to buildings, including asbestos, lead-based paint, radon, mold, and indoor air quality. The final chapter describes a typical environmental consulting project, from designing the scope of work to developing a prospective budget and project schedule. Throughout, photographs, illustrations, and examples of environmental problems make the theoretical concepts more concrete.

A primer for those interested in a career in this dynamic, multidisciplinary field, this is also a handy reference for practicing consultants. Combining theory and practical advice, it provides an accessible introduction to the type of projects you may encounter as an environmental consultant.


"In one very readable volume, Ben Alter has managed to write both an excellent primer for students and aspiring environmental consultants as well as a handy reference guide for even the most experienced consultants and environmental managers. It is well written and supplemented by many helpful graphics and illustrations. Above all, it reflects the invaluable and extensive experience that the author has garnered over years of successful consulting."

—Howard N. Apsan, Ph.D., University Director of Environmental, Health, Safety and Risk Management, The City University of New York, USA

"The book is a solid overview of the type of work and projects that an environmental consultant should expect to engage in if they are employed by an environmental consulting office."

—Carrie Anne Vinch, Ryder Truck Rental, Inc, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, USA

"It is straightforward and easy to follow. It touches on exactly what an environmental consultant would need to know when walking into a job. It is a great blend of theory and practical information—something hard to find in most texts. … It provides guidelines that can be easily taught to students or followed by professionals."

—Monica Tischler, Benedictine University, Lisle, Illinois, USA

Table of Contents

Environmental Consulting: A Perspective

What Is Environmental Consulting?

Framework of Environmental Regulations

Site Investigations and Remediations

Chemicals of Concern and Their Properties

Fate and Transport in the Subsurface

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Site Investigations

Remedial Investigations and Setting Remediation Goals

Remedial Actions

Land Usage

Wetlands, Surface Waters, and Endangered Species

Environmental Impact Assessment and Mitigation

Indoor Environmental Concerns

Asbestos Surveying

Asbestos Abatement

Lead-Based Paint Surveying and Abatement

Drinking Water Testing

Mold Surveying and Remediation

Radon Surveying and Remediation

Indoor Air Quality

The Environmental Project

Appendix A: List of Abbreviations

Appendix B: State Environmental Departments


Each chapter includes references.

About the Author

Benjamin Alter has been an environmental consultant since 1989. He has a bachelor of science degree from the State University of New York at Albany, a master of science degree from Cornell University, and an MBA from Columbia University. As an environmental consultant, Alter has designed and managed multiple remedial investigations and remediations, and has conducted hundreds of site assessments throughout the United States. He has provided litigation services for numerous hazardous waste cases, and has been a key contributor in the development of New Jersey’s Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program. He was an adjunct professor at the Hunter College School of Health Sciences in New York City from 2000 to 2009, and has published numerous articles and given numerous presentations on environmental investigations and remediations. Alter is currently a principal and senior vice president with GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Environmental
SCIENCE / Environmental Science
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / Water Supply