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Tiffany Byrne


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Oil Tank Removal Contracts

Jan 5, 2023 2:31:43 PM / by Tiffany Byrne

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Homeowners, Sellers, and Buyers seem to have oil tank removal issues.

Curren receives calls from people after their tank is removed that may or may not have an environmental issue and Curren sees this in both NJ, DE & PA. 

Where’s the Tank Removal Report

leaded_gas_tank_removalHomeowners with old underground oil tanks need to remove these tanks before they leak, well hopefully. When looking for tank removal companies, homeowners should receive a tank removal contract that provides costs and tank removal reports. Many removal companies provide no written tank removal report included for the tank removal work performed. Clearly, tank owners should and want their tank removal documented. The documentation of the tank removal can be passed on to a buyer when it is time to sell the property. The most important statement of an oil tank removal is “the tank didn’t leak”. The written report should provide documentation on the tank removal soil samples and explain how the tank removal company determined the tank leaked or did not leak. If the tank leaked, the tank removal report should explain what was seen, and the determination of the oil tank leak. Examples would include

  • Were there two pin holes in the tank?
  • Were there no holes in the tank but the soils had evidence of an oil impact?
  • What did you see when you removed the tank?

At Curren, we find homeowners don’t get a tank removal report regardless of if the tank did or did not leak.   Of course, if you read the tank removal contract you can clearly see no report is referenced, but people don't know a tank removal report should be expected once the tank is removed and soil sample tests have been received.

Underground Oil Tank RemovalAnother problem is that tank removal companies do not prepare tank removal clients regarding the “what if the tank leaked”. We often hear from people who had their tank removed and it leaked.  The conversation before a tank is removed pertaining to the “What If” scenario of a tank leak is,   “we can address a tank leak when it happens”. Here at Curren, we see every tank removal could be a leaking tank removal so the potential downside should be discussed with the tank owner in preparation for a tank leak and what soil remediation involves.

Companies are removing tanks and not taking any soil samples and most notably, not including soil sampling in the tank removal cost. When tanks leaks and samples are not acquired (certainly not the 5 to 6 samples you would want if a tank leaked to evaluate if remediation is warranted), the tank owner is informed that remediation is required. The less scrupulous companies that remove tanks want remediation, even when they don't know 100% that remediation is warranted. By not including soil samples many tank removal companies provide a very low-cost tank removal and quickly flip the client a quote for remediation, when often remediation is not warranted and, in many cases, lacks any qualitative data that’s oil levels are above standards. We see this in all three states all the time.  You can't tell someone's cholesterol level by just looking at them, right?  Bloodwork is needed to know the levels of cholesterol and what types of medication are warranted.

Tank Removal Contract

Underground Oil tank removals require permitting in the state of NJ. People do not understand that when a permit is required, the permit is for the tank removal alone, no environmental testing is required to pass inspection.  Tank leaks and soil contamination are not a construction matter, which means the permit does not cover that part of the tank removal process, that part is environmental.    Some inspectors might not even get out of their vehicles if they see the removed tank aboveground.  Other inspectors will be more thorough and ask if holes were found in the tank, which if present will be referenced on the permit of either approval or fail, some inspectors fail tanks if holes are found in the tank.  The tank failing inspection complicates matters even more because the permit's objective was achieved, which was the tank removal. There are times when the inspectors fail the tank because holes were seen, but the soil samples come back days later and are clean.

Tank RemovalThe tank removal company will make the inspector look like the bad person in the project for failing a removed tank that has holes. The permitted task of removal was achieved, the tank was removed from underground. This leads the tank removal company to push for the need for remediation.   Inspectors want to make sure an observed tank leak is documented, and they typically request to be supplied with the tank leak incident number. This all leads to the tank owner thinking the local inspector failed their tank removal due to the leak when the bad news of a tank leak falls on the tank removal company.  If the company is licensed, they are familiar with the environmental regulations.  

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Health Concerns with Mold Exposure

Oct 12, 2022 3:37:00 PM / by Tiffany Byrne

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Health Concerns with Mold Exposure

Mold_on_the_ceiling

Mold emits spores and chemicals as part of its normal life cycle. Individuals near and around  Mold may exhibit health-concerning reactions.  These spores from Mold are microscopic and once airborne can be inhaled easily.  These spores may contain allergens and can cause serious irritation in the nose, throat, and respiratory tract. 

Common allergic reactions include but are not limited to:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Skin Rashes
  • Asthma attacks
  • Eye Irritation

In addition to allergens, mold can emit Microbiological Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOC’s).  These chemicals usually have a very strong and unpleasant odor and can be associated with that musty smell that many individuals equate to Mold.  These chemicals are released into the air and can also cause serious health concerns.

Common reactions to MOVC’S

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue

Molds can also produce toxic substances called Mycotoxins.  Mycotoxins can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin.  Mycotoxins are potent, toxic chemicals that can cause significant health problems.

Mycotoxins can affect the following:

  • Central Nervous System
  • Immune System
  • Respiratory System
  • Digestive System

Mold comes up quite often during a real estate transaction.  In some cases, Sellers have mold, didn't know that even had mold, and said they live with it and they have no health concerns.  There is a reason why mold is not federally regulated.  Health concerns regarding mold depend on the person themselves.  Mold is like peanuts, you may be allergic to mold but I may be fine. If the seller is fine with mold, the buyer may not be. 

Curren Environmental, Inc. can inspect your residential or commercial property, help define the cause of the mold and offer a solution with both mold remediation and mold prevention. 

Call for Mold Questions.

For more information on Mold visit please visit Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.        

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Where are Mosquitoes in the Winter?

Jan 25, 2022 1:33:00 PM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in mosquito, Mosquito Remedation, mosquito control service

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Did you know that Mosquitoes, like all insects, are cold-blooded creatures? Because of this, mosquitoes are incapable of regulating their body heat and their temperature is essentially the same as their surroundings. Mosquitoes will function best at 80 degrees F, then becoming lethargic at 60 degrees F. Mosquitoes cannot function below 50 degrees F. In most tropical areas, mosquitoes are active year-round. In temperate climates, adult mosquitoes of some species become inactive with the onset of cool weather and enter hibernation to live through the winter.

mosquito life cycle

Some kinds of mosquitoes have winter hardy eggs and hibernate as embryos in eggs laid by the last generation of females in late summer. The eggs are usually submerged under ice and hatch in spring when water temperatures rise. Other kinds of mosquitoes overwinter as adult females that mate in the fall, enter hibernation in animal burrows, hollow logs or basements and pass the winter in a state of torpor (these are the mosquitoes one might see on a warm January or February day).

Life Cycle

In spring, the females emerge from hibernation, search for food (blood from you) and lay the eggs that produce the next generation of adults (could be within 7 days). A limited number of mosquitoes overwinter in the larval stage, often buried in the mud of freshwater swamps. When temperatures rise in spring, these mosquitoes begin feeding, complete their immature growth and eventually emerge as adults.

 

Find out how you can remove mosquitoes from your backyard in the spring, summer and fall months.

 

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MOLD...the four letter word in real estate transactions.

Nov 15, 2021 1:00:00 PM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in mold, mold remediation, mold cleanup, mold contractor, mold assessments, Mold, Mold growth, mold remediation

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Mold is the new four-letter word of real estate transactions. If either mold is visually found or testing is done (airborne mold spores and/or surface sampling), the transaction has a high percentage that it may not happen. There are many stories of real estate transactions with mold growth, but this one is very interesting.

The story goes that a buyer was interested in a home and during the home inspection, the home inspector took an air sample in the basement and the outside (exterior) for comparison.  There was no photo or knowledge of where the air sample was acquired from, for example the photo below documents where the air sampling was acquired (ex. kitchen).

Air sampling

Back to the story - The buyers wanted the entire basement remediated down to the studs.  The seller contacted Curren Environmental and  we provided sampling as well.  Our sampling showed mold was present in the basement bedroom. 

Sample results before and after

What does this lab data mean?

 The Stachybotrys as shown above in the sample results prior to remediation , should not have a raw count above one, and it was at 43.  Penicillium/Aspergillus was also very high, with the spr/m3 at 23,467 where it is recommended that should not be above 1000.  The second set of numbers are after remediation where the airborne mold spores dropped dramatically and were within industry standards.  Note - no home will be mold free. 

As part of the story, you need to know that this property was vacant for over 2 years. The heat and air were on as part of maintenance but not properly dehumidified. Mold growth occurs where there is moisture and organic materials. In this case, there was visual signs of mold growth on some furniture in the basement bedroom, but not in the basement living space and  small visual signs on the sheetrock wall in the basement bedroom.  There was no need to remediation and remove the entire basement back to the studs. 

What happened next?

When the humidity is high and the property is not well ventilated, mold growth will occur. These spores can become airborne and move throughout the home. This home had a lot of carpet which holds mold spores. Curren Environmental provided Mold Remediation at this property.

  • Carpet was removed and tack strips were removed.
  • All organic furniture that could not be wiped down was disposed.
  • Removed mold impacted sheetrock, 18 inches past mold growth in basement bedroom. 
  • HEPA vacuum walls and floors in the entire basement
  • A broad spectrum, FDA approved, fungicide was applied to the walls and the flooring in the rooms.
  • Air scrubbers were on during remediation and left at the property for at least 72 hours.

As the story goes, post air testing showed elevated spore levels dropped dramatically at the property. Please see below. For this story, only the sheetrock area that had mold growth was removed and the carpet, no other sheetrock was removed.  

 

Mold the four letter word

The ending, a happy buyer, a happy seller and clean home. Not every property that has elevated mold spores needs to have everything torn down and removed. A mold remediation professional will look at the data, photos provided and any other detailed information prior to handing over a cost. It is very important to understand that mold is everywhere and there are no “Mold Free” properties.

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Lead-Based Paint in Residential Homes

Dec 14, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in Lead

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Lead is sometimes considered the first metal. The ancient Romans used lead for plumbing and regarded lead as the “father of all metals”. Even though they discovered that lead could cause madness, and even death lead was still used. Especially among the aristocrats who used it in wine carafes, glasses, and food plates, all which contained lead. Leading to, what many scholars researched, the fall of the Roman Empire.

Moving towards the “New World” era, lead was beginning to be mined in the state of Virginia. The first use of lead was known to be used in the manufacturer of arms and ammunition by American Colonies. Lead also began to be used in the US for drinking water pipes. The lead was less expensive and more durable than iron, lead piping could also be easily bent making it better to use in existing buildings. It was believed that the earliest health concerns were raised in the 1850s but in the 1920s the effort to ban or limit lead piping became known.

lead water pipe

Lead can be found in the air, soil, and water. Where is lead in our homes today? Much of our exposure comes from our activities, such as the past use of leaded gasoline, industrial facilities paint, and lead piping for water use.  Did you know after leaded gasoline was banned lead in our bloodstream diminished?

What made lead paint so popular?

Lead in the paint allowed the paint to dry quickly, allowed the paint to resist moisture & made the paint more durable.

lead paint

  •  The lead was thought to make products better.
  • It is easily shaped, soft enough to be malleable
  • The low melting point for easy casting into shapes.
  • Lead has durability you did not get from, ceramics, used to seal jars, give roofs waterproof lining, be used in sewage and water pipes that would not crack easily.

Where can lead paint be found?

  • Windows and windowsills
  • Doors and door frames
  • Stairs, railings, banisters, and porches

lead paint house-1

Is lead paint in your home or the home that you are purchasing? Depends on the age of the home.

 

As you can see lead in paints was immensely popular and the older the home the more likely lead-based paint will be present.   Lead paint was phased out in the 1970s.   If your home is older than 1978, you likely have lead paint. EPA Fact:  Approximately three-quarters of the nation’s housing built before 1978 contains some lead-based paint. This paint, if properly managed and maintained, poses little risk.

If you want a lead paint-free home buy a home built after 1978. But also understand that paint containing lead applied to pre-1978 likely has multiple coats of paint on top of it. The risk of human exposure to lead paint directly correlates to the quality of the painted surface. Chipping and peeling paint can be a concern. If you do renovation and disturb painted surfaces, you are likely to encounter lead paint.   You are much more likely to be exposed to mold than lead paint in the average home.

Call Curren Today 

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Top 5 Environmental Deal Breakers in Real Estate

Oct 1, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in Selling a house, Buying a house, Real Estate

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You found the perfect house, it's beautiful inside and out.  This is not the first house you looked at, you actually lost count, so you have a large pool of houses you considered before you decided to make an offer on this one.  There may be a few adjustments when you move in (that worn carpet is going, that wall separating the kitchen and family room is going to go  and lastly the large pink bathroom is getting redone.) but mostly it is actually your dream home (great location, yard, large bedrooms and closets).  You do the walk through and make an offer on the home.  Move forward and now even though the home was your dream home, you never even thought about the environmental issues would impact the purchase of that property. 

Underground Oil Tank

The house has charm, it was built in 1950, so oil heat is assured (there really weren't any other choices).  You do a tank sweep Oil Tank Sweep and find a long forgotten oil tank in the side yard.  Should be easy to remove, cost is around $1,600.00.  You request it be removed. Oil Tank Removal.  The seller's google oil tank leak and get skittish.

tank found with oil tank sweep

Mold in the Basement

Home inspection find suspect fungal growth in the basement.  You hire a mold consultant and the basement is tested and mold is confirmed Mold Inspection & Testing.  Mold remediation as well as mold prevention measures are $2,700.00.  Seller gripes about having to remediate the mold, but their realtor and attorney advised that now that the presence of mold is known it must be disclosed to future buyers and many buyers may be hesitant to buy a home with old.    You are told that mold is not a selling feature.    But hey the mold remediation comes with a long warranty, who doesn't want piece of mind.  Mold Remediation

mold remediation

Call for Mold Questions.

Asbestos in the Wall you want to remove.

Asbestos was actually considered a green building product back in the day.  It was used everywhere, including in plaster and since the house was built in the 1950 (asbestos was banned in the 1970's).   The contractor you had walk through to give you a renovation budget said the presence of asbestos is almost guaranteed as he has worked in the town for years and it comes up on all his projects of homes from that era).   Not a huge problem, but it is going to add thousands to the renovation budget, the landscaping budget just evaporated).  The money for the asbestos is not a concession the seller is willing to step up to, since its well documented that older homes have asbestos.  In fact your realtor tells you that it would be a real feat to find a home built before 1970 that doesn't have asbestos somewhere in the home.

The HVAC System has poor Indoor air quality.

You learned during the home inspection process that the HVAC system is the lungs of the home.  Makes sense hot and cold air run through the system so anything that the system does to improve air quality helps.  This system doesn't do much.  You learned that the little 1"  (inch) filter does next to nothing to remove particulate from the air.  You need a MERV 13 or 16 filter, which is 5" thick.  MERV: minimum efficiency reporting value.  The MERV 16?  Well that filter captures >95% of particles in the entire size range tested (0.3-10.0 microns), one micron — a millionth of a meter, kind of like adding a N-95 mask to your HVAC system.    The system also needs to add more fresh air every hour to compensate for people consuming air and adding carbon dioxide with every breath exhaled.  The house doesn't have a whole house humidifier, which you need in winter to raise humidity.  Apparently viruses can thrive in a low humidity environment.    Lastly you need a UV light added to the system.  Why UV Light?  Ultraviolet lights have been proven to  kill mold, viruses and bacteria for more than 100 years. In 1903, Niels Finsen was given the Noble Prize in Medicine for using UV to effectively treat patients with skin infections.     UV Light is also being used to clean areas of Covid-19.   It all makes sense, you though a heater was a heater, but indoor air quality is on everyone's mind and improving indoor air quality.  Again the sellers are not contributing to the cost since the HVAC was visible, but your untrained eye missed what the HVAC system as missing.  On a side note, their realtor tells your realtor that they are making the same changes to the HVAC system on the home they are buying.

Oil Tank Leaked.

Sellers agreed to remove the tank, and yes a buried metal tank in the ground will rust and oil will leak through the holes.    Remediation cost you are told is around $19,000, and that is not a really expensive cleanup either.  The sellers move forward with the work, but settlement is delayed 45 days due to the remediation and the government signoff of the work.  Again your realtor and attorney explain that a looming oil tank remediation is going to deter other buyers.   Side note, both your mortgage company and home owner's insurance carrier had issues providing insurance and a mortgage on a property with oil contamination.

Want to learn about environmental issues in real estate?

What to know how a home can be green?

Curren Environmental is an education provider and lectures on these topics?   Want to make your staff, your company, your associates smarter about environmental topics?   Call Tiffany Byrne to learn how we can help   856-858-9509

 

Curren Green Home Ideas

 

 

 

 

 

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NJDEP Grant for Leaking Underground Oil Tanks (LUST)

May 27, 2020 9:00:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne

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New Jersey has a grant program available if you removed your underground oil tank and soil contamination above the NJ standards are present. Eligible applicants can request reimbursement for tank removal costs and future remediation expenses. There are, however, some stipulations that you must be aware of first before you can begin your application.

The NJ Economic Development Authority (EDA) makes the determination on the applications eligibility for the grant award. To be considered for the grant the following must exist:

  • It must be an underground oil tank. For the tank to be considered an underground oil tank it must be at least 10 % underground.
  • Taxable income of no more than $250,000 and a personal net worth, exclusive of applicant's primary residence, employer sponsored pension and traditional retirement accounts such as 401K’s and IRA’s, of no more than $500,000.
  • You must use a licensed oil tank removal company to remove the oil tank and provide soil sampling.
  • Must own tank at time of removal and home must be primary residence.

Those applicants not meeting the criteria for financial hardship will not be considered for the grant program.

The application itself is detailed and applicants need help filling out the application and acquiring the attachments. The NJDEP Grant application requires information including the site address, case number, tank removal company and information regarding your insurance coverage. Below is an example of what should be filled out:

  1. Application (3 Pages) – (if a section does not pertain to your site, please mark N/A). Note on the first page of the application the total amount requested is blank; this will be completed upon receipt of all paid invoices and the final amount of the remediation is determined.
  2. Attachment A (1 Page)- sign in the presence of a notary
  3. Attachment B (1 Page)- sign in the presence of a notary
  4. Attachment C is for Non-Profit Organizations.
  5. Attachment D (Information on the tank removal date and company that provided the tank removal)
  6. Attachment E (if it pertains to you and your property)
  7. Attachment F (if it pertains to you and your property)

Once your application is filled out, receipts and lab data are included and the application is notarized, it is ready to send to the NJDEP.

The following is a general overview of what you can expect about the timing and costs for the grant process.

Grant applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received and are approved as funding allows. The NJDEP Bureau of Contract & Fund Management will review the proposal for compliance with their rate structure. The NJDEP Bureau of Contract & Fund Management will also determine if the scope of work is acceptable, which validates the cost structure. Upon completion of its review, the NJDEP will forward eligible application to the NJEDA.

New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)

After the NJEDA has received notification from the NJDEP accepting the scope of work, the NJEDA will send you, directly, an application packet to be completed and returned to the NJEDA. The NJEDA will then review your application and determine eligibility for the program based on your financial situation. You will need to submit a $250.00 (nonrefundable) application fee. You will be notified of their findings. Curren does not have an estimated timeframe for the review process, but in the past it has ranged from 2 to 4 years.

Once the NJEDA has approved your application, you then send the approval to the company that assisted you with the application.

More information can be located at the NJDEP

Curren Environmental has over 15 years’ experience with the NJDEP EDA LUST grant program, helping homeowners in New Jersey with tank leak problems. Surprisingly we find many eligible applicants are unaware or misunderstand the grant program and very few environmental companies actually explain the program to their tank removal clients. If you want to know your options and get expert advice call Curren.Call Curren Today

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Rounding of Analytical Data.

Feb 19, 2020 1:19:00 PM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in LSRP in New Jersey

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On December 8, 2019 the NJDEP presented a link to a document presenting the NJDEP’s position on the use of rounding analytical data in order to achieve compliance with regulatory cleanup criteria.  This rounding practice has been primarily used with respect to groundwater data.  Under the “What’s New!” column on the right hand side of the page, fourth item down titled Notice Concerning the Use of Rounding of Analytical Data as a Method to Determine Compliance with Remediation StandardsThe message can be found here. 

 

As stated, the NJDEP “does not have an official policy regarding rounding as a method of compliance” and that “current laws and rules regarding remediation do not address rounding as a method of compliance”.  The NJDEP has also indicated that “rounding of analytical data may not be used as a compliance option”.

According to the Site Remediation Reform Act, N.J.S.A. 58:10C-1 et seq, which is law,  states as follows; 

58:10C-14. Certification of documents by site remediation professional

The licensed site remediation professional shall employ the following remediation requirements in providing professional services for the remediation of contaminated sites:

(3) The licensed site remediation professional shall apply any available and appropriate technical guidelines concerning site remediation as issued by the department. The department shall provide interested parties the opportunity to participate in the development and review of technical guidelines issued for the remediation of contaminated sites.

(4) When there is no specific requirement provided by the technical standards for site remediation adopted by the department, and guidelines issued by the department are not appropriate or necessary, in the professional judgment of the licensed site remediation professional, to meet the remediation requirements listed in paragraph (1) of this subsection, the licensed site remediation professional may use the following additional guidelines to make decisions regarding a remediation, and shall set forth justification for such use, in the relevant submittal:

(a) relevant guidance from the federal Environmental Protection Agency or other states; and

(b) other relevant, applicable, and appropriate methods and practices that ensure the protection of the public health and safety, and of the environment.

 

As shown above section 58:10C-14c(4) indicates that in the absence of official regulations and/or guidance by the NJDEP, the LSRP may rely upon other credible guidance in order to make decisions regarding their oversight of a remedial site.

More information on the USEPA document titled Procedures for Rounding-Off Analytical Data to Determine Compliance with Maximum Contaminant Levels Present in NIPDWR, April 6, 1981 can be found here.

The document refers that all Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) contained in the National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations are expressed in the number of significant digits permitted by the precision and accuracy of the specified analytical procedure(s). Data reported to the State or EPA should be in a form containing the same number of significant digits as the MCL. In calculating data for compliance purposes, it is necessary to round-off by dropping the digits that are not significant. The last significant digit should be increased by one unit if the digit dropped is 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9. If the digit is 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4, do not alter the preceding number.

For example, if the monthly mean for coliform bacteria is 1.4999, the reported result should be 1 (one). A result of 3.50 should be rounded to 4 (four).

Chemical and radiological data may be treated in like manner. Analytical results for mercury of 0.0016 would round off to 0.002 while 5.4 pCi/l of combined radium-226 and radium-228 would round down to 5 pCi/l.

Another document is from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection titled Guidance for the Use of Significant Figures and Rounding Conventions in Water Quality Permitting  which states;

In reporting results and in calculating permit limits or mass loads, it is necessary to round the results to the correct number of significant figures. There are different rounding conventions in use, and BWPC has adopted a hybrid approach in which the rounding convention used for a number ending in 5 depends on the context. In reporting measured values, 5 is rounded to the nearest even number. For calculated values, 5 is rounded up.

Both referenced documents present the same procedures for the rounding of analytical data.  The use of these documents by the LSRP to manage a remedial site is supported by SRRA.  The decision to continue to use and potentially go against the December 2019 NJDEP e-mail message is a decision that needs to be made by the Person Responsible for Conducting Remediation (PRCR) and the project LSRP.

You really need a firm with experience and understanding of environmental regulations to help you  navigate New Jersey’s environmental regulations.  Curren has over 20 years’ experience.  We provide an initial consultation with parties requiring LSRP services in New Jersey.  

Call Curren Today

 

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Why is the Best Mosquito Control Important?

Feb 18, 2020 11:00:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in mosquito, Mosquito Remedation, mosquito management service, mosquito control service, mosquito removal, mosquito control

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Mosquito control is critical in disease prevention. Mosquitoes transfer diseases such as Yellow Fever, Malaria, Dengue, plus the West Nile virus. We need to protect ourselves from these viruses by protecting our yards. Without proper mosquito control, yards can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

How can mosquitoes transfer disease? You are the meal for the female bloodsucking mosquito, who, in turn is feeding the eggs. When the female needs to find food it goes for you, the blood meal. Male mosquitoes only suck on nectar and hang out in shady areas of you yard, waiting to reproduce. As a mosquito flies closer to its target, it looks for the movement of dark objects. Once it finds you, it lands, inserts its proboscis and probes for blood vessels beneath the skin. When it finds one, it injects saliva into the wound. The saliva contains an anticoagulant that ensures a steady, smooth flow of blood. Unfortunately, the mosquito’s saliva also may contain pathogens such as malaria parasites or encephalitis virus. This is how mosquitoes transmit disease.

Ready for Spring This Mosquito cant wait-1

What other reasons why it is important for mosquito control? It hits you psychologically, you are constantly looking over your shoulder wondering when the next mosquito is flying for their next meal of the day. To be perfectly honest, mosquitoes are annoying and can ruin your time outside which is why you won’t 

Research shows that mosquitoes began to emerge in New Jersey in April. Prior to April there are few things that as a homeowner you can do yourself to control mosquitoes.venture out during those dusk hours.

  • Empty all buckets of standing water.
  • Clean your gutters (or call a gutter guy to clean them for you). Leaves clog the gutters and downspouts, leading to an area where the female can lay her eggs.
  • Check areas around your home where water pools, fill these areas with topsoil and some grass seed. Keep the water pooling to a minimum. A mosquito only needs a capful of water to lay her eggs.
  • Remember any water outside at your property can lead to a mosquito breeding ground.
HubSpot Video

While the above is important, once mosquitoes become adults, they are on the underside of bushes hiding and  waiting for you to come outside. This is where you need a professional company to control the mosquitoes.

Mosquito companies will spray the underside of the bushes, trees, under decks and around the foundation of your dwelling to manage the mosquitoes in your yard.

For more information please contact Curren Environmental. It’s time to learn more about mosquitoes and controlling these annoying pests in your yard – take back you yard this spring.

 

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Mold Remediation with Post-Air Sampling Data

Feb 6, 2020 11:22:00 AM / by Tiffany Byrne posted in mold remediation, Mold Testing, mold assessments

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Mold is the four-letter word of real estate transactions. Finding mold can pause a sale and stop the sale all together.  If mold is visually found and/or confirmed via testing, the odds of the sale failing increases, unless you can get ahead of the problem.

IMG_1015-1
There are many stories of real estate transactions with mold growth, but this one is very interesting.
The story goes that a buyer was interested in a home and the property was an in an estate.  This particular property had been vacant for some time (About 26 months).  The buyers were from out of state and mold was a concern.  During the home inspection, the home inspector took air samples throughout the home. He also found possible mold growth on some wood furniture. Those air samples were mailed to an independent lab, and once the lab finished testing the samples, they sent a report back to the home inspector. The home inspector then sent the lab data to the buyer.   Elevated mold spore count were found indoors as compared to outside levels.   The levels were also higher than you would typically find in a home sand water damage.

 

Tape sample

 

Outside sample
 

 

Tape sample

 

What does mold lab data mean?
First, as part of the story, you need to know that this property was vacant for over 2 years. The heat was on as part of maintenance but the home was not property dehumidified (air conditioned in the warmer months). Mold growth occurs where there are moisture and organic materials. In this case, again there were only visual signs of mold growth on some furniture, but no visual signs on the sheetrock walls, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets and no signs on the ceilings throughout the home.

What caused mold to grow in a vacant home?
When the humidity is high and the property is not well ventilated, mold growth will occur. These spores can become airborne and move throughout the home. This home had a lot of carpets which contain organic matter (dirt, skin cells, etc.) and carpets hold mold spores.

Curren Environmental completed a mold assessment and found no outside water entry, plumbing leaks, roof leaks, etc. Mold growth was contributable to the home being vacant without consistent heating and air conditioning operating.  Mold Remediation at this property was performed and removed the airborne spore count to levels comparable to outside.  Remediation was performed as follows:

  1. The carpet was removed and tack strips were removed.
  2. All organic furniture that could not be wiped down was disposed of (fabric coating sofas and chairs.
  3. HEPA vacuumed walls and floors in the master bedroom, in-law suite, and 2nd floor.
  4. A broad-spectrum, FDA approved, fungicide was applied to the walls and the flooring in the rooms.
  5. Air scrubbers operated during and after the remediation based on volume of air in the space and goal of completing multiple air exchanges. 

As the story goes, post air testing showed that the elevated spore levels dropped dramatically at the property. Please see below. For this story, no walls were removed, no ceilings were opened nothing was torn down to the pre-construction stage.

 

 

Post remediation Data 1

 

Post Mold Remediation Lab Data 2

 

 
Post remediation Data 1

 

 

The ending, a happy buyer, a happy seller, and a clean home. Not every property that has elevated mold spores needs to have everything torn down and removed.   Mold testing must be assessed facting in history of the space, current conditions and an understanding of mold spores found and what environments these spore thrive.   A mold remediation professional will look at the data, photos provided and any other detailed information before handing over a cost. It is very important to understand that mold is everywhere and there are no “Mold Free” properties.  

Call for Mold Questions.

 

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