If you own a commercial, industrial, or public building, then working with an environmental consultant is essential to protecting public health and safety and maintaining the integrity of your building and operation. Choosing the right environmental consultant or inspector can be tricky, especially when there are so many factors to consider.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about environmental consultants, their services, and how to choose the right one.
What Is an Environmental Consultant?
Environmental consultants are experts in environmental safety and regulatory standards. They provide consulting and field assistance to industrial, institutional, and governmental organizations in both the private and public sectors. Environmental consultants are trained to inspect and handle hazardous environmental materials such as asbestos, mold, lead, and more.
What Does an Environmental Consultant/Inspector Do?
Environmental consultants and inspectors work with companies, businesses, and institutions to ensure public safety through the management of hazardous environmental materials. They conduct inspections, management plans, regulatory insight, and abatement and demolition oversight.
An experienced environmental consultant is equipped to provide management and removal services to a variety of facilities including, but not limited to:
- Manufacturing plants
- Power plants
- Data Centers
- Research centers
- Military Bases
All commercial and industrial businesses should undergo regular inspections and environmental consultations in order to comply with regulatory standards and ensure the safety of workers and the public at large.
While initial inspection is vital to environmental safety, a qualified consultant is equipped to do more than inspect buildings. They are also responsible for facilitating necessary testing, analysis, as well as management and removal operations. Demolition, renovation, and spill-response operations are just some of the common projects environmental consultants undertake.
Asbestos is one of the most common environmental hazards that impacts public health and safety. It is also one of the most difficult to identify without proper training and testing equipment, which is why professional asbestos surveys are essential for any business in order to locate, analyze, manage, and remove asbestos.
Abatement Project Design
An environmental consultant should have experience in abatement project design, which involves handling, securing, and ultimately removing harmful materials. These removal projects are not a one-size-fits-all operation. Environmental consultants and inspectors design plans for each specific job site in order to ensure that safety standards are met.
Asbestos, Lead, and Mold Testing
Experts in hazardous environmental materials are trained to provide professional sampling for asbestos, lead, mold, and more. This involves identifying suspect materials and collecting samples throughout the project area, facilitating laboratory analysis to determine if hazardous materials are present, and communicating results to the client.
Management Plans for Schools
Under federal regulations, both public and private education providers are required to maintain a comprehensive school management plan for harmful materials. An environmental consultant will be able to assist school officials with developing plans, providing adequate training to faculty, ensuring regulatory standards are met, and facilitating abatement when necessary.
Qualifications To Consider in an Environmental Consultant
When it comes to selecting an environmental inspector, it’s important to take several factors into consideration. There are a number of official qualifications to look for when choosing someone you can trust.
An environmental consultant should have a four-year college degree in a relevant subject such as ecology, environmental science, or environmental engineering, geology, or other related fields. There are also third-party organizations and government certifications that will help you determine if a consultant is trustworthy and competent. For example, at JSE Labs, we have earned certifications from the Oregon Construction Contractors Board, the Oregon Health Authority, and more.
You’ll want to choose someone with several years of practical field experience as a consultant.
These jobs are often unpredictable, meaning that a good consultant will be highly adaptable, able to develop plans for each specific site and situation, and have the necessary experience to react to unexpected situations. Environmental consultants are also responsible for the selection and oversight of contractors, meaning that you’ll want to prioritize exceptional leadership and communication qualities when choosing a consultant.
When Might You Need an Environmental Consultant?
So when should you seek help from an environmental consultant? When it comes down to it, If you manage or own a commercial building, or public/private facility, then seeking assistance from an environmental consultant is a good idea. Not only will it help you comply with regulatory standards, but it can also be vital to ensuring the safety of every individual who walks into your building, as well as the safety of the building structure itself.
Many of the most common environmental hazards are not visible to the naked eye, and in many cases, the potentially devastating human health effects of these materials are unlikely to manifest until years after exposure.
By hiring an environmental consultant, you’ll have access to expertise in:
- Contamination assessments
- Environmental impact assessments
- Environmental audits
- Air, soil, and water assessments
- Management and removal operations
- Safe handling of dangerous materials
- Local and federal regulation compliance
- Sustainable energy and waste management
- Human health and safety guidelines
If you are concerned that your building may contain harmful environmental substances, need help understanding and complying with government regulations, or just want to have an expert available to help you with any environmental considerations, then hiring an experienced environmental consultant is your next step.
Get Expert Environmental Consulting and Inspection Services from JSE Labs!
At JSE Labs, we have the knowledge and experience you need to ensure that your government, industrial, or commercial facility is safe for the public and complies with relevant regulations. Our highly-qualified consultants are dedicated to giving you the assistance you need and are equipped to take on any challenge.
Contact our field services division to get in touch with an expert environmental consultant today!
Lisa started in the industrial hygiene and environmental industry in 1992 as an asbestos microscopist and began performing building inspections for asbestos, lead paint, and other hazards in 1994.
“This career has been an amazing experience, traveling for work to perform inspections both locally and abroad to locations such as Hawaii and Germany. My real love however is being in the laboratory and assisting our wonderful clients.”