We have the answers to your most pressing questions about the latest developments in environmental sustainability.
There’s always something new to learn in the world of environmental consulting. Whether it’s the latest on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) or how mapping technology can change development planning, FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS) wants you to have the latest information. Following are some of your most urgent questions so far this year.
How Do I Address PFAS in My Water Supply?
If the proposal to designate PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances is successful, we could see an increase in municipality liability risk as well as environmental response costs in remediating PFAS in a water supply.
Some water district and wastewater facilities have proactively installed filtration systems, while others have sought compensation from companies that discharge PFAS into the air, water, or soil. Whatever the solution, it is critical to be deliberate in your approach to addressing PFAS contamination or prevention. Regulations and treatment options for PFAS are constantly evolving, so it is important to consult with a third-party team of experts to take a holistic view of your unique situation. Read more about primary steps for addressing PFAS in your water supply here.
Why Should Planners be Concerned with PFAS?
PFAS are known as "forever chemicals" due to their inability to break down over time, resulting in an increased presence in air, soil, water, and more. As PFAS’ health risks have become better understood and regulation has increased, developers and planners should consider proactive due diligence during property development and transactions.
If a developer conducts a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) before PFAS are designated as hazardous substances, no action is legally required. However, if that designation goes into effect, past PFAS contamination could result in new litigation, remediation or mitigation costs, or development delays. As we anticipate the EPA’s forthcoming ruling and unfolding litigation, taking a proactive approach to protect your development projects is the best route. Find out more about other concerns including site-specific risks here.
What are the BAAQMD GHG Thresholds?
In April 2022, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) updated its thresholds of significance to coincide with updated California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) “fair share” thresholds. These thresholds are used to determine whether a proposed land-use project will significantly affect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
California agencies use these thresholds to evaluate whether a project would make a considerable cumulative contribution to climate change. Read details on the new thresholds here.
Why is Mapping Technology Important to Sustainability?
Advances in mapping technology are making a significant impact on how we pursue sustainability. The Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based mapping system that captures, analyzes, stores, manipulates, and presents a variety of spatial and geographical data.
Organizations and governments are using this mapping technology to prepare for long-range sustainability planning, including urban planning, environmental planning, and environmental due diligence. Read specific use cases for mapping technology here.
FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), an ADEC Innovations company, comprises over 100 individuals offering 30+ years’ experience in due diligence, technical analysis, planning, environmental compliance, permitting, and mitigation/monitoring services for public and private projects. To stay current on the latest trends in environmental planning and consulting, follow us on LinkedIn.