Monthly Archives: April 2015

April 22nd, 2015

Have opinions about Chicago’s rivers? Great Rivers Chicago wants to know!


Great Rivers Chicago is seeking feedback about the current and future state of the Chicago, Calumet, and Des Plaines rivers.  Metropolitan Planning Council, Friends of the Chicago River and the City of Chicago have joined forces as “Great Rivers Chicago” to create a coordinated long-term vision and plan for economic and community development along Chicago’s riverfronts.

Their survey is available in both English and Spanish.  It asks respondents to focus on particular areas of the river when giving feedback on its current uses, quality, and access as well as its ideal future.

“Much like Lake Michigan is Chicago’s front yard, the Chicago River is our backyard, and should be an asset that people across the city enjoy,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With the excitement seen around the Chicago Riverwalk expansion, now is the right time to ask residents how they want to interact with their rivers in all of Chicago’s neighborhoods and today’s partnership is the first of many steps that will lead to greater use of the river ways by Chicagoans.”

The survey is available at greatriverschicago.com and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

April 16th, 2015

Stickney Water Reclamation Plant Open House this weekend

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD colorMWRD) will host tours at the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant, 6001 W. Pershing Rd., Cicero, IL, this Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Stickney Plant is the largest wastewater treatment plant in the world.

The open house is being held in conjunction with other utilities from across the country as part of a national effort designed to showcase utility infrastructure. The MWRD was created by an Act of the Illinois General Assembly in 1889 to protect Lake Michigan, the source of our drinking water.

In addition to providing wastewater treatment and stormwater management for Cook County, the MWRD is working to become more sustainable and energy neutral within the next decade. Visitors will learn about ongoing environmental improvement projects and developing technologies for renewable energy generation.

To learn more about the open house, contact the MWRD Office of Public Affairs at (312) 751-6633.

April 9th, 2015

President Obama knows the value of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

In an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep  about the Iran nuclear deal, President Obama showed that he understands the importance of conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment prior to purchasing a property, to make sure there are no “environmental disasters” on the land.


“The analogy I used is it’s sort of like you’ve signed a contract to purchase a home, but you’ve still got the, you know, the appraisal, the inspector, you’ve got to make sure that there isn’t some kind of environmental disaster on the land. And until you actually sign, you know, that mortgage and that document, the deal is not closed.”


Full interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_T8rSmgMWQ

Transcript:  www.npr.org/2015/04/07/397933577/transcript-president-obamas-full-npr-interview-on-iran-nuclear-deal

April 1st, 2015

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Spotlight: Government Records Review

During the course of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, Gabriel reviews government records from a variety of federal, state, local, and tribal agencies.  We will review all pertinent records available, including, but not limited to: underground storage tanks (USTs); hazardous materials stored, used or disposed; environmental violations; building permits; occupancy permits; fire inspection records; construction permits; demolition permits; and closure projects.

These records help us determine if hazardous substances or petroleum products are currently or were previously located on the site.

Case Study

Recently, Gabriel was conducting a Phase I ESA at an auto repair facility in Chicago.  The current owner/occupant did not have any knowledge of USTs on the property.  osfm

However, during a search of Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) records, it was discovered that three tanks were installed at the property between 1972 and 1979, prior to the current owner purchasing the property.  The previous owner had operated the property as a gas station in addition to the repair shop, so a diesel tank, gasoline tank and used oil tank had been installed.

None of these tanks had any record of removal, which means there is a strong likelihood that the tanks are still on site and possibly leaking due to their age and material.

If you have questions about how Gabriel uses government records reviews in our Phase I research, contact Natalie Neuman, Group Leader Assessment Services, at 773-486-2123 or nneuman[at]gabenv.com.