Feb. 14, 2019: ASTI Toxicologist & Director of Property Services, Rick Welsh, was selected to lead a round table discussion regarding the Effects of Emerging Environmental Issues, Vapor Intrusion and PFAS on Commercial Real Estate Transactions at ICSC’s Con Ed Program in February.
February 2, 2019: ASTI Environmental just turned 34 years old thanks to our 3,500 clients and boosters and our 42 associates with 450+ years of technical expertise. Headquartered in Brighton, MI, ASTI opened it’s fourth office in in Trenton, MI last year. ASTI has also maintained an office in Grand Rapids the past 26 years, and 2019 marks the third anniversary of our Detroit office located in Grand Circus Park.
Since ASTI was founded by Tom Wackerman and Peter Collins on February 2, 1985 in Ann Arbor, we have grown significantly and diversified into multiple service lines, including Mussel Surveys, Sub-Slab Depressurizion System Design and Installation, Incentives – having obtained more than $220 million in gap financing (TIF, grants, tax credits, loans) for our developer clients, Asbestos and Lead Paint Inspections, Wetland Managament, Hazard Mitigation Plans, Stormwater Management, Property Condition Assessments and our bread n butter; more than 300 Phase I/II ESAs per year.
We are only as good as our last project, but we are proud to have completed more than 12,500 projects nationally. A few signature projects include; an Anthrax Vaccination Facility in Lansing, the iconic Michigan Central train station in Corktown, a Uranium Mine in the Czech Republic, restoration of a 455-acre coastal Great Lakes Marsh along Lake St. Clair at Lake St. Clair (Metro Beach) Metropark in Harrison Twp., the Village at Grand Traverse Commons (former psychiatric hospital), the Strand Theatre in Pontiac, most every neighborhood in Detroit working for non-profits, a NIKE Missile Base, Capital Park (Detroit), the 5,000 acre Detroit International Wildlife Refuge that runs along 48-miles of shoreline btw. the lower Detroit River and western shore of Lake Erie, Henry Ford’s office building in Highland Park, a 10,000 acre limestone mine in Newberry (Upper Peninsula), Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Flint Farmers Market, Marquette Holy Family Orphanage, Detroit (Eastern) Market Gardens, the 4,500,000 square foot Steelcase plant on 200+ acres in Grand Rapids, a civil war era prison in Jackson, Michigan Theatre (Detroit), Lebowsky Center (former Capitol Theatre) in Owosso, a 455-acre coastal wetland mitigation project known as Blue Water Isles in Clay Twp (St. Clair County), Foundation Hotel (named one of Time Magazine’s Greatest Places of 2018), and The Siren (former Wurlitzer Building) in downtown Detroit, Lansing School for the Blind (Stevie Wonder studied classical piano here), and Wayne County Airport.
Another notable mention in ASTI’s timeline is the 2017 feature on Crain’s Top 100 Cool Places to Work.
ASTI Principal and resident Wetland Ecologist, Dianne Martin, was honored by the Six Rivers Land Conservancy Organization for her role in protecting the Turtle Woods Preserve in Troy, MI. Dianne was a consultant to the Troy School District where she performed assessments on the Turtle Woods property, and provided options for its disposition, which emphasized conservation. Because of her impact on this property, Martin was honored as a recipient of Six Rivers’ Peggy Johnson Conservation Hero Award at their Six Rivers Conservation Celebration this past fall.
Nov. 15, 2018 // Royal Oak, MI
ASTI Environmental and Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C. co-hosted Brews & Vapor News, a technical networking event where a panel of experts discussed today's environmental obstacles, specifically vapor intrusion and PFAS, during drinks and discussion. The event attracted professionals across a variety of industries, who were able to learn from the panel's in-depth discussion, and open, Q&A forum. Attendee's appreciated the opportunity to hear from experts, to speak candidly with them on how these issues affect their respective lines of work, and to share concerns and solutions with other professionals. A special thanks to our panel experts: Jeff Furton with Comerica Bank, Jeanne Schlaufman with the DEQ, Arthur Siegal with Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, P.C., and Rick Welsh with ASTI Envirnonmental. Look for another technical networking event after the first of the year.
PFAS is a family of chemicals known as Per- and Poly-Fluorinated Alkyl Substances. They are very effective “surfactants”, meaning they repel both oil and water, and are therefore present in all kinds of products we use in our daily lives: for example they keep your microwave popcorn bag from getting oily and they repel water in your GOR-TEX jackets.
Recently the media has put a big spotlight on PFAS concerns, primarily because it has been detected in drinking water, yet almost every American is exposed to household items with PFAS on a regular basis. Should you be worried? For most people the short answer is no, because your daily exposure from consumer products is relatively low. The real concerns, as with every environmental contaminant, are the amount and route of exposure. So, while PFAS shouldn’t be a household concern, they are very difficult to remove when impropertly disposed of in the environment.
We've historically taken a proactive approach when it comes to our clients projects, and simply put, we've been aware of PFAS for some time now, despite its recent attention. There are specific types of properties and end uses where a purchaser or owner should be concerned about the possibility of PFAS contamination (such as former plating site or fire fighter training facilities) and this should be a consideration in your environmental due diligence process. Should you have any concerns about PFAS and its effect on your land or project, please email Rick Welsh (firstname.lastname@example.org), ASTI"s Director of the Property Services Group, for more information.
Tim came to ASTI from Colorado with over 21 years of experience in remediation and oversight, to take on the role of Project Manager. He brings a wide range of skills to our clients including engineering, field services, and site management. He first learned about the opportunity at ASTI from, now colleague, Rick Welsh. The two met back when they both worked to clean up the site of a hazardous gasoline and diesel truck spill on highway I-70, in Vail, Colorado.
He's looking forward to his position here at ASTI, where he will manage large scale environmental remediation projects, but more importantly, is now living close to family. We presume he'll be pretty busy, but if he comes across any free time, you can find him fly-fishing and playing hockey. Please join us as we welcome Tim to ASTI, and be sure to give him some recommendations of your favorite fishing spots here in the Mitten State!
ASTI Environmental’s (ASTI) Director of Property Services, Mr. Rick Welsh, has been chosen for the Environmental Taskforce of the Michigan Housing Council’s (MHC) Development-Finance Committee. As ASTI has served the affordable housing industry in six states since 1985, Mr. Welsh will routinely update the Board of Directors with emerging trends in environmental due diligence and regulatory compliance, including Vapor Intrusion and PFAS, and the latest applicable changes to the Michigan State Housing & Development Authority’s (MSHDA) Qualified Allocation Plan.
The MHC is the longest serving state-wide association of affordable housing professionals in the United States, and is comprised of owners, developers, managers, and their professional service providers (environmental consultants, attorneys, architects, engineers, insurers, accountants, tax credit syndicators, market analysts) and contractors. This non-profit organization was created to advance the development, finance, management and rehabilitation of affordable housing in Michigan.
September 24, 2018, Detroit, MI: ASTI President, and founder, Tom Wackerman has been selected as one of D Business Magazine’s Top 500 most powerful business leaders in Metro Detroit, the only environmental consultant to be honored. With 40 years in the business, Mr. Wackerman established, and has guided ASTI since it’s inception (1985), and he also doubles as the firm’s Director of Incentives. With offices in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Brighton (HQ), ASTI specializes in mitigating risk and expense associated with environmental testing/cleanup, wetlands, and brownfield redevelopment and we have now completed more than 12,000 projects.
September 20, 2018, Brighton, MI: Just call ASTI's eighteen-year veteran Hydrogeologist Brian Earl "Mr. VAP" now. Under the authority of Ohio revised code section 3764.04 (B)(5) and Ohio Administrative Code Rule 3745-300-05, Mr. Earl is now a Certified Professional under the Ohio EPAs Voluntary Action Program (VAP) No. CP 387. Clients can now engage Mr. Earl to investigate potential environmental contamination due to hazardous substances, cleanup the property, and receive a Covenant-Not-to-Sue (CNS) from the State of Ohio promising that no more cleanup is needed. The VAP program was designed to maximize resources and expertise in the private sector by using qualified, experienced professionals certified by OEPA.
August 31, 2018, Grand Rapids, MI: ASTI President & Founder Tom Wackerman has been selected to address Real Estate Development and Reuse with more than 50 Economic Developers from around the State of Michigan on Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 12:30pm – 2:20pm at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West in Lansing, MI. Co-hosted by the Michigan Economic Developers Association (MEDA) and International Economic Development Council (IEDC), this Economic Development Basic Course is the first step towards audience members receiving their professional certification (CeCD). As both a certified real estate instructor and environmental trainer, Mr. Wackerman’s remarks will center on the land development process, tools available at the local level (TIF, bonds, grant, loans), eminent domain and land assembly.