Tips for Hiring an Environmental Consultant for Your UST Facility
As an Underground Storage Tank (UST) owner or operator, you are ultimately responsible for compliance with environmental regulations. This includes the investigation and cleanup for a release from your UST system, if one occurs.
Much of the work associated with investigating and cleaning up contamination from releases is best addressed by an environmental consultant. The following information is designed to help you find and hire a qualified environmental consultant.
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) does not license or otherwise endorse any specific consultants.
Exercise Care in Hiring a Consultant
You remain responsible even though the consultant did the actual work. The same precautions should be taken in hiring an environmental consultant that are taken when hiring any contractor or employee.
Don’t assume the consultant is taking care of everything. Although most consultants are diligent in performing their duties, it is ultimately your responsibility to maintain compliance with the law. We recommend that you periodically contact the ADEQ case manager who will answer any questions about your facility and let you know if ADEQ has any concerns about the compliance status of your facility.
Where to Find an Environmental Consultant
- Network with other businesses like yours. Find other UST owners and operators who have used an environmental consultant. Did the consultant do a good job? Would the person use them again?
- Contact the Arizona Petroleum Marketers Association, Chamber of Commerce, or the Better Business Bureau. These organizations may be able to recommend a consultant or put you in contact with other UST owners and operators that have successfully used a consultant.
What to Look for in an Environmental Consultant
- UST EXPERIENCE - Finding an environmental consultant that has substantial experience investigating and cleaning up UST releases is extremely important.
- ARIZONA EXPERIENCE – A consultant needs to have a clear understanding of Arizona law and hydrogeological conditions, as these may vary greatly from other states.
- ARIZONA LICENSING – Arizona law requires that some reports be submitted by a professional with the appropriate registration from the Arizona Board of Technical Registration.
- COST – Keep in mind that the least expensive consultant may not always offer the best value in the long term or be right for your business.
- REPUTATION – Inquire about consultant’s reputation with owners or businesses similar to yours.
- REFERENCES – Be sure to request and verify at least three references, preferably previous clients in your area.
- KNOWLEDGE OF ADEQ – Understanding the consultant’s extent of experience working with ADEQ may be helpful for promoting effective dialog with the Department.
- YEARS EXPERIENCE – Find out how many years has the consultant been in business.
What to Ask an Environmental Consultant
Call at least 3 consultants and talk to the person with whom you will be working. Ask every consultant the same questions and for the same information, such as:
- Have you worked with other UST facilities? How many? How long ago?
- Have you helped other UST facilities in Arizona? In my community? Please provide a list of 3 references for clients where you conducted UST remediation.
- How soon can you start on my project, and what type of priority will my project receive?
- Do you have an estimate for how long will it take to complete this work?
- What guarantee will you give me to ensure that your services will be accurate and adequate to bring my business into compliance? What will you do to keep ADEQ informed about the progress at my site?
- Do you have professional liability insurance? If yes, does it cover pollution-related claims? Who is the insurer?
- How much of my time will you require? What kind of disruptions to my business might happen?
- What responsibilities will be required of me? How will you communicate on a regular basis about the progress at my facility?
- Who will be assigned to my project? Will more than one person work on my project? What kind of training, experience, education or certification does that person/those persons have?
- Does your company have the appropriate registration from the Arizona Board of Technical Registration?