Innovative Environmental Technologies, Inc. delivers in-situ remediation nationwide
Innovative Environmental Technologies, Inc. (IET) is a turnkey remedial contractor and environmental drilling company based in Pipersville, Pennsylvania. The company specializes in the design, implementation and evaluation of in-situ treatment of soil and groundwater contamination both nationwide and internationally.
IET provides chemical and biological remediation services using patented injection systems (US Patent No. 7,044,152) via direct push (for soil and groundwater sampling) and soil mixing (to quickly reduce concentrations below hazardous waste standards).
“Treating contaminants in the ground avoids the expensive alternative of an engineered pump and treat system (pumping groundwater to an above-ground treatment system ) or ‘dig and haul’ (excavating, loading, hauling and disposing) of hazardous waste,” says Justin Mariani, Vice President of Field Services.
IET works on projects for environmental consulting firms nationwide, including Tetra Tech and CTM Environmental Services, Inc. Much of the company’s work is on the Atlantic coast and in the Midwest, with projects in Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. IET has regional offices in Sunbury, Ohio, and Concord, North Carolina.
A Remediation Niche
Founder and President Michael Scalzi established IET in 1998. From his long experience in the environmental technology industry, he knew there was a need for a technology-based remedial contractor without ties to specific product vendors or consulting engineering companies.
IET delivers a turnkey remediation service: it pulls site samples for lab testing, determines the chemistry or microbiology products best suited to neutralize the contaminants, designs the treatment plan and then serves as the “boots on the ground” to implement the solution.
Following the implementation of a remediation project, IET evaluates geochemical and analytical data to provide ongoing reporting to track the efficacy of the treatment process.
“Because of the nature and focus of our work, we are in the field at dozens of client sites in just one year,” Justin says. “We are typically involved in the actual cleanup. We have the experience to know if a proposed approach will or won’t work, or if a particular technology is practical or cost-effective. We work with a variety of product vendors to offer the most efficient remedial option.”
Patented Tech & Ongoing Research
The company’s patented technologies include injection methods and novel oxidation and reductive dichlorination technologies. Team members have fabricated and built custom equipment, tooling and remediation systems. They’ve also designed physical delivery techniques and chemical remediation technologies that have been implemented in 30+ states in the U.S. and internationally.
IET also licenses its patents and treatment technologies to other companies. It shares its patents with sister company, Provectus Environmental Products, which provides chemicals to the soil and groundwater remediation industry. Provectus ships to clients both nationally and internationally.
The staff regularly reviews research on chemical and biological processes for the soil and groundwater contaminants that clients deal with on a daily basis. The employees attend industry conferences to evaluate treatment approaches for emerging contaminants.
The firm also conducts lab studies and treatability testing to determine appropriate dosages for contaminant treatment. Some of that work is done in its in-house lab; treatability studies are usually conducted by ReSolution Partners LLC. When more in-depth testing is warranted, the company works with labs at research universities such as Clemson.
In-Situ Geochemical Stabilization in Florida
Superfund sites are abandoned waste sites with large-scale contamination where the cleanup is overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). IET is currently conducting an in-situ geochemical stabilization project for Tetra Tech at a 90-acre Superfund site in Gainesville, Florida, that is severely impacted by creosote. The in-situ approach provides significant savings for the client, eliminating the cost of hazardous waste disposal and the need to run and maintain an engineered groundwater treatment system for decades.
Tetra Tech delineates contaminated areas, determines the discrete zones to be injected and relays the information to IET as a 3D model. IET then decides where to place PeroxyChem’s In-Situ Geothermal Stimulation (ISGS) amendment. IET has sole license to apply this amendment, which has to be created on-site.
“The amendment injection has been targeted across nearly 150,000 cubic yards of creosote-impacted soils as deep as 70 feet below the ground’s surface,” Justin explains. About 170,000 gallons of this material was injected into discrete zones below ground on the Florida Superfund site. “The result was an approximate reduction of 97% of creosote in all targeted areas,” he adds. IET is continuing work at this site in additional areas, requiring the application of approximately 80,000 gallons of ISGS.
The treatment costs, including the delineation services provided by Tetra Tech, were approximately $4 million. The traditional approach—excavating the impacted soil and hauling it away—was projected to cost $24 million to $28 million. It would have required installation of a pump and treatment system to extract and filter contaminated groundwater and then maintenance and operation of the system for 40 years. “It’s vastly more efficient and economical to have us come in and inject ISGS at the contaminant location,” he adds.
Technology Integrated with Safety
IET’s 25-person staff includes microbiologists, chemists, engineers, geologists and drillers who travel all over the country to design and implement remediation and drilling projects for clients.
New hires at IET begin as field service technicians on remediation sites. They are methodically and slowly introduced into the field, paired with a senior team member. The on-site training coupled with exposure to data analysis, interpretation and reporting establishes a strong connection between data, implementation and results.
Justin joined the firm eight years ago with a strong background in chemistry and microbiology. “It takes time to learn the specific chemistries and reactions we want to happen in the ground, and the difference between IET and non-IET chemistries and applications,” he says.
The company has completed 1,500 injection-based remedial projects without a single reportable safety incident. “We never place new hires in a situation where they are not equipped to succeed. We provide clear directions and exposure to every facet of what they’ll be doing,” Justin adds. All employees have Occupational Safety and Health Administration HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response) 40-hour certification.
Because of the nature of the work, employees spend a lot of time working together on job sites. “Working here is definitely a lifestyle. We’re not close to being ‘corporate’ in any way,” Justin says. He notes a strong camaraderie and commitment among the company’s growing staff.
The IET team combines the ever-changing lessons learned from field implementation with the newest and best groundwater and soil remediation technologies available.
“Because we’ve been in the industry for so long and have had exposure to the ebb and flow of popular chemistries, we have great insight into which are appropriate for certain sites and contaminants. Our research focus is the foundation of our industry expertise,” Justin says.