Steve’s Blog

ERMI president Steve Hilfiker is in high demand as a speaker at conferences and conventions. As a 25-plus-year veteran of the environmental field, the author of dozens of articles, and a frequent advisor to Florida legislators, Steve brings a perspective to his presentations that is multidimensional and authoritative.

If your group, agency, or organization is involved in engineering, real estate, construction/development, education, or financial services, contact ERMI today.

Steve is ready to deliver a presentation to your group that will be relevant, timely, and informative.


2016 LSSI Expansion

2016 Legislative Session Includes Expansion to LSSI (Effective July 1, 2016) The Low Scored Site Initiative (LSSI) has now been expanded through the approval of Senate Bill 100 to include limited remediation activities. The cap expenditure for each site has been raised from $30,000 to $35,000. The total amount that can be spent on the… Read More...

Phase I ESAs are not a Commodity

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are not a commodity, although many hiring decisions are based solely on price.  Consulting is critical to the due diligence process.  An innocent land owner defense based on a thorough Phase I ESA is necessary for defending liability for the borrower/investor, and when issues arise, expert consulting is often required… Read More...

The Value of Consulting

DEP Agency-Term Contractors (ATCs) should maintain their role as consultants with site owners and responsible parties even though their contract is with the DEP.  This is most significantly highlighted on sites with funding caps. Many owners are not aware of the amount remaining in their cap, and some do not even know there is a… Read More...

Turning Point

The mood of the Petroleum Restoration Program presentation at the Florida Remediation Conference this year was much more positive than it was one year ago. Contractors seem to have much less frustration and much more hope. The FDEP developments, ability to encumber more projects and streamline some of the procedures appears to be working. On October 20, 2015, the Department… Read More...

Environmental Risk Management | Spill Prevention Plans

Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure Plan The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires commercial facilities that maintain petroleum storage systems to maintain a Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan. A SPCC Plan is designed to protect public health, public welfare, and the environment from potential harmful effects of oil/petroleum discharges to navigable waters and adjoining… Read More...

Environmental Risk Management | Storm Water Services

Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPP) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) require certain industrial facilities and construction sites to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit coverage for their storm water discharges. These facilities must develop and implement a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan to satisfy the… Read More...

Remedial Bidding Conditions

The following is a commentary on the recent changes to the FDEP Petroleum Restoration Program, which is becoming more price-driven.  Best-value certainly includes a cost-component, but the key to subsurface remediation is diligence and data. ERMI supports the FDEP and believes the changes will ultimately lead to a more successful program.  We applaud the emphasis… Read More...

Environmental Risk Management | Tank Closure

The Importance of Tank Closure Did you know there are approximately 575,000 underground storage tanks (USTs) nationwide that store petroleum or hazardous substances? The greatest potential threat from a leaking UST is contamination of groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. The EPA reported that groundwater supplies drinking water to… Read More...

Environmental Risk Management | Environmental Forensics

Environmental forensics is a rapidly expanding segment of Environmental Risk Management’s suite of consulting services.  The field is one that utilizes a wide-ranging armamentarium of tools to identify and characterize complex adverse environmental events.  Some of the scientific disciplines involved in forensics include analytical chemistry, hydrology, lithology, geology, history, and statistics. Environmental Forensics: What is… Read More...

Environmental Risk Management | Soil & Ground Water Sampling

Site Characterization Florida’s geology is diverse and dynamic. Karst lithology with springs and sinkholes is flanked by panhandle clay and the Biscayne aquifer. Check out more information on Florida’s geology here. When contaminants are discharged to the environment, the potential impact must be assessed to determine the best remedial solution. A Site Assessment Report is… Read More...