Environmental Risk Management (ERMI) began as a home office start-up in 1999 and is now considered to be one of the leading environmental consulting firms in Florida.
We have staff positioned throughout Florida, offering our full portfolio of services statewide. We offer Phase I ESA’s throughout the southeast and offer forensic services throughout the nation. ERMI has developed its strong reputation by providing responsive, creative, diligent, and high quality professional services. We are well connected with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and we have provided leadership in various state, national, and international environmental associations. As indicated by our name, we focus on strategies to manage environmental risk.
Opening the firm in 1999 was fortuitous. It was a time when Florida had switched from state funding to insurance as the primary means for tank owners to meet their financial responsibility requirements. ERMI had numerous insurance clients that received claims for groundwater impacts for previously filed discharges. Forensic research was needed to determine if the discharges were pre-existing or the result of new releases. This enabled the development of our forensic niche.
The real estate market boom from 1999 to 2007 enabled growth, and after the economy crashed, lenders sought ERMI for assessments through their special asset departments. For example, ERMI was one of four firms (and the only one south of Kentucky) selected by a Midwest regional bank to assess potential foreclosures for their Special Assets Department.
The Petroleum Cleanup Program grew from 2000 until 2009, when budget deficits slowed momentum. However, our role in industry leadership helped identify new markets on the horizon as legislation and policy changed. From 2012 to 2014, ERMI doubled in size by having a diversified service portfolio at a time when many environmental firms were struggling.
ERMI has worked throughout the years to ensure that groundwater-related projects remain a legislative priority, because of the urgency of Florida’s groundwater issues. Our president, Steve Hilfiker, met with government officials in 2014 and successfully advocated that the cap for remedial construction funding be raised to a Category 5 level of $325,000,000 (the maximum allowed under Florida Statutes 287.057/287.017).
When the Petroleum Restoration Program was restructured in 2013, ERMI adapted and continued to grow throughout Florida, doubling in size again between 2014 and 2016 — and yet again between 2017 and 2019.
By the early 2020s, we had completed projects in 61 of 67 counties in Florida, and had expanded our service offerings to include areas such as indoor air quality and wetlands.
Our history continues to be written today through our ongoing commitment to helping Florida safely accommodate the massive population growth now underway across the state.