Environmental Site Investigation and Characterization


Planning for Success

Beginning with the end in mind seems like a simple part of a sound process, but we have found that it makes all the difference. GeoInsight can design a customized evaluation program for your property to provide you with an objective basis with which to make critical decisions regarding the future of the parcel. We approach each investigation project with a fresh perspective to address the unique combination of regulations, risks, receptors, and physical setting that will come into play. Before beginning your site investigation, we evaluate how we will use the information obtained during field activities.

This tactical strategy provides us with a firm basis for identifying project data quality requirements. Time invested in up front planning allows us to develop appropriate and cost-effective sampling strategies, ensuring that we get the most comprehensive data needed to achieve your project objectives the first time.


Looking to History for Clues

We rigorously research historic and current property uses to understand how environmental media including soil, ground water, drinking water, surface water, sediments, and air may have been affected. We use site sampling data to identify and evaluate the magnitude and extent of potential environmental impacts associated with releases of oil and/or hazardous material to the environment. Site investigations can be performed to define known releases, or evaluate the potential for a release, whether from current or historical sources.


Common Goals of a GeoInsight Site Investigation:

  • Evaluate potential source(s) of environmental impacts
  • Establish baseline site conditions
  • Identify impacted media
  • Characterize the nature, extent, and magnitude of environmental impacts
  • Assess potential pathways for contaminant migration
  • Support the assessment of contaminant effects on human health and the environment
  • Support a prediction of release attenuation over time with relevant data
  • Evaluate the need for remedial actions
  • Obtain data required for evaluation, selection, and design of remedial alternatives
  • Evaluate regulatory compliance, and
  • Support technical expert analyses and opinions in litigation matters.


Conceptual Site Modeling

Information obtained during site investigation activities is often used to develop a conceptual site model (CSM). A CSM includes:

  • A three-dimensional understanding of contaminant sources
  • An evaluation of the extent and characteristics of impacts
  • Predicting the fate and transport of identified contaminants, and
  • Identification of potential receptors

Whether we are conducting a baseline assessment for screening purposes, or performing a rigorous investigation to satisfy a regulatory objective, our well-developed interpretive skills manage sources of uncertainty and help you evaluate your options to meet your project objectives.


Investigation and Characterization Methods

When you bring GeoInsight on as a member of your investigation team, you benefit from our familiarity with a wide range of investigative methods and tools suitable for varying levels of site condition complexity and project objectives. Representative examples of GeoInsight’s investigation methods include:

  • Performing ground water sampling using monitoring wells
  • Advancing soil borings and test pits
  • Mapping site features using survey equipment
  • Using portable field equipment for field screening
  • Conducting soil gas and indoor air sampling surveys
  • Dye testing and camera surveys to trace underground utilities
  • Evaluating aquifer characteristics with single well recovery and ground water withdrawal tests
  • Completing geophysical surveys to identify subsurface structures and features
  • Mapping non-aqueous phase liquids
  • Collecting surface water and sediment samples
  • Conducting rock coring, fracture trace analysis, and borehole geophysics, and
  • Using computer modeling to evaluate hydraulic conditions and plume characteristics.

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Featured Case Study

Former Packaging Company: Site Investigation & Characterization

GeoInsight provided site investigation and characterization services to a developer of a significantly impaired property in South Boston. The site was formerly operated by a business that repackaged bulk quantities of many chemicals, including chlorinated solvents and various petroleum products, into smaller quantities for resale.