AMI Environmental (AMI) was a member of the first responder team called upon to assess damages caused by Hurricane Katrina at the VA Medical Center in New Orleans. As the environmental team member, AMI was responsible for identifying and assessing all environmental hazards present in the 1-million-square-foot facility, and directing and monitoring remedial activities necessary for safe reoccupancy and renewal of the facility. AMI’s team included a certified industrial hygienist, inspectors and health and safety personnel.
Initial Response: Inspection, Testing, Analysis & Hazardous Materials Assessment
AMI’s initial efforts required collection and analysis of a myriad of samples for identifying immediate environmental hazards. Testing methods included real-time sampling for gases, fumes, radiation and airborne contaminants. AMI also performed an in depth inspection of the facility and collected and analyzed a multitude of samples – bulk, swab, dust, water, soil and air – needed to determine the extent of asbestos, LBP and mold contamination, chemical and biological hazards present, and various hazardous materials that could impact cleanup operations.
AMI developed and implemented a site-specific Health and Safety Plan (HASP) to protect persons entering the building and workers performing cleanup activities from environmental hazards. Elements of the HASP included: activity hazard analysis; work plans and specifications; quality control procedures necessary for proper abatement, cleanup and disposal of hazardous materials; personal protective equipment; personnel monitoring requirements; and safety precautions necessary to protect all individuals working in the facility.
Compliance Monitoring & Remediation Management
AMI provided continuous, third-party environmental quality and contractor compliance monitoring throughout the duration of the cleanup and renewal process. These duties included work activity coordination and schedule management; daily quality control and progress reporting; emergency response; and complete project documentation.