Effective Environmental Services

Ground Force Environmental Inc.

An inevitable byproduct of industrialization and the proliferation of chemical usage within industrial sectors, soil contamination today presents a major issue. Where there are machines, there are chemicals used to keep those machines clean and in working order – be they oil, fuel or industrial cleaning solvents. Other common soil contaminants include heavy metals such as lead, pesticides, or sewage. If not properly handled, contaminated soils can translate into contaminated water, bringing with it health risks for people and wildlife that may come into contact with it.

There are many reasons why soil can become contaminated: the corrosion of underground storage tanks; mining processes; direct discharge of industrial waste; or simply draining contaminated surface water from one place into another. In Canada, there are still many remote areas where people can get water from an underground source that is cleaner than bottled water or treated tap eater. Some people believe that this water is our most precious resource; we have plenty, while a good number of other countries must import it or desalinate it from the ocean.

Although the Earth has very efficient ways of cleaning itself and has adapted to industrialization with certain organisms that can eat chemical waste, more often than not it still needs a great deal of help to get by. Ground Force Environmental Inc. can provide that help, through its efficient cleanup processes and quick emergency response time. The company is a multi-talented group of construction experts and environmental professionals with an average of 20 years of experience within the environmental industry.

The company anticipates growth of around 10 percent each year, and its goal is simple; as stated by Jeremy Michel, Ground Force Environmental’s Sales and Marketing Manager, “Most of our projects come through consultants because typically they are contacted first; they are doing the phase one and phase two environmental site assessments. From there, when it goes into remediation, they are the ones determining the scope of work required and contacting contractors to price out the job accordingly. We’re building the company through the relationships that we have with the consultants simply by completing projects on time, on budget and up to their standards. We also offer the consultants our years of construction and remediation experience to help determine the best course of action that is both effective and efficient. Communication is key and we strive to keep the lines of communication open and transparent when dealing with consultants.”

Ground Force Environmental’s aim is to provide an out-of-the-box solution that is the most efficient and cost effective possible, when it comes to any environmental remediation, demolition, water-related or waste transfer issue. Bringing a new and custom-tailored solution to each project it undertakes, the company ensures a safe and effective approach to each task.

The firm is an amalgamation of two companies that had previously partnered together a number of times on projects requiring both soil and groundwater treatment. EMRP specialized in emergency spill response, providing spill response products and groundwater treatment solutions. The second company, AGI Environmental, was known for soil remediation. Ground Force Environmental can now service all of these areas as well as above- and underground storage tank removal.

Emergency spill response is one of the most important roles that the company plays within the industrial sector. Once contacted, Ground Force will send a team of highly trained personnel along with all necessary equipment to the spill site, and will then ensure that the leak is stopped, ascertain the extent of contamination, and clean the contaminated area using an absorbent material and highly evolved soil remediation processes, extracting the impacted soil. The company will also work with insurance companies, adjusters and consultants as needed.

Working for both the private and public sectors, Ground Force is presently working on a contract for Toronto’s Sheppard subway extension. By using a proprietary product for solidifying the wet muck that is extracted from a tunnel, Ground Force is able to move it to a new location without it being splattered all over the highway. Although this is not considered to be contaminated soil as such, it is still onerous to move soil containing that much water – not to mention impractical because of the weight that is added by the excess liquid. For a project of this scale, it is obviously critical that work be conducted as safely and efficiently as possible.

The tunnels in question are being dug under the ground with the use of a 20 foot diameter tunnel-boring machine that removes an enormous amount of material that must be transported elsewhere. Typically in the past, a company contracted to perform soil solidification would use a bulking agent, such as quicklime or cement, in order to remove the liquid from the soil. This solution, however effective it may be, will still add to the soil’s mass, which in turn makes it less efficient and more expensive to cart away for disposal. The addition of cement to soil for solidification purposes can also alter the PH level which can cause the soil to be rejected as clean fill. Ground Force’s solidification and stabilization procedure, on the other hand, has proven to be a cost effective and efficient method for the treatment and/or immobilization of contaminated soil or sludge to prevent it from spreading into the surrounding environment.

Water treatment is also an important task that requires an expert’s hand. Groundwater is necessary for sustaining all life on earth, and Ground Force has taken a great deal of care to ensure that the best measures are taken to remove all hazards from our most important resource. Taking the necessary steps in research and development to stay on top of technology in the industry, Ground Force remains ahead of the curve in water treatment procedures.

The company has a wealth of remediation procedures at its disposal, including oil and water separators, activated carbon media, organoclay media and unique polymer infused filters that are able to instantly and permanently remove hydrocarbons from the water. Ground Force can also use flocculants to clarify waste water, or a blend of bentonite minerals and polymers that can be custom formulated to meet any project requirement.

Ground Force can also rehabilitate a pond by simply pumping the water through dewatering bags that will capture and remove much of the silt before the water is released back into the environment. Any silt / sediment that remains is solidified in place, excavated and transported to an appropriate disposal facility.

No matter what mess needs to be cleaned, Ground Force can be called. If a demolition needs to be cleaned up, the company has the appropriate equipment and disposal facilities to get the job done. Ground Force carries and distributes bulk media such as activated filter media, organoclay, and sand media, and also offers a re-bedding service. The tricky process of removing lead, mercury and PCBs can also be handled on time and on budget, a service which includes a full wipe down of all surfaces and changing of air ducts. Ground Force also takes care of transporting and disposing of all hazardous waste safely and efficiently.

At the end of the day, Ground Force Environmental knows that the natural environment is what is truly important; this is why the company chooses to offer its services for the best possible price, making site remediation accessible wherever it’s needed. “Just knowing that we are making a difference, knowing that we are actually leaving it much cleaner than it was when we found it, is the most satisfying part of my work,” says Mr. Michel. “When dealing with our clients, it’s nice to know that we are giving them a cost effective and project specific approach; we’re not just trying to hammer them with extras. That’s why we offer a different out-of-the-box solution that is tailored to their needs. It’s not just a dig and dump operation.”

“After 17 years of consulting and four years of contracting, I’ve learned that what Jeremy has stated is correct, straight across the board for the entire company,” confirms David Gray, Project Manager for Ground Force Environmental Inc. “Because some of our staff comes from a consulting background we understand the regulations very well, from both a water and soil standpoint. Because of this, we can look at them closely and then examine the job while asking ourselves if there is a better option that will meet regulations.”

Ultimately, the team prides itself on bringing its diversified experience, technical skills, integrity and top customer service to each and every project. Ground Force Environmental is truly leaving the Earth a cleaner and safer place, and is doing so efficiently and affordably.

June 24, 2018, 3:01 AM EDT

A Proactive Approach to Resolving a Longstanding Debate

About forty skilled Central and South American workers from Ecuador, Peru, Columbia and Costa Rica came to British Columbia, Canada as temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in 2006. This story incited Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) call for reforms to Canada’s TFW program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP). LiUNA, a powerful voice within the construction industry with over half a million members – 110,000 of whom are in Canada – has been the only Canadian union to address the issue.