Geosyntec was awarded an initial two year Framework Contract in 2008 to provide contaminated land and groundwater consultancy support to the Irish EPA. This was won under open tender. Geosyntec was awarded 100% marked for technical ability and experience, proposed project team, and programme management offering.
This initial contract was extended for one further year in 2010. Geosyntec bid and won the follow-on 4 year Framework Contract for the period 2012-2016.
Geosyntec has a broad project brief, designed to assist the EPA, and in particular the Office of Environmental Enforcement (OEE), in a wide range of service areas, all linked to their management and regulation of contaminated land and groundwater issues, principally at licensed industrial (IPPC) and waste management sites, plus policy, regulation and guidance development in this area. During the past 3-4 years Geosyntec has reviewed, at least in some detail, reports, information and/or data for more than 100 licensed sites located throughout the country, many on multiple occasions as part of site specific programmes of review and enforcement.
There have been an increasing number of closed, abandoned and/or so-called orphan licensed sites in Ireland in the past few years, and in a few cases the EPA has taken responsibility for better defining the character, magnitude and extend of residual contamination, and understanding the site risk profile. Geosyntec has helped design and implement such programmes of work, with the view to defining risk drivers, if any, and potentially appropriate remedial action, if needed. One EPA aim has been to allow surrender of licenses if the work done served to prove that there were only limited, if any, residual land and groundwater contamination related issues. Other, quite detailed reviews have been associated with specific sites of potential concern, associated with either new license applications, existing licensed sites that have high profile contamination issues, or sites which appear not to have implemented appropriate remediation, the EPA needing to provide clear guidance and direction, designed to ensure appropriate action is taken.
There has also been assistance to the Office of Environmental Assessment (OEA), mainly related to Water Framework Directive (WFD) needs linked to definition and prioritization of Groundwater Bodies (GWBs), and associated risk assessment and status setting. A methodology for data collection and reporting during OEE reviews was developed, as well as site specific data for licensed sites summarised to assist with the 5 year cycle of review of point sources of groundwater contamination in Ireland, next due to be reported in 2013.
During the first 4 years Geosyntec delivered a high value service to the Irish EPA, helping them to efficiently process site investigation, monitoring and remediation reports requiring review and comment, to prioritise their enforcement activities in this area, and also learn from the experience of working with our consultants and develop policy and guidance.