AGC Recognized for Work on Tightened Schedule for a Property Transfer

Kudos to AGC’s own Rick Shoyer and Chris Valligny for being recognized by one of our clients for outstanding work on their project.  We were able to review the historical environmental data and prepare a summary letter in a very short time so the client could meet their deadline for a property purchase in Montgomery County, PA.  The client sent us a testimonial stating, “We SINCERELY appreciate your help on incredibly short notice.  You guys turned around a quality report quickly, and we will close on our home tomorrow with confidence given your analysis.

If you have a need for an environmental investigation, analysis, or report for a property, please contact Rick Shoyer or Chris Valligny for support:

 Rick Shoyer & Chris Valligny

Rick Shoyer & Chris Valligny

Rick Shoyer
Senior Project Professional

Chris Valligny, LSRP
Project Professional

AGC Pleased to Announce that Robert Feller Joined the Firm

Robert Feller Joins AGC

Advanced GeoServices is pleased to announce that Robert A. Feller has joined the firm. 

Mr. Feller has been working in the environmental industry since 1981 in various roles. He has worked on diverse projects, including dredge materials processing, permitting, equipment design, reagent design, wastewater treatment system design, managing MGP-contaminated soils processing operations, utility relocation, public outreach, air monitoring, decommissioning, various remedial treatment technologies, remedial disposal, air, soil, and groundwater treatment, technology development and implementation, oil and gas treatment, above ground storage tanks, and incineration services.

Bob will be working out of our Cherry Hill, NJ office and will be collaborating with our staff at our headquarters location in West Chester, PA as well as our other satellite offices in Lancaster, PA and Fair Lawn, NJ.

Please join us in congratulating Bob on his new position:

Robert A. Feller
Senior Project Consultant
1878 Marlton Pike East, Suite 10
Cherry Hill, NJ08003
Phone: 856.354.2273
Fax: 856.354.8236

Are pipelines safe? Part I: the Pipeline in the Backyard

Pipelines have been in the headlines and on our communities’ minds, due to the region’s relatively new status as home to the world’s largest supply of natural gas (Marcellus and Utica Shale), and the expanding infrastructure needed to carry that natural resource from northeast and southwest Pennsylvania to demand centers in Philadelphia, the Gulf Coast, and Canada.  This abundance of natural gas supports the renewable power industry; natural gas is a flexible, responsive compliment to renewables that wax and wane with weather changes and the time of day.  The abundance of the resource drives down power prices, opening the door for a manufacturing renaissance in this region. Natural gas is also one of the major drivers behind a 3% nationwide drop in carbon emissions, even while the economy grew by 1.6%.

But for homeowners who are now confronted with a pipeline being routed through their property or their community, and in many cases the dual realization that a pipeline existed there all along, the question is: are pipelines safe?

There are two basic types of products being moved.  Dry gas, which is what we traditionally think of as natural gas, is compressed and used to heat homes, produce power, and fuel natural gas vehicles.  There are some companies using dry gas wells right on their property as a low carbon, clean power source for manufacturing.  For all gas transmission lines, which includes dry gas, offshore and onshore, since 1997, there has been an average of two fatalities per year and nine injuries; for more detailed information check out theUS DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration website.

The other main product being transported is wet gas, or natural gas liquids (NGLs) – propane, butane and ethane.  NGLs are the building block for plastics, a source of cooking and home heating fuel (propane), and vehicle fuel.  Highly Volatile Liquids (HVLs) such as propane and ethane, which are being transported by Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East pipelines, are a subset of a broader category classified as Hazardous Liquids. Hazardous liquids are a separate category from natural gas.  For pipelines carrying Hazardous Liquids onshore and offshore there have been, on average, two fatalities per year from 1997 to 2016 nationwide; the average number of injuries per year is five.  For more detail see the US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) data chart below which shows a general decreasing trend since 2004. 

PHMSA Pipeline Incidents: Fatalities (1997-2016)

Do more miles of pipelines correlate with more risk?  Pipeline infrastructure expands each year.  In 2004, the US had 166,669 miles of hazardous liquids pipelines. As of 2016, the total grew to 211,150 miles, a 27% increase.  PHMSA does not analyze correlations between miles of pipeline and human and environmental risk.  The American Petroleum Institute (API), however, does.

Considering all pipelines - crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas liquids - miles of pipelines have increased by 13% over the past five years, while major (classified as larger than 500 barrels of product released) pipeline incidents per mile are down nearly a third. Incidents potentially impacting people or the environment outside of an operator’s facility are down 52 percent since 1999 (for more details see the American Petroleum Institute (API) report released in 2016). 

The Fraser Institute, an independent think tank in Canada ranked as one of the top (19th) think tanks in the world by The University of Pennsylvania, analyzed Canadian data on oil and natural gas transport, and found:

“In general, the transport of oil and gas is quite safe by all modes: pipeline, rail, and tanker, though there are differences between the modes that should be considered when developing infrastructure.”

Specifically, “pipelines suffer few occurrences (accidents and incidents)…between 2004 and 2015, pipelines experienced approximately 0.05 occurrences per million barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe) transported.”

Kenneth Green, Fraser Institute’s senior director of energy and natural resource studies and co-author of the study, summarizes the “evidence is clear—building new pipelines and shipping oil by tanker is the safest and most environmentally responsible way to get Canadian oil to global markets.”

In addition, the study finds that “while both pipeline and rail transportation of oil and gas are quite safe…pipelines continue to result in fewer accidents and fewer releases of product, when taking into consideration the amount of product moved.”

These statistics focus on operations.  Concerns about pipeline construction risks, especially with respect to drinking water, recently led to a halt in Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East 2 Pipeline construction that was resolved by agreement with the Clean Air Council, Delaware Riverkeeper Network, and Mountain Association. Discussion about risks during construction coming soon in Part II. 

To learn more, contact:

Skelly Holmbeck
Senior Consultant

How to Convert Urban Land into the Coolest Place for a Picnic

by Skelly Holmbeck, Advanced GeoServices & BCONE Regional Council

Walk out the eighth floor of Brandywine Realty Trust’s dazzling Evo Tower in Philadelphia and you encounter Cira Green – an urban park extraordinaire with over an acre of rolling green space suited for  strolls, picnics, and events with a fabulous city view. 

Plateaued between two “vertical neighborhoods” (more on that later), Cira Green is the striking, dog friendly green space that transforms a parking garage into an urban gem.  Conceived by Jerry Sweeney, Brandywine’s President and CEO, Cira Green and the entire LEED certified Cira Centre are the kind of sustainable innovation that is rejuvenating Philadelphia’s city scape.  This is sustainable urban redevelopment at its best.  

The technology under the park maximizes the ability of this space to serve as a stormwater management system that stores excess rainwater in a cistern, and reuses it to water grass, plants and trees on Cira Green.  This is a self-contained ecosystem that does not generate stormwater runoff.  The Delaware Valley Green Building Council recognized this site with its Groundbreaker Award. 

You do not have to live here to enjoy this space – it is open to the public, as long as you don’t bring more than 500 of your friends at once (maximum occupancy permitted on Cira Green is 500).

Paul Commito, Brandywine Realty Trust Senior Vice President and incoming Chair of the Philadelphia District Council of the Urban Land Institute, shared the story of this site and other innovative brownfield developments as Keynote speaker for the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast’s Sustainable Communities Workshop on May 25, 2017.

Adjacent to Cira Green is Evo Tower, the tallest “dorm” in the country, as well as FMC tower, a LEED Gold certified “vertical neighborhood” with more than 1 Million square feet of space on less than one acre of land that is home to FMC corporation, additional office space, ultra-luxury residences, hotel suites, a 72 foot pool, fitness center, theater, and a world class restaurant and a bar (run by Michelin star rated Rebelle from NYC).

In May, the Brookings Institute released a report on the challenges and opportunities facing Philadelphia’s standing as an international leader: “Connect to compete: How the University City-Center City innovation district can help Philadelphia excel globally and serve locally”.  The University City-Center City innovation district, where the Cira Centre is located, is an area where Brandywine is teaming with Drexel and local communities to promote economic growth and innovative research. Brookings cites Brandywine’s collaborative work as one of the major projects positioning the City for explosive growth: “Brandywine Realty Trust and Drexel are set to break ground on the Schuylkill Yards development in 2017, which…is envisioned to hold nearly 5 million new square feet of mixed-use space focused on connecting the private, public, and non-profit areas through innovation.”

The Report notes:

Research shows Philadelphia’s chance of becoming a top-tier city—with the attendant firms, jobs, revenues, and innovations that status would bring to the city and region—cannot hinge on individual acts or institutions. Given its assets and the progress it has already made, it is clear Philadelphia can rise to this collective challenge. With federal and state funding receding and the next-generation technologies that will determine the competitive cities of the future in rapid development, now is the time for Philadelphia’s leaders to fulfill the city’s full potential.

The Brandywine Realty Trust team, with their ability to transform urban sites into sustainable, multi-faceted, world class communities, is leading the way. 

The Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop brought together over 300 brownfield experts at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. 

For more information, contact:

Skelly Holmbeck
Senior Consultant

New Ozone Groundwater Treatment System Mobilized to New York Site

ozone groundwater treatment system

It may look little, but it packs a punch.  Advanced GeoServices' upgraded ozone injection system will start treating Trichloroethene and Tetrachloroethene contaminated groundwater source area this month to enhance the natural attenuation of the dissolve phase plume.  Stay tuned for progress updates.  Thank you to Joel Leusink of Oxidation Technologies for their support with the upgrades.

For more information, contact:

Rick Shoyer, LSRP
Senior Project Consultant

Stephen Kirschner, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant

AGC Assists Client with Nearly Doubling Size of Campus

For the past five years our client, SEI Investments, has been hiring almost 200 people a year, which means that this growing company has almost outgrown their campus in Oaks, PA.  To remedy this situation, they will nearly double the size of their current campus by developing 90 acres of land and adding around 425,000-square-feet in new buildings over the next several years.  

AGC Assists Client with Nearly Doubling Size of Campus

AGC has been assisting with the design of this expansion of this unique site, referred to as the "Idea Farm".  According to Dennis J. McGonigle, chief financial officer, from an article in the Philadelphia Business Journal, “It’s not a place for power point presentations but a place to talk, think, create and move the company forward”.  

To design this innovative campus, AGC provided geotechnical engineering, civil engineering/site design, and landscape architecture services.  Site elements such as buildings, parking, pedestrian circulation, grading, stormwater management, and vegetation work in harmony to create a landscape that is it aesthetically pleasing and functional. We employed stormwater BMPs, along with renovating and re-incorporating the existing pond to eliminate the need for detention basins.  The project won the Montgomery County Planning Commission 1997 Outstanding Site Design Award.

For more information on SEI Investments and the Idea Farm, contact:

Mike Gladnick, RLA
Senior Project Consultant

AGC’s Barry Stingel to speak at May 12 Chesco Future Focus event

Barry G. Stingel, RLA, ASLA

AGC’s Barry G. Stingel, RLA, ASLA will be speaking at the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce’s (WCCCC) “Future Focus Case Studies: From Site Selection to Handing Over the Keys” event on May 12, 2017, which will be held at the Public Safety Training Facility in Coatesville, PA from 7:30am-9:30am. 

As one of the panelists, Barry will discuss current developments, rationale behind site selection, challenges to construction, and the anticipated impact of various projects on western Chester County’s overall economic growth and quality of life.  Barry is “looking forward to an interesting panel discussion with my colleagues in the land development industry on May 12th. Thanks to the WCCCC for putting together this event.”

Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce

To register for this event, go to

To learn more about how AGC can assist you with all phases of site development, contact:

Barry G. Stingel, RLA, ASLA
Project Consultant

AGC Celebrates 25 Years

Advanced GeoServices Corp celebrates 25 years in business

This month, Advanced GeoServices Corp. (AGC) will proudly celebrate our 25th year anniversary.  We have come a long way since our humble beginnings in 1992, growing from a staff of six, providing environmental and geotechnical engineering services, to a staff of over 60 people and a diverse service offering, having added Civil/Site Design Engineering, Municipal Engineering, Water and Wastewater Engineering, and Landscape Architecture services.  We expanded our geographic footprint beyond West Chester, PA with offices in Lancaster, PA; Fair Lawn, NJ; Neptune, NJ; and Cherry Hill, NJ.  

Along the way, we acquired several engineering consulting companies to better serve our clients.  Through these acquisitions we continued to diversify our services and welcome talented staff to our firm.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients for their unwavering support for, and confidence in, Advanced GeoServices.  Without them, we would not be where we are today.  We are especially thankful to the companies who put their trust in a small, unknown, untested company 25 years ago and continue to do so.  They are not only our clients, but now, long-time friends.  

We would also like to thank our extremely talented employees who have worked with us over the past 25 years.  Many of them have been with us for over 20 years!  We continually rely on the depth and breadth of their expertise and knowledge to tackle the complex and challenging problems our clients bring us.  We are grateful for their loyalty to us and to our clients.

As we move into our second quarter century, we recognize that the world is rapidly changing and we look forward to the challenges ahead.  As the world changes, we will be needed to design those changes, while continuing to protect the environment around us.  We stand ready!

Dan Daily

AGC Has Effectively Treated 1,4 Dioxane

1,4 Dioxane

1,4 Dioxane is a contaminant that is found in cleaning products and personal care products that we use every day.  It is a hard to treat contaminant, especially in drinking water. Communities such as Hicksville, NY have found widespread 1,4-Dioxane contamination and the problem extends to other parts of Long Island.  Many communities in the United States are looking for ways to treat this complex compound.

Advanced GeoServices was able to treat 1,4 Dioxane to below the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (NJDEP) Groundwater Quality Standards (GWQS) of 0.4 µg/l through several treatability studies using Advanced Oxidation Processes (AOPs).

To learn more about how we can remediate recalcitrant organic compounds using Advanced Oxidation Processes such as 1,4 Dioxane, please visit our Oxidation Testing & Solutions website or contact:

Rick Shoyer, LSRP
Senior Project Consultant

Chris Reitman, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant

PA Act 2 Closure at a Residential Property

PA Act 2 Closure at a Residential Property

A No. 2 fuel-oil release occurred at a residential property in Bucks County, PA.   On behalf of an estate, Advanced GeoServices conducted soil closure reporting services associated with a release of No. 2 fuel-oil from an aboveground storage tank (AST) located in the basement of the residence under the Pennsylvania Land Recycling Program (Act 2). The property was vacant and the estate was preparing the property for sale.

The report established that contaminated soil was excavated from beneath the basement floor and Advanced GeoServices collected soil samples from the excavation to demonstrate compliance.  Based on the rapid remedial response to the release, all apparently impacted (source) material had been removed from the Site and properly disposed.  Post-remediation soil sampling attained Statewide Health Standards and Advanced GeoServices determined that the release did not impact groundwater. Based on these conditions, a Release of Liability for Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) No. 2 fuel-oil parameters, as set forth under Act 2, was obtained.

According to the client, “As a result of vandalism, we experienced an oil spill in our basement.   During the clean up process it was discovered that the underground water had evidence of oil.  At this point we engaged Advanced GeoServices to remediate this situation and to enable us to obtain a PADEP approval according to the Act 2 standards.  Throughout this process, Advanced GeoServices efforts were performed with professionalism, respect for our property, and constant communication concerning changes and/or progress.  Their openness to any and all questions was a definite plus.  Thanks to their efforts and diligence, we recently received our approval letter from the PADEP.”

To learn more about our services for PA Act 2 Closures, contact:

Chris Valligny, LSRP
Project Professional

AGC part of Greater Philadelphia's Middle Market Growth

Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia

AGC's Skelly Holmbeck recently attended the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia's (Chamber) "Growth Matters: Activating Greater Philadelphia’s Middle Market" event to discuss Mobilizing Philadelphia's Middle Market, which includes companies with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.  According to the Chamber, these companies "currently represent 27 percent of total regional employment, despite accounting for only approximately one percent of companies." 

The Chamber studied the middle market and released the findings in their Mobilizing Greater Philadelphia’s Middle Market study, which "explores the middle market’s impact on the region’s economy and examines the key findings that distinguish the potential for significant job growth middle market companies can create."

According to the Report, six key themes could encourage middle market growth in the region:

1. STEM and front-line talent
2. Sustaining growth in closely held businesses
3. Access to capital needed for growth
4. Business climate
5. Transportation infrastructure
6. Industry hubs and startup pipeline

Skelly Holmbeck is actively involved in transforming the "Industry hubs and startup pipeline" through the Chamber's Greater Philadelphia's Energy Action Team (GPEAT), with her focus on transforming the Philadelphia region into an Energy Hub.  In addition to working with the Chamber and GPEAT, Skelly has arranged events through other professional organizations to connect people and help create the Energy Hub. 

View the full report »

To learn more about how you can benefit from the the Greater Philadelphia Middle Market Growth, contact Skelly at:

Skelly Holmbelck
Senior Consultant

AGC is helping to plan The State of Energy Technology event

State of Energy Technology event

Advanced GeoServices is helping to plan the invitation-only "The State of Energy Technology" event on Tuesday, November 22, 2016 at the Sheraton Valley Forge in King of Prussia, PA. 

The event is sponsored by the Cleantech Alliance Mid-Atlantic in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund and feature discussions on energy technology investment, recent developments, and recent achievements in the region.

Speakers include:

Panelists include:

If you would like to attend this event or learn more about it, please contact:

Skelly Holmbeck
Senior Consultant


Historic Fill Almost Sinks Brownfield Redevelopment

Historic Fill Almost Sinks Brownfield Redevelopment

The Eastwick section of Philadelphia had historically been used for the placement of 15,000,000 cubic yards of river dredge spoils and fill to raise the land and make buildable land in the 1960s and 1970s.  The fill varies in depth across the region and in locations extents below the groundwater table. 

Advanced GeoServices (AGC) was providing civil and geotechnical engineering support for a land developer when the project was halted due to environmental testing.  An out-of-state consultant was suggesting that significant remediation may be needed due to metals, volatile, and semi-volatile compounds.  Advanced GeoServices’ environmental group was retained by the land owner to provide a second opinion.  A fast-track data review and historic research was completed and used to develop a strategic approach that significantly reduced the uncertainty associated with the environmental issues.   AGC demonstrated that the historic fill was not the result of a site release but rather a regional background issue.   A focused site investigation and analysis showed arsenic was the only constituent of concern and that a site-specific, pathway elimination remedial approach could be easily incorporated into the redevelopment with minimal additional costs.  A Cleanup Plan was subsequently approved by PADEP and the project is currently under construction.

For more information on this project or to discuss your redevelopment site, contact:

DanWright, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant

Steve Kirschner, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant