Cost Control

Harper Environmental has developed a strong subcontractor agreement and review process that allows us to utilized properly insured and competent contractors to support our project goals. We maintain solid insurance levels, and annually review our policies with our brokers. Contracts are used on every project. The Statement of Terms and Conditions that we use, specifies the work to be completed, and protects the customer as well as HEA. In most cases, our contract is required by our insurance coverage.

Many of our projects fall under State-Reimbursement criteria, where the State pay for investigation and cleanup costs. These projects require workplan and budget approval from the State Project Manager before we proceed with a project. The workscope and budget must adhere to strict subcontractor costing and consultant hourly rates. HEA maintains a close working relationship with the State on State-funded projects so that we may receive approval for these budgets."


Economic Risk Assessment and Advanced Project Planning

Advanced Project Planning is a technique that allows for identifying and mapping all decisions and chance events relating to an environmental remediation project. Owners of sites which require remediation seek answers to the following, difficult questions:

  • How can we ensure that the best overall strategy for site clean-up is chosen?
  • How much is it ultimately going to cost to clean-up this site?
  • How can we predict when this environmental project will actually be completed?

These questions are difficult to answer due to the lack of information inherent to environmental remediation projects which translates into uncertainty. The source of uncertainty arises from heterogeneity’s in the subsurface; limitations of site assessment techniques; limited performance data on remedial technologies; changing regulatory interpretations; and changing legal requirements.

To further understand project uncertainty, a project manager should understand the driving forces behind any environmental project.


Regulatory Driving Forces


  • soil/groundwater/air cleanup goals (local, state, & federal)
  • site background conditions
  • environmental actions to date
  • sensitive receptors, long term exposure scenarios
  • health risk considerations
  • interim remedial actions
  • past, acceptable remedial action measures
  • reimbursement potential for the owner
  • knowledge of the regulators


Technical Driving Forces


  • hydrogeologic/geologic environment
  • potential contaminants involved (VOCs, SVOCs, metals, solvents etc)
  • transport mechanisms
  • vapor intrusion into homes/businesses
  • health and safety concerns of workers and abutters
  • interactions of mixed wastes: LNAPLs and DNAPLs


Political Driving Forces


  • third party impact by contaminants
  • ongoing operation of facility
  • budgetary and time constraints
  • media exposure/community relations
  • real estate strategy; sell/buy/lease
  • legal obligations
  • future liabilities


CLOSURE is our goal and is sometimes a negotiated set of targets worked out with the State/Federal regulators that will lead to a “clean bill of health”. The closure process may have stipulations that certain levels of chemicals can remain in soil and groundwater based on little or no risks to human health and the environment, or that a deed restriction needs to be recorded on the title of the property.