Statement from Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) on recent inaccurate characterizations by WVDEP Secretary

Edited from a Press Release

PITTSBURGH, PA – June 18, 2014 – Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) is providing this statement to correct the inaccurate characterizations of CEC’s responsibilities and activities at the Freedom Industries facility in Charleston, West Virginia, that were made by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary, Randy Huffman, on Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

Secretary Huffman indicated that CEC was “responsible” for “spills” last week at the facility and that he wanted CEC removed from the project.  CEC believes that the Secretary’s request for the removal of CEC from the project was based on an inaccurate understanding of CEC’s role and responsibilities at the facility.

As documented in a Status Report prepared by Freedom Industries’ Chief Restructuring Officer (CRO) Mark Welch dated June 17, 2014, the release that occurred on June 12, 2014, was the result of improper execution of the DEP-approved Interim Remedial Measures (IRMs), improper operation of a collection pump, and inadequate monitoring of the performance of the DEP-approved IRMs. CEC was retained as Freedom Industries’ environmental consultant, and was not retained (and therefore not responsible) for execution, operation or monitoring purposes.

The second release, which occurred on June 13, 2014, was the result of a thunderstorm that exceeded the capacity of the collection system. This exceedance of the collection system’s capacity was exacerbated by the improper execution of the DEP-approved IRMs. CEC is not responsible for the improper execution of the DEP-approved IRMs, as CEC’s role was that of Freedom Industries’ environmental consultant only.


As Freedom Industries’ environmental consultant, CEC is responsible for “assessment of the impacts of the January 2014 release and the development of the remedial action plan to mitigate those impacts.”


Further, the Status Report indicated that “Freedom met with its environmental consultant’s subcontractor to re-establish the 24-hour servicing plan” and mentions “guard service at night that has been rendered unnecessary with 24-hour monitoring coverage by the subcontractor to Freedom’s environmental consultant.” CEC has never had a subcontractor working at the Freedom Industries facility, nor has CEC directed the activities of any Freedom Industries subcontractor at the Freedom Industries facility. The subcontractor cited in the Status Report is under direct contract with and receives direction from Freedom Industries only. CEC has since requested these aforementioned inaccuracies in the Status Report be changed to accurately reflect CEC’s role and responsibilities.


Despite CEC’s lack of culpability for the recent releases, CEC will work cooperatively with Freedom Industries and DEP to transition a new environmental consultant onto the project.


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Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) is a company of professionals who provide comprehensive industry-focused consulting services to advance our clients’ strategic business objectives. CEC offers knowledge, innovative design solutions and integrated expertise in the primary practice areas of civil engineering, environmental engineering and sciences, ecological sciences, waste management and water resources.

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