Municipal Oversight

The Problem

Municipalities usually employ municipal engineers to review development projects and advise on municipal infrastructure. Yet sometimes municipal engineers are not specialized in environmental regulatory matters and may not be able to address all the environmental issues that the municipality must address. As a result, there can be a need for a specialized, independent environmental engineer to serve municipal government.

The Solution

SAI has been serving various municipalities in the capacity of an independent environmental consultant to help in an on-call basis with critical investigations and reviews. SAI has responded to provide knowledgeable reviews of plans and programs, ensuring a high level of objectivity. Because we work directly with the towns we serve, we are sensitive to what’s important to the people of the community. Our in-depth knowledge of environmental regulations allows us to assist municipalities in their efforts to provide a safe and environmentally attractive community.

Our local elected officials and appointed public employees are strongly committed to implementing programs and projects that are designed to provide a better quality of life for their constituents. The “independent” environmental consultant is neither involved with review of development projects, nor does he or she represent developers working in the affected municipality; therefore, he or she is able to focus objectively on critical environmental issues.

Many municipalities are looking to clean up and possibly reuse contaminated or otherwise underutilized sites. Town officials often lack the expertise to analyze the most efficient remediation approaches allowed by law. Others are faced with an emergency which requires immediate attention. By developing a relationship with SAI and understanding our abilities and commitment to the town before an emergency occurs, municipalities may utilize our expertise on an “on-call” basis to provide an independent assessment of a developer’s plan or an engineer’s strategy or conservation goal, with a clear understanding of the goals of the community.

    Examples of services recently provided by SAI to municipalities include:

  • Assisting the City of Camden in evaluating levels of contamination in a large soil berm placed during construction of a light rail system next to a residential area
  • Assisting Hamilton Township, Mercer County in evaluating a brownfields redevelopment project during Planning Board review
  • Evaluating soil contamination in a series of residential wells in West Amwell Township and coordinating cleanup and construction of specialized treatment systems
  • Assisting municipalities in obtaining grants for remediation and cleanup of brownfield sites
  • Testifying before planning boards on environmental aspects of development applications

For more information on SAI’s approach to municipal oversight projects, please click on the link below to see our Fall 2005 and Winter 2006 newsletters.