Environmental Value Engineering

eve

Environmental Value Engineering (EVE) Services

Our Environmental Value Engineering (EVE) service derives its name from the originating principles of Value Engineering – the acquisition of substitutions that provide equal or better performance at a lower cost. This concept is applied to the analysis of individual conditions in existing environmental permits and approvals. Through comprehensive review of your permits, approvals, and compliance documents; review of the regulator’s interpretation and application of current environmental regulations; review of your existing compliance operations and processes; and consultation with the individuals most knowledgeable about your facilities – your operations managers and facility staff; we identify alternatives and solutions that target real reduction in the costs associated with environmental compliance.

You may have spent months or years getting your facility’s environmental approvals in place, and have been operating under the conditions of those approvals ever since. Many of these are likely the original conditions included in those approvals.

How confident are you that these operating requirements are:

  • Actually necessary to comply with the current regulations?
  • Complimentary so that conditions among your permits do not conflict?
  • Equivalent to the requirements applied to other facilities in your industry?
  • Allowing for the greatest operating flexibility?
  • Consistent with current interpretations of the regulations?
  • The most cost effective to achieve compliance?

The Problem

The conditions included in permits and approvals identify operating limitations as well as monitoring and reporting requirements – all striving to capture the intent of the actual regulations. An unfortunate outcome during initial permit development is that expediency, driven by the need for timely acquisition of a permit to allow construction and operation to proceed, often dictates that thoughtful negotiation of the individual terms of permit conditions must be sacrificed. Further, evolution of operating conditions through time, changes in technology and standards, and successive permit iterations often result in unnecessary, inefficient, conflicting, and/or outdated compliance requirements resulting in significant expense that increases operating costs.

The Solution

A successful EVE review stems from Steigers’ application of experience, critical thinking, and quality technical input. Steigers’ staff has extensive expertise in environmental permitting for a wide variety of industries and permit types, the depth of experience needed to critically evaluate your permits and approvals, and the knowledge to effectively apply internal and external technical expertise. We also recognize the critical value of your input for the completion of a thorough review that will originate practical, usable results for your facility. The knowledge, familiarity, and collaboration of a manager or operator are invaluable to the successful outcome of the work. Steigers will efficiently use your contribution of knowledge and time to maximize the effectiveness of the EVE review for your facility.

EVE in Practice

Air Quality – The facility air permit for existing emission units had NOx emissions limits that were based on worst-case NOx emission factors (lb fuel/hr and 100% load). Steigers’ review recommended that the facility modify its air permit to replace existing NOx emission factors with those based on multiple loads and lb fuel/gallon. Combined with a study that utilized existing facility data, the facility successfully demonstrated that monthly cumulative fuel readings produced slightly higher NOx emission totals than daily fuel readings, thereby saving significant manpower. Through these changes the facility reduced its calculated monthly NOx emissions by 18%, reduced annual emission fees paid to the regulator, increased operating flexibility, and reduced manpower costs through less frequent data collection. The cost savings and value to the facility of the additional electrical generation was $33,000/month.

Water Quality – By working with facility managers and regulators, we identified an opportunity to develop a stormwater plan and appropriate stormwater treatment infrastructure that could be installed within the facility’s existing stormwater system. This modification provided effective treatment of site-wide surface runoff prior to entering a stormwater detention basin, which allowed that basin to also serve as a wetland mitigation site. Treatment was adequate to obtain U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approval even though the Corps elsewhere assert that they “do not approve stormwater detention in mitigation sites.” This approach reduced the costs of construction as well as the loss of developable commercial property for a total project savings of $800,000.

Review

The EVE review produces recommended alternatives, actions, and modifications that you can implement at your discretion to simplify and reduce your costs for environmental compliance. Every EVE review is independent and tailored to your specific facility goals and objectives, both long- and short-term. Steigers can evaluate all facility approvals, permits related to a specific resource area (i.e., air, water, groundwater), or an individual permit – the service is adaptable to suit your needs or areas of concern.