At North Shore, a large part of supporting our clients with their projects lies within the abilities of our Technical Resource Group (TRG). The TRG is a multi-disciplinary team that performs select environmental assessments, technical reviews, data management, and quality control; all while maintaining consistency in reporting within our organization.
“The TRG provides internal project teams and our clients with technical, regulatory and field-level expertise in Phase 1 and 2 Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), and Remediation and Reclamation work,” says Ann Tuson, Manager, TRG. “Our team helps to ensure projects presented to our clients are technically sound with clear findings and recommendations to achieve regulatory closure.”
Every environmental report that requires professional sign-off is reviewed by the TRG which is comprised of a variety of functions including the Phase 1 ESA Team, Data Management Group, Drafting Team, and Report Review Group, along with our some of our most senior Technical Advisors.
“We have a dedicated Phase 1 ESA reporting team that’s capable of executing large volumes of quality reports,” says Ann. “Last year alone, we completed more than 650 reports for our clients within an 8-month time period,” she adds.
Phase 1 ESAs are typically conducted following the abandonment or decommissioning of an oil or gas site. During completion of a Phase 1 ESA, a review of historical information is conducted and the current site condition is documented through a visual site inspection. This allows our team to determine the environmental condition of a property.
“Depending on the complexity of the site, it can mean a lot of sorting through documents and making sense of information,” Ann says.
Results can vary for each project. There are times when no potential impacts are identified during the Phase 1 ESA and our clients can move forward with the next steps in the reclamation process; other times the results show the presence of areas of potential environmental concern, which require further investigation, typically leading to our client requesting a Phase 2 ESA.
Phase 2 ESAs require our Environmental Consultants do an on-site investigation where they take samples of soil or groundwater, and collect large amounts of data that needs analyzing and compiling, which is completed by the TRG, specifically those that specialize in data management.
Part of Ann’s role includes overseeing the Data Management Group, which is responsible for reviewing, compiling, and logging project-related data.
“When one of our Environmental Consultants completes a Phase 2 ESA for a client, our Data Management Team tabulates the raw field data and laboratory results from samples collected on-site,” Ann explains. “Our Data Management Group is responsible for the presentation, accuracy and integrity of that information.”
Following the organization of the field data, often presented in tables, the next step is to add any diagrams or figures, which is where the Drafting Team offers support.
“Any diagrams, figures or drawings are completed by our Drafting Team. These items and are often included as supplementary information to the reports,” Ann says. “Our Drafting team is very skilled at creating complex figures to highlight important findings related to the Phase 2 ESA,” she adds.
Once the appendices are prepared, the project then goes back to the Environmental Consultant for report writing before being submitted for Senior Technical review. The review process is crucial in ensuring consistency and accuracy of the information for our clients and for internal purposes. Once reviewed, the report goes through a brief quality assurance process, and is then sent to the client.
One unique aspect about North Shore’s TRG is that it also encompasses a variety of Senior Technical Advisors that mentor our junior staff, share their knowledge and expertise, and provide technical support to project teams during the reporting process. The Advisor role is especially important when new regulations are implemented from provincial regulators or governing bodies.
The need for a TRG
North Shore’s TRG didn’t always exist the way it does today. Jeremy Paul, Vice President, Innovation says the group formed out of “necessity” when teams became extremely busy working in the field.
“It started with the spill team a number of years ago,” he says. “That group was so busy and had a large number of projects on the go. They didn’t have enough time to complete the field work, review lab results and then put the data into tables for reports.”
“They were working super long days and then trying to create the reports at night and it became too much, so we knew it was a smart idea to bring in someone to manage the data for the field crews, and that was the start of the Data Management Group.”
“From there it made sense to combine the other functions under one team to ensure an efficient and smooth report process from beginning to end,” he adds.
“Having all the client reports go through the same process allowed us to develop templates and standards, and in the end, allows us to deliver a solid product to our clients.”
North Shore is constantly looking for ways to improve the business, and the TRG is a perfect example of internal groups working together to better serve our clients.
“Going forward we want the group to become even more efficient, so we are working towards refining certain processes. With the ever-changing realm of technology, we know we can find ways to make things even better and take our team to the next level!”
Contact us to learn more about our Technical Resource Group and how we can help with your next project.