While WSP USA has long offered risk assessment services, recent growth has enabled the development of a coordinated, interdisciplinary team of experts within the firm’s Environment business line dedicated to helping clients develop and maintain healthy and sustainable environments.
The Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment service is a logical progression for a firm that has become a recognized leader in the development and implementation of methods for assessing, communicating and managing health and ecological risks that are both innovative and practical.
The team includes toxicologists, health physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers, statisticians and modeling expertise throughout the U.S., with international presences in Canada, Europe and Australia.
“While in the past it may have been enough to find solutions that mitigate exposure and mobility of toxins in the environment, today we recognize that earth moving or water treatment projects also provide an opportunity to contribute to sustainability and resilience needs,” said Dr. Steve Ackerlund, a senior scientist within the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment services at WSP.
Ackerlund is a human health and ecological risk assessor with 35 years of experience working for industry and government clients on commercial, industrial, transportation, re-development, mining and residential types of sites. His expertise covers all phases of hazardous waste site investigation and remedy development, environmental permitting, toxicity assessment, chemical fate and transport modeling, and project management.
He noted that effective assessment and communication of human health and ecological risk associated with hazardous and toxic substances is foundational to managing a clients’ environmental liability and sustainability.
“Risk assessment is the science that determines the concentration at which contamination in the air, water, soil or sediment poses a potential health threat to humans or the environment and is otherwise a regulatory compliance problem,” Ackerlund said. “It is used to determine soil, groundwater or sediment cleanup levels, water or air discharge limits, and health impacts from proposed projects such as new transportation corridors.”
“WSP’s risk assessment team offers a breadth and depth of experience that enables our clients to achieve compliance with federal, state and local environmental quality laws and regulations,” said Steve Paquette, national Environment business line leader for WSP. “We now have a deep bench of diversified expertise pertaining to risk that will become a recognized presence in the marketplace.”
The team’s wide-ranging service areas include hazardous chemicals in the environment, toxic chemicals in the workplace, assessing discharges associated with permitting new projects, hazardous chemical registration, constructing safe buildings on brownfields sites, impacts of transportation or urban plans on health, and many other applications.