• PCB Regulations: Why the 50 ppm cut-off?
    February 15, 2018
    The other day I got an email asking a good, basic question about the federal PCB regulations: “Where did the 50 ppm regulatory cut-off for PCBs come from?”  Is it a science based number? Or did the 50 …
  • Geotechnical Engineering Series: Building Settlement issues in Western New England
    January 9, 2018
      The OTO geotechnical group will feature a series of blogs discussing soil settlement concerns and mitigation.  Topics will include forensic studies and remediation alternatives for existing building …
  • An Ounce of Prevention
    October 2, 2017
    A lot of what OTO does involves helping clients manage risks. Sometimes we do this in a reactive mode– digging up leaking gasoline tanks, capping abandoned landfills, and otherwise resolving problems …
  • Why do I have to remove my old underground storage tank?
    August 23, 2017
      The Underground Tank Problem If you own an old underground storage tank (UST) in Massachusetts, particularly a single-walled steel tank, chances are you have heard about the push to remove these old …
  • Changes to the RCRA Generator Requirements
    May 31, 2017
    With all the hubbub in Washington DC lately, it’s been largely overlooked that some of the regulatory changes that started under the previous administration are only now coming to fruition. For exampl …
  • PCBs in Buildings: Primary Sources, Secondary Sinks and Tertiary Sinks
    May 9, 2017
    PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, are a group of related chemicals that were used for a variety of applications up until the 1970s.  In the 1960s the development of improved gas chromatography methods …
  • Safety Training has Come a Long Way
    February 7, 2017
    This picture is of a coal mine in West Virginia; the publication it was in was dated 1946, where it was presented as an example of ‘the bad old days.’ I found it in an old copy of the quarterly employ …
  • Built to Last – Sustainable Designing for the (Very) Long Term
    December 13, 2016
    Another year is drawing to a close and everyone’s thinking about the future a little more.  At OTO we spend a lot of time thinking about the future because so much of what we do boils down to risk man …
  • Coal Tar – Yesterday’s Nuisance, Today’s Problem
    October 24, 2016
    Coal Tar – Yesterday’s Nuisance, Today’s Problem OTO’s work includes a lot of remediation projects.in Massachusetts and Connecticut. One of the things we run into on occasion is coal tar, a viscous, b …
  • PCB Laboratory Analysis Note
    August 4, 2016
    Thanks to a friend’s sharp eye, I recently learned something new about the analysis PCB caulk samples.  Because of its potential significance I thought it deserved a special blog note. First a little …