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GEI Consultants and Chadwick Ecological Consultants Merge

Posted September 26, 2006 by

BOSTON, Mass. and LITTLETON, Co. – August 14, 2006 – GEI Consultants, Inc., one of the nation?s leading geotechnical, environmental, and water resources engineering firms, announced today that Chadwick Ecological Consultants, Inc., and Chadwick & Associates, Inc., have merged into GEI. The combined firm will have projected billings of over $46 million and a staff of 285 operating from 16 offices and providing services in 40 states.

With offices in Littleton, Colorado and Tucson, Arizona, Chadwick Ecological is a full-service ecological consulting firm with experience in the design, implementation, and management of aquatic studies throughout the United States since 1979. The firm prides itself on providing clients with thorough ecological studies culminating in scientific reports which meet or exceed the requirements of various State and Federal regulatory agencies, in a timely fashion, and at a reasonable cost. Chadwick & Associates? ecological laboratory provides compliance and research-level aquatic toxicity testing, as well as nutrient analyses and biological sample analysis.

“GEI and Chadwick Ecological share similar corporate philosophies and a commitment to excellence in the environmental field,” said Jim Chadwick, president at Chadwick Ecological Consultants. “We expect to capitalize on the potential synergies of combining GEI engineering knowledge with our ecological problem solving.”

GEI was founded to provide geotechnical engineering for the design of buildings, bridges, roads, nuclear power plants, and dams. Since then, GEI has expanded its practice to include environmental and water resources engineering based on its comprehensive knowledge of soil behavior, groundwater flow, and earth science as contaminated soil and groundwater emerged as critical issues. Through this merger with Chadwick Ecological, GEI is now expanding its services further to include ecological sciences, because these services are frequently required on projects involving soil, rock, surface water and groundwater challenges.

“As a nation we are facing two conflicting trends: a growing population is putting more demand on the environment, and a population that wants a better environment in which to live. Strengthening our ecological practice is very important to the future of GEI, and we feel that Chadwick is an excellent fit with our company’s philosophy and culture. Together, we will work closely with our clients to find better ways to accommodate growth while mitigating its impact on our environment,” said Frank Leathers, P.E., president of GEI Consultants.

About GEI Consultants, Inc.:
Founded in 1970, GEI?s talented staff of nearly 250 multi-disciplined engineers and scientists delivers integrated geotechnical, environmental, and water-related planning, design, and construction solutions to diverse clientele from offices nationwide. Over its 35-year history, the firm has provided a broad range of consulting and engineering services on over 10,000 projects in 50 states and 22 foreign countries. For more information, please visit www.geiconsultants.com.


LNG Supplies, Solutions Lacking: Regional Planning Tough to Execute, Top Regulator Says

Posted September 26, 2006 by

New England badly needs new supplies of liquefied natural gas, the country’s top energy regulator said yesterday, but he’s skeptical of calls for regional decision-making about where to put controversial LNG unloading and storage facilities.

Joseph T. Kelliher, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, speaking at a Boston energy conference, said the region came close to having to shut off gas customers involuntarily two winters ago to ration scarce supplies.

“You were saved last winter by the fact that we had the warmest January in 112 years,” he said. “You can’t base your policy on the assumption that that will recur. New England does need new energy supplies. You’re at the end of the pipeline.”

With nearly a dozen proposals for LNG plants pending from Eastern Canada to Rhode Island, many local officials and environmental activists have said Kelliher’s agency should get more involved in shaping a regionwide planning process for how many plants need to be built, and where. Many proposals, such as one in Fall River, face fierce opposition over fears that a terrorist attack or an accident involving an LNG tanker or storage plant could unleash a catastrophic firestorm, killing thousands of people.

“Regional siting has some initial appeal,” Kelliher said.

But in other instances, such as finding places to store low-level radioactive waste, it has either failed to get anything constructed or has led to states due to get unpopular facilities reneging on their commitments to participate in multi-state planning.

Regional siting is difficult. It hasn’t actually worked in other contexts,” Kelliher said.

He added that the FERC can’t fill the role of regional decision-maker because “We’re not an economic regulator when it comes to LNG. We are purely a safety regulator.”

Besides the Weaver’s Cove LNG facility proposed for Fall River, other LNG proposals in the region include:

  • Converting Outer Brewster Island in Boston Harbor from a park into an LNG terminal.
  • Building two offshore unloading facilities about 10 miles southeast of
  • Erecting a facility on Passamaquoddy Indian tribal land close to the
    Maine-New Brunswick border.
  • Irving Oil is currently building an LNG plant in St. John’s, New Brunswick,
    near a pipeline that feeds New England.

Kelliher spoke at an energy conference at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel sponsored by Independent System Operator New England, which runs the six-state power grid.
Peter J. Howe can be reached at howe@globe.com.


Burack Confirmed as Environmental Services Commissioner

Posted September 26, 2006 by

LACONIA – Gov. John Lynch and the Executive Council today confirmed Thomas Burack, who will bring both business and environmental experience to the job, as Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Services.

“New Hampshire’s environment and natural resources are among our state’s most important economic assets, and I look forward to working with Tom Burack to protect them while fostering economic growth,” Gov. Lynch said. “Tom brings a broad range of environmental and business experience to this job, and we will work closely to bring people together to find common-sense solutions that work for New Hampshire.”

Burack will begin his new post on Nov. 1.

Burack is a partner at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green in Manchester, where he specializes in environmental, real estate and corporate law. From 1988 to 1989, Burack served as a law clerk for then-Associate New Hampshire Supreme Court Justice David Souter. From 1982 to 1984, he served as legislative assistant for environmental matters for U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey.

Since 1990, Burack has served as chair of the Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire’s WasteCap Program Steering committee, which works to help New Hampshire businesses save money by reducing solid waste, conserving energy and water, and preventing pollution. As a member of the BIA’s Environmental Affairs Committee, Burack assisted in the drafting of the state’s Brownfields Program, a law enacted in 1996 that helps promote the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties.
Burack is chair of the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Authority, and served as a member and chairman of the commission that recommended the creation of LCHIP. He is a former member of the board of trustees for the Audubon Society of New Hampshire and now serves as an honorary trustee. He also served from 1992 to 1996 as the vice chairman of the New Hampshire Superfund Task Force established by former Congressman Bill Zeliff and as a member of the New Hampshire Recycling Markets Development Steering Committee.

Burack is a member of the Board of Advisers for the George C. Marshall Foundation; a former president and chair of the board of trustees of the Truman Scholars Association; a former chairman of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s section on environmental and natural resources law; and a former legal counsel to the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.

In 2001, Business NH Magazine named Burack one of the ten state leaders on environmental matters.
Burack graduated from Dartmouth College in 1982 and received his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1988.

Burack was raised in Jackson, where his parents still live. His wife, Emilie Christie, is a Lancaster native. They live with their two children in Hopkinton.