Environmental investigations and navigating permitting regulations can be huge projects, but they do not have to lead to huge headaches, especially if you hire the right environmental consulting firm. During your search, remember that site assessments and regulatory services are often a complex process that can take anywhere from a few months to years to complete, and cheaper does not always mean better. Before you make your choice, consider this checklist to find a firm that is a perfect match for your job.
Checklist for Hiring Environmental Consulting Companies
Staff Availability and Experience
Does the firm have the staff to complete your project? Will they have qualified staff members to dedicate to your project? Ask for current resumes of the staff members who will work on your project, and request references for the project manager.
Can the consulting firm confidently estimate the time required to complete the project? Will there be a tracking tool to determine each and every stage of the project?
Does the environmental consulting firms have a demonstrated history of successful projects? Does the staff assigned to your project have experience winning ecological approvals for similar projects?
What experience do they have in meeting your specific needs? Do they work with regulatory agencies? Request a list of references and similar projects completed.
Carefully evaluate the firm’s cost proposal. Remember that cheaper is not always better, and in many cases, going with the cheapest firm will create additional unforeseen costs in the future. You get what you pay for, but the best environmental consulting firms are well worth the investment.
Does the firm subcontract portions of the work? Are the subcontractor activities competitively bid? Check the experience of the subcontractors the firm works with. Environmental consulting companies that use in-house environmental teams are the easiest to work with.
Does the firm resolve issues using a broad spectrum of technologies and resources, including wetland, plant ecology, wildlife, cultural resources and regulatory consulting services? How do they evaluate and eliminate potential risks throughout the process?
Beware of firms who take hard-sell approaches, minimize or over-blow potential legal or technical problems, present overly optimistic timelines, have a strong bias for or against certain techniques or are not familiar with applicable regulations. These are all red flags that, if heeded, will save you from paying for expensive mistakes or investing more in the future to improve poor-quality work.
Landpoint’s environmental consulting services exceed all these criteria. Contact us today to learn more about our professional environmental services and how our team can help you navigate the regulatory process with ease.
Image By: US Army Africa