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HIPPENSTEEL, DAVID, L., US Dept. of Energy, Las Vegas, NV

ABSTRACT: You Know Your Environmental Contractor Is Out Of Control When . . .

Like it or not, environmental remediation has become a step-child of the petroleum exploration and production industry. Far too often, such companies find themselves the responsible party for environmental remediation. The processes involved in successfully completing such tasks may be foreign to the petroleum professional that is assigned the task of "managing" the remediation. In such cases, an environmental contractor is hired to perform the necessary work. While many environmental contractors claim a high level of ethics and customer orientation, the very essence of their jobs should make the responsible client wary.

Far too often, environmental work becomes drawn out and seemingly never-ending making costs skyrocket. Far too often, environmental contractors need "just a little more data" to complete otherwise simple tasks. To guard against this, a senior independent consultant can act as the "watchdog" for the client. Unfortunately, this often appears to be an additional cost created while trying to cut environmental expenditures. If an independent watchdog can not be afforded, then the responsible petroleum professional managing the environmental project must learn to recognize warning signs. These warning signs indicate an environmental project that is going farther than necessary to meet prescribed objectives. These warning signs become more obvious as time, money, and resources are spent with no end in sight. Knowing how to control environmental costs enables the petroleum professional to spend valuable time and money on finding and producing petroleum - which is why they are in the business.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90915©2000 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section, Albuquerque, New Mexico