How we did it – Phase 1 and 2 Environmental Site Assessments in 8 days. 

A client called on Friday, December 19, asking for results by December 31. They needed to close a property acquisition in Nashville, Tennessee, before the end of the year, but first, they needed a Phase 1 and 2 Environmental Site Assessment. Our team has never set foot on this site. Most drillers were gone for the holidays, and analytical laboratories were shutting down until the start of the new year. It was a tall order.

But Lord and Winter enjoys a challenge, and the client was trusted, so we got to work. So, how did we do it? How does a Professional Environmental Services company pull off a Phase 1 and 2 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in 8 days when the standard turnaround in the industry for both is seven weeks? Here's how:

Critical Path

Critical Path – We train every Lord and Winter professional on the Critical Path project management process. The Critical Project path consists of the longest sequence of activities from start to finish that must be completed to ensure a project is finished by a specific time.

Phase 1 critical path steps are ordering the environmental data, which typically takes 3 days at a minimum. Accessing the property for site reconnaissance can take a similar amount of time. We initiated these tasks together within 30 minutes of receiving a signed contract, and the clock was ticking! The Phase 2 critical path steps are scheduling the driller and expediting the laboratory analysis. The looming holiday week was an added challenge. To complete the Phase 2 critical path, we relied on one of our most strategic assets, relationships.

Phase 1 & 2 ESA in just eight days - drilling for soil samples.


Within hours of the client signing our proposal, we contacted our trusted driller, whom we have worked with since Lord and Winter's inception. They jumped into action, and we had a drill date within 4 days of the signed contract. Bam! Next, we contacted our primary laboratory to see if they had staff to expedite the Phase 2 soil, soil vapor, and groundwater samples on a 3-day turnaround. Again, because of our relationship, they said yes. Steps were now in place to turn the Phase 1 and 2 ESAs in 8 days because two critical path tasks were scheduled in 4 days. But could we execute fieldwork and the reporting in the narrow time frame?

High-Performing Staff

It's not our preference to work during scheduled holiday weeks, but we'll join our clients in the trenches when it's necessary to help them succeed. In this case, several Lord and Winter geologists stepped up, showing a can-do attitude and executing the fieldwork and reporting within 4 days. This turnaround was a fantastic accomplishment since most projects of this type require more than seven weeks of work. The core of any business is its staff's work ethic; our team showed it exemplary. Perhaps this is why Lord and Winter's clients have said they will use Lord and Winter exclusively.

Proven Process

A key element to project management enables our proven process. If you were to be a "fly on the wall" of a Lord and Winter quarterly meeting, you would likely see the staff at a whiteboard with colored markers charting the workflow process, critical steps, and interdependencies of complex environmental permitting and voluntary cleanup projects. Our work is complex and so understanding the project map allows us to eliminate unnecessary tasks and front-load the critical path steps. That's our key, and we do it on every project. Our habit for efficiency enabled the Phase I and 2 ESA to be produced on time and within budget before the client's closing at the end of the year.

So, what did the client say?
"We are very impressed that Lord and Winter could pull off environmental due diligence in such a short timeframe. It has allowed us to move forward with our acquisition while meeting the equity firm's requirements for business environmental risk review".

For more on Lord and Winter project success, visit our projects page.