Public Housing Sites



Washtenaw County, Michigan



This project involves the renovation/rehabilitation and/or demolition and new construction of multiple existing multifamily public housing properties in Washtenaw County, Michigan.  The project will receive funding from both the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).  Therefore, all components of the environmental work must adhere to HUD, MSHDA and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) requirements and regulations.  To date, the following services have been conducted or are ongoing at 5 of the developments, which are fully occupied and have a total of almost 250 units:


  • Due Diligence

    • MSHDA Phase I ESAs

    • NEPA Reviews

    • Phase II and III ESAs

    • BEA

    • Due Care Plan


  • Subsurface Investigations

    • soil

    • groundwater

    • soil gas

    • geophysical surveys


  • Remedial Action

    • exposure barrier

    • restrictive covenant

    • NFA


  • Hazardous Materials

    • asbestos surveys

    • lead based paint inspections/risk assessments

    • lead dust cleanup

    • lead based paint abatement

    • asbestos abatement


  • Miscellaneous Services

    • noise assessments

    • radon testing

    • flood plain evaluations

    • due care implementation


Challenge: Significant project challenges included completing the required scope of work in a timely, cost effective manner on fully occupied residential developments.  The work entailed several types of intrusive surveys by different teams of technical professionals.


Solution: The project work was staged and subcontractors were coordinated to achieve maximum efficiency while minimizing disturbance to residents.  None of the units were entered until the occupants had received a minimum of 2 days written notice and work was also coordinated with housing commission staff to avoid delays in cases where the occupants were not present. 


Challenge: Phase II ESA results at one of the developments indicated soil contamination in excess of MDEQ generic Residential Cleanup Criteria.  The area of impact was located under an asphalt parking lot and the horizontal and vertical extent of impact was undefined.


Solution: A Phase III ESA was designed and conducted to determine if: 1) the impacted area was small enough to make remediation by excavation financially feasible; and, 2) the entire extent of the impacted area was covered by the parking lot.  Phase IIII results confirmed that the area was too large to excavate, however it was completely covered by the parking lot.  Therefore, it was proposed that the parking lot be maintained as an exposure barrier between the contaminated soil and site occupants.  This innovative approach resulted in significant cost savings while at the same time provided suitable protection to site occupants.