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Voltaggio Consulting, LLC

Environmental Protection Programs

How Can My Experience Help You?

  • You have been cited by such an agency for violating an environmental requirement. You can’t seem to make sense of the requirements or the reasons behind them, or simply want to resolve the issue. You need someone to review the information you have, interpret it, evaluate it, suggest alternative positions and advise you on actions you could take to resolve the issue and save you time and money.

  • You need advice on any type of environmental project to determine the best way to approach some of your stakeholders, such as a federal, state or local environmental agency, citizens group, investors, or any interested party. You need someone with years of experience and many contacts in the environmental community to determine the best way to proceed to save you time and money.

  • You wish to train staff or management on the intricacies of a particular field of environmental protection. This training needs to be at a high level and tailored for the particular situation which is causing you concern.

  • You are an environmental consulting company with a contract (or bidding on a contract) to supply technical or policy expertise in an area which has been described above. You need assistance to complete this assignment.

Voltaggio Consulting can supply these services.

Call or email at: 856-745-1488 or tom@voltaggioconsulting.com

Read below to see how my expertise can be of value to you.

Summary of experience in this area:

As the highest career executive in the Philadelphia regional office of USEPA, managed an annual budget of approximately $700M and directed a staff of 900+ technical, administrative and legal employees in the regional office to implement federal environmental programs in the Middle Atlantic states. Instituted programs which dramatically improved relations between state environmental agencies and regional EPA office through intensive personal interaction. Instituted several procedures and policies which turned distrust into trust, mainly focusing on eliminating surprises and developing and implementing issue escalation processes. As Deputy Regional Administrator, was the senior career official responsible for ensuring compliance with federal environmental laws. Directed all federal compliance and enforcement staff and approved all actions and settlements of federal enforcement cases.

Directed all hazardous waste programs in the six state regional office. These included the Superfund, Brownfield, Resource Conservation and Recovery, Underground Storage Tank, Emergency Response and Oil Pollution programs. During this time, the Middle Atlantic region was a national leader in Superfund cleanup implementation, and was well known as having enlightened leadership regarding common sense solutions for difficult and complex problems. Directed the Brownfield program from its infancy through the present. Developed red-tape-cutting procedures to speed economic development throughout the region.

Examples of achievements:

Consultative Framework with States – Personally developed and instituted the “Consultative Framework”, which assured that all USEPA regional enforcement matters were discussed with the relevant state environmental agency prior to it becoming public, and that opportunities for issue elevation to senior USEPA officials were insured. This framework was instituted in 1997 and has been a hallmark of State/EPA coordination to the present time. The framework was established to combat an adversarial relationship which was allowed to develop prior to 1997 as a result of political differences between the administration and various state governments. By insuring that poor communication was not the cause for friction, the framework insured that the actual issue was the focus of discussion. Most state environmental secretaries in the Middle Atlantic states from 1997 to the present, as well as former Regional Administrators of the Philadelphia EPA office, can attest to this successful effort.

Leadership in the Hazardous Site Cleanup Program (Superfund) – In leading the regional Superfund effort for seventeen years from 1981 through 1997, was actively involved in day-to-day activities and policy issues which permeated this controversial and politically-charged program. Directly led the effort to select and complete several controversial cleanups in the region. Fostered a culture in the region of principled negotiations with Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) to maximize the settlement potential for large cost, multi-PRP sites. Leadership examples are:

  • The Drake Chemical site in Lock Haven, PA, where an influential citizens group attempted to stop this necessary cleanup. After extraordinary efforts to understand the issues which drove the citizens group to protest the cleanup, led an effort to explain to the citizens, local and national elected representatives the wisdom of the cleanup plan, supported the legal defense team’s strategy, and insured the safety of the project by overseeing the technical elements of the cleanup. During this process, personally briefed both United States Senators and the highest levels of USEPA. The result was a successful court case, acquiescence by the political leaders and a cleanup project which was completed safely and effectively. Other examples of similar efforts were the Palmerton Zinc Superfund site in Palmerton, PA and the Spring Valley site in Washington, DC, including extensive personal involvement with citizens, US Representatives, and senior Pentagon officials.

  • Instituted the culture of principled negotiations with corporate and Federal PRPs on all regional Superfund settlement negotiations. Using “Getting to Yes” as the architecture, personally inculcated this culture on the Superfund negotiation staff. The Superfund legal bar, which had coalesced into several groups, among them being the Information Network for Superfund Settlements, regularly complimented the staff and leadership of the Philadelphia regional office in having a culture of reasonable approaches to settlement. Have attended numerous meetings of this and other Superfund legal groups to preach the mantra of principled negotiations. Have personally led negotiations to insure this culture is implemented. In sites in which the Federal Government is the PRP, have successfully agreed upon remedies and responsibility by personally interacting with the most senior Army and Air Force environmental officials at the Spring Valley site in Washington, DC and the Langley and Andrews AFB sites in Virginia and Maryland, respectively.
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