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Drilling for safety

The Journal Record

Deanna Atkinson’s employees are drilling holes and looking for petroleum, but she doesn’t want to sell oil. The president of Oklahoma Environmental Services and her staff are looking for leaking gasoline tanks. She is one of two contractors tasked with determining if closed fueling stations are seeping petroleum products into the ground.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission received $150,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess hundreds of shuttered gasoline stations across the state.

If contractors find pollution, however, it will take more money, time and work to remediate the contamination.

In the 1980s, the EPA strengthened regulations on petroleum storage tanks, requiring leak detection and prevention equipment. Many small business owners didn’t have the money to make the changes, and subsequently closed their businesses. Yet the rules didn’t require them to remove the noncompliant tanks.

The federal program is designed to help identify sites where gasoline or diesel flowed into soil or groundwater. The OCC determined that 1,745 tanks in the Sooner State needed upgrades, but only 1,319 made leak detection and prevention changes. Those out-of-service tanks can stay in the ground as long as monitoring equipment is maintained, said Robyn Strickland, agency Petroleum Storage Tank Division director.

However, 426 tanks were never upgraded or removed, she said. Letters to their operators went unanswered or were returned, so she prioritized sites that didn’t have a responsible party.

“We’re here to protect the environment,” Strickland said. “If we can’t contact the owners, at least we can identify those (sites) with contamination.”

The most recent round of funding covered the cost to assess 37 orphaned sites. A typical site has an average of three tanks, but Strickland didn’t have figures on how many tanks will be addressed with the $150,000 grant. The analysis and assessments must be completed by Sept. 30.

Atkinson won a contract to address 23 sites across the state. Her employees typically drill three 20-foot holes, taking soil and water samples. A laboratory will analyze the results to determine if gasoline or diesel leaked. One soil core appeared to have petroleum, but she hasn’t yet received confirmation.

“In an ideal world, you remove a tank when you quit using it,” Atkinson said. “That is when you do the site assessment to determine if there was a release of the product.”

Removing the pollution is another challenge. If tanks have been leaking for decades, there could be a growing plume of gasoline or diesel underground. The longer the sites are neglected, the harder and more expensive it is to get rid of the contamination, Atkinson said.

Contaminated orphan sites are eligible for federal money from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund. Strickland said she couldn’t estimate how long it would take to remove all the old tanks because remediation efforts depend on federal money.

“It is all contingent on funding and being able to locate someone who is responsible,” Strickland said. “That is the hardest part, is to find someone.”

Also check out the articale about us in the Enid News!

Drilling for safety2018-09-18T19:25:56+00:00

Investigation of Old Gas Stations Begin

Oklahoma Environmental Services conducts site assessments in an attempt to find contamination

OKC, OK July 08, 2015 – Oklahoma Environmental Services is performing site assessments at twenty-three former fueling facilities in Oklahoma this month. The purpose of the assessments is to determine whether subsurface soil or groundwater contamination exists. The facilities have underground, petroleum storage tank systems that were not upgraded to meet regulatory requirements in the late 1980s. The tank systems remain unused and are registered as “Temporarily Out-of-Use (TOU)” with the state regulatory agency, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC).

Deanna Atkinson, president of the consulting firm Oklahoma Environmental Services, said, “We are investigating subsurface soil and groundwater at these locations to see if any contamination exists. Ideally, the soil and groundwater would be tested when the tanks are removed. Unfortunately, these tanks are basically orphaned so there are no responsible parties stepping up to remove the tanks. We’re sampling to see if a problem exists. The health concern would be that gasoline or diesel has leaked out of the tanks, into surrounding soil or groundwater. If that is the case, our company will clean it up”. Atkinson cited the reason these sites have not been assessed before now is the lack of a financial mechanism. This recently changed when Oklahoma received a Federal grant for the investigation.

Robyn Strickland, OCC Petroleum Storage Tank Division (PSTD) Director stated they received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for sampling these sites. The EPA had money available for state improvement projects so states were able to bid for that money. Strickland said their preference would be to use the money to remove the underground storage tanks but state Indemnity Fund and EPA grant monies will not pay for tank removals, it could only be used for sampling the facilities’ soil and groundwater. Strickland said criteria for candidate sites were those with: returned mail, no response to staff’s notifications and underground tanks that had not been upgraded to current regulatory standards.

Salim Douglah, OCC PSTD Technical Manager, said the goal of sampling is to satisfy pre-closure sampling protocols for when they resolve the issue of how, when and what mechanism to close these TOU tanks. When asked if the pressure would be on the owner to close the tanks, Mr. Southwick, OCC PSTD Legal Counsel, said that is what they are working on. Mr. Southwick said there is a lot to consider such as the interpretation of who is environmentally responsible versus someone who is the owner.

Currently, Oklahoma has approximately 1,700 underground storage tanks that previously stored petroleum products registered as Temporarily Out-of-Use.

Investigation of Old Gas Stations Begin2018-09-18T19:24:13+00:00

OES Honored at the Oklahoma Environmental Excellence Awards

Oklahoma Environmental Services continues to be recognized and respected as the region’s industry leader in soil and groundwater remediation. Established in 2002, OES’ experience and involvement in our communities have provided the necessary tools to develop innovative solutions for our clients.  Our team of professionals have received numerous awards of distinction, certification and industry recognition. In 2013,  we were honored at the Oklahoma Environmental Excellence Awards.

OES  excels at protecting the environment while promoting  economic growth and Oklahoma’s natural resources.  We are proud members of:
·         Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association
·         Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association
·         Oklahoma Association of General Contractors
·         Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association
·         Commercial Real Estate Council
·         Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce
·         Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council
·         Environmental Federation of Oklahoma
·         ISNetworld

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OES Honored at the Oklahoma Environmental Excellence Awards2018-09-18T19:23:51+00:00

OES Tackles Complex Water Issues

Small Oklahoma Panhandle Town Water Supply Restored

Oklahoma Environmental Services, Inc. (OES) was called in to implement a solution for the town of Hardesty. In response to the impacted aquifer OES began a large recovery and extraction operation of free phase product that has taken 15 months to free approximately 6,000 gallons from the ground.

While the sub- surface soil and groundwater around the affected well was being cleaned up, Project Manager Erica Henry and her team turned to replacing the impacted water well. They secured a site for the new well 3500 feet from the impacted well. OES partnered with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) and Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to complete comprehensive testing of the new site to ensure safe drinking water, and OES began construction.

 

The new well required a drilling depth of 400 feet below ground surface and the installation of 3,000 feet of new pipeline. Construction included a complicated network of fiber optics and other communication equipment so that well operations could be handled remotely. Monitoring equipment was installed to measure pipeline pumping capability, track fluid amounts, and to detect any air getting into the well system. The remote operational system was installed to meet DEQ standards.

Construction was completed on August 26, 2011. Groundwater testing was performed and DEQ allowed full operation of the new well on September 2, 2011.

Thanks to OES the water is flowing safely in Hardesty again.

OES Tackles Complex Water Issues2018-09-18T19:22:19+00:00

Area Women Honered at Women of the Year Gala

ENID — Six women from Enid and northwest Oklahoma were honored among this year’s 50 Making a Difference, part of the Journal Record’s annual Woman of the Year gala last week.

Two of them, Deena Fisher and Janet Cunningham, both of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, were among eight inducted into the Circle of Excellence, which recognizes sustained achievement of women who have been a Woman of the Year honoree three or more times.

Fisher, of NWOSU Woodward, said she is delighted to share that honor with the president of her university, whom she admires.
“I’m excited and honored to be included in the eight women included in the Circle of Excellence,” Fisher said. “It’s a huge recognition. You hear from incredible women all across the state, encouraging you and telling you that you are making a difference for people all across the state of Oklahoma. I think recognition from your peers and people you have admired all your life has special meaning.”

April Danahy, vice president of corporate communication and human resources for Security National Bank, said this is her first year to be nominated.
“It’s a wonderful experience,” Danahy said. “I’m very fortunate to live in a community that is open to new ideas.”

Ora Morgan, of Autry Technology Center, also was honored for the first time this year.
“It was humbling to be included among such an elite group of women,” Morgan said. “It’s something I never would have dreamed of, to be recognized for something I love to do.”

Deanna Atkinson, president of Oklahoma Environmental Services, said she also was a first-time honoree.
“It was a huge honor to be even considered in that group of women, and I’m so very honored to be included,” Atkinson said. “I love doing what I do and I believe in it.”

The area women honored were:

• Deanna Atkinson, president of Oklahoma Environmental Services, Enid. OES, with offices in Enid, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, began 10 years ago in Enid. The 25-employee company does soil and groundwater remediation and assists companies to stay in compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Atkinson said she loves and believes in what she does.

• Janet Cunningham, president of NWOSU. Cunningham began her career as an instructor of business at NWOSU, then spent time teaching at University of Oklahoma. She returned to NWOSU in 1998. She is active in numerous professional and volunteer organizations.

• April Danahy, vice president of corporate communication and human resources for Security National Bank, Enid. Danahy was a founding member of the Juliette Low Leadership Society of Enid. She is active on numerous boards and organizations. Danahy was the Enid News & Eagle’s Pillar of the Plains recipient in January 2011.

• Cheryl Evans, Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa, is a two-time honoree. The first female president of NOC, Evans has long been a familiar face in higher education in Enid. Prior to accepting the position at NOC, she worked 17 years with NWOSU, rising to the rank of dean of the Enid campus. She served as chair of the Enid Chamber of Commerce and remains a board member for the Ponca City and Tonkawa chambers of commerce, along with participating in numerous other community organizations.

• Deena Fisher, dean of NWOSU’s Woodward campus. Fisher, who also teaches history for the university, has spent 30 years in the education field. Active in many professional and civic organizations, Fisher was named the Woodward Chamber of Commerce 2009 Citizen of the Year.

• Ora Morgan, chief financial officer for Autry Technology Center, helped implement the first formal training program for other CareerTech center business managers statewide. That training program became the blueprint for the Oklahoma Center for School Business Management program sponsored by Oklahoma State University.

By Phyllis Zorn, Enid News & Eagle
Published: October 8, 2012

Area Women Honered at Women of the Year Gala2018-09-18T19:21:58+00:00

Deanna Atkinson Named Chair of Oklahoma Petroleum Marketing and Convenience Store Association

OKLAHOMA CITY- Deanna Atkinson has assumed the position of Chairman of the Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (OPMCA). Atkinson becomes Chairman after 6 years of service on the OPMCA Board.

OPMCA members own or supply services to fuel stations and convenience stores throughout Oklahoma and the Southwest. The Association has over 300 members who represent more than 3,000 retail outlets with 12,000 employees. OPMCA is a Co-Sponsor of the Oklahoma Super Trade Show which showcases the latest technology in equipment for fuel, c-store and environmental concerns. With approximately 250 booths and 2,000 attendees, this year’s show is scheduled for July 20, 2011, at the Cox Convention Center.

“As Chairman of the OPMCA for the past several years, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing Deanna’s hard work and extreme devotion to this industry. Her years of experience and knowledge of the petroleum and convenience store industry have positioned her for immediate success in leading our association,” said former Chair Matt Brown of Red Rock Distributing Company.

“This is an exciting and challenging time to be a part of the petroleum and convenience store industry in Oklahoma,” Atkinson said. “I look forward to leading this association and representing fuel wholesalers and convenience stations at both the state and federal levels. I know that being Chair of this association is no easy task, and I thank the members of OPMCA for entrusting me with this position.”

Growing up in Enid, Atkinson received a B.S. degree in Environmental Science from Phillips University. She is a licensed environmental consultant, well driller and storage tank remover. Atkinson is also President of the Oklahoma Ground Water Association, and Chair of the Professional Development Committee for National Ground Water Association. She serves on the Vance Air Force Base Restoration Advisory Board and the legislative committee for Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council.

Atkinson is the co-author of a patent for the remediation of contaminated soils, and is completing her second term as the Gubernatorial Appointee for the Corporation Commission’s Storage Tank Advisory Council.

Atkinson has been President of Oklahoma Environmental, Inc. (OEI) since 2004. With offices in Oklahoma City, Enid and Tulsa, OEI specializes in the remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater as well as regulatory compliance issues.

For More Information Contact:

Jane Braden 405.818.1095
jane@goodengroup.com

Deanna Atkinson Named Chair of Oklahoma Petroleum Marketing and Convenience Store Association2018-09-18T19:21:34+00:00

Executive Rooted in Environmental Science

ENID – Deanna Atkinson says working at a bank while she was a student at Enid High School helped her make an important decision about her future professional career.

“I decided that office work was not what I wanted,” said Atkinson, who grew up in a rural area.

So Atkinson enrolled at Phillips University and received a degree in environmental science.

“Science was always one of my favorite subjects in school and growing up in the country, I’ve always loved the outdoors,” she said. “Environmental science was a perfect blending of both interests.”

It proved to be a successful career choice.

 

Atkinson is president of Oklahoma Environmental Inc., which has its home office at 717 S. Hoover in Enid and offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, and a licensed environmental consultant, well driller and storage tank remover.

She is also the new chairwoman of the Oklahoma Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, which has more than 300 members who own or supply fuel stations and convenience stores. The 3,000-plus retail outlets in the state represented by the association have more than 12,000 employees.

“At OPMCA, we educate our members on Oklahoma state laws and regulation to see that they comply,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson is also president of the Oklahoma Ground Water Association and chairwoman of the professional development committee for the National Ground Water Association. She serves on the Vance Air Force Base Restoration Advisory Board and the legislative committee for the Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council.

She is co-author of a patent for the remediation of contaminated soils and is completing her second term as the gubernatorial appointee for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission’s Storage Tank Advisory Council.

Atkinson has been with Oklahoma Environmental Inc. for 10 years and president since 2004.

“I started my career as a project manager, became the operations manager and eventually the company president,” she said.

Services provided by Oklahoma Environmental and its 25 employees include environmental consulting, petroleum service tank services, soil and groundwater remediation, asbestos and lead-based paint services, oil-field services and environmental site assessments. Engineering was recently added to the list of provided services.

Clients range from individuals, small businesses, large corporations and government agencies.

“We navigate the many government laws, rules and regulations for them so they can focus on their ongoing business concerns,” Atkinson said. “We assist everyone from the individual needing to test their home for lead or asbestos, the small business tracking their fuel inventory, the corporation maintaining regulatory compliance to the government agency cleaning up impacted soil or groundwater.”

The Oklahoma City office opened last year.

“We opened our OKC location a little over one year ago to be closer to the regulatory agencies we interact with on a daily basis,” she said.

The home office in Enid is still the base for administrative and technical staff members, the operations manager and project management professionals.

Atkinson relocated her family from Enid to the Oklahoma City area to oversee the new office, which is in a former home at 4415 N. Classen Blvd.

Management for Oklahoma Environmental is divided between Atkinson in Oklahoma City and Jennifer Douma, OEI’s operations manager, in Enid.

“We have worked together for a very long time,” Atkinson said. “Even with duties and locations being split between us, maintaining balance is not a challenge.”

With the move to Oklahoma City, Atkinson is no longer working in the field and is back inside, just like her high school job at the bank in Enid.

“While I miss working outdoors and the sense of successfully completing my own projects, I love my current job,” she said.

by David Page
Published: September 2nd, 2011

Executive Rooted in Environmental Science2018-09-18T19:21:04+00:00