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Indiana Department of Environmental Management

IDEM > Environmental Cleanup > Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTs) > LUST: Finding a Consultant LUST: Finding a Consultant

The phone directory is a good source for names and addresses of consultants, but it is not the only one. Environmental consultants are listed in the yellow pages of your telephone book or you can also search the Yellow Pages on the internet. They are commonly listed under "Environmental Consultants", "Geologists", "Geological Consultants", or "Environmental Cleanup". IDEM does not endorse or warranty the work performed by these companies.

IDEM recommends you solicit bids from at least three consultants. Be sure that the consultant includes in the proposal the experience and qualifications of the people who will be doing the work. In Indiana, reports of site investigation and cleanup activities must be signed by one of the following: 1) Registered Professional Engineer; 2) Licensed Professional Geologist; 3) Certified Hazardous Materials Manager; or 4) Registered Professional Soil Scientist.

Make sure the consultant can perform the following in accordance with the LUST guidance and laws:

  • Provide equipment and services necessary to conduct site characterization or corrective action activities directly or with subcontractors
  • Conduct site characterization activities necessary to determine the extent of soil and ground water contamination
  • Follow proper sampling collection, handling, and chain-of-custody procedures
  • Ensure that proper laboratory methods are used and proper quality procedures are followed
  • Obtain necessary manifests, approvals and permits for treatment, storage or disposal of contaminated material
  • Prepare required reports and plans necessary to document site activities and proposed cleanups
  • Prepare and submit claims for reimbursement to the Excess Liability Trust Fund program
  • Provide references regarding prior experience performing related activities

It's worth your while to ask other UST owners and operators about consultants they have hired. Many consultants can provide references to previous customers upon your request. Talk to previous customers to find out if they were satisfied with the work of prospective consultants. Ask them whether or not they were satisfied with the consultant's expertise, technical and regulatory skills, promptness, client relations, etc.

While UST Removal can be performed by a contractor certified by the State Fire Marshal, if a petroleum release is documented, hiring an environmental contractor that specializes in site characterization and clean up of LUST sites may be cost-effective. Additionally, keep in mind that while the lowest bid may be appealing, finding an experienced contractor, who performs quality work, will often be cheaper in the long run.

U.S. EPA: Controlling UST Cleanup Costs

U.S. EPA Online Publications: 500 Series

  • Fact Sheet 1: Hiring a Contractor (Document #500F92001)
  • Fact Sheet 2: Negotiating the Contract (Document #500F92002)
  • Fact Sheet 3: Interpreting the Bill (Document #500F92003)
  • Fact Sheet 4: Managing the Process (Document #500F92004)
  • Fact Sheet 5: Understanding Contractor Code Words (Document #500F92005)