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Moonstone Environmental

By LVEDC Staff on October 2, 2012

But the licensed professional geologist and certified asbestos building inspector also has the midas touch in business to go along with her green choices when it comes to Moonstone Environmental, an environmental consulting firm.

Like any successful business plan sometimes the answers are simple: Find a need and fill it.

That’s what Schamberger did when she founded Moonstone.

“When I started this business I had the idea of providing excellent and efficient customer service,” she noted. “And I envisioned running a lean and mean operation and that has come true. I’ve been fortunate to be a contractor for LVLRI (Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Intiative) and really LVRLI is my largest client. Because of all this I’ve been able to implement my plan.”

LVLRI, a joint project of Lehigh and Northampton counties and administered by LVEDC, works with more than one dozen organizations on the remediation of properties throughout the region.

“It’s been a great partnership,” she noted. Moonstone is also an investor with LVEDC.

It’s all just a phase

Betsy Schamberger has a bevy of experience in the environmental consulting field. Her technical experience alone could fill up two or three pages of a resume, which includes groundwater and contaminant transport modeling, geological investigations, mine waste management, and acid rock (not Jimi Hendrix or Jefferson Airplane) drainage research. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Geology and master’s degrees in both Hydrogeology and Geochemistry.

OK, it’s been established Schamberger knows what’s she talking about on the topic. Now let’s find out what’s the deal with Moonstone Environmental.

“Moonstone primarily does transactional work, which is Phase One and Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments.

You remember high school don’t you? Phase One is akin to writing a book report on the property.

“You review historical documents to see what’s been on that property and then you check out what’s on the property today,” she said. “Between those two components you come up with how likely there is contamination.”

Phase Two implies actual sampling. Or put another way, the part of the job where you play in the dirt and mud.

“That’s when we go out and will collect soil and brownwater samples and that’s when we get analytical information and find out whether there are any confirmed environmental issues that would require remediation,” Schamberger said.

Typically a Phase One is triggered either by the lending institution who is financing the project or by the property owner who is seeking liability protection.

“The client usually comes to us at the last minute unless they have a good commercial realtor or environmental attorney,” she noted.

Moonstone’s present and future

While there are auto companies that sell more cars than Mercedes-Benz, few if any can compete with the German luxury car company when the barometer is the company’s sterling attention to detail.

Moonstone understands the Mercedes-Benz concept. They offer each and every client a highly-educated and well-qualified team with outstanding value.

“One of the things we specialize in is Phase One and Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments and Pennsylvania DEP Act 2 regulations.”

The Act 2 process works like this: If there is contamination, the property owner can select the Act 2 process and the property owner can clean up the property to the Commonwealth’s satisfaction, at which time they would receive a Release of Liability.
On April 19th, LVEDC’s LVLRI received a massive boost when the United States Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $1 million grant for the assessment, clean up and redevelopment of brownfield properties in the Lehigh Valley.

Put in perspective, the award was stunning, Schamberger said.

“The Assessment Grants are fantastic,” she said. “There are a lot of projects that the people just don’t have the money to do it or they can’t generate any interest in the property until they can demonstrate it doesn’t have any problems.”

“I’m very excited,” she said. “When it gets down to it brownfields redevelopment encourages people to use previously owned sites rather than going out and sprawling and building in green pastures.”

“I’m a strong supporter of brownfields redevelopment because it encourages people to go in and reuse the infrastructure that is already there. Automatically its carbon footprint is less and it prevents sprawl.”

And sprawl is one thing Schamberger hopes the future will bring to Moonstone.
“It’s a small staff, very small, there’s just two of us,” she noted before adding, “but we do plan to grow.”

The other member of the Moonstone team is Jill Maurer who came aboard about 18 months ago. Before joining Moonstone, Maurer served in the United States Army for more than 24 years, 15 on reserve duty.

“Jill is an incredible resource and I am pleased to have her on the Moonstone team,” Schamberger said. “She has a great deal of knowledge and experience in organization, supervision, quality control and environmental health and safety issues.”

Moostone is getting big. They’ve worked on up to 70 properties since their inception and most of their clients are generated through word-of-mouth. Together the duo provides clients with excellent competence and efficiency. And Betsy Schamberger wouldn’t want it any other way.

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