Tabitha Esther: Project Manager / Environmental Geologist
As Ms. Esther manages TRG’s technical staff and technicians on multiple projects, she processes data results, and successfully completes work on time and within budget. Her organizational and communication skills help her continually move cases towards closures.
As an undergraduate student at UCLA, Ms. Esther was selected to conduct laboratory research on the geology of the sea measuring carbon dioxide on bi-monthly expeditions. She was also a Graduate Teaching Assistant for three years at USC’s Department of Earth Sciences, teaching Engineering Geology, Earthquakes, and Earth History.
In her spare time, Ms. Esther produces, writes, and directs original children’s puppet productions that teach scientific concepts to children ages four through ten years old.
UST Case Closure at Former Gas Station – Hermosa Beach, CA
The Reynolds Group (TRG) was hired to perform a soil assessment at a former gas station that was turned into a convenience store by a real estate developer. The property was purchased by a family trust, who needed assistance in cleaning up the property. TRG worked with one of the trustee to assess the property of its contaminants. The assessment work resulted in non-detect in soils and minimal impact in the groundwater. This case met the Low-Threat UST Closure Criteria and was granted case closure from the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.
TRG Employs Large Diameter Auger for Surgical Excavation – Ventura, CA
TRG was recently employed to devise and implement a soils Corrective Action Plan for a property in Ventura, California, where a cell phone tower, a building structure, and other property improvements prevented conventional remediation by excavation (also known in the industry as “dig and haul”). TRG’s work plan advocated secondary source removal, a key factor to obtain a No Further Action Letter under the State of California’s Low-Threat Closure Evaluation Criteria. Given the very tight physical space, TRG employed five feet diameter bucket augers to perform the secondary source removal, excavating approximately 50 feet below ground surface and backfilling with cement slurry. TRG was the engineer and general contractor of record. After obtaining all local traffic permits, TRG performed public participation requirements, conformed with local Air Quality Management District requirements, and successfully performed the work under budget. The work was performed under the auspices of the County of Ventura Local Oversight Program.
Habitat Restoration at Local Pond – Silverado, CA
The Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) needed TRG to complete a turnkey restoration project. The program gave children hands-on experiences about nature to foster their enthusiasm for the environment at the pond. Over the course of five years, the pond was overtaken by invasive plant species. During Winter, heavy rains caused debris flows to fill in much of the pond, leaving it susceptible to further rapid encroachment by invasive species.
Working with OCDE’s on-site managers and TRG’s own biological resource specialist, TRG was able to scope the habitat restoration project and provide a not-to-exceed price to clear the pond of the invasive plant species and unwanted sediment. The scope and price also included training the OCDE staff to take steps to prevent and limit the return of the pesky plants. The work included clearing menacing plants and using limited access heavy equipment to create erosion control on the slopes around the OCDE property. Catch basins were constructed to slow stormwater flows and capture sediment before they reached the pond.
Case Closure at Former UST Gas Station – Riverside, CA
Property owners of a vacated abandoned service station building contacted TRG because it contained high levels of detectable concentrations of gasoline hydrocarbons in the pits of the former underground storage tanks (USTs). TRG was able to get the owners into the UST Cleanup Fund to clean up the property based on their financial status. After nearly ten years of remediation, the property was granted case closure by the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board in June 2014.