24B — February 23 - March 15, 2018 — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic
Real Estate Journal
E xecutive P rofile
Michael Novak President
Atlantic Environmental Solutions Inc. has two decades of experience in the regulatory, technical andmanagement aspects of environmental issues throughout the Northeast and across the U.S. Since founding his environmental consulting firm in 1997, Michael Novak, LSRP, has led his team in completing over $75 million in industrial and commercial projects at over 5,000 client locations across 47 states. AESI’s scope of services includes environmental due diligence; soil and groundwater investigations and remediation; and asbestos and wetlands surveys. Substantial demand for industrial properties in the New Jersey/New York marketplace, coupled with a high turnover of these assets, is fueling the need for firms that specialize in complex environmental laws and regulations. To keep pace with this rapid industry growth, Novak is managing an increasing number of large and complex projects while simultaneously expanding his Hoboken, N.J.-based firm. Over the past 10 years, Novak has seen AESI’s revenues increase fourfold. Projects have included asbestos evaluation for 1,500 properties for a national retailer; evaluating 1,500 homes in Hudson County impacted by Super Storm Sandy, including LSRP services; helping to reposition a 6-parcel site in Red Hook, Brooklyn into a last-mile distribution facility; and over 100 remediation projects for Port Elizabeth-related businesses. “Internet shopping, the deepening of the Panama Canal and the raising of the Bayonne Bridge have created the need for more warehouses and logistics facilities,” said Novak. “These projects often require our expertise and capabilities.” The firm hired seven new professional staff during the last 12 months, and Novak plans to continue adding high level, experienced problem-solvers to the team to support AESI’s steady growth. “2017 was a banner year for us,” he said. “With no sign of a market slowdown, we plan to keep expanding the footprint of properties we remediate over the next decade. The additional staff gives us the depth and breadth of resources necessary to deliver the highest quality services to new and existing clients.” Novak has 29 years of experience in the management and implementation of environmental consulting and remediation services. He earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Lehigh University and served as Vice President of Operations for a New Jersey-based environmental consulting firm before founding AESI. Novak has been responsible for directing more than $60 million in environmental projects during the course of his career, honing his expertise in environmental due diligence, wetlands, brownfields redevelopment, soil and groundwater remediation, underground storage tank compliance, hazardous waste management, asbestos and indoor air quality, and regulatory compliance. He also was among the first professionals to be licensed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) under its Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program. To date, Novak and his team have closed 140 of the more than 270 LSRP projects they have handled. AESI also routinely performs Phase I Environmental Site Assessments for property buyers, sellers and lenders to help establish “innocent land owner” status in commercial real estate property transactions. One of the most notable projects Novak has directed involved the remediation of substantial soil and groundwater to facilitate the installation of a 72-inch diameter water main within a 1,500-foot tunnel beneath the Raritan River in New Jersey’s Middlesex and Somerset counties. The $3 million project included the remediation of 21,000 tons of arsenic contaminated soil, 4,000 tons of asbestos contaminated soil and the successful treatment of six million gallons of contaminated groundwater. The transformation of an asbestos landfill into a public park was a key outcome of the project, which was awarded the Environmental Excellence Award by the 24,000-member New Jersey Business and Industry Association. The commercial real estate market, particularly in New Jersey and New York, is largely influenced by environmental concerns. Extensive liabilities resulting from leaking underground storage tanks, buried industrial waste, poor quality fill material, improper handling of hazardous materials, historic PCB usage and spills have significantly changed the way business is conducted with regard to the development, management and transfer of property. Novak strategically targets AESI’s services to the areas of industrial and commercial property transactions, and the firm’s staff is specifically trained to perform due diligence and remediation services in this arena. “This gives us a distinct advantage over consulting firms that are not as specialized,” he said. “We can be far more efficient and cost-effective in identifying critical issues that need to be resolved as a part of these transactions.” AESI’s senior leadership maintains direct involvement in all of the firm’s projects, making them uniquely qualified to provide expert testimony and litigation support on a range of environmental and regulatory compliance issues. In addition to helping clients gain Planning Board Approval for development projects involving wetlands, asbestos and groundwater contamination issues, Novak has testified successfully in court and has been deposed on multiple matters involving environmental issues. Novak is dedicated to managing and resolving environmental concerns to ensure a better quality of life in communities throughout the region. Whether working with municipalities, industrial brokerage firms, transit village developers, REITS, general contractors or utilities, his team is driven by a collective vision of creating safe, environmentally clean places where residents can work, live and play.
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