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As a Senior Project Manager with Antea Group, a global environment, health, safety and sustainability consulting firm, Megan Richard is tasked with an array of responsibilities that require constant collaboration, just one aspect of her work that she enjoys. She begins, “I work with a multi-disciplined team of professionals to identify cost-effective solutions to manage environmental risk. To do this, I am in charge of developing and implementing work plans, remedial investigations, and remedial action plans.” She continues, “What I like most about my job is working collaboratively with the team to solve complex problems. Individuals bring unique skillsets and important insights, and together, we can develop creative strategies.”

Richard joined Antea 14 years ago as an entry level staff professional and has steadily worked her way up through the company to her current position. Prior to joining Antea, she served as a Field Technician for two years with another environmental firm. She chose a career in environmental remediation because, early on, she wanted to combine an interest in helping to preserve our environment with science-based solutions. She shares, “Environmental stewardship has always been a passion of mine. I love the challenge of identifying an issue and solving that issue through good science, combined with practical approaches.”

To prepare for a career in environmental remediation, Richard earned her BS in Geosciences, and a BA in Religion, from Pacific Lutheran University, a small liberal arts school in Tacoma, Washington.  While on the surface a background in religious studies may seem incompatible with environmental sciences, in retrospect, she feels her degree in religion has helped contribute to her career goals. She shares, “Though I am employed through my geosciences degree, my degree in religion is no less valuable in my day to day professional experiences. Studying the world’s religions is quite interdisciplinary, combining history, anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, etc., to understand sensitive topics.” To stay abreast of emerging trends and new technology, she attends local conferences to learn about new regulatory requirements in concert with the Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC). “I have also attended presentations hosted by the REGENESIS team in our office to learn about RegenOx®, PlumeStop®, ORC-Advanced®and other REGENESIS products and services.”

When it comes to working with REGENESIS, Richard appreciates the company’s level of commitment and collaborative approach. She continues, “I enjoy working with REGENESIS because they are willing to take the time to understand our goals and objectives and help us achieve them in a safe manner. While it may not seem like a big deal, REGENESIS’ willingness to meet on site to understand the territorial challenges we are up against is critical.” She also appreciates how REGENESIS strives to understand what she calls the “big picture” with various projects. She shares, “While we all want to clean up impacted soil and groundwater, there are operational challenges to consider with remedy implementation. I feel our discussions with the REGENESIS team are carefully considered when the remedy is designed.” With regard to specific products, Richard sees PetroFix® being used most often in her work. She continues, “PetroFix has been effective in lowering petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations to below regulatory action levels, and it remains so for several consecutive quarters of sampling events.”

When asked about the best part of her work, she quickly points to regulatory closure. “It’s a long and challenging road, but when you finally get there, boy does it feel good!” And the most demanding aspect? “I would say it is the careful coordination of multiple subcontractors and stakeholders which need to come together and successfully complete a complex scope of work safely. There are a lot of moving parts in the months, weeks, and days leading up to a big job, and you need to remain focused, organized, agile, and vigilant.” She recalls one project in particular that posed some significant challenges, including a wildfire. “There were multiple subcontractors, permits, lane closures, multiple properties involved, and some unusual tasks to be completed. On top of this, the pre-field arrangements were complicated and challenging. Just when I thought I had all my ducks in a row, wildfire smoke was added to the mix, making the air quality hazardous, and the whole project had to be cancelled. It took two months to reschedule everything.”

Residing in Seattle, with her husband, Richard works out of Antea Group’s Redmond, WA office, however during the pandemic she has been working from home for the most part. Outside of work, she and her husband enjoy traveling abroad, with their 2019 trip to Europe holding a special place in her heart. She shares, “On our last big trip we were honored to cheer on the US Women’s National Soccer Team to victory at the 2019 World Cup in Lyon, France. I had the awesome experience of visiting Muotathal, Switzerland and Waiblingen, Germany, which is where my Great Grandfather and Great Grandmother grew up, respectively. They both left their respective hometowns in 1920 via steamer ships bound for the US. They would later meet, marry, and start a dairy farm down the street from the current Antea Group office in Redmond, WA! Being in their home villages provided me with a strong sense of connection to my Great Grandparents. It was surreal to walk the town squares and wonder if our feet had traversed the same cobble stone.”

When asked how she has seen the industry change over the years, Richard feels there is now greater emphases on health and safety. She continues, “With the implementation of robust health and safety procedures, recommendations have now turned into expectations. A whole culture revolving around safety has taken root and continues to grow – a welcome shift in attitude through the decades.” And how would she encourage others to explore her field of study? She concludes, “I would invite people to watch our webinars where subject matter experts highlight the challenges and successes of projects across the company. It’s truly inspiring!”

REGENESIS is proud to have Megan Richard, Senior Project Manager with Antea Group, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates her expertise, enthusiasm, and dedication in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.