What’s to Gain From a Sound Environmental Assessment?

Properly evaluating a site to create an accurate environmental-impact assessment involves tracking a number of factors. Some, like the site’s wildlife habitat or the quality of surface water and groundwater, are a bit more apparent. But Pinchin LeBlanc also tracks more illusory elements, such as the flow of migratory birds through the site and the presence of rare plants, to round out the its evaluation.

For Pinchin LeBlanc Environmental Ltd., it’s not just a green agenda; it’s the financial perks.

Pinchin LeBlanc is a multidisciplinary environmental-consulting firm with head offices and certified laboratory facilities in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The company provides services related to biophysical and geophysical sciences, environmental permitting and planning, due diligence, environmental remediation, building sciences, and hazmat for regional and national clients through the Pinchin Group of Companies.

The group consists of Pinchin LeBlanc (Atlantic Canada), Le Groupe Gesfor Poirier Pinchin (Québec), Pinchin Environmental Ltd. (Central Canada), and PHH ARC Environmental Ltd. (Western Canada). With branch offices in Fredericton and Saint John, New Brunswick; St. John’s and Corner Brook, Newfoundland; and Labrador City, Labrador, Pinchin LeBlanc provides its clients with consistency, quality, and cost benefits.

Pinchin LeBlanc operates six core services lines, which include environmental sciences and approvals, building sciences, environmental site assessment and remediation, hazmat, occupational hygiene, and training. Some of the key environmental services offered through these service lines include wetland delineation, migratory-bird surveys, fish and fish-habitat assessments, rare-plant surveys, environmental-impact assessments, environmental permitting, asbestos surveys, building-conditions assessments, land-development and -purchasing due diligence, phase I and II site assessments and remediation, habitat restoration, air-quality assessments, and noise monitoring.

Ron LeBlanc, president, says the key driver for Pinchin LeBlanc’s success is its staff. When he founded the company in 1993, LeBlanc had six employees. Since then, the staff has grown to 64 and now includes professional engineers, geoscientists, geologists, and other personnel. Additionally, the company has a great retention rate, with many employees—including the original six—having been with the company since it was established.

“It’s a creative and supportive work environment,” LeBlanc says. “We help a number of staff with their educational goals, even participating financially. We have programs in place for our staff to improve themselves [and] expand what they already know, and it just helps the company. Bottom line: the staff is key here. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them.”

Among its services, Pinchin LeBlanc offers biophysical studies and environmental assessments as part of environmental permitting and planning activities for all levels of government and the private sector. These environmental studies and environmental assessments have become crucial to both the private and public sectors worldwide, especially in situations where environmental liability may become an issue—particularly in property transfer or financing, where the potential purchaser or financier does not wish to incur undue risk through ownership, or acquire responsibility for an environmental problem. Pinchin LeBlanc’s team of engineers and scientists specialize in federal and provincial legislation, and in the assessment of ecological and socioeconomic components.

Pinchin LeBlanc’s team has extensive experience in delivering environmental assessments through the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act—as well as the individual provincial acts—and the various provincial regulations throughout Atlantic Canada.

Environmental assessments are tools used for sustainable and responsible development. With these in hand, Pinchin LeBlanc works with its clients to plan sustainable projects and to assess the potential environmental repercussions early on in the planning stage of development, to mitigate any impacts.

Pinchin LeBlanc’s areas of expertise and the services it provides are integral to the company’s growth, LeBlanc says. Another important factor for the future is a plan already underway to make the company employee-owned.

“Our plan is to expand and grow, and employee ownership is the direction we’re headed,” LeBlanc says. “Ownership has been extended to five key staff in the past five years, and we look forward to extending this to other staff in the near future.”