Tioga is a Native American word that means “at the fork.” You can look at this two ways: where a river divides or where two streams converge. We prefer the latter. Because to us, Tioga is a mindset — working together with you to determine your ideal solutions.

Working with Tioga, you’ll have a complete team of environmental professionals and technicians at your disposal. So no matter what your project, you can access the specific expertise you need to take proper care of it. All through a single point of contact.

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By Joe Littlefield, program manager

Maintaining the well-being of employees in the workplace is a fundamental component of a successful environmental health and safety program. An Industrial Hygiene (IH) assessment often plays a critical role in the development, implementation and maintenance of these plans.

Industrial hygiene is defined by OSHA as "the practice of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating and controlling workplace conditions that may cause workers' injury or illness.” IH assessments are performed to meet a wide range of objectives including:

  • Identifying potential hazards in the workplace.
  • Establishing baseline worker exposure levels to hazards.
  • Routine monitoring of worker exposure levels.
  • Developing engineering, work practice and administrative controls to minimize
    workplace hazards.
  • Determining PPE requirements.
  • Instituting occupational safety programs for respiratory protection, hearing conservation,

IH assessments evaluate a wide variety of safety and exposure hazards. The scope of these assessments depends on the hazards present to which workers could be exposed, ranging from a facility-wide comprehensive hazard assessment to a specific area, process or position. The conclusions and recommendations from an assessment are instrumental in implementing programs and controls to minimize or eliminate employee exposure.

IH assessments of physical hazards, such as ergonomics or machine guarding, typically involve a visual or physical review of the facility and specific components by an industrial hygienist to ensure compliance with applicable OSHA regulations. Monitoring potential worker exposure usually involves an industrial hygienist. An IH sampling technician might deploy specialized meters and sampling pumps for personal exposure monitoring during a full work shift, which can include outfitting a worker with an air sampling pump to sample media for exposure to hazardous airborne constituents like respirable silica or heavy metals. Data from the laboratory analysis of the sample media would then be used to determine the workers’ time weighted average exposure for a typical shift.

IH assessments are commonly performed in industrial facilities involved in manufacturing, chemical processing, logistics and power generation, to name a few. However, EHS managers at any facility or organization that places an emphasis on employee health and safety can benefit from an IH assessment. Due to the complex and numerous industrial hygiene hazards and controls, many organizations do not have the in-house capability to perform IH assessments. Tioga’s scientists are adept at evaluating facility EHS programs, identifying IH hazards and developing monitoring plans. Contact our team to get started. We look forward to helping you with your IH assessment needs!

Posted by Carlee Smith at 01 March 2023

There’s an old saying that still rings true today: “The greenest building is the one already built.” While it may be every architect’s dream to design a building that stands out in a city’s skyline, we find there’s more to brag about when transforming an old building to look and feel new again. Our hometown of Memphis is full of history. Now, imagine if there was no fight to preserve many of these buildings from years past. While those stories would still exist, it may be easier to forget them without a physical representation. We’d lose a piece of our history.

Construction projects are major contributors to climate change, but not all projects have equal impact on the environment. Historic preservation projects have proven to have fewer results in carbon emissions. Before demolishing an old building and starting fresh or clearing an untouched greenspace, there are several things to consider – including the environmental impact it could have on a community.


According to the EPA, “to pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.” As crucial construction materials and natural resources deplete and costs of goods and services continue to rise, there are some instances in which historic revitalization is not only more eco-friendly but cost-efficient as well. Using salvaged, recycled or repurposed materials is a step in the right direction when it comes to reducing waste and preserving materials for generations to come.


The U.S. Energy Information Administration discovered half of the country’s commercial facilities were constructed before 1980. When you look at an older building, you’re getting a glimpse into that past. As of August 2022, Memphis has 199 properties included in the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places. These are churches, houses, apartments, banks, neighborhoods and schools that define us as Memphians. Preserving these buildings means preserving a piece of history. These properties create a sense of community, belonging and pride, and they communicate our values with the rest of the world.


You know the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” The same can be applied to revitalization and preservation projects! By abstaining from demolition, valuable resources are saved and the need for building and construction materials is reduced. It also conserves fossil fuels and other resources needed to acquire and transport materials to the job site.


Older buildings are major contributors to rising carbon emissions, but it’s up to those of us in the building industry today to address it. Many of these buildings have outdated mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and their structures may not be up to code. By restoring and updating them to current standards, we can give back the love these buildings gave to our communities over time. GBD Magazine said it best: “For every new building we build, there are hundreds of existing buildings that need the same level of care and design.” Designers have the expertise and capability to further bring new life to these buildings that are standing tall and remaining empty.

If you need assistance with your purchase of an old building, give us a call at 901-791-2432. Tioga is often involved in the due diligence phase of a property purchase. We can help with environmental assessments, hazardous materials testing and much more.

Posted by Carlee Smith at 01 February 2023

by Chuck Thibault

On Oct. 21, 2022, the Mississippi River reached a record low stage of -10.8 feet (173.2 feet NAVD88) at the Memphis Mississippi River Gage. While drought conditions leading to the low levels have eased, the record low stage highlights our dependence on precipitation and our vulnerability to drought. Additionally, when the low river level was visible, one could walk to the riverbank and see the low river levels. 

Unlike the river, the groundwater beneath our feet is not visible, yet it is relied upon for drinking water, agriculture and industry. It becomes even more important in locations where surface water loss is the norm. Our current and future need for groundwater combined with population and climatic pressures requires an effort to ensure our groundwater resources remain resilient.  

One method used to provide water supply resiliency is through managed aquifer recharge, sometimes referred to as water banking. MAR is defined by the National Groundwater Association as the purposeful recharge of water to aquifers for subsequent recovery or for environmental benefit. There are a variety of forms of MAR, such as large infiltration ponds, crop flooding and the use of wells. MAR is also utilized for drinking water storage, flood hazard mitigation and drought mitigation. Sources for recharge include river water, storm water and treated wastewater. Some things to consider prior to implementing MAR strategies include local, state and federal regulations, water chemistry, and the quality of the recharge source and the receiving aquifer.  

In 2022, the National Groundwater Association and the International Association of Hydrogeologists increased their interest in MAR. Tioga is proud to be participating in the drafting of MAR guidance with the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council.

To learn more, check out these sources or reach out to the Tioga team:

Posted by Christina Babu at 03 January 2023

As 2022 draws to a close, we like to look back on all we’ve accomplished this year as a team. It’s encouraging to witness Memphis’ revitalization, and it’s even more encouraging to be a part of it. Let’s take a look at our work throughout the past year.

Wolf River Greenway Phase 14A

In May 2022, the Wolf River Crossing, the largest pedestrian bridge over the Wolf River, opened to the public. Tioga provided environmental permitting and developed erosion control plans for Phase 14A, a 1.6-mile multimodal path connecting Walnut Grove Road and the Shelby Farms Greenline.

Image via WATN ABC 24

MEM Concourse B Modernization

Opened in Feb. 2022, Memphis International Airport’s Concourse B underwent a $245 million upgrade, including new and enhanced retail and restaurant options, a children’s play area, a stage for live music, and improved walkway and gate areas. Before the renovation began, Tioga completed an asbestos survey on the property.

Image via Memphis International Airport

Memphis Sports and Events Center

Tioga had the pleasure of working on the Memphis Sports & Events Center in Liberty Park, located on the former site of the Fairgrounds. During the early stages of construction, our team investigated hazardous materials on the site as a whole and among structures undergoing demolition. The Liberty Park campus will grow to include not only a 227,000-square-foot sports complex but also a mixed-use development of entertainment venues, dining, retail, hotel and apartments.

Image via Liberty Park Memphis


Snuff District

Memphis’ revitalization continues – it’s even spread north past our office’s home in the Pinch District into the Snuff District! Tioga regularly supports this neighborhood’s redevelopment through environmental site assessments on historic properties. We love seeing our city come alive!



Falls Building 

In partnership with Turner Construction, Tioga assisted in the redevelopment of the Falls Building in Downtown Memphis. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is planned to be converted into family apartments, complete with an arcade, billiard’s room, golf simulator, sauna and steam room.

Image via Memphis Business Journal


Highland Heights 

More than a year ago, Tioga was engaged to conduct assessments and remove a UST from a property at 3393-3437 Summer Ave. and 610 National St. This redevelopment supports Mayor Jim Strickland’s Memphis 3.0 initiative, a comprehensive city development plan to be completed throughout the next 20 years. With construction recently completed, the property is now home to several businesses.


Would you like Tioga to be a part of your next project? Give us a call at 901-791-2432 to learn more about how we can help!

Posted by Carlee Smith at 01 December 2022

By Karim Bouzeid, geologist

Environmental rules and regulations bear an all too familiar resemblance to the seasons; they both tend to change. Last year, between July and Oct. 2021, major changes were enacted in the regulations for the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation’s Division of Underground Storage Tanks. It’s been one year – are your tanks in compliance with the current regulations? We can help answer that question. Let’s start with some of the bigger changes these new rules brought about.

The most notable change that’s sure to garner a good deal of excitement is the suspension of annual fees for all underground storage tanks. This suspension will be in effect for five years! This change also includes more modern rules for the Petroleum Underground Storage Tanks Fund in the form of lowering the deductible from $20,000 to $5,000 for sites in compliance. Lastly, it extends the UST Fund coverage umbrella to new sites with violations using a compliance-based variable deductible scaled from $10,000 to $30,000, based on the severity of the violations. 

As seen in the reduced deductible for UST fund coverage, it pays to be in compliance! Let’s take a look at a few of the changes owners and operators of petroleum UST systems should be aware of in order to remain in compliance.

  • Operators of UST systems must conduct a walkthrough inspection of their facility on a monthly basis. Records of these inspections must be maintained and provided at the time of the regular compliance inspection.
  • Overfill Prevention Equipment must be inspected at least once every three years. 
  • Tank Owners/Operators must comply with the new notification requirement regarding a spill bucket replacement. Effective immediately, the Division must be notified 72 hours prior to a spill bucket replacement at any facility.

If you have any questions as to whether or not your tanks are in compliance, give us a call at 901-791-2431. We’ll help ensure your compliance status doesn’t change, even if the rules and regulations do!

Posted by Christina Babu at 01 November 2022

Erosion is a continual issue in environmental science. Contributing factors include climate change, construction of new developments and other human activities. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, eroded soil endangers water resources by reducing water quality and causing siltation in aquatic habitats for local species. Repairs to sewer lines and stormwater drainage systems may also be more frequent as a result of erosion. In construction, improper clearing and grading can cause the loss of native vegetation necessary for the surrounding terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

At Tioga, we assist clients with reducing their environmental impact in several ways, and erosion is no exception. Throughout the due diligence, design and construction phases, erosion control is a major component. Several years ago, we discussed the importance of erosion control and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s regulations surrounding it. Now, we take a deeper dive into what projects and developments require erosion control to help safeguard the environment and comply with national and state laws.

NPDES ​Stormwater Construction Permit

The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System requires a General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Construction Activities, or CGP, for construction sites that involve “clearing, grading or excavation” of one or more acres of land. Examples of such projects are housing subdivisions, industrial buildings, utility lines and roads. To get approval for a CGP, applicants need to complete a Notice of Intent for Construction Activity that clearly outlines the site and construction area and identifiers that indicate areas of receiving water and stormwater.

Because stormwater runoff from construction sites can cause significant harm to rivers, lakes and coastal waters, the NOI must also include a site-specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. This document identifies activities and conditions at the construction site that could cause water pollution. In the document, the construction operator describes the activities the construction team will do to prevent stormwater contamination and control sedimentation and erosion.

Inspections During Construction

Inspections at permitted construction sites are required twice weekly, at least 72 hours apart, throughout the time that soils are exposed or disturbed at a project. TDEC requires certification through the Fundamentals of Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Level 1 course. Based on these inspections, inadequate control measures or those in disrepair must be replaced, modified or repaired.

Erosion control is critical to not only a project’s success, but also to the protection of our natural resources. Tioga has the in-house capabilities to provide permitting and inspections related to erosion control. To find out if your next project requires a CGP, contact our team today.

Posted by Christina Babu at 01 October 2022