About

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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News

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

by Maggie Strom

As I worry over whether this empty peanut butter container is clean enough, I thought it was finally time to put together a set of easy-to-follow directions on how to “Recycle Right” in Shelby County, Tennessee. It has gotten complicated over the past few years, and while I’ve recycled since I was a little kid, even I’m confused these days.

In general, if you live in Shelby County, you can recycle the following containers, but remember the three keywords: clean, empty and dry.

CLEAN, EMPTY AND DRY

While it’s important that containers are clean before you recycle them, they don’t need to be spotless. The goal is to make sure they are clean and dry enough to keep them from contaminating the rest of the recyclables, like paper. In other words, just because you can’t get any more ketchup out of that container, it doesn’t mean it’s ready for the recycle bin. You NEED to rinse it out.

So, give your recyclable containers a rinse, then tap out the excess water. And yes, you DO have to work a little harder on those containers of sticky stuff, like my peanut butter container. If your container just won’t get clean, throw it out. You don’t want to contaminate the whole truckload.  

PAPER

Paper is pretty straight forward: clean, dry paper can be recycled. If it gets wet in the rain in your bin, it’s no longer recyclable. If your paper has any kind of coating or contamination, throw it away. Here are some dos and don’ts:

Recycle this paper:

Flat cardboard
Cereal boxes
Newspaper
Office paper
Magazines
Mail

Do not recycle this paper:

Any wet paper
Waxy paper
Paper with a plastic coating
Takeaway drink cups
Boxes from frozen food with a wax coating
Shredded-paper – it wrecks the machinery
Pizza boxes

PLASTIC

The little number inside the recycle symbol tells you what kind of plastic you have. Numbers 1 and 2 are hard plastics and the easiest to recycle. You should also recycle #3, #4, #5, #6 and #7 plastics. These are commodities, and workers at the sorting facilities want them all so they can separate them and send them to the right place for recycling.

You cannot recycle plastic bags at home, so don’t bag your recyclables or put plastic bags in your bin. Instead, take them to the grocery store and look for bag recycling bins in the lobby.

And what about lids?  Lids are often made of #5 plastic and are different from their respective container. In our community, it’s recommended that you remove all lids from your recyclables.

METAL

Metal has the same potential contamination issues as plastic. Make sure it’s empty, clean and dry. In general, food containers are made of steel or aluminum and are great to recycle. However, you cannot recycle random metal objects like bicycles, swing sets, tools or paint containers. Stick with containers and you can’t go wrong.

GLASS

Keep recycling glass and yes, the same rules apply – clean, empty and dry! Sometimes there are metal or plastic lids on glass. To keep this recycling stream clean, take off those metal and plastic lids and give them a good rinse before putting them in your bin separately.  your container will be open, make sure you have it pretty clean because you don’t want to contaminate your bin.

EASY RECYCLING RULES

●    All recyclables must be CLEAN, EMPTY and DRY.
●    Recycle paper.
●    Recycle plastic, metal and glass containers.
●    Plastic containers = Lids on
●    Glass containers = Lids off

RESOURCES

City of Memphis Recycling Guide
City of Germantown Recycling Guide (Plastics #1, #2, #4, #5 and #7)
City of Collierville Recycling Guide (Plastics #1 and #2 only)
City of Bartlett Recycling Guide (Plastics #1-7)
City of Millington Recycling Guide
 

Posted by Maggie Strom at 06 September 2022

We at Tioga prioritize safety in any workplace. Protocols should be in place to protect employees, not just to respond if and when injuries, or worse, occur. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s annual Safe + Sound Week is Aug. 15-21. The week is a reminder of how employers, project managers and site supervisors can proactively implement safety and health programs that identify and manage workplace hazards throughout the year. 

In the long-term, workplace safety and health programs can help businesses improve their sustainability and competitiveness. We discussed extensively about practicing heat safety during the summer months, but here are other conditions to evaluate on your worksite or facility before sending workers on the job.

Heights

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls are the leading cause of death in the construction field. Before workers come onto a site, employers must plan projects ahead of time with safety remaining a priority. Decide how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task, such as the appropriate types of ladders, scaffolds and harnesses. Additionally, employers must train all workers on properly setting up and safely using all equipment they’ll use on the job.

 

 

Hazardous materials and toxins

Injuries and illnesses at manufacturing facilities, chemical plants and similar worksites may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical and mechanical exposure. Personal protective equipment is designed to help minimize exposure to such hazardous materials. Equipment includes items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats and respirators. Coveralls, vests and full body suits may also be required. 

Employers should guide workers to ensure their equipment properly fits them (learn how to conduct a fit test for respirators). Training workers on how to properly wear and maintain the equipment is equally important.

Sound

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 22 million workers annually are exposed to potentially damaging noise. This can result from constant sound exposure on a construction site with heavy machinery, an airport tarmac or even an entertainment venue. 

How do you know if a site is too loud? OSHA says if you need to raise your voice to speak to someone standing just three feet away, then noise levels might be over 85 decibels. You can also invest in a sound-measuring instrument or download the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Sound Level Meter app on your smartphone to detect noise levels in a workspace. 

Work sites with noise exposure at or above 85 decibels for an average of eight working hours are required to implement a hearing conservation program, which is designed to prevent initial occupational hearing loss, preserve and protect remaining hearing. These programs equip workers with the knowledge and hearing protection devices, or HDPs, necessary to safeguard themselves.


Safety is one of the nine values we emphasize within Tioga’s culture, and we encourage all businesses to prioritize safety throughout their teams. Our team can develop OSHA-compliant safety programs, provide training and even audit existing programs to determine whether you are meeting all current safety requirements. To get started, contact us today.

Posted by Christina Babu at 01 August 2022