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September 25, 2014

Survey: Farallon Consulting

Specialty: Remedial investigations and feasibility studies; mediation and litigation support; stormwater management and planning; due diligence and site assessment; sediments; water and energy permitting services

Management: Founding members Peter Jewett and Cliff Schmitt

Founded: 1998

Headquarters: Issaquah

2014 revenues: N/A

Projected 2015 revenues: N/A

Projects: EMJ early action sediment cleanup in the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Site; Capital Industries remedial investigation/feasibility study for chlorinated solvents in groundwater in South Seattle

Photo courtesy of Farallon Consulting [enlarge]
Farallon oversaw environmental issues associated with digging this hole at a Seattle construction site.

Tim Zier, general manager at Farallon Consulting, responded to questions from the DJC about his firm and trends and issues in the industry. Here is what he said:

Q: What sectors have grown quickly in the last year at your firm?

A: Stormwater, construction support and energy permitting services have substantively increased over the last year. The growth of these services is attributable to the addition of key technical staff and an increased need for these services by our clientele.

Q: How have you responded to that growth?

A: Farallon has made very strategic and intentional decisions regarding firm growth. Our goal is not to grow for the sake of growth but rather hiring key technical staff that are a cultural fit for our organization. Our goal is to be a company that our staff talk to their friends about and say Farallon is an incredible place to work and here are all the reasons why.

We want our employees to be highly recognized and valued; and that they have an opportunity to grow professionally within the organization for years to come.

Q: Have you seen a greater level of excitement among your clients recently?

A: Seattle is an exciting place to live and work right now. There is definitely a feeling of excitement. The economy has ramped up again. Farallon is supporting a number of clients in redevelopment projects which involve cleaning up contaminated properties. It’s great to be part of a changing skyline while concurrently cleaning up the environment.

Q: What’s the most exciting innovation you’ve recently come across?

A: Farallon is an early adopter in the consulting industry with deploying hardware and software to facilitate and streamline collection of field data. The tablets enable field crews to utilize features of the tablets, such as geographic positioning systems and video cameras to document work and project conditions, as well as software assuring complete, efficient and quality data collection.

Field data are rapidly uploaded to a secure relational database data warehouse for project collaboration using web-based portals, sophisticated data analysis using a range of tools, reporting for project deliverables, and input into mapping software for geographic information system analysis and display.

Efficient use of available technology is an important aspect of Farallon’s culture to provide cost-effective and quality services to clientele.

Q: What are a few of the hurdles your industry faces?

A: It has been increasingly difficult to obtain regulatory closure at sites. However, Farallon recently received three regulatory closures at project sites on behalf of our clientele. The environmental industry is also greatly affected by economic downtowns and changing regulations. Farallon has always strived to maintain a diverse client base and broad range of services. These types of intentional decisions have allowed us to work through the economic downturns that have been experienced in recent years.

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