News & Updates

News and Updates
April 22 - 2021

Building a Better Planet - Earth Day 2021

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970 in the United States. Over the past fifty years, the event has grown and now people around the world, across 193 countries participate in Earth Day activities each year. It is one of the world’s largest environmental movements. The purpose of this observance is to promote education and action in the environmental movement worldwide to drive positive change for our planet.

Continue reading to learn about LEA’s environmental team, our Green Committee, and our dedication to sustainable development.

LEA's Environmental services were established in 2019 to foster relationships with clients and to apply our knowledge and technical hands-on experience to successfully deliver projects.
 
Our core service areas include:
  • Environmental Assessment Process Coordination & Planning
  • Baseline Biological Surveys & Inventories
  • Environmental Approvals / Permitting
  • Compliance Oversight Monitoring During Construction

Our environmental team’s mission  is to provide integrated and balanced solutions that complement our existing core engineering services to promote the protection of natural and socio-economic environments. The environmental assessment process runs parallel to the planning and design process, working in tandem with other engineering disciplines. Our environmental team provides input on a continual basis as environmental information is acquired through various methods, such as background review, agency consultation, and through the completion of field investigations. Active engagement and communication with the design team throughout all phases of a project ensures disciplines are effectively integrated, project specific environmental constraints and risks are identified, and the scope and expectations are clearly defined for a successful outcome.

Constructability reviews and feasibility of implementation are essential components to be considered during all phases of a project. LEA’s environmental team has significant experience gained through applied construction compliance monitoring that permits the effective delivery of projects, particularly for determining project staging requirements, the design of environmental controls and for planning works operations within and adjacent to environmentally sensitive features.

To accurately assess and delineate environmental conditions and constraints within a large spatial landscape, our environmental team makes extensive use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping software and applications. Output includes the production of technical maps/documents and digital files that accurately captures and represents critical project data. This technology is used throughout all phases of a project and with the use of tablets, accurate site-specific data is easily collected in the field. These tools enable the accurate compiling and organization of geospatial data that enables the clear identification of project specific opportunities and constraints for integration into the planning and design process.

The environmental team at LEA has experience working on many noteworthy projects. In addition to work on various highway rehabilitation projects across Ontario, our team is currently providing daily environmental and Species at Risk compliance monitoring during construction for the replacement of Big Creek Bridge in Long Point, ON and mussel salvage and relocation during construction of Highway 569 for the replacement of Blanche River Bridge in Hilliardton, ON.

More than just project based, LEA’s environmental work extends externally. LEA’s environmental team values community engagement. Staff are actively involved with various municipal planning and environmental committees as well as institutional partners that are developing emerging technologies in the environmental field.
 
The Green Committee
LEA’s Green Committee was established in 2019 with the purpose of spreading awareness through initiatives that support our organization and employees make more environmentally conscious decisions. The Committee has implemented programs including compost pickup for organics, a pen and marker recycling program and e-waste and dead battery collections. In addition, signage was introduced in our boardrooms to remind people to turn off lights and equipment when not in use and to turn off wireless equipment to conserve power. LEA even switched to coffee supplier Go Java, a responsible supplier that not only provides great coffee, but also collects the used coffee grounds that are then composted and diverted from the landfill.

As we adjust to the new normal and work toward opening our offices once it is safe to do so, our Green Committee plans to ramp up its initiatives and continue educating staff on sustainable practices. The committee plans to host a food waste education session with Second Harvest as well as other recycling and compost education sessions to help divert waste from landfills.

Overall, LEA’s Green Committee aspires to build a culture around environmental stewardship, to host low-waste LEA events, increase membership, and increase sustainability and awareness in the work we do.

Special thanks to Bradley Dufour and Michael Csiki for their contributions to this article.
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