March 2, 2020

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Geosyntec Staff to Present on Environmental Health and Remediation at Louisiana Environmental Conference and Trade Fair

Lance Fontenot, Ph.D. (Louisiana) will present "Nutritional Intervention: Antioxidants for Optimum Health and Modulation of the Toxicity of Environmental Pollutants," and Kaitlyn Rhonehouse, P.E. (North Carolina) and Mark Johnson (Maryland) will present "Navigating the Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process" at the Louisiana Environmental Conference and Trade Fair at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette, Louisiana on March 19, 2020.

Lance is a Principal Toxicologist based in Louisiana with more than 20 years of experience focused on assessing the human health and ecological effects of hazardous substance releases and ecological impact assessments. His experience in research and applied consulting includes work on the ecotoxicology of amphibians and reptiles and the use of various organisms as bioindicators of environmental contamination. His work has involved basic research studies of the parasites, food habits, and habitat preference of aquatic snakes from wetland areas in South Louisiana.

Kaitlyn is a Senior Engineer based in North Carolina with more than 12 years of experience focused on the assessment and remediation of contaminated properties, property transaction environmental due diligence, compliance and permitting evaluations, valuation of environmental liability, brownfields negotiations and redevelopment, and vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation. Kaitlyn has led hundreds of environmental due diligence projects for property transactions located across the U.S., focusing on evaluating quantitative and qualitive risk factors associated with impaired properties.

Mark is a Principal Consultant based in Maryland with more than 23 years of experience focused on transactional support, site investigation and remediation, subsurface vapor intrusion to indoor air, environmental management assessment and systems, and brownfield redevelopment planning and design. Mark has conducted and managed hundreds of Phase I and Phase II site assessments and compliance audits at industrial, manufacturing, and commercial facilities in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

The Louisiana Environmental Conference and Trade Fair features classes on air and water permitting, oil and gas, industrial and solid waste management, compliance and enforcement, and remediation programs.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality's (LDEQ) mission is to provide service to the people of Louisiana through comprehensive environmental protection in order to promote and protect health, safety and, welfare while considering sound policies regarding employment and economic development.


Nutritional Intervention: Antioxidants for Optimum Health and Modulation of the Toxicity of Environmental Pollutants
Presenter: Lance Fontenot, Ph.D.
Time: 2:30 p.m. on March 19, 2020
It is generally well known that nutrition and lifestyle choices are modulators of chronic diseases. A relatively new nutritional paradigm has been developed in environmental toxicology with an aim to understand the relationship between nutrition, exposure to environmental toxicants, and disease.  Nutrition may be the most practical way to develop intervention and prevention strategies for diseases associated with exposure to environmental toxicants.  The onset and development of chronic diseases is a complex process that may be influenced by exposure to environmental pollutants, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor dietary habits.  The development of chronic disease typically progresses from the onset of oxidative stress at the cellular level and leads to chronic inflammation.  Both lifestyle factors and exposure to pollutants can influence the incidence and progression of disease.  Our modern diet includes the overconsumption of processed and refined foods that are high in inflammatory fatty acids which can make diet induced metabolic complications worse, and also exacerbate pollutant-associated inflammation processes. Oxidative stress and inflammation can be reduced through diet by including the consumption of fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components.  Exposure to environmental pollutants has been linked to the development of many chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.  Emerging evidence suggests that nutrition can both positively and negatively modulate the toxic effects of pollutant exposure.  For example, high fat diets that increase inflammation can exacerbate pollutant toxicity, while diets rich in anti-inflammatory food components such as omega-3 fatty acids from fish and plant-derived polyphenols can attenuate toxicant-associated inflammation. Additionally, studies have shown that the harmful effects of air pollution may be modified by intake of essential micronutrients (B vitamins, and vitamins C, D, and E) and omega-3 fatty acids.   Folic acid supplementation has also been shown to be effective in folate deficient individuals to lower blood arsenic levels through methylation of arsenic to di-methylated species that facilitates renal elimination.  This presentation will summarize the available evidence supporting that diets rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients can improve overall health status, and for individuals exposed to chemical stressors, decrease vulnerability to disease processes.

Navigating the Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process
Presenters: Kaitlyn Rhonehouse, P.E. and Mark Johnson
Time: 4:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020
This presentation will focus on the environmental due diligence process for the acquisition and divestiture of commercial/industrial properties.  A background on the Phase I and Phase II ESA requirements, as it relates to All-Appropriate Inquiries and related ASTM Standards, and associated CERCLA liability will be presented. The presentation will include a discussion on common pitfalls and hot topics, such as emerging contaminants, vapor intrusion, reporting obligations, and a discussion of anticipated changes to the upcoming new version of the ASTM Standard 1527-13.

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