Oil Spills and Hazardous Wastes—TMC Services Doesn’t Mess Around

A lot of companies may promise a fast response time to their customers. But when an oil spill endangers a delicate waterway, or a company’s production grinds to a halt because of contamination, time is money—lots and lots of money.

There is probably no other company that better exemplifies the need for fast, safe and knowledgeable response time than TMC Services, based in Bellingham, Massachusetts. With branches throughout the Northeastern United States, including offices in Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont, the company has established itself as the premier responder to whatever mess, spill or contaminant arises.

TMC specializes in cleaning up oil spills, removing contaminants from buildings, and dealing with all kinds of hazardous and non-hazardous waste, including recyclable and reusable materials.

They handle the worst of the worst, including asbestos, lead, mold, PCBs (cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls) and other hazardous materials and special wastes that can show up in buildings, soils and water. TMC deals with them all. With its twenty-four hour, seven day a week emergency hotline, the company promises to reach most emergency sites in New England within two hours of a call to its hotline—an extraordinary response time, and a vital one for the person making that call on the other end of the telephone.

Drawing from a robust family history in contracting and environmental work, brothers Matthew and Thomas Clark started TMC in 1995 with the mission of building a truly diverse, full-service environmental services organization. The brothers continue to be involved in the company with Matthew serving as CEO and Thomas as Executive Vice President.

The company has grown steadily over the last decade and a half, currently claiming one hundred employees. As one of the leading full-service environmental contractors in the northeastern United States, Matthew Iovanni, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, said, “TMC Services is a one-stop shop for emergency and scheduled remediation, abatement and environmental construction services.”

While the highly technical and environmentally vital work of oil spill and building contamination clean-ups is a large part of the company’s business, it also offers other services. Professionally trained technicians install water, sewer and conduit systems, petroleum fuels storage and delivery systems, and are also involved with utility construction and the installation and removal of under- and above ground storage tanks.

According to Iovanni, TMC is a U.S. Coast Guard-approved Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) and is on the Massachusetts Emergency Response list for all four regions of the state. “Our ability to respond rapidly and quickly to contain a variety of contaminants, in various terrain and marine situations, enables TMC to reduce risks to the environment and minimize health hazards. Well trained in migration reduction techniques, our professional crews also are able to minimize the financial impact of an environmental release,” he said.

Industrial cleaning is one area in which TMC expects to grow. In October, it was awarded a contract to clean a spent tank at a paper mill in Glenn Falls, New York. Workers used vacuums, jack hammers, water blasting fans and remote control, three-dimensional tools to dislodge debris on the equipment. The remote control tool was especially vital because the tank contained sulfate fumes. Many of the ports and doors were covered by hardened fly ash, and the fans inside the boilers presented other challenges. Workers used 20,000 PSI water blasting guns to remove the built up debris on the fan blades.

In another example, TMC was awarded a $3.2 million, two-year contract from the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority to remove PCBs and mineral deposits from the soil and concrete at the Wachusett Dam in Clinton. The project was tricky because only the contaminated soil could be removed, and it had to be carefully transported down the slope of the dam without allowing any contamination to migrate onto the face of the dam or to the soil below.

While TMC clearly has the technical ability to deal with whatever contamination issue that arises, its employees’ professionalism is what sets the company apart, said Iovanni. “The commitment to safety, training, and outstanding service benefits our client’s customers in the high level of confidence, and professionalism with which we address an emergency. Our well-equipped technicians provide a multitude of services to get our customers up and functioning quickly and efficiently,” he explained.

Emergencies are unpredictable, but TMC is reliable in emergency situations. TMC responded to a cleanup for a major tanker spill in 2003 that dumped 98,000 gallons of fuel oil into Buzzards Bay off Cape Cod. Then, in November 2009, they responded to a highway chemical spill in Medway, Maine.

A tractor trailer truck, loaded with corrosive paper-making chemicals, rolled over on Interstate 95, spilling most of the chemicals and threatening a nearby stream that fed into Salmon Stream Lake. Ten of the twelve plastic containers, each carrying up to 330 gallons of chemicals, broke and discharged toxic corrosive and flammable papermaking chemicals and industrial substances the area used in water treatment facilities. TMC took water samples from the stream to test for hazardous substances, secured the site for the winter months, and completed remedial cleanup activities in the spring.

As state and federal regulations continue to tighten, Iovanni said the demand for TMC’s work will continue to grow, “There’s a very large demand across the area as the East Coast is densely populated and has a great deal of historical contamination. Also, there are many manufacturing facilities and power plants that are in need of industrial services.”

Disaster response and environmental clean-ups are the driving force behind TMC’s success, but it has a softer side, as well. The company is heavily involved in charity work, specifically The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, an organization that fulfills wishes for children with life threatening medical conditions. Their 2009 TMC Fall Golf Classic raised $11,500 for the foundation and last fall, the event raised $18,000. Plans are already underway for this year’s golf event.

Spills, contamination and accidents can happen everywhere and anytime. PCBs, lead and other harmful toxins show up in buildings, soils and waterways. Timely response can help a government agency or business avoid financial and environmental disaster. No company in the northeastern United States has proven that better than TMC Services.

Story by Marie Elium

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