In January of this year, Sprecher Group, specializing in environmental, geological and water rights consulting celebrated ten years of service. Terry Sprecher, a professional geologist with nearly three decades of experience in the western U.S., began her career after college in the western coal mining industry, working for a subsidiary of Pacific Power and Light based in Portland. After a few years in the coal industry, Sprecher was off to earn her masters in economic geology at which time she worked in precious metals and then in geo-thermal exploration, both in Nevada. After ‘retiring’ to spend time with her two young children, Sprecher moved back to Portland then on to Bend.
During this period (mid 80’s), Sprecher melded her education and experience into a consulting business. She began independently consulting in Bend as a licensed geologist. Between 1998 and January 2008, she successfully established, developed, and managed a branch office in Bend for a mid-sized environmental consulting firm, overseeing the office growth from a staff of one to a staff of six. Sprecher Group currently works all over Central and Eastern Oregon, parts of Idaho, Washington and California.
Sprecher has been a member of ConnectW, a nonprofit, networking group for women in business for a few years, and Sprecher Group is a small business sponsor of ConnectW. Over the years, Sprecher has seen the amount of Central Oregon, female owned businesses multiply and gain more support from the community.
The Business of Consulting Environmental — a form of consulting to make sure the client is in compliance with environmental regulations. It includes:
• Soil and/or groundwater cleanup related to truck wreck incident response and cleanup
• Phase II site assessments, involving soil and/or groundwater sampling to determine if a site has been impacted by past activity and how best to clean it up
• Groundwater monitoring, including at active service stations or industrial and commercial sites with
• Underground Injection Control (UIC) (storm water drill holes, septic disposal drill holes, etc.) registration and decommissioning
• In tandem with a DEQ-licensed contractor, underground storage tank and heating oil tank decommissioning and cleanup projects
• Report preparation for all of the above, and interfacing with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ, in Oregon) so that the site receives a No Further Action Letter once cleanup has been completed
• Phase I site assessment review and comment, in cases where site owners are interested in a second opinion
• Occasional asbestos surveys, and occasional sampling of clandestine drug lab properties
Geological — a form of scientific consulting based on the type of project. It includes:
• Oversight during installation of wells or monitoring wells
• Conducting groundwater assessments in support of wastewater disposal permits
• Miscellaneous projects needing a geologic opinion
Water Rights — a form of consulting that is very technical and strategic.
• Review of a property’s existing water rights to help a property owner understand those rights
• Preparation of water rights extension applications for permits that are about to expire
• Preparation of Claim of Beneficial Use reports and maps after a permit has been developed so that the property owner can receive a water right certificate
• Preparation of transfer applications or permit amendments to change the permitted water right at a property
• Preparation of a water rights application for new water rights
The past ten years have been very busy for Sprecher Group and there is much to celebrate.
“Our largest projects have been related to major truck wreck cleanups. In the last five years, Sprecher Group has provided environmental consulting support to the Remediation Contractor for the following projects (some of which your readers might remember, due to protracted highway closures),” says Sprecher.
Some of the clean-up projects include:
• 1,700 gallon gasoline release from a fuel tanker, Mile Post 22, Highway 26 in Leaburg — June 2017.
• Approximately 5,500 gallons of gasoline and 5,000 gallons of diesel released from a fuel tanker, Mile Post 20, Highway 58, near Oakridge — October 2016.
• Approximately 4,000 gallons of gasoline released from a fuel tanker, Mile Post 134, State Route 14 in Klickitat, Washington — February 2016.
• Nearly 4,000 gallons of diesel released from a fuel tanker, Mile Post 29, Highway 37 in Pendleton — February 2014.
• Several hundred gallons of TMAH (Tetra Methyl Ammonia Hydroxide) spilled from a commercial truck, Mile Post 323.1, I-84 Eastbound, south of Baker City — November 2013.
• Approximately 1,500 gallons of diesel and 3,500 gallons of gasoline released from a fuel tanker, Mile Post 81.5, Highway 26, on the Warm Springs Reservation — September 2013.
(Photo by SPrecher Group)