Celebrating Four Decades of Hazardous Material Detection and Remediation Plan Design for New York State Commercial and Civic Structures
For 40 years, Adelaide has been helping New York Schools, Churches, and a wide variety of public and private commercial structures detect and monitor the removal of asbestos, mold, lead, and PCBs.
Adelaide Environmental Health, established in 1983, has been a leader in helping public and private institutions such as schools, churches, prisons, and commercial entities identify hazardous materials within structures they own or manage, and then develop and monitor plans to remove these materials safely, efficiently and without significant interruption to normal activities within these buildings.
One of the first noteworthy projects initially taken on by Adelaide was the detection and clean-up monitoring of PCBs and dioxins caused by a transformer explosion and subsequent fire the previous year in the Binghamton New York State Office Building. Due to the billowing contaminated smoke from the fire after the explosion, hazardous materials spread throughout the building which took over 13 years to reopen finally.
“Large, complex projects like the Binghamton State Office Building established Adelaide as a hazardous material detection and monitoring company that could scale to any size engagement,” said Adelaide CEO Stephanie Soter. “While we (Soter and her husband John) didn’t purchase Adelaide until a decade after the start of the Binghamton Office cleanup, that job established our bonafides as an environmental health and detection company that could readily handle very involved municipal projects.”
When the Soters purchased Adelaide in 2000, the transaction created another distinction for the company which set it apart from most of its competitors: gaining status as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) within New York State. This was an important step for Adelaide as it opened more channels for growth.
“Being a woman-owned business in New York state puts us on the radar for publicly-held and larger private companies that are incentivized to do business with a WBE,” said CEO Stephanie Soter. “Along with the considerable financial and business management skills my wife brought to this venture from her Big Six Accounting firm and CPA credentials, having this company owned by a woman has certainly opened some doors for us,” added Soter.
In the time since Stephanie and Adelaide executive vice president John Soter acquired Adelaide, the company has expanded its footprint across the state and has become a preferred approved provider for many municipal projects in public schools, penitentiaries, and a wide variety of municipal buildings as well as many private schools and buildings owned by major religious organizations such as the Archdiocese of New York.
“What our customers find appealing is the expertise we have developed in dealing with the logistics of these engagements, including both emergency situations as well as planned engagements that must be completed within specific windows of time,” said John Soter. “Building owners, general contractors, building managers, and various organizational leaders have come to know and trust Adelaide as a company that brings predictability and process situations where the unexpected is often commonplace.”
Another point of difference Adelaide brings with their suite of hazardous material detection services is well-tenured inspectors who are multi-disciplined and licensed across the gamut of environmental hazards. Stephanie Soter puts it this way: “Our customers require efficiency. Many of the buildings in which we work are quite old and present a mix of hazardous materials – having inspectors licensed to detect and then monitor remediation of asbestos, mold, PCBs and lead brings an immediate efficiency to our engagements.”
During their 40 years in business, Adelaide’s inspectors as well as John and Stephanie have been involved with some noteworthy projects, ranging from culturally historic buildings such as Old St. Patricks Basilica in Little Italy and an OSHA inspection at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC to expansive and complex asbestos and lead inspections at SUNY Buffalo and Buffalo State as well as facility-wide asbestos inspections for VA Hospitals in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.
One other point of difference Adelaide is proud of is the direct involvement of company partners in the majority of Adelaide’s engagements. But this involvement has made for some memorable experiences for John Soter. “We’ve worked in many of the big New York State penitentiaries such as Sing Sing or the Green Haven Correctional Facility; it’s always a bit eerie to work in the same hallways that have been walked by the likes of the Rosenbergs, Lucky Luciano or John Gotti,” Soter said. When asked where he felt the eeriest, Soter said it wasn’t a prison.
“We were brought in to do the hazardous material detection very shortly after the tragedy of 9-11 in lower Manhattan. The ruins were still smoldering when we went to work down there. I will never forget what I saw down there, and the emotions we felt working in that area in the weeks just after the Towers came down. It was haunting,” Soter added.
If you have a project coming up for which you might need our help, you can contact us via email or call us at 1 (845) 278-7710.