Brendan P. Merk, P.G. Geologist & Environmental Expert

Brendan P. Merk, Geologist & Environmental Expert

Brendan Merk is a professional geologist with over twenty years of experience performing property assessments, subsurface investigations, environmental evaluations, and managing remediation efforts. He applies his expertise to forensic casework investigating the cause and cleanup of soil and groundwater contamination, concerns regarding petroleum and hazardous chemicals, the determination of groundwater flow and contaminant transport, and other geologic hazards.

With a focus on hydrogeology in his undergraduate and graduate education, much of Brendan's professional experience involves groundwater modeling. He has a strong background in the removal and assessment of Underground Storage Tank (UST) facilities, Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), and performing asbestos surveys for properties undergoing demolition. Brendan is also proficient with field sampling techniques such as soil sampling, monitoring well installation, low-flow groundwater sampling, soil vapor sample collection, and free-product recovery from groundwater.

Brendan has implemented environmental corrective actions with technologies including dig and haul, soil and groundwater vapor extraction, carbon and bioremediation injections, property restrictions, and contaminant modeling. Bedrock investigations have included assessments in karst areas as well as coring and pressure testing in competent rock.

Brendan is a licensed Professional Geologist in Kentucky and Indiana and a certified Asbestos Inspector in Indiana. He has a B.S. degree in Geology from Ball State University and a M.S. degree in Geology from the University of Cincinnati.

A Professional Geologist with experience in the environmental field since 1997, proficient with property assessments, subsurface investigations of soil, groundwater, air, and the remediation of petroleum and hazardous chemicals. Performed asbestos surveys, including the sampling of building materials for the laboratory determination of asbestos content. The results of such surveys have been used to complete the requirements for pre-demolition assessments.

Strong background in the removal and assessment of Underground Storage Tank (UST) facilities, Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) investigations, per industry standards. Proficient with field sampling techniques such as soil investigation, monitoring well installation, low-flow groundwater sampling, soil vapor sample collection, and the recovery of free-phase hydrocarbons from groundwater. As well as the assessment of surface water and groundwater flow regarding soil competence.

Implemented environmental corrective actions with technologies including dig and haul, soil and groundwater vapor extraction, carbon and bioremediation injections, property restrictions, and contaminant modeling. Bedrock investigations have included assessments in karst areas, as well as coring and pressure testing in competent rock. With a focus on hydrogeology in undergraduate and graduate education, his professional experience includes the modeling of groundwater for a variety of geologic settings in Ohio, Georgia, and Florida.

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.

Associate

2019 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving asbestos fiber release episodes, Phase I environmental site assessment activities, groundwater, surface water and soil competence investigations, and the analysis of failures in the performance of environmental studies.

ReDevelopInc

Principal Geologist and Owner

2017 to present

Established and operates a private environmental firm as a sole proprietorship to assist clients with radon testing, commercial property assessments and asbestos sampling, soil and groundwater investigations and remediation, with the objective of redeveloping environmentally impacted commercial properties.

Linebach Funkhouser, Inc

Senior Hydrogeologist

2007 to 2017

Senior level personnel involved with multiple types of projects across a variety of environmental fields, including Phase I ESA studies, the investigation of petroleum and hazardous substances in soil, groundwater and soil vapor, the assessment and investigation of groundwater at municipal and industrial landfills, including the statistical analysis of historical groundwater samples, and the remediation of sites for a variety of private and government clients.

Responsible for the environmental compliance of a suite of UST properties in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, and Massachusetts. Assisted with the installation of a soil, groundwater, and vapor extraction system in Saudi Arabia, the first of that kind in the country. Performed US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields investigations and the development and implementation of a Quality Assurance Project Plan, to ensure Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) objectives for the City of New Albany, Indiana grant.

ATC Associates, Inc.

Senior Geologist

2006 to 2007

Served as the manager of the environmental division of the Simpsonville, Kentucky branch of ATC Associates. Responsibilities also included serving as the Health and Safety (H&S) officer inspecting and evaluating workplace environments, equipment, and practices for compliance with corporate and government health and safety standards and regulations. Designed and implemented workplace processes and procedures that helped protect workers from potentially hazardous work conditions.

Handex Environmental

Senior Geologist

2001 to 2006

Provided senior level project management with all aspects of UST removals, assessments, site remediation, health and safety planning, budgeting, and billing. Responsibilities included serving as the office manager of claims for the reimbursement of funds through state agencies in Ohio and Kentucky

Environmental Compliance Monitoring

Geologist

1997 to 2001

Responsibilities included project management of UST removals, site investigations and corrective actions plans, including site investigation and site closure cleanup report preparation, subsurface drilling oversight, and soil and groundwater sampling.

Professional Credentials

  • Professional Geologist Licensure: Kentucky, Indiana
  • Asbestos Inspector Certification, Indiana
  • Indiana Underground Storage Tank (UST) Decommissioning
  • National Radon Measurement Provider
  • Indiana Primary Radon Tester License

Education

  • M.S. Geology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2005
  • B.S. Geology, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, 1994

Additional Training

  • Kansas State University, Radon Mitigation Training Course, NRPP, 2020
  • AARST-NRPP, Residential Radon Measurement Provider Examination, 2020
  • Kansas State University, Radon Measurement Course Online, National Radon Proficiency Program, 2020
  • State of Indiana, Underground Storage Tank Certification, International Code Council Examination, 2019
  • American Institute of Professional Geologists, Kentucky Section, Geophysical Techniques and Applications – Non-Invasive Methods for Subsurface Characterization and Interpretation, Lexington, Kentucky, 2015
  • Environmental Protection Agency, National Brownfields Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2013
  • Training Services International, 24-hour Asbestos Building Inspector training and 16-hour Asbestos Management Planner training, Cleveland, Ohio, 2012, with annual 4-hour refresher courses through 2020
  • Nielsen Environmental Field School, 40-hour Environmental Sampling Field Course, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 2010
  • Environmental Protection Agency Region 5, A Greener Cleanup Workshop, Chicago, Illinois, 2010
  • Kentucky Division of Waste Management, Certified Contractor examination, Frankfort, Kentucky, 2004
  • Midwest Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training, OSHA 8-hour Supervisor, University of Cincinnati, 2001 Kentucky Division of Water, Drilling Rig Operator Permit designation, Frankfort, Kentucky, 2001
  • Environmental Compliance Monitoring, OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) 40-hour Training course, Dundee, Kentucky, 1998, with annual 8-hour refresher courses through 2016

Professional Memberships

  • Building and Development Association of Southern Indiana
  • Geological Society of America
  • National Speleological Society
  • One Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce
  • Professional Geologists of Indiana

Presentations

  • Pitt & Frank, Presenter for Environmental Issues: Residential Real Estate, Louisville, Kentucky, 2020
  • Linebach Funkhouser, Inc., Presenter for Basics of Assessing and Remediating Environmentally Affected Property, Jeffersonville, Indiana, 2010

Publications

Davidson, Michelle M., Bullard, Reuben G. Jr., Davis, Chris, Davis, Teresa, Desantis, Michael K., Hamilton, Rebecca, Huff, Warren, D., Londono, Ana Christina, Merk, Brendan, and Wysong, Eric, Clay Mineral Development of Terrestrially Deposited Tephras, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003.

v. 05/25/21

Related Resources

See All of Brendan's Published Content

Investigating Asbestos Exposure During Demolition & Renovation

By Brendan P. Merk
Expert Overview

Since 1978 asbestos has been phased out of use in the U.S., but it has never been legally prohibited. The considerable decline in the use of asbestos in building products can be attributed to…