Earthworks Environmental expands compliance footprint across U.S.

Above: Earthworks Environmental Principal Cherie Koester. Real Estate | 8 Jun |

Earthworks Environmental LLC has experienced tremendous growth in 2018 with plans to expand its operations to more than 16 states from the Southwest to the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic.

Services provided by the Gilbert-based firm include stormwater pollution prevention, Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, dust control, and construction safety compliances. The firm primarily serves land developers, vertical developers, commercial construction, and land-holding companies.

Earthworks Environmental Principal Cherie Koester said the expansion was fueled by the company formulating stormwater and environmental programs for national homebuilders that did not have them or who wanted a more well-rounded or refined program.

“It’s one of those things no one wants to deal with – like your taxes,” Koester said. “One of our specialties is taking an entity that doesn’t have a sufficient program and help our clients to ‘gently’ create a program that works for them. If we come in too strong there will be push back.”

Founded in 2014, Earthworks Environmental expanded its operations to Florida and added two employees at its Arizona office in late 2016. The office has since grown to 22 employees. Besides Arizona and Florida, its services are available in Texas, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. Several other northern states will be added later this year.

To brace for the growth, Koester promoted Travis Fern to director of compliance and Brendan Haugh to director of training and development. Recently, Earthworks Environmental hired Aaron Gordon as compliance manager in Arizona. His expertise is in Phase I and II ESAs.

“We hire locally and start training in Arizona with the core group,” Koester said. “Then we complete their training in their designated division. It is such an independent job. I have to trust them out there; they are an extension of me.”

A proprietary program that Earthworks Environmental employs – ERX – has also played a key role in the expansion, Koester said. ERX is an environmental reporting software program that puts all aspects of environmental compliance into one program. This includes any permits and inspections. Koester said nearly 75 percent of the violations in her industry occur in the paperwork process.

A client can hire Earthworks Environmental to handle the entire process including ERX. A client may also decide to opt out of the consulting and use ERX themselves. In that case, Earthworks Environmental will apply a nominal fee for use.

“We’ve created a great system,” Koester said. “We can do any project, any size, in any state. The homebuilders know we have created a good system. We always ask, ‘where else can we help you?’”

Koester said the next growth area will be the northern region of the U.S.

“We are set up for that now,” she said. “We’re still going through some growing pains, but our clients know we put them first. They tell me what they want and I tell them how we will make that happen and keep them in compliance.”

“Maybe I can even take a vacation. My employees would like that,” Koester said with a smile.

To learn more about Earthworks Environmental, visit earthworksenv.com.

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