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MARCOR Marks 25 Years of Environmental Solutions

Fri June 17, 2005 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

From asbestos abatement to mold remediation, MARCOR Remediation — a provider of environmental contracting services — has been a pioneer in the development of essential services that protect and improve the nation’s environment over the past 25 years.

In a quarter century, MARCOR has evolved from a handful of employees embarking on the new business of asbestos removal to approximately 700 staffers today in 16 offices nationwide, who handle a remarkably diverse list of projects.

In recent years, the company has been a key service provider after the Sept. 11 attacks, the anthrax contamination of the U.S. Senate Building, and the four devastating hurricanes to hit Florida. Its Research and Development operation, another outgrowth of the company, has invented machinery and received patents for products that solve specific environmental site problems.

“In a relatively new industry, where the environmental dangers of substances like asbestos and lead paint were recognized by the government only a few decades ago, 25 years is a very long time to have been consistently successful,” explained Richard A. Clarke, MARCOR co-founder and vice chairman, on the company’s anniversary.

“We’ve seen the number of recognized hazardous materials grow dramatically and have responded by offering corresponding services to handle their cleanup. We’ve proudly been in the forefront of our industry because we have worked closely with regulators to create work practices that are safe for workers or clients and the public at large.”

Starting With Asbestos

In April 1980, Clarke and his father, Alan, officially launched the Mechanical Asbestos Removal Corporation, also known as MARC OR, just three years after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of asbestos. The mineral fibers had been used extensively throughout the construction industry to provide thermal insulation and fire resistance. But medical research eventually established links between asbestos exposure and a variety of deadly diseases.

Until the late 1970s, asbestos had been removed with wrecking balls and claw hammers, like any other demolition. Now regulators were examining the development and adoption of standards for asbestos removal and worker protection. The Clarkes worked closely with the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration on removal protocols. Maryland became the first state in the country to require licensing.

As the first contractor to earn its license in the state, MARCOR became the first contractor in the United States to become licensed to perform asbestos removal. At the same time, asbestos removal had become a full-fledged industry. The EPA now required that asbestos be removed from all buildings being either renovated or demolished. Concurrently, real estate inspectors were required to inform potential buyers of the presence of asbestos.

For lead-based paint abatement, there was a similar kind of evolution that stemmed from the painting industry in the mid-1980s. At that time, MARCOR was one of five companies working together with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to identify and test best methods for lead-based paint abatement.

Commonly found in homes built before 1978, lead paint may be a danger if it is loose, flaking, or forming dust. It can cause learning problems, behavior problems, hearing loss, slowed growth, and mental retardation. Lead abatement continues to be a key service provided by MARCOR.

In recent years, mold infestation has become a major concern among those in the construction industry. The presence of toxic mold is believed by some to be the cause of illness experienced by buildings’ occupants. The hotbed of concern about mold is the state of Texas, which has passed the nation’s first state law requiring all mold remediation and assessment companies to be licensed by the state.

With the new law and MARCOR’s subsequent licensing, MARCOR has become the first company in the nation to be licensed to perform mold remediation. MARCOR has been actively handling mold remediation concerns throughout the state, including projects at the Texas Building and Procurement Commission, Texas State University, and the Dallas Independent School District.

Responding to Tough Regulations

Over the years, MARCOR has expanded the depth and number of services it provides to include industrial cleaning, building decontamination, plant/process decommissioning and demolition, soil and groundwater remediation, emergency spill response, disaster recovery, and storage tank management.

Often, MARCOR is called upon to do unusual projects, such as the $23-million remediation project at the largest U.S. municipal gun range, where 185,000 cu. yds. of lead-contaminated soil from bullets were excavated, remediated, and reconstructed.

The company also aids police, firefighters, and other first response workers with services such as cleanup of clandestine methamphetamine labs, vehicular accidents, and suicide/homicide scenes.

Clients include industrial and commercial clients and government agencies from around the country, as well as industrial hygienists, environmental consultants, real estate development and property management firms, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT), the hospitality industry, educational institutions, and health care facilities.

MARCOR’s offices throughout the country are staffed by the necessary mix of senior technical management, regulatory compliance experts, and experienced HAZMAT labor force.

For more information, call 800/547-0128 or visit

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