When Dave Schack started working as a field technician for a small environmental firm in 1989, he was just out of college and preparing to attend law school. Now, 23 years later, he’s vice president of environmental health and safety and building sciences at Alta Environmental of Long Beach and says he doesn’t look back to the legal career he might have had.
"I took a course in environmental law and I decided that this is a field where I could make a contribution," he said. The father of two teens who both attend Long Beach schools, Schack said he's proud to live and work in this community.
As head of a group of engineers and safety experts who test, monitor and oversee remediation at building sites for environmental and occupational safety, he and his firm have been working at schools in Long Beach and throughout California for more than two decades.
Recently, the firm performed a site assessment of Roosevelt Elementary School, and will be on campus for about a month to monitor the removal of various materials prior to the scheduled demolition this fall. Some materials can be hazardous if not handled properly during demolition.
"Because older buildings commonly used asbestos in insulation and floor tiles, we will be overseeing removal of these materials according to safety regulations,” Schack said. “It’s our job to certify that the demo poses no hazards to workers or the public."
The firm’s clients include refineries, hospitals, shipyards, and many other types of businesses in addition to school sites in Los Angeles, Orange, and surrounding counties.
"We are a mid-sized company with close ties to our local communities,” he said. “We have a strong stake in working closely with all our clients to ensure that jobs are safe from beginning to end."
Alta Environmental’s President, Matt Winefield, a Long Beach resident and graduate of Cal State Long Beach, founded Winefield and Associates, which acquired CTL/Coffey to become Alta Environmental in 2010.