There are companies that maintain a status quo, companies that push the envelope and companies that set the standard for innovation. Companies that stay ahead of the curve, discovering creative solutions to long-standing problems, are the ones that excel and remain at the forefront of the industry.
AH Environmental Consultants (AH), a company known for its technical expertise and competence, is one of those companies that not only sets the pace within the industry, but also offers pragmatic, industry-changing solutions.
Headquartered on Rock Landing Drive in the heart of Newport News, AH Environmental, owned by Edward Antoun and David Hiltebrand, was founded in 1996. It is a consulting firm that employs mostly engineers and scientists whose specialty and expertise join together to create and implement practical and sound solutions for various environmental issues such as wastewater treatment, stormwater management, air quality, pollution prevention and the like.
Much of the firm’s work focuses on water — drinking water, stormwater, wastewater — for which it does compliance studies, pilot testing and design and treatment plans and upgrades, to include problem resolution. For instance, AH conducted a wastewater treatability study for Mayport Naval Station in Mayport, Florida, in which water was examined for toxins, oils, minerals and aqueous film forming foam that could be interfering with water quality. About 10 months was spent running a continuous flow pilot system to find a treatment plan that would handle swings in salinity and pollutants of concern. This one job alone operated on about an $80-million budget.
AH handles a large number of projects for naval facilities across the nation and worldwide, with the U.S. Navy as its biggest client. Among those is Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Kings Bay, Georgia, for whom a significant water and wastewater study was performed. The water side dealt with excessive detention times in retribution — that is, examining water staying in the system for a full year, which can lead to carcinogens and other chemicals impacting water quality. AH upgraded the water treatment plant, which could require upgraded pumping systems, adding water treatment modules and clarifiers, adding settling tanks to offer a degree of purification and whatever other options necessary to ensure quality water flowing through the system.
Although AH Environmental Consultants is a rather small company, it works with some high-profile people in more than 40 states across the U.S. and overseas in locations including Japan, Korea, Singapore, Diego Garcia, Africa and Europe. The company recently won two massive contracts, stacking up against some of the most qualified firms around the globe.
Regardless of whom it works with or how far it expands its reach, AH is about doing the right thing for its clients, says president Edward Antoun, who works alongside his trusted vice president, Sean McNamara. “We have talked ourselves out of work when we’ve realized we’re not the right firm to do the job. We are still straightforward, honest dreamers who want to do right by people,” says Antoun.
AH Environmental is all about the contribution the company makes to the betterment of society — “our business is good… water treatment plans help people immediately and they keep coming back,” says Antoun.
Both Antoun and McNamara enjoy a little time away from the office, with Antoun traveling to exotic places such as the Caribbean, Bermuda, Spain, Italy and Greece, and McNamara exploring all things historical through frequent museum visits and books. Between Antoun working out 365 days a year —
a “nut case” as he calls himself — and McNamara enjoying concerts by Irish rock bands like The Saw Doctors, these two executives free up their minds for the innovative work happening at AH Environmental Consultants.
TO THE POINT:
AH Environmental Consultants
Address: 11837 Rock Landing Dr., Ste. 300, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Sean McNamara, director of environmental programs