GEM Technologies Inc. opened a new regional office in Idaho Falls this month.
“We’re excited about expanding into the western United States. The Idaho Falls office will probably be the base of our operations as we continue to expand out West,” said Susanna Waters, business development manager.
GEM Technologies’ focus has always been assisting on projects for the Department of Energy and other government contractors. The company is a natural fit for the area, since Idaho Falls is home to both the Idaho National Laboratory and DOE projects. Though it has only been in the area for a short time, GEM Technologies has already picked up two contracts at INL.
The primary service the company offers is environmental remediation. It will go into sites to conduct any specialty services needed on contaminated property. GEM Technologies employees prepare these areas to ensure they are safe for demolition, renovation or construction.
“You could walk into a laboratory, pick up a tile and find mercury underneath it or other radiological contaminants. So these buildings can’t just be torn down the way you would a building in your town center. They have to be carefully analyzed. There are environmental protections to consider that make it much more complicated,” Waters said.
Waters noted that the Department of Energy is in a unique position, in that it holds property that was built at a time when experiments were less regulated.
“This is really the crux of our services because so many of the Department of Energy facilities were built in the ’40s and ’50s. They were built quickly in order to support the production of atomic weapons. And then with the Cold War, there were a lot of unknowns about how to produce the elements that go into nuclear weapons. So part of our expertise is being able to go into the buildings where experiments were conducted and that are contaminated,” Waters said.
The company offers a wide variety of other services involving facility and infrastructure management, construction and technical services to federal government agencies.
Founder Michael Evans began his career as a nuclear engineer assisting with DOE projects. His expertise includes “radioactive waste processing and immobilization, decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) methodologies and costs, and licensing and regulatory support for nuclear plant systems.” Over the last 30 years, he has expanded his services to laboratories across the county. GEM Technologies is headquartered out of Oak Ridge, Tenn., with additional offices in Ohio, Texas, New Mexico and Georgia.
“We’re passionate about what we do. We’re passionate about how we support the missions of our clients, whether it’s the department of energy or contractors that work for the federal government,” Waters said.
The company’s new office is located downtown at 381 Shoup Ave, Suite 211A.