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Agencies look to firm for environmental consulting

Finalist: Virginia Small Business Success Story for 2009

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When Rebecca Rubin started the environmental consulting firm Marstel-Day LLC seven years ago, rapid growth was not a high priority. Nonetheless, as the company’s reputation grew, so did its revenue.

The Fredericksburg-based firm ended 2009 with about $6.2 million in revenue, up nearly 16 percent from 2008. Meanwhile, Marstel-Day more than doubled its number of employees last year, from 25 to 51.
In recognition of its rapid growth, the company was named last year to Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s Fantastic 50.

Marstel-Day originated a concept called “conservation convergence,” in which former military property becomes a wildlife refuge or a park. “Orphaned property is turned into a green asset,” says Rubin.
The company’s main customers are government agencies. It has worked, for example, on 30 BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure Commission) projects throughout the country.

The assignments include an environmental assessment of Fort Monroe in Hampton, a 174-year-old stone fortress surrounded by a moat. The 570-acre site will be turned over to the commonwealth next year when it is closed as an Army base. Federal law requires agencies to study the possible effects that their actions may have on the environment.

Marstel-Day also has handled a variety of other assignments, including an encroachment control plan for Marine Corps Base Quantico. It would limit development around the base, creating a buffer between it and rapidly growing areas in Prince William and Stafford counties.

Marstel-Day recently moved into international consulting in a partnership with London-based Jane’s Information Group, the military intelligence company that publishes Jane’s All the World’s Fighting Ships. The Virginia company analyzes Jane’s database looking for “environmental triggers [such as changing climate conditions and dwindling water supplies], which could cause cross-border issues or refugee situations,” Rubin says. 

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