50th Anniversary Series: An Environmental Consulting Firm Then & Now

bedford nh environmental consulting firmBedford, NH, office ca. 1980s

The Early Days

Normandeau Associates was founded in 1970 by Don Normandeau, PhD, a fisheries biology professor at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. The small, private company was formed to address the emerging environmental movement and provide science-based solutions to meet State and Federal development regulations. The company’s first promotional brochure (circa 1970) noted the following:

In recent years, the steady upsurge in industrial and urban development has created tremendous stress on our natural resources. The resultant pollution of air, land, and water has brought sharply into focus the need for environmental and ecological understanding, resource conservation, and reclamation management. Given that adverse situations cannot be easily corrected after development, environmental impact planning has become an integral part of every facet of technological and industrial development.

Shortly after its founding, Normandeau welcomed Pam Hall to the team—the woman who would work from the ground up to become President of Normandeau Associates. Pam quickly became a household name in the industry and a driving force behind Normandeau’s focused mission and initiatives:

Our broad consulting and investigational services are designed to aid clients in developing an integrated overview of their needs and problems with regard to the natural environmental. Man’s progress and technology can and must be compatible with a quality environment, and it is toward this goal that Normandeau Associates directs its efforts. (Normandeau brochure, 1970)

From 1970 to 1980, the company operated as a small northeast regional firm staffed by a handful of biologists, growing over the decade to 15 employees. There were three New Hampshire offices: Bedford (initially Manchester), Newington, and Hampton. The company’s early projects were largely energy related and included the siting and permitting of Seabrook Station in Seabrook, NH; developing and executing the first 316(a) and (b) (specific regulatory sections of the Clean Water Act) demonstration studies in the country at Newington Station in Newington, NH; and working on the impacts of the heated water discharge at Merrimack Station in Bow, NH.

normandeau top environmental consulting firm 2017

Now

After serving as CEO since 1988, Pam Hall is now the Chair of the Board of Directors, with Curt Thalken appointed as CEO in March 2020. Under this strong and continuous leadership, Normandeau Associates has been busy developing scientific tools to meet the demand for new, cost-effective ways to identify and address environmental issues and is considered one of the nation’s foremost environmental consulting, research, and technology companies. Normandeau has earned a reputation for excellence in understanding and solving complex natural resource and permitting issues. In the past 50 years, Normandeau has grown from its headquarters in Bedford, NH, to include more than 200 staff members operating from offices nationwide. Normandeau is 100% employee-owned and takes pride in serving clients across a wide variety of market sectors including waterpower; nuclear and fossil energy; onshore and offshore wind development; transmission and pipeline right-of-ways; LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals and delivery; transportation; ports and waterways; environmental management and sustainability; and Federal, state, and municipal agencies.

This year marks our 50th anniversary and we’d like to take this opportunity to showcase the journey from our founding in 1970 to where we are now in 2020. Over the next few months, join us for our 50th Anniversary Series: An Environmental Consulting Firm Then and Now—a collection of articles that feature important moments in our history and how they have contributed to building the Normandeau you know today.

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