UPDATE: Pacific West Loses Environmental Offices

MINNEAPOLIS - The Pacific West isn't the place to be if you're a small, environmental service firm.

In fact, 35 percent of these re-gional firms with 25 or fewer em-ployees surveyed in 1994 could not be located in 1996, according to Environmental Information Ltd. (EI), Minneapolis.

Large and medium firms, on the other hand, did not exhibit the ex-tensive number of office closures found in the smaller ranks. The of-fices with more than 100 employees in 1994 were still operating in the region in 1996, despite cost-cutting in the environmental sector, EI reported. It seems that companies still feel the need to remain geographically close to their customers and are hesitant to eliminate local offices.

Eight states in the U.S. Environ-mental Protection Agency's regions nine and 10 - including Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington - were included in EI's 1996 survey. Results showed California to be the state with the highest number of vanishing firms, with 55 of 253 firms gone. Washington was next, with 23 of 102 firms missing.

"We believe that the Pacific West is typical of environmental businesses nationwide," said John Morrow, the study's lead research-er. "Preliminary data from our West Central survey suggests similar trends."

This year, EI expanded its survey, identifying 1,500 firms with offices in the Pacific West; the total included hazardous waste companies, landfills and waste transporters. California again took first place by being home to the most environmental firms (more than 500 offices) regionwide. Notably, 19 of the nation's top 100 firms are headquartered there.

For more information or to order a copy of the survey, contact EI's John Morrow at (800) 593-6271.