December 20, 2023

Early holiday gift at Meet the Regulators!

Nicole Vogelpohl and Eva Luu attended the “Meet the Regulators” event hosted by A&WMA’s Golden West Chapter at the law firm Holland & Knight in San Francisco. It was an informative event where panelists Dr. Meredith Bauer, Hy Hinojosa, and Lisa Fasano, in for Viet Tran, from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), spoke about upcoming priorities, new organizational changes, current organizational issues, and project accomplishments. The three have recently been appointed new deputy executive officer positions at BAAQMD. They are open to taking things in a new direction regarding the permit process, communications with the public, and implementing new and upcoming methodologies for emerging analytical measurement technologies.

Environmental Justice and Air Quality

The panel discussed how, as we’ve learned and made continuous progress in air quality and local emissions reductions over the years, ozone (O3) is now less of a concern (for the Bay Area) compared to PM2.5, which now takes higher precedence as a pollutant of concern. Dr. Bauer and Lisa Fasano mentioned that in the grand scheme of things, we live in a region of great air quality; however, they acknowledge that while the greater San Francisco Bay Area has good air quality as a whole, there are always pockets of localized air pollution that need addressing. Areas specifically pointed out were marginalized communities, such as Bayview/Hunter’s Point and West Oakland. Coincidentally, SCS is currently involved in a project related to the SF Fire Department’s Training Facility moving from Treasure Island to Hunter’s Point. The goal is to ensure the air quality during their training burns will not have long-term downwind effects on the community.

Thorough Discussion Amongst the Panelists and Attendees —  Permitting Backlog Issue

The current permitting system needs to be faster, and the backlog of processed permit applications poses challenges for new clients. Attendees expressed frustration and shared testimonies about their clients moving to different states due to the extensive permitting backlog and timely process, which has ultimately halted the emersion of some new regulatory technology and projects in the state. The regulators understand the current system needs reworking and prioritizing to ease and reduce the turnover time of the permit process.

Enlightening and Enjoyable

Hearing the regulators speak passionately about their roles, goals, and investment in the organization was truly pleasing. Thanks to Pat Sullivan for knowing and having worked with everyone we talked to; everyone said hi and spoke highly of you! At “Meet the Regulators,” we connected with stakeholders from local consulting firms, attendees from the petroleum, tech, and waste management industries, and regulators – or, as Dr. Bauer renamed the group, the communicators, to help bridge the gap between the governing board and the general public.


Additional Resources




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

November 1, 2023

The Air & Waste Management Association is hosting its First Odour Management Conference, May 14-16, in Toronto.

The conference will cover a wide array of odour topics, including odour science, chemical forensics and source identification, field assessment methods, electronic sensing, sampling methods, policy and regulation, modeling, controls and mitigation, community impacts, and best practices. The conference builds off momentum of A&WMA’s December 2022 odour webinar related to the international olfactory laboratory standard EN13725:2022.

Look for opportunities to speak with SCS air monitoring professionals who plan to attend and present.

The Call for Abstracts is currently open through November 30, 2023. 

Click for more details



Posted by Laura Dorn at 10:02 am

May 26, 2023

SCS Engineers Sustainability
Dr. Shah’s case study results are based on the assumptions for the emissions from single-use plastic bottles, supply chain from cradle to grave. He will discuss his recommendations for impacts and challenges in detail.


Dr. Ketan Shah’s paper entitled “Single-use plastic bottle emissions using life cycle assessment for the US States, challenges, impact, and recommendations” is publishing in June, but those attending the Air and Waste Management Association conference in Orlando, Florida, have the chance to hear Dr. Shah discuss his methods used to develop methane emission estimates and recommendations to reduce them.

Plastics in solid waste management (SWM) are an exigent and pressing problem for many cities. Globally landfills/open dumpsites are used to dispose of over 80% solid wastes, currently serving around 3.5-4 billion people. This number is expected to grow with increased urbanization and population growth (ISWA, 2015).

Methane generation, recovery, and emissions projections for single-use plastic bottles play a vital role in the recycling industry. The scope of work described in this research project includes providing the basis for the methane estimates that discuss the data, assumptions, and calculation methods used to develop the estimates.

Methane emissions estimates to help assess the potential of single-use plastic bottles will have on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As some U.S. states move towards requiring extended producer responsibility (EPR) for the packaging industry to address its waste management impacts, the analysis for the project commends firms for taking steps to pro-actively find a waste management solution for single-use plastic bottles, which may be the next target for EPR legislation.

Objective 1 – Develop Estimates of emissions from single-use plastic bottles using OpenLCA software based on Life Cycle assessment analysis.
Objective 2 – Prepare Comparative analysis for alternative recyclability scenarios.
Objective 3 – Recommendations and solutions to the single use plastic bottles challenge.

The case study results are based on the assumptions for the emissions from the single-use plastic bottles supply chain from cradle to grave. Finally, recommendations for these impacts and challenges will be discussed in detail. Diverting single-use plastic bottles going to landfills helps in reducing the overall environmental impact.


A&WMA ACE 2023 ( The Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) brings leading environmental scientists, practitioners, regulators, and leading environmental firms such as SCS Engineers together to share the latest initiatives addressing environmental issues facing communities such as climate change, exposure reduction through innovative technology and regulatory approaches, sustainability, community monitoring, and environmental justice.


Additional Resources:







Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

December 15, 2022

Meet SCS Engineers professionals at BOOTH 403 at the Air & Waste Management Association’s (A&WMA) 116th Annual Conference & Exhibition (ACE 2023), June 5-8, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida.

“Smart Growth: Balancing Development, Restoration, and Resiliency” is this year’s theme.  Florida’s abundant coastline, diverse ecosystem, and perennial vacation destination faces unique challenges with respect to impacts from weather, sea-level rise, and other pressures brought on by a growing population. Florida is committed to meeting this challenge through many diverse minds working to plan and adapt to change—in short, to grow smarter and build a more resilient world. The Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) will welcome the world’s leading environmental experts, thinkers, and practitioners to Orlando to address environmental challenges, discuss strategies and solutions to climate change, sustainability, new contaminants, and other issues that call for balancing growth with sustainability and resiliency.

Several professionals from SCS Engineers are presenting at the conference, including:

Ketan Shah – “Sustainability – Analysis and Case Studies” Platform Chair [Tues, June 6, 1:30 – 3:30 pm, Blue Spring I/II], including
“Single Use Plastic Bottle Emissions Using Life Cycle Assessment for the States: Challenges, Impact and Recommendations” [2:10 – 2:30 pm]

Stephanie Taylor – “How Does It Work? Air Modeling Fundamentals” [Tues, June 6, 4:00 – 6:00 pm, Florida C]

Ketan Shah – “Decision Support Tool Process Module for Municipal Solid Waste Collection and Transportation for Developing Countries”
[Wed, June 7, 10:50 – 11:10 am, Blue Spring I/II]

Leslie Smith & Karinne Brown – “Mitigation Efforts during CDV Assessment” [Wed, June 7, 1:50 -2:10 pm, Blue Spring I/II]

David Greene & Mary Kennamer – “Landfills and Landfill Gas” [Thurs, June 8, 10:10 – 11:50 am, Blue Spring I/II]

Mary Kennamer – “Biogas Generation” Platform Co-Chair [Thurs, June 8, 1:40 – 4:00 pm, Blue Spring I/II]


ACE 2023 will unite professionals from major industry, private sector, consulting, government and academia for an exciting event that will explore the ever-expanding environmental challenges and provide solutions to becoming and remaining resilient for tomorrow. This is an ideal opportunity for professionals to share their knowledge to advance the industry, and for environmental companies to showcase their products, services, and solutions with professionals motivated to build a more resilient and sustainable world.

Visit for registration information and conference details. 



Posted by Laura Dorn at 6:21 pm

July 1, 2022

SCS Engineers Environmental Consulting and Contracting
Pat Sullivan with the winning ECi Competition team. All the competing university teams are winners, but only one can claim the title.


Addressing the environmental impacts on communities worldwide requires innovative and sustainable solutions guided by science. The Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) is a leading environmental policy and technology association. A&WMA’s annual conference brings environmental scientists, engineers, and regulators together to share the latest initiatives addressing communities’ environmental issues.

One of the conference highlights is the Air and Waste Environmental Challenge International (ECi) Competition. ECi gives student teams experience by proposing effective solutions to a simulated environmental problem based on real-world site conditions and events. This year’s competitors were:

  • California Polytechnic State University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Wilkes University

The Challenge
Assuming the role as the new Governor of California, the student’s assignment was to choose a sustainable approach to regulate emissions from watercraft and reduce air quality impacts on port communities. Each student team described and justified their chosen program over other options.

This year’s challenge is the Bay Area, where San Francisco and Oakland have large ports with significant populations residing in portside communities. Each team’s research includes existing and proposed studies, policies, laws, and regulations related to emissions from port-related activities and their health impacts on portside communities at the federal and state level, including a critical review of California’s current regulations.

The Judges
The teams presented their solution to a panel of environmental professionals at the Annual Conference this week. Judges included environmental air monitoring experts and those from specialty practices such as technology, sustainability, and regulations. Impressed with the presentations from each school – choosing the ultimate winner was challenging.

All This Suspense – Who Won?
The team from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, was selected this year. Cal Poly’s team members include Julia Loew, Ramy Wahba, Anja Cronjaeger, Marcus Lira, and Molly Foster.

Cal Poly’s solution addresses all watercraft with practical elements, including scheduling, speed, education, outreach, and technology. And to create a sustainable solution also addresses economic issues, impacts, and funding sources. The team presented their solution using an infographic (shown below), clearly presenting the path forward year after year.

SCS Engineers Environmental Consulting and Contracting

We congratulate each A&WMA ECi team for their creative and thoughtful presentations. Our communities are in good hands with these soon-to-be professionals.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

June 13, 2022


Dr. Ketan Shah of SCS Engineers will present his paper and findings at the Air and Waste Management Association, 115th ACE-22 conference from June 27-30 in San Francisco, California. Methane generation, recovery, and emissions projections for biodegradable polyester fiber used to create clothing products are growing. This clothing will eventually be disposed of in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills in the U.S. The scope of work described in this research project includes providing the methane estimates that discuss the data, assumptions, and calculation methods used to develop the estimates.








Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

October 24, 2018

You’re not alone.


Air rules are complicated. Landfill emissions differ from typical industrial sources resulting in rules that vary in significant ways. If you’re a landfill owner responsible for compliance, a regulator charged with monitoring landfills, or new to the industry, join us for this informative Air & Waste Management Association live presentation. The webinar will help you will learn how the rules affect landfills, understand what must be submitted and when, and the steps to take for compliance.





Posted by Diane Samuels at 3:12 pm