The International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) will host its 2020 Natural Refrigeration Conference & Heavy Equipment Expo at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida on March 15-18, 2020.
As the largest exposition dedicated to the natural refrigeration industry, the annual IIAR Conference & Expo is a great opportunity to network with other attendees in the ammonia refrigeration industry, including design engineers, contractors, end users, academics, scientists, trainers, and regulatory agencies. The conference also offers continuing education hours and professional development sessions.
SCS Tracer Environmental, a specialty group of SCS Engineers, offers a wide range of PSM/RMP consulting services, such as:
SCS has completed numerous mold surveys for a variety of facilities, such as schools, offices, warehouses, industrial, and commercial buildings. We do not recommend a mold survey if you observe mold — if you can see it, you have a mold issue. Mold is ubiquitous and requires water and food to grow, so if you observe mold growth, the first step is to stop the source of water.
There are no promulgated governmental exposure limits for mold, as every individual responds differently to the presence of mold. Mold surveys are typically performed after the water leak has been repaired, and the water damaged building materials have been replaced. This post-remediation survey lets you know if the cleanup has been successful and the area is safe to occupy.
If tenants are complaining of moldy or musty odors, a survey can tell you if you have a mold problem even if there is no visible growth. Mold can be present inside walls, air ducts, and false ceilings, behind cabinets, beneath flooring, for example. Successful survey results will show lower levels of mold spores inside the building compared to the outside sample results, with low to absent levels of concern.
SCS performs indoor air quality or IAQ, mold surveys using the newest battery-powered Zefon Bio-Pump® Plus, which collects an air sample for mold analysis in as little as 5 to 10 minutes, with an auto-shutoff feature once the sample is collected. Typically, a minimum of six samples are recommended, three inside and three outside, with the total number of samples dependent on the size and complexity of the affected area.
We transport the sample cassettes to a certified laboratory under the chain-of-custody protocol for mold spore analysis, with results typically available within 2 to 5 days. Rush analysis is available for an additional cost (same day service is dependent on the time of sample delivery to laboratory). Laboratory analytical reports may include spore counts for approximately 20 types of mold, total count comparisons; background count comparisons; explanation of results with descriptions of the individual spore types; references, and informational links.
Typical costs for a mold survey range from $2,500 to $10,000, depending on the location, size, and complexity of the survey area. As soon as the review of the laboratory report is complete, SCS provides verbal results, with a technical report typically issued within 10 business days of receipt of laboratory data. Most mold inspection firms utilize technician level workers. Having oversight by a certified industrial hygienist, SCS ensures the most complete and comprehensive survey appropriate to the needs of landlords and owners of commercial buildings and multi-residential dwellings.
If you’d like more information or have questions, please contact Jed Douglas, CIH, CSP, PG, Senior Project Advisor at SCS Engineers, or contact SCS at email@example.com for an Occupational Health and Safety professional nearest you.
Mr. Douglas is a Senior Project Advisor specializing in Occupational Health and Safety Programs. He is a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), a licensed Professional Geologist in California, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona, and a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional. He has over 25 years of experience as a health and safety specialist and senior project manager, and has managed numerous environmental projects involving safety; soil and groundwater investigations and remediation of hazardous constituents; and, indoor air quality (IAQ) assessments for physical, chemical, and biological contaminants.
SCS Engineers has expanded into Green Bay to increase our municipal solid waste and electric utility customer support in the Green Bay/Fox Cities area.
Jared Omernik, SCS senior project manager, and civil engineer is now in Green Bay and available to provide support for local projects. Jared has worked with many of SCS Engineers’ clients from the Madison office over the past five years. Mr. Omernik has experience as an engineer on a wide variety of civil and environmental engineering projects. He has worked on development, permitting, design, construction, documentation, and compliance for a number of projects in several states.
Contact Jared via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-216-7348. Thank you for your continued trust in SCS Engineers. We look forward to meeting your engineering and environmental compliance needs.
Joseph Dinan heads the SCS Engineers new office at 101 Arch Street, Boston, MA 02110,
SCS Engineers opened a new office in Boston’s Downtown Crossing district. The new location is more convenient for clients and enhances support to the firm’s growing client base in New England.
Joseph Dinan, an accomplished project manager and senior scientist heads Boston’s SCS team. Dinan has an excellent record meeting regulatory compliance and accountability for his clients to efficiently permit projects, keep them on budget and maintain the redevelopment schedule while meeting all environmental guidance. His background includes applied sciences including chemistry, microbiology, and environmental and soil sciences. Dinan has successfully managed hundreds of environmental assessment and remediation projects, both domestically and internationally.
Dinan’s Boston team resolves complex environmental challenges through the application of comprehensive analytical skills and technologies. Approaching each project with decades of expertise, mitigating the financial risk through careful assessment, analysis, and planning protects clients and the environment during all phases of redevelopment.
The Boston location supports the growing demand for environmental scientists, engineers, and consultants. SCS professional staff specializes in meeting federal, state, and local clean air, water, and soil goals, and the restoration of property once thought impractical to revitalize. The firm also provides vapor intrusion systems for protecting existing properties and a range of comprehensive environmental services for public and private entities.
As with most established urban environments, many properties may have previously been industrial or mass transportation sites, which often means that extra care is taken during redevelopment. Commercial real estate transactions must take environmental issues into consideration. Complex laws can impose significant environmental liabilities on purchasers, sellers, and lenders, whether or not they caused the problem, and whether or not they still own the property.
Important rules published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – USEPA and in Massachusetts and other states offer defenses against environmental liabilities provided that the defendant conducted “all appropriate inquiries” regarding the property at the time of the acquisition, and then took reasonable steps to mitigate the effects of hazardous substances found on the property.
For more information, case studies, events, and articles visit these pages:
The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), State Water Resources Control Board, and San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board have developed supplemental vapor intrusion guidance for conducting vapor intrusion evaluations in California. The Draft Supplemental Guidance: Screening and Evaluating Vapor Intrusion is available for review and public comment until 12:00 noon, April 30, 2020. Click here for available public meetings and comments.
According to the published Draft Supplemental Guidance, Screening and Evaluating Vapor Intrusion Executive Summary
Toxic vapors can move from contaminated groundwater and soil to indoor air. This process is called vapor intrusion. Vapors inside buildings can threaten human health. The science behind vapor intrusion has been evolving quickly. To protect the health of Californians, the DTSC and the California Water Boards drafted a supplement to the existing vapor intrusion guidance. This is important information to collect for environmental protection. This document is called the “Draft Supplemental Guidance: Screening and Evaluating Vapor Intrusion” (Draft Guidance). This Draft Guidance contains recommended improvements for vapor intrusion investigations and promotes consistency throughout the state. It also offers suggestions on the following topics:
The Draft Guidance is intended to be used with existing State guidance – DTSC 2011 Vapor Intrusion Guidance and San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board 2014 Interim Framework 1 – when there is a spill or disposal of vapor-forming chemicals. This guidance does not apply to any leaking petroleum underground storage tanks (USTs) since they are governed under the State Water Resources Control Board’s Low-Threat UST Case Closure Policy.
Four Steps to Evaluate Vapor Intrusion
The Draft Guidance describes four recommended steps to decide if there is vapor intrusion that could pose a risk to the health of people inside buildings. These actions are meant to
protect public health and should be carried out under the oversight of the lead regulatory agency.
Step 1 – Decide which buildings should be tested first and how.
When there are several buildings, start with those that are occupied and closest to the
contamination. If a building is directly above or very close to the spill, or if it is likely that the sewer could bring toxic vapors inside, skip Step 2 and go directly to Step 3.
Step 2 – Screen buildings from outside.
Measure vapor-forming chemicals underground at these locations:
Step 3 – Test indoor air.
Measure vapor-forming chemicals in indoor air, beneath the building’s foundation, and outdoor air at the same time:
Step 4 – Act to protect public health.
Toxic Vapors Can Travel Through Sewer Pipes
Vapor-forming chemicals can enter sewer pipes that run through contaminated soil or groundwater. Once inside a sewer, vapors can move through the pipes and escape through cracks or openings, under or inside a building. Some of the traditional ways to test for vapor intrusion could potentially miss vapor-forming chemicals moving through sewer pipes. This Draft Guidance recommends evaluating whether the sewer could bring toxic vapors inside.
Vapor Intrusion Attenuation Factors
Attenuation factors are used to estimate how much of the vapors underground or in groundwater end up in the indoor air. This Draft Guidance uses attenuation factors recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These were calculated from a large study of buildings at contaminated sites around the nation, including California.
California Vapor Intrusion Database
Data from sites evaluated using the process described in the Draft Guidance will be entered into a database that will be publicly available. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) added capabilities to the GeoTracker database including building-specific information for a cleanup case and the ability to differentiate Field Points for collecting samples. The State will analyze the information in the database and learn how to better protect the people of California from vapor intrusion.
Where to Find the Draft Guidance
An Employee Stock Ownership Plan, or ESOP, gives employees a stake in the company through stock allocation.
Long Beach, CA –SCS Engineers, a leading national environmental consulting and construction firm, recently achieved a significant milestone when it completed a transaction to become 100% employee-owned through its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).
SCS Engineers established its ESOP in 1986, and recently purchased a small number of outstanding shares from minority shareholders, achieving 100% ownership through the ESOP trust.
“Our founders could not have imagined that when they launched SCS Engineers in 1970 that we would grow to one of the nation’s most respected environmental engineering consultants with a footprint of more than 70 offices and nearly 1,000 employees across the United States,” said Jim Walsh, PE, BCEE, President and CEO of SCS Engineers.
“Our success and growth is a direct result of our employees thinking and acting like owners to deliver the best service for our customers. We believe employee ownership is a formidable advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent. Employee ownership provides an opportunity for them to share directly in the success they are helping to create.” Walsh said.
“This transaction delivers the flexibility to pursue sustainable growth for SCS Engineers and the opportunity to spread the wealth among our employee-owners,” he said.
An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is a qualified retirement benefit plan that gives employees a stake in the company through stock allocation. It provides a method for the company workforce to accumulate capital for retirement at no cost to the employee.
According to the National Center for Employee Ownership, there are approximately 7,000 ESOP companies in the U.S., and 28 million employees participating in employee ownership plans.
About SCS Engineers
Engineering News-Record consistently ranks SCS as a top-tier consulting firm in design, environmental engineering, solid waste, wastewater, hazardous waste, site assessment and environmental compliance to diversified end markets. The firm has sustained a reputation for innovation and client-focused solutions that safeguard the environment for 50 years. For more information, visit www.scsengineers.com or your preferred social media channel.
The environmental reporting season is just around the corner. Every year Ann O’Brien publishes a table to help you determine your reporting obligations. The table summarizes the most common types of environmental reports due to environmental regulatory agencies in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, along with respective due dates.
The professional engineers and consultants at SCS Engineers can help you navigate the local, state, and federal reporting obligations and permitting for your business, in your region, and in your industry. Contact us at email@example.com or find a professional like Ann, nearest you.
Ann O’Brien is a Project Manager with SCS Engineers with more than 30 years of experience in the printing industry. Ann’s experience includes air and water quality permitting, environmental recordkeeping, reporting and monitoring programs, hazardous waste management, employee EHS training, environmental compliance audits, and environmental site assessments and due diligence associated with real estate transactions and corporate acquisitions.
Recently, Waste360 published “Organics Diversion Drives Changes in Landfill Operators’ Roles,” an article examining the evolving role of landfill operators in organics waste diversion. Five industry leaders provide insight into how landfill operators and the solid waste industry are adapting to accommodate the evolution and the cost of organics management.
The article provides best practices, strategies, technology, and systems that could support or supplement landfill operators’ response plans to the changing policies and contract requirements in more economically sustainable ways. Waste360 rounds up answers to the most common challenges operators and public works departments face including how to reduce permitting time, cost, and environmental impact.
Like many Young Professionals, Steve is more than a Professional Engineer. To his clients, he’s a manager often exceeding their expectations; to others a mentor and to his community a man involved.
As a Senior Project Manager at SCS, Steve is responsible for overseeing solid waste and environmental services projects from SCS’s Oklahoma City and Wichita offices. He has a broad range of expertise, including solid and hazardous waste regulations, landfill design, and regulatory compliance. Steve supports his clients providing landfill and solid waste solutions that include compliance audits, stormwater modeling and design, remedial action plans, remedial systems designs, site investigations, health and safety assessments, waterway crossing assessments, and construction.
Living and working in the Heartland, his efforts take him to sites including solid waste facilities, active and closed landfill sites, oil well fields, fuel storage facilities, vehicle maintenance facilities, truck stops, industrial sites, and agricultural sites. Chemical contamination encountered in both soil and groundwater media is of growing concern across the nation. Steve mitigates and helps prevent contamination from petroleum, dioxin, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents. Some of these sites have complex management systems that protect the air, water, and soil from harm. Operating these systems in harmony is expensive, requiring experience and understanding of each of the components plus regional knowledge.
Sangeeta Bhattacharjee, E.I.T., an SCS Engineers Associate Professional, submitted Steve’s name as a Waste360 candidate, unknown to him. So being among the honorees came as quite a surprise. Sangeeta told us, “I wanted to let everyone know about his work and take inspiration from him.” She went on to say:
If anyone is looking for a professional who has experience, knowledge, expertise in landfills but who is still so humble, honest, and always there to learn more, it is Steve in my eyes. Anyone who meets Steve will be assured that he will get the work done. That much confidence and expertise with so much coolness is a rare combination. I, and most of my colleagues, depend on his personal qualities every day; I am sure others will be happy to know him.
Steve, a graduate of Kansas State University, is licensed in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. He is a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Kansas and Oklahoma Societies of Professional Engineers, where he served in several chair positions as well as Chapter President; and the Solid Waste Association of North America where he recently served in the Sunflower Chapter as a Director.
Thanks to Sangeeta, Steve and all the Waste360 40-Under-40 Award Winners for their commitment to solving solid waste industry challenges and facing these challenges positively − you make a difference.
The staff at SCS Engineers (SCS) has talked at length about how changing the parameters of a coal ash remediation project impacts the eventual outcome of that project. That involves not only the factors present at a particular site but also the regulatory environment in which that site operates, certainly as rules evolve regarding the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCRs).
Two primary means of coal ash remediation are closure-in-place, or cap-in-place, of an existing coal ash storage site, and closure-by-removal. Closure-in-place involves dewatering the storage site, or impoundment, in effect converting from wet storage to dry storage of ash. A cover system is then used to prevent more water from entering the site.
Closure-by-removal involves dewatering of the coal ash, and then excavating it, and transporting it to a lined landfill or a recycling center.
“There are lots of technical reasons and site-specific factors that can influence a project’s outcome,” said Eric Nelson, vice president of SCS and an experienced engineer and hydrogeologist. “These might include the type and volume of CCR, the geologic setting [e.g., groundwater separation], presence and proximity of receptors [e.g., drinking water supply], and physical setting [e.g., constraints such as access, available space onsite for re-disposal, proximity/availability of offsite re-disposal airspace, etc.].”
Sherren Clark, an SCS team member with experience in civil engineering and environmental science, said “risk evaluation is a key component of remedy selection. A CCR unit undergoing an assessment of corrective measures [ACM] could be a 100-acre ash impoundment containing 30 feet of fly ash, but it also could be a 2-acre bottom ash pond. It could have numerous groundwater constituents exceeding drinking water standards by a significant margin, or it could have a single parameter slightly above the limit at a single well. And there could be water supply wells nearby in the same aquifer, or none for miles around. All of these factors play into the selection of a remedy that addresses the existing risks, without creating other negative impacts such as site disturbance, dust, or truck traffic.”
Tom Karwoski, a hydrogeologist and project manager for SCS who has designed and managed investigations and remediations at landfills as well as industrial, Superfund, and other waste storage sites, noted the challenges inherent to individual sites and stressed careful planning is needed to achieve the desired result. At some sites, “given the size and the nature of the impoundments, transport of CCR off-site may not be the best option.” When moving from the ACM to the remedy [selection], it’s extremely important to have multiple meetings with the client to set the schedule. Based on the way the [CCR] rule is written, things have to progress logically. There’s time available for careful planning. The last thing we want to do is start making assumptions without input from the client and other interested parties. Regulatory compliance and concern for the surrounding community and the environment are important to us and our clients.
“If the nature of the site in its current condition allows it, capping of the site will reduce surface water moving through the waste and significantly cut down on the risk of groundwater contamination,” Karwoski said. “At sites where you have CCRs that may be distributed across a site, to consolidate that onsite and then the cap will address CCRs impacting groundwater.”
Jennifer Robb, vice president and project director with SCS’s Solid Waste Services Division, and the company’s Groundwater Technical Advisor for the Mid-Atlantic region said her group has “done corrective measures for cobalt, arsenic, and thallium,” all contaminants found in coal ash. “There are some in situ bio-remediation that can be done, where basically you’re trying to alter the chemistry to immobilize the metal.” Jennifer noted that there are also more physical remedies where contaminated groundwater is extracted from the subsurface by pumping or the groundwater plume is contained or treated in-situ with the construction of “cut off trenches.”
Karwoski said, “we have no preconceived notions about what is best for all sites, but if you consolidate [waste] onsite and then cap, it will certainly take care of a lot of situations where you have CCRs impacting downgradient groundwater.” This approach may not be appropriate in every situation, but, if arrived at after thoughtfully navigating the remedy selection process defined in the current Federal CCR rules (40 CFR 257 Subpart D—Standards for the Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals in Landfills and Surface Impoundments), should result in an approach that is effective based on the site-specific factors present.
Read last month’s blog “Many Factors Influence Remedies for CCR Control and Disposal.”