environmental consulting

Getting The Most Value From Waste Characterization Data For Program Planning And Design

October 28, 2021

FREE LIVE WEBINAR & Q/A

We hope you can join SCS Engineers and our guest speakers for the October 28 SCS Client Webinar on Waste Characterization. We’ll start at 2:00 pm ET. This educational, non-commercial webinar with a Q&A forum throughout is free and open to all who want to learn more about waste characterization to support waste management operations. We recommend this month’s discussion for solid waste operators and facility supervisors, landfill owners, environmental engineers, agency personnel, and those interested in reuse, recycling, and contamination challenges.

To effectively design and monitor a solid waste program, it’s necessary to assess disposal practices and understand the content of the waste stream. Waste characterization studies supply this necessary information. Data gathered during waste sampling can present a complete picture of disposal, which is useful for:

  • Analyses of the efficacy of current waste diversion programs,
  • Identifying new diversion opportunities or identifying trends from conditions such as COVID-19,
  • Determining the mix of recyclables collected in designated recycling programs and contamination rates,
  • Identifying the potential for waste–to–energy and reuse projects using selected waste streams.

Register Here

 

Not just for landfills anymore, these studies are helping Material Recovery Facilities, collection programs for food recovery, organics management, and composting work more efficiently. Together our panel will discuss how states, municipalities, and regions are experiencing some surprising results and how they get the most out of every study.

This SCS panel includes guest speakers to provide a fuller perspective on how states and municipalities use the data to accomplish their solid waste management goals.

Tim Flanagan, General Manager of the MRWMD, manages a large team of professional, technical, and operations personnel who embody their mission of turning waste into resources joins us. He was also the Western Region Director of Recycling for Waste Management, overseeing its 13 states network of MRFs and material sales.

Casey Lamensky has been with the DNR’s waste and materials management program since 2013. As the Solid Waste Coordinator, she works with initiatives to divert waste from landfill disposal and regulations for alternative management facilities such as composting, woodburning, household recyclables processing, and demolition waste recycling operations.

Meet Stacey Demers, a LEED® Accredited Professional and SCS’s National Expert on solid waste composition studies, with Betsy Powers, PE, SCS’s Civil and Environmental Engineer, supporting the recent study published by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

SCS’s format allows you to ask questions throughout the event and ask them anonymously if you prefer. A Certificate of Attendance is available on request. We realize October is extraordinarily busy this year, so we’ll send you the recording if you register but cannot attend.

SCS respects your privacy; you will only receive an event confirmation & reminder from us.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 2:00 pm

Lined Containment Ponds Continue to Provide the Oil and Gas Industry with Safe and Efficient Wastewater Management | SCS Engineers

October 13, 2021

An effective and safe solution is the evaporation or storage of the water in lined containment ponds after separation and removal of the hydrocarbon component from the water.

 

In an environmentally safe, less costly, and efficient manner, the disposal and recycling of millions of gallons of production water (brine water) and flowback water generated from the oil and gas industry annually continue to be challenging. While new technologies are on the horizon, there remains a long road ahead to their implementation.

In his article in Geosynthetic News, Neil Nowak writes in detail about three sites in Wyoming, Utah, and Texas that are evaporating or recycling water in geomembrane-lined ponds. Nowak’s article demonstrates the successful use of black high-density polyethylene (HDPE) liners to increase evaporation over clay or unlined ponds and using a white liner to reduce evaporation relative to a black liner.

Each project has been operational for several years; they continue to expand under their permits. Nowak takes us through a combination of favorable factors to the evaporative process, including the natural characteristics of each sites’ climate and the business and environmental goals.

The projects are interesting in that each facility provides oil and gas production companies in the area with a large commercial alternative to production water and flowback disposal versus numerous small ponds or disposal via injection wells.

 

Energy industries using HDPE liners for flowback water evaporation/recycling ponds

 

 

About the Author: Neil Nowakover 30 years of experience in the consulting engineering industry, including civil, solid waste, produced water impoundments, stormwater engineering, and construction projects.

Mr. Nowak has managed environmental compliance, evaporation pond design and permitting, and construction quality assurance activities across the Southwest. As a land-use planner and Environmental Engineer, he explains how various environmental technologies work under specific conditions to companies and the public. Often he is called to public comment meetings and county commissioner meetings, where he prepares and presents project details for review and approval. He works closely with local, state, and federal regulatory agencies to ensure that the engineering and construction of sites comply with all current applicable requirements.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

CCIM Virtual Webinar on Resolving Environmental Issues in Real Estate Transactions

October 8, 2021

12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time

Complimentary Registration for CCIM Institute Members and Non-members

This CCIM webinar on overcoming environmental challenges in real estate transactions is being hosted by the San Diego chapter of CCIM to better understand:

  • Information on $500M in grant funding for Brownfields sites in California;
  • Tools, strategies, and advice to address common environmental issues in real estate transactions, including environmental insurance;
  • The most recent information on controversial new guidance for “vapor intrusion” and what it means for deals, loans, and possible regulatory oversight;
  • Asbestos rules and regulations for tenant improvement and adaptive reuse projects, including City and County requirements, and buyers who specialize and target “environmental” sites and deals.

Strategies to Resolve Environmental Issues in Your Real Estate Transaction” will be presented on Wednesday, October 20th, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time through Zoom. The panel of experts includes:

  • Dan Johnson, Vice President, SCS Engineers;
  • Greg Schilz, Executive Vice President, Environmental Practice Leader, CAC Specialty;
  • Cris Ramirez, CAC, Senior Project Advisor, SCS Engineers; and
  • Alissa Barrow, PE, Project Manager, SCS Engineers.

Registration is complimentary for CCIM members and non-members through the following link: https://ccim.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_HU4wA0c6TxiULuKrngdzlA. Webinar attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and participate in this interactive online platform.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:00 am

Illinois Energy Transition Act | SCS Engineers

October 4, 2021

SCS Engineers Environmental Consulting and Contracting
SCS Engineers uses specialized teams for solar implementation on landfills and Brownfields, remediation due diligence and restoration, and biogas and agricultural feedstocks for clean energy.

 

On September 15, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2408, forming the Illinois Energy Transition Act.  The Act advances renewable energy goals and the path to carbon-free electricity generation by 2045. To say this bill will impact the Illinois electrical utility landscape is an understatement.

Illinois is a top energy producer and consumer in the upper Midwest. The Act requires displacement of more than 6,000 MWh provided from coal and natural gas. One average MWh is enough to power 796 homes for a year in the U.S.

Energy efficiencies and implementing alternative energy resources will be an increasingly important strategy to mitigate the cost impacts from this Act to all users: residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal.

SCS supports clients with the decommissioning and legacy management of coal-fired facilities and renewable energy development. Our environmental team in Illinois includes local experts, Scott Knoepke and Richard Southorn who support the management of coal-fired facilities with Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) and assist utilities transitioning to renewable natural gas installments and solar energy sources. For coal-fired facilities with CCR impoundments, SCS’s Illinois Office provides design, closure, construction quality assurance, and site stewardship (e.g., long-term maintenance, groundwater monitoring, and reporting).

SCS uses a specialized team for solar implementation on landfills and Brownfields. Knoepke and Southorn are supported by SCS National Experts in the region to assess and implement Solar Energy on Landfills & Brownfields.

The Act defines that landfill gas produced in Illinois as a renewable energy resource. SCS Engineers has one of the longest and most successful Biogas practices in the United States. SCS designs, constructs, and operates more Biogas, Anaerobic Digestion, Renewable Natural Gas, Ag Digester systems than any other engineering firm in the nation. Our clients attribute our quality and high production rates to our practice specializing in waste gas utilization, combined with our expertise in solid waste management and compliance.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

2021 Iowa Recycling and Solid Waste Management Conference

October 4, 2021

The Iowa Recycling and Solid Waste Management Conference will host an in-person conference October 4-6, 2021, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cedar Rapids Convention Complex.   A slate of diverse speakers, a large exhibit hall, and some fun networking opportunities are on tap for this event including SCS’s own women in waste management.

 

SMM – Vision for Iowa Project Update
(Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 8:00 AM)

Michelle Leonard’s first presentation will provide an update on the Sustainable Materials Management Vision for the Iowa Phase II project, including work completed to date, and the plans and process for the project over the next 18 months.

 

Michelle LeonardFood Recycling and Rescue in LA County
(Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 9:50 AM)

Michelle Leonard’s second presentation will provide attendees with detailed information on food donation and recycling. Details include how the programs were envisioned, the planning process undertaken by the County, the program results, and the County’s next steps. She will present details on the County’s, private business, and haulers’ roles and responsibilities, and will offer suggestions for how other communities can implement a successful food donation program.

 

anastasia welchStrategically Planning an Alternative Cover
(Tuesday, October 5, 2021, 4:15 PM)

Anastasia Welch presents how alternative covers come in many varieties and may be appropriate for an individual site based on a number of design criteria, performance standards, and material availability considerations. Apart from technical engineering issues, long-term financial and maintenance requirements are also considered. And most importantly, how does termination of post-closure care work with an alternative cover?

Anastasia’s presentation will bring current a summary of evapotranspiration and synthetic turf cover systems and the main permitting and design considerations of each. The second portion of her presentation will explore how the financial assurance, post-closure care, and post-closure termination aspects of landfill management are impacted by these two alternative cover systems.

 

Click for details, safety information, and registration information

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 12:00 am

SCS Engineers Expands Environmental Services in Illinois

September 29, 2021

SCS Engineers Chicago

New Chicago office location at 40 Shuman Boulevard, Suite 216, Naperville, IL 60563

SCS Engineers continues expanding its environmental team in its Chicago, Illinois office to meet environmental engineering and consulting needs focusing on waste management and the needs of the electric utilities. Driving demands are industries and municipalities seeking to reduce their environmental footprint while providing essential services and products.

Scott KnoepkeLeading the Chicagoland team, Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist Scott Knoepke. Knoepke serves clients needing remediation and site redevelopment. This includes commercial dry cleaners, retail petroleum sites, and heavy industries such as steel, rail, coal, mining, manufacturing, metal cutting, and plating.

Meet the Crew!

Richard SouthornRichard Southorn, PE, PG, with 20 years of experience, joins Knoepke supporting solid waste and electric utility sectors. Southorn began his career in the field performing CQA oversight, environmental monitoring, and soil core/rock core logging at landfill sites. He moved into landfill design and modeling, primarily to support landfill expansion projects. Richard has extensive experience with site layouts, geotechnical stability, stormwater management, and leachate generation analyses.

 

Brett Miller is a Senior Designer with over 20 years of experience and proficiency in AutoCAD Civil 3D and Maya. Brett is capable of any production drafting and is highly skilled in understanding 3D space. This helps him support designs that fit into site-specific, real-world environments. Brett also creates 3D models and animations that illustrate the benefits of a design to our clients.

 

Niko Villanueva, PE, joins SCS with eight years of experience. Niko provides engineering and drafting support and is experienced in designing various landfill systems such as stormwater management, leachate and gas control, and foundation analysis. He has also prepared cost estimates and construction bid quantities for various projects and construction quality assurance services at multiple facilities.

 

Meet Spencer LaBelle, with six years of experience. Spencer provides solutions for stormwater-related projects, including stormwater management system design, permitting, and compliance. He provides a diverse portfolio of clients and industries with stormwater-related services and environmental compliance.

 

Zack Christ, PE, comes to SCS with 15 years of experience in solid waste and CCR landfill sectors. Zack has experience performing CQA oversight and CQA management of landfill final cover, base liner, and GCCS; environmental monitoring; and logging soil borings. He also has extensive landfill design and CAD experience in developing landfill siting and permitting application projects. Zack’s areas of expertise include geotechnical analyses, stormwater management, leachate management design, GCCS design, and cost estimating.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

What’s in your landfill? What it’s costing you may not be sustainable.

September 27, 2021

Waste characterization studies help businesses, government planners, haulers, and recyclers understand what’s in their waste streams, a first step in devising ways to reduce waste and cut disposal costs.

 

Recently the state of Wisconsin released its updated 2020-2021 statewide waste characterization study. The study found that the broad organics category, including yard waste and diapers, accounted for about 1.3 million tons. An estimated 924,900 tons of paper, including cardboard, compostable and office paper, comprised about 21 percent of the landfills’ tonnage. That was followed by plastic at about 17 percent or 745,600 tons.

You can read the study, but why do local governments, states, and waste management businesses request these studies? Because waste and landfills are expensive to manage. Diverting waste from landfills cuts greenhouse gases and supplies materials for reuse as new products or compost – a more sustainable system.

Waste characterization information is designed for solid waste planning; however, anyone interested in the characteristics of the solid waste stream may find it useful. Studies can also target specific waste or needs such as construction and demolition waste and business waste generators. A generator means a person, specific location, or business that creates waste.

These studies help start answering questions such as:

  • How much wasted food could be diverted for consumption or organics management?
  • How is COVID impacting recycling and recycled material feedstocks?
  • Which business groups dispose or recycle the most tons, and what materials make up those tons?
  • What is the commercial sector’s overall waste composition for disposal and diversion streams?
  • What are the detailed compositions for different groups or generators?
  • How much building debris is mixed in, and what kind of impact does it have?

States, jurisdictions, citizens, and businesses can use this information as a planning tool to help meet state mandates and their goals to reduce waste and achieve the benefits of sustainable practices. Kudos to Wisconsin, Iowa, and California, several of the many states moving toward more circular waste management!

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

SCSers Pay it Forward | SCS Engineers and NAAEE

September 24, 2021

“We are just so thankful for all you’ve done! You just inspired all of us! I can’t thank you enough for helping NAAEE with this campaign. We are SO GRATEFUL!” ~ Judy Braus, NAAEE Executive Director

 

As the world faces environmental, social, and economic challenges, environmental education can transform lives and society by addressing these challenges. SCS’s Young Professionals Planning Committee collected $3,683 for the NAAEE – North American Association for Environmental Education this summer.

SCSers generously contributed toward funding scholarships, research, outreach focusing on K-12 programs, justice, and diversity programs.  SCS Corporate matches employee donations for a total of $7,366 raised for NAAEE.

Education and association participation play an important part in SCS’s mission to promote a sustainable environment through innovation and the creative application of technology and management strategies.

 

Thank you, NAAEE, for supporting our youth and the environment.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Sustainable Biofuels Team Funded by the Department of Energy

September 16, 2021

 

In August, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $34 million in funding for  11 projects that will support high-impact research and development to improve and produce biofuels, biopower, and bioproducts. These biomass resources, otherwise known as feedstocks, can be produced by municipal solid waste (MSW) streams and algae and converted into low-carbon fuels that can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of transportation sectors that face barriers to electrification, like aviation and marine.

Transportation accounts for approximately 30% of total U.S. energy consumption and generates the largest share of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Biofuels serve as a low-carbon alternative to petroleum and can also be used to produce carbon-heavy products like plastics, fertilizers, lubricants, and industrial chemicals.

Among the DOE recipients is a team led by Stephanie Lansing, professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland (UMD). Lansing is leading a consortium of scientists and industry partners to research innovative ways to use waste and to make value-added products that will contribute to the sustainability of our economy and planet.

SCS Engineers is an environmental engineering firm specializing in waste management and renewable energy from waste products. SCS is on the Lansing team focusing on biofuel production. The team includes Ohio State University, Mississippi State University, Virginia Tech, Idaho National Lab, and Quasar Energy Group. Their first task is to conduct a waste characterization study across every U.S. region during every season of the year, to understand how location and the time of year affect landfills’ incoming waste. The results help determine what the biofuel potential of that waste is.

Another Lansing team will be working toward producing bioplastics that are made without using fossil fuels and degrade much more easily than current plastic products.

The biofuel and bioplastic projects involve sustainability and economic assessments comparing them to current products on the market to see how marketable these new products can be. And the reason why Lansing’s comprehensive teams are important; they will help commercialize any new products.

Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm stated in the DOE August 3 press release, “The companies and universities leading these projects will ensure that our cutting-edge biofuel technologies reduce carbon emissions, create new jobs up and down the supply chain, and are made in America by American workers.”

 

More information about Solid Waste Management and Biofuels.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

California Providing $500 Million for Brownfields Remediation

September 14, 2021

California’s 2021 and 2022 budgets provide $500 million to the Department of Toxic Substances Control to support community revitalization. The funds are available over four years to accelerate the investigation and cleanup of contaminated properties in environmental justice communities. This funding is referred to as the Cleanup in Vulnerable Communities Initiative. A portion of this funding is for establishing the Equitable Community Revitalization Grant (ECRG)—a grant program to incentivize cleanup and investment in disadvantaged areas of California.

Equitable Community Revitalization Grant – Learn more about the program and how to use this funding to advance your communities brownfields and remediation projects.

Brownfields and Voluntary Remediation – Brownfield and voluntary remediation projects protect human health and the environment while restoring beneficial use to properties. SCS Engineers is a pioneer in supporting the public-private partnerships for these types of redevelopment. SCS helped redevelop environmentally impaired real estate more than 25 years before the term Brownfield was coined. Learn more about the possibilities for your community and how to select a brownfields remediation professional for timely and compliant delivery of the benefits.

ECRG Flyer – Provides the basics on this new and important funding along with a timetable.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am