2023 RETA National Conference, Jacksonville

July 7, 2023

Plenty of SCS industrial refrigeration experts will be on hand at BOOTH 509 at the 2023 RETA National Conference, November 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront, in Jacksonville, Florida.

The conference will cover a wide ranges of topics for professional development of industrial refrigeration operators and technicians. It spans four days filled with hands-on training, workshops, technical presentations, networking events, and an expansive exhibit hall. No matter your level of experience or position within the Industrial Refrigeration Industry, this educational conference has an all-encompassing and comprehensive program designed to enhance your knowledge and success.

The program is taking shape, check here for conference details and updates, and for registration information.

The conference is organized by the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) and is always a great event!  We hope to see you there!

Posted by Laura Dorn at 11:25 am

Industrial Environmental Association (IEA) 2023 Annual Environmental Conference

May 15, 2023

Join SCS Engineers professionals at the IEA’s 39th Annual Environmental Training Symposium & Conference, June 1-2, at the San Diego Convention Center.

This conference includes over two dozen educational sessions on four tracks running simultaneously over two days, and features a robust Exhibit Hall, an Awards Luncheon, and a San Diego Bay Yacht Cruise. Panels topics will include air, hazardous materials, health & safety, sustainability, and water quality, with expert speakers from Southern California.

Hundreds of attendees from various professions such as environmental, health, and safety experts, NGO representatives, environmental engineers from public and private sectors, environmental consultants and attorneys, government affairs representatives, DoD, and many more are expected to attend.

Click for more details and registration information.  Hope to see you there!



Posted by Laura Dorn at 6:02 pm

GreenBiz 23, Scottsdale, AZ

January 18, 2023

Be part of the community of change by participating in GreenBiz23 conference and expo, February 14-16, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Today’s sustainability professional is under pressure to do more, and do it faster, than ever before. What will it take to address the complex issues on your plate at the scale, scope and speed required? GreenBiz 23, the premier gathering of 1,800 sustainable business leaders, will deliver the insight and inspiration you need to accelerate change.

Join the dynamic GreenBiz 23 community to harness the knowledge of experts, peers and new voices to help you achieve net zero, advance the circular economy, elevate social justice, safeguard biodiversity, build resilient supply chains and more. You’ll gain access to inspiring keynotes, engaging breakout sessions and valuable networking that will help you address these complex issues.

The conference features tracks on:

  • Circular Value Chains
  • Engaging Your Audience (sponsored by PWC)
  • Finance & ESG (sponsored by VelocityEHS)
  • Leading Change (sponsored by Meta)
  • Net Zero Everything (sponsored by Microsoft)
  • Supply Chain Resilience (sponsored by Prologis)

The expo will feature more than 50 organizations paving the way for sustainable business. Learn about the technologies, programs and practices that these companies are employing while forming valuable connections with members of the dynamic GreenBiz community.

To Learn More and for Registration Info



Posted by Laura Dorn at 11:11 am

SCS Engineers’ Ajay Vonkarey on Sustainability

November 22, 2022

SCS Engineers
Ensure your investment in the most appropriate, sound strategies.


Companies face intense pressure to drive sustainability across their operations as regulators, investors, and young professionals ask for more efforts to tackle Climate Change. This year alone marks several monumental events. Among them is a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule requiring businesses to disclose climate risks, including greenhouse gas emissions. And United Nations COP27, where public and private decision-makers worldwide continued ongoing collaboration to strategize on meeting the Paris Agreement goals.

Forward-thinking, sustainability-conscious companies, are responding to the proverbial “writing on the wall,” trying to figure out their carbon footprint and how to reduce it. Professionals whose first call is to protect the health of the communities they serve are at the forefront of this sustainability movement.

The success of initiatives hinges on careful attention to every step and the presence of many integral components between them. Environmental, Social, and Governance – ESG and applying these non-financial factors as part of a sustainability analysis process identifies material risks and growth opportunities. Achieving the outcomes you aim for commands a robust, rounded approach that accounts for greenhouse gas emissions; energy, water, and land use; and waste management, among variables that impact carbon footprint.

“The job commands meticulous reporting and data analysis skills to measure and understand the impact. And it calls for a whole menu of technical and business competencies to deliver a comprehensive strategy that is both economically and environmentally sustainable,” says SCS Engineers’ Director of Sustainability Ajay Vonkarey.


About Ajay Vonkarey

Vonkarey, new to the national environmental consulting, engineering, and construction company, is a seasoned civil and environmental engineer with years of experience as a sustainability professional.

Vonkarey’s forte is building and supporting teams that develop and execute sustainability roadmaps. He leads a multidisciplinary team at SCS in helping customers plan, executes, and report on similar strategies to lessen their carbon footprint as they reach for zero waste and other ambitious goals.

“This is a good marriage of my background and experience in planning for sustainability and the broad and extensive environmental experience of SCS, which has long recognized the importance of responsibility to people and the planet,” Vonkarey says.


Taking a Holistic Approach

Clients turn to SCS for assistance with air, water, and soil compliance and reporting, greenhouse gas monitoring, inventories, and verification. And they come for support in ensuring efficient resource utilization while reducing carbon footprints—whether converting methane into clean, renewable energy; redeveloping idle brownfields into vibrant community assets; or designing and building compost and recycling facilities.

Now SCS is expanding its services in response to evolving industry demands driven by changing environmental and economic conditions and tightening regulations. Vonkarey is building a multidisciplinary team from the firm’s pool of experts to offer more support as clients opt to take their sustainability work further or close the gaps between plans and measurable outcomes.

“SCS has worked for decades on ‘the downstream’ end of sustainability—designing and executing projects for improved environmental outcomes. We are leveraging our expertise to deliver a holistic, balanced approach, beginning upstream— with the work that must happen at the start of the journey. We stay with the client through every step in between to ultimately provide successful end-to-end sustainability solutions,” Vonkarey says.

The multi-faceted process starts with an asset assessment, which starts with a Materiality assessment, broken down by each asset and its emissions.“We examine the consumption and utilization of these resources. The data we capture tells us, do we focus on real estate? Do we need to look closer at our energy or water utilization?”


Informing Decision-Making

This information also informs deeper decisions associated with the next step, which is to build a roadmap. This detailed plan will guide the integration of clients’ sustainability goals and strategies across their businesses.

“Once we have the roadmap in place, we will do what SCS has done for the past 52 years: execute those plans and collect and verify data to report outcomes. That data ultimately informs how to improve efficiency moving forward and reach the NetZero goal faster,” Vonkarey says.

While strategically approaching every stage is critical to delivering comprehensive sustainability solutions, as important is to have a full-service team in place. Rounded expertise is essential to devising technically sound solutions with lasting environmental and economic benefits.

“We have scientists, geologists, civil and environmental engineers who design and build projects. We have technology developers and specialists who collect, manage and analyze data. And on the business side, SCS has financial staff to inform smart investments and human resource management,” says Vonkarey.

Meanwhile, operators remain focused on other endeavors that need their full attention: their day-to-day operations, bringing in new customers, and expanding their markets. At the same time, as new climate policies and rules are rolling out and emission reduction targets increase, they have plans to meet them.


An Optimistic Outlook

“We read the headlines about Climate Change too, but our perspective differs from that of many stakeholders. At SCS, we are greatly encouraged by the extensive efforts already started. We want to help operators understand what is and will be expected of them as they are called on to address environmental issues. We can show how those expectations relate to their specific business. And we can help ensure their investment in the most appropriate, sound strategies. Together, we can make the planet better,” Vonkeray says.




Posted by Diane Samuels at 4:00 pm

EPA Announces $50 Million to Fund Environmental Justice Initiatives

June 30, 2021

brownfields remediation
Brownfields remediation helps all communities across the nation.


The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law on March 11, 2021. It provides funds to address health outcome disparities from pollution and the COVID–19 pandemic. To learn more about the ARP, read the House Bill.

EPA is assisting under-resourced communities by quickly getting out ARP funding to leverage important programs that improve air quality, drinking water, revitalization of brownfields, diesel emissions from buses in low-income communities and communities of color. In addition, the agency is awarding its first competitive grants focusing directly on the unequal impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on communities of color, low-income communities, and other vulnerable populations.

Projects include training, developing citizen-science tools, pollution monitoring, and educational campaigns to enable EJ advocates such as SCS Engineers, scientists, and decision-makers to address pollution and create thriving communities.

Funding currently being distributed totals approximately $2.8 million for 14 EJ-focused projects, with more to be announced soon throughout the country. In addition to the Baltimore City grant, today’s announcement includes funding for the following projects in underserved communities:

  • City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin – for outreach and education through a Healthy People, Homes, and Neighborhood campaign.
  • City of Fort Collins, Colorado – for a housing intervention program targeting indoor air quality.
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District, California – to establish an Air Quality Academy to provide resources and training to improve environmental literacy and air quality data.
  • Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, California – for a community health worker pilot program on asthma awareness.
  • Public Health-Seattle & King County, Washington – for community health worker training on healthy homes and home assessments.
  • Tohono O’odham Tribal Nation, Arizona – for developing local plans to address air quality issues.
  • Virginia Department of Environmental Quality – for developing and implementing an EJ training academy and EJ map-based tool.
  • Alabama Department of Environmental Management – for public education on air pollution and disinfectants.
  • City of Houston, Texas – to launch the Houston Inspires/Houston Inspira public education campaign to engage with communities about clean air and COVID-19 creatively.
  • City of Madison, WI – to implement Intervene Against COVID-19, a public education, training, and emergency planning program.
  • City of Hartford Department of Health and Human Services, Connecticut – to implement a new strategy to increase outreach on asthma and environmental hazards.
  • City of San Pablo, CA – to deploy an afterschool internship program for disadvantaged high school students to raise awareness and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.
  • Massachusetts Department of Health – to support the Asthma Prevention and Control Program, which seeks to improve asthma outcomes in multiple underserved communities.


EPA also announced for the first time how the agency would distribute the $50 million in ARP funds.

A breakdown is provided below:

  • $16,650,000 will be used to fund EJ grants. This includes State EJ Cooperative Agreement awards (SEJCA), EJ collaborative problem-solving (EJCPS), and EJ small grants (EJSG). Tribes and territories are eligible for each of these programs, and the application requests have closed for this fiscal year. This funding also helps with capacity building, training and assessments, the Puerto Rico drinking water systems capacity assessment, and a new Appalachia Initiative for Revitalization. It will provide technical assistance and environmental youth STEM training in overburdened communities.
  • $7,000,000 will fund a tailored use of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) rebate program to address priority EJ issues for reducing diesel pollution. This DERA rebate program will fund electric school buses using screening criteria with the goal of reaching fleets in underserved communities with multiple air quality and health challenges.
  • $5,130,000 will be used to expand civil and criminal enforcement to include monitoring near low-income communities and drinking water sources for pollution, including air toxics and hazardous metals. It also supports EJ analyses related to oil and gas production and refining and support for environmental crime victim outreach.
  • $5,000,000 will help communities tackle the challenge of assessing, cleaning up and preparing brownfield sites for redevelopment. This educational video helps you understand how funding may be used.
  • $4,850,000 will go to children’s health issues and fund the Children’s Healthy Learning Environments Grant and Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs). PEHSUs build capacity in vulnerable communities to reduce children’s environmental exposures in child-occupied settings and address children’s COVID-19 environmental health risks.
  • $4,700,000 will be used for drinking water and compliance monitoring in rural and tribal areas. This supports small and underserved public water systems and wastewater treatment facilities through in-person technical assistance, including a circuit rider program, and supports integrating EJ into EPA permit writing.
  • $2,150,000 will support the agency’s community-driven solutions to collaboratively build community capacity to address air and water issues in underserved communities. Specialized technical assistance will help align school reopening investments with clean air and neighborhood cooling shelter needs and promote equitable resilience and revitalization.
  • $1,600,000 will support the Tribal General Assistance Program. This program supports efforts by tribes to engage their community members on priority EJ water and air quality issues. Tribes and indigenous organizations will also be eligible for all the above support mechanisms.
  • $720,000 will be used to enhance the development of EJSCREEN, the EJ analysis tool, and support related resources.
  • $700,000 is allocated for a climate protection program to advance data analytics work in the Office of Air and Radiation to identify cumulative burdens, improve equity outcomes for vulnerable communities, and advance regulatory analytics and policy modeling to incorporate environmental justice considerations better.
  • $500,000 will support new methods of outreach and support for those performing analysis and outreach related to critical EJ issues in the oil and gas sector.
  • $1,000,000 will be used for administrative costs under the 2% reserved in the law for this purpose.








Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am