risk management

2021 FES | ACEC-FL Annual Conference

August 4, 2021

The Florida Engineering Society (FES) and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida (ACEC-FL) promote professional engineers in Florida. FES and ACEC support engineering education, advocate licensure, promote the ethical and competent practice of engineering, and further the public’s knowledge and understanding of the profession’s importance.

These firms create innovative solutions while upholding their responsibility to the public’s health, safety, and wellbeing.

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 8:00 am

ACEC Engineering Excellence for Landfill Transformation into Business Space and Park

January 12, 2021

Countyline Corporate Park in Southeast Florida. Image courtesy of Florida East Coast Industries.

SCS Engineers and Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) are to be honored at the annual conference in Florida planned for August 2021. The firms will receive a 2021 Engineering Excellence Award by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida. The honor acknowledges SCS for the environmental engineering firm’s innovative design that integrates groundwater remediation with the stormwater management system on a 500-acre former landfill site. The design enabled the developer to remediate the former landfill into the Countyline Corporate Park in Southeast Florida.

Industrial real estate is in high demand, but former landfills and brownfields present environmental challenges that can become cost-prohibitive to redevelop without sound environmental expertise.  FECI retained the professional services of SCS Engineers to provide consulting and design services addressing the environmental concerns preventing the transformation of a former landfill into a state of the art business park.

Environmental guidelines require 28% (or about 140 acres) of the site to be set aside for stormwater retention. The set aside would require the relocation of several thousand cubic yards of waste and prevent the 140 acres’ redevelopment. The estimated loss of $300 million in potential real estate sales, coupled with the groundwater remediation expense, made the site redevelopment cost-prohibitive. Unless resolved, the problem also impeded FECI’s corporate sustainability goals.

SCS’s experts in landfill design, closure, and remediation, developed a solution tying together the groundwater remediation and stormwater management systems. The integrated system allows for shallow aquifer recharge with stormwater and captures impacted groundwater at the site’s boundary. “We were able to provide an alternative design acceptable to all the permitting agencies, eliminating the need to set aside large areas for stormwater retention,” said Mr. Som Kundral, P.E., SCS’s senior project manager.

SCS’s remedial actions protect public health while opening the site for reuse. The project will be completed in phases. Phase I, consisting of 160 acres, is complete, with two million square feet of occupied businesses and a 30-acre community park. Development of the other three phases, which include another six million square feet, is underway.

The development will create hundreds of new jobs, deliver several hundred million dollars to the city and county tax base, and provide a 30-acre public park. “The engineering solution protects the environment while meeting FECI’s strategic, social, economic, and sustainability goals,” said Mr. Eduardo Smith, P.E., SCS’s senior vice president of client success.

Learn more about these related topics, events, and case studies at SCS Engineers:

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

How does your state expect you to submit EPCRA Tier II Reporting?

September 14, 2020

The Emergency Planning and Community-Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was enacted by Congress to assist local communities in protecting public health by requiring facilities to file an annual EPCRA Tier II Report, identifying hazardous chemical inventories maintained at the facility. Submitting Tier II Reports allows the local emergency personnel to be aware of the chemicals that are present within facilities in their jurisdiction, and prepare for and respond to chemical emergencies.

 

It is extremely important to verify the submittal method in your state.

The annual federal deadline for submitting Tier II Reports is March 1st (more to come on
this deadline). Facilities are required to report any chemicals, which are included within the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200). A list of EHSs and their TPQs can be found at 40 CFR 355, Appendix A. The EPA has compiled a “List of Lists” which provides a consolidated list of chemicals that are subject to EPCRA Tier II reporting along with their Threshold Planning Quantities (TPQ). The TPQ is the amount of chemical kept on-site above which you must file a Tier II. It is important to note that ammonia has a Tier II reporting threshold of 500 pounds.

  • Each facility maintaining chemical inventories, as described in the article are required to submit an annual Tier II Report to the following agencies:
  • State Emergency Response Commission (SERC), Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), and
  • The fire department having jurisdiction over the facility.

Some states require that Tier II forms be submitted electronically, while other states may require hard copy submittals. Still, others require both digital and printed submissions.

Keep reading to find out more from Travis Weber at SCS Engineers, Tracer Environmental Practice…

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

If you want to learn more about safety, ask Bill Lape!

August 10, 2020

SCS Project Director, Bill Lape, is an expert in the development and deployment of standardized Risk Management and Process Safety Management programs, including process safety program implementation and support to manufacturing facilities that utilize ammonia as a refrigerant.

pro·di·gious

 

That’s Bill Lape in a word. Bill is a Certified Industrial Refrigeration Operator, a Certified Refrigeration Service Technician, and a member of the National Board of Directors of the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association – RETA. He is also a certified Process Safety Management Professional through the University of Wisconsin.

and he’s a wonderful writer. Here are two of Bill’s most recent articles.

 

PSM SAFETY & COMPLIANCE CONSIDERATIONS IN THE AGE OF PANDEMICS  PSM safety programs and training remain a top priority during the pandemic. While online training is not a complete substitute for live, face-to-face PSM training and instruction, in the age of pandemics, it is a viable option. What to look for in PSM – ammonia refrigeration system safety training?

EPIC FAIL: ICE BUILD UP  When developing your inspections for your system’s mechanical integrity program, always be mindful of the potential consequences of ice buildup, particularly if it continues for an extended period of time.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

Strategies for Climate Change Planning & Adaptation for Waste Management Facilities

April 30, 2020

Scientists and experts agree that climate change is a present-day threat to communities across the U.S., manifesting in both predictable and unpredictable ways. As detailed in the National Climate Assessment Vol. 4 (NCA4), coastal storms are increasing in strength and frequency, forest fires are becoming much larger and more destructive, annual precipitation is changing and increasing in variability, and widespread flooding is becoming more common both in the interior of the nation and along the coasts.

These changes present complex challenges to the waste management industry that must be addressed and planned for. For example, one challenge is an increasing frequency of large-scale weather events and natural disasters, which are creating more debris that must be managed and which affects the characteristics of landfilled waste. Landfill design needs to incorporate precipitation changes and increased threats due to weather variability, flooding,  and sea-level rise. Precipitation changes affect gas generation rates and require a diligent reaction to maintain effective gas collection. Because of weather pattern changes, risks of cover material erosion and swales have increased for landfills in both wet and dry climates, which may require stronger natural caps or the use of emerging technologies for alternate cover. Additionally, landfills are affected by an increase in the variability of precipitation and rapid changes between weather extremes.

It is clear that waste management facilities must adapt to these changes in addition to scenario building for pandemics to maintain effective operations. Adaptations available include making changes to landfill design and planning, such as incorporating precipitation changes into the modeling of leachate and gas generation or increasing the distance between the bottom liner and groundwater.

Systems should be regularly evaluated and areas needing repairs should be corrected quickly and diligently. Gas generation models should be updated regularly and collection systems need to be expanded or adjusted to account for precipitation increases or decreases.

More frequent and intense storms are creating challenges for cover material management, liquids management, and maintaining slope stability. Facilities should implement innovative uses of both existing technology and new or emerging technologies.

Communities with waste management facilities should include waste management infrastructure in emergency management plans, including maintaining landfills and collections operations and using landfills as both temporary debris storage and as an option for final disposal.

Since climate change effects vary by region and locale, many facilities are developing a specific plan for adaptation and management. To reduce the inevitable costs of adaptation and maintain responsiveness to weather changes, a reactive approach is being abandoned in favor of a proactive approach.

 

About the Author: Jacob Shepherd is a Senior Project Professional specializing in air compliance and reporting within EPA Region III. He is experienced in environmental engineering, air compliance, renewable energy, landfill and landfill gas engineering, and environmental services throughout the mid-Atlantic region, and is a licensed P.E. in Virginia.

 

Resources and Recovery
Get started with these resources and recovery success studies; click to read, download, or share each:

  • County Removes 573,866 Cubic Yards of Debris in 99 Days
    Manatee County, Florida solid waste division’s removal plan serves as a model for natural disaster response. Covered by Public Works Magazine.
  • Is Your Solid Waste Infrastructure at Risk from Hurricanes and Flood Events? The article discusses how operators can help prevent damage to their critical solid waste facilities that need to function during and after a major storm. Covered by Waste Advantage Magazine.
  • Expansion of An Active Landfill  – Vertical expansion increases the landfill volume within the existing footprint of the permitted Landfill. A landfill can run out of its storage capacity prematurely for many reasons including a response to a huge amount of debris waste from a natural disaster like a tropical storm or hurricane. Covered by ISWA.

Contact for assistance starting or refining your plan ahead of natural disasters and pandemics. We offer these services:

Planning for Natural Disaster Debris – help for communities to develop or revise a disaster debris management plan. Many aspects of disaster debris planning can be relevant to communities demolishing abandoned residential buildings and remediating properties.

Guidance about Planning for Natural Disaster Debris – much of the construction or demolition waste can be recovered and recycled. SCS Engineers designs and builds these facilities so we can help locate the nearest C&D debris recyclers as part of your plan.

Planning Financial Response and Recovery – the SCS Management Services™ team offers services to support financial planning and to quickly access budget and operational financial impacts. Eliminate concerns about the upcoming fiscal year expectations and anticipated medium-term impacts of pandemics and natural hazards on local government operations and revenue streams. Address issues such as:

      • Micro-analysis – For near-term (1-2 year) budget/operational impacts. Results produced in one day.
      • Free webinars – Discuss revenue diversification alternatives, realistic cost projections for developing strategic plans.
    • Avoiding municipal or utility service interruptions
    • Continuing to provide services to customers who can’t afford to pay
    • Predicting impact on property, earnings or sales tax revenues
    • Estimating change in water usage or waste generation
    • Longer-term financial impacts of staffing changes, prolonged vehicle/equipment replacements, and postponing or increased borrowing for capital projects.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 1:40 am

A message from SCS regarding the Coronavirus

March 13, 2020

In light of public concerns related to COVID-19, SCS Engineers has proactive measures and contingency plans in place to protect our employees and our clients, while continuing our work. SCS’s Health & Safety practice, in consultation with our executives, the Centers for Disease Control, and industry associations, endeavors to make the most responsible decisions as circumstances demand.

SCS will post updates here as needed, and is in regular and consistent communication with all employees and with our clients.

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 9:49 am

Ann O’Brien publishes annual environmental reporting tables

February 12, 2020

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.

Table: environmental regulatory agencies in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin

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 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.

Thanks, Ann!

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am

PSM/RMP, training, safety, audits, and more in the SCS Tracer library – Open 24/7

January 20, 2020

Do Tracer Environmental professionals ever slow down? The SCS Tracer professionals at SCS Engineers were busy publishing new articles last month in addition to Operator Training. We’ve compiled several of them along with the most popular in our SCS library for your convenience. Select a title and start reading. Enjoy!

How to Properly Complete an IIAR 6 System Safety Inspection Checklist Form?  When filling out the ANSI/IIAR 6-2019 Ammonia Refrigeration Safety Inspection Checklists, located in appendix B, some of the information required may not always be readily accessible. This comprehensive article takes readers step-by-step through the process.

Epic Fails, Part Deux    Failures that come together, form a picture. The author discusses how we can begin to learn from these Epic Fails and start to take steps to prevent them in our plants.

Ammonia Pipe and Equipment Labeling – Part I   Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGEGEP), an overview of many of the standards and guidelines that are relevant to the ammonia refrigeration system labeling, and guidance on how to apply them.

Ammonia Pipe and Equipment Labeling – Part II    Options facilities have when choosing their RAGAGEP for pipe and equipment labeling.

It’s All in Your Past, RETA Breeze    Investing in the knowledge and development of your personnel is the first step towards making your management system world-class in the safe operation and maintenance of your ammonia refrigeration system.

Employee Training Under PSM/RMP   FAQs about designing a training program that is part of your facility’s PSM and RMP programs and provides a defensible position during inspections while ensuring that your facility operators and maintainers perform their jobs safely.

Mechanical Integrity, Documentation Discrepancies    Checks, and verification prevent big problems.

Managing Organizational Change: How it Impacts Your Ammonia Refrigeration System During periods of organizational change, we must keep in mind the potential impacts on our facility’s PSM/RMP or ARM programs, and on the operation of the ammonia refrigeration system itself.

PSM/RMP Compliance Audits: Who Should Perform Them?   What to look for in an auditor for hire? For starters, more than a consultant familiar with PSM/RMP regulations.

Management of Change: Have We Captured All of the Impacts of a Change?   It is vital to ask as many questions as possible regarding equipment changes under consideration. With more information, you may find that the proposed changes could impact safety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:01 am

Getting Started with OSHA’s RAGAGEP – Where there is a will, there is a way.

August 31, 2018

We are all trying to wrap our heads around how to implement and document Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEP). There are so many elements to review when codes and standards are released it is difficult to know where to start.

One place to start is with the industry improvements associated with life safety. International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) ANSI Standard 2, Safe Design of Closed-Circuit Ammonia Refrigeration Systems, includes specifications for new construction and can be a tool to ensure your engine room is keeping up with industry standards especially when it concerns life safety.

One change from previous versions of the IIAR Standard 2 is the number and location of eyewash/safety showers. IIAR 2 (2014) is now more in line with OSHA expectations. Keep readingmore from Lee Pyle.

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am

Capturing All the Impacts of Change Saves Time and Money

August 27, 2018

A few years ago, an engineer working for a“friend’s plant” chose to replace their  evaporative condenser with an adiabatic condenser. On the surface, the choice seemed like a good idea since  adiabatic condensers often provide higher heat rejection with lower water and electricity usage. The condenser was purchased and installed, but all was not well. When not carefully considered, replacing equipment or control programs can have unforeseen consequences such as negative impacts on operational safety.

In this real life example the author examines what information would have made a big difference and significant savings had the right questions been asked.

Click to read this article and others written for those in industries using ammonia refrigeration.

 

 

 

Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:03 am