SCS Tracer Environmental

October 9, 2023

Refrigerating Engineers Technicians Association
Jim Barron RETA, executive director is located on the far left while Bengie Branham, current national president of the US-based Refrigerating Engineers Technicians Association (RETA) is located on the far right.


August was an exciting month for the Risk Management group at SCS Tracer Environmental, a practice of SCS Engineers. Bengie Branham, one of our inspectors and trainers, is the current RETA President. In that position, he and Jim Barron (RETA executive director) went to South Africa to attend the second annual GCCA African Cold Chain Conference in Cape Town. This visit aimed to promote RETA’s mission of training ammonia refrigeration operators to ensure they have the most current education to be safe and efficient. RETA is the only organization globally with ISO, ANSI, and ANAB accreditation. They currently have a total of 24 Authorized Instructors (RAIs). SCS Tracer Environmental has 5 RETA Authorized Instructors.

There were many discussions about energy security and conservation. The electrical grid is very degraded and not reliable. Many facilities used generators during the load-shedding period, forcing multiple starts on a system. Another alarming metric was that over 40% of field produce was wasted before entering a facility due to temperature and storage failures.

While the U.S. may struggle to address problems with its transportation infrastructures, RETA hopes to help address the educational skill gaps. Many participants at the Conference showed a willingness to embrace new ideas and solutions. One of the items RETA will work with is forming the RETA Chapter in South Africa. Local Chapters are a great way to assist in learning, networking, and sharing ideas. There is at least one Chapter in every state and 13 different countries.

Bengie was impressed with the vast amount of resources and opportunities available on the continent, but high unemployment and other barriers prevented this potential from being fully realized. He hopes that addressing the skills gap will assist many in the population. At the Conference, he felt that many surrounding African countries were committed to providing and operating safe and efficient ammonia refrigeration systems, an exciting outreach with a multitude of opportunities.

SCS Tracer Environmental is a strong supporter of RETA and its mission. Along with the 5 RAIs, we also have three past, one current, and (at least) one future RETA President. Now, on to Jacksonville for the 2023 National Conference!


Additional Information:




Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

June 23, 2021

quality consulting engineers
A portion of the SCS Tracer Environmental team at a RETA conference. Close teamwork and quality are essential.


The purpose of SCS’s internal Quality Management System (QMS) is to provide our clients quality solutions ethically. With that goal in mind, SCS Tracer Environmental (a specialty practice at SCS Engineers) has developed numerous internal systems to provide quality consulting services.

For example:

  • We use an internal project checklist to ensure we consistently deliver quality reports and safety programs.
  • Our cross-training allows our team to provide a wide range of OSHA’s Process Safety Management and EPA’s Risk Management Plan-related services.

To help our clients stay in compliance, Tracer developed another quality-related system to track recurring compliance due dates for our nearly 400 clients. Our due date tracking system allows us to generate reminders for them before their actual need.

Tracer’s system of quality programs has evolved; however, the key component of providing quality solutions remains unchanged – teamwork. Without teamwork, no quality system will create success. This collaborative effort within Tracer and other practices at SCS Engineers helps us achieve our common goal of delivering quality solutions.

Sometimes that means we need to step up and help a colleague on a project with a quick turnaround time. Or, if the unexpected happens, a new project manager may need to jump in – sometimes mid-project. We take the initiative to respond to all client emails if we know the client manager is unavailable. We form internal committees to revise procedures, checklists, and templates, always intending to improve efficiency and increase quality.

Merriam-Webster defines teamwork as “Work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole.” With mutual trust and respect, and the free exchange of knowledge in a collaborative environment, we continue to deliver quality through teamwork.


We thank our SCS Quality Management Gurus, who are always helping us find better ways to deliver excellence!






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

October 23, 2020


cfats consultants
Jodie is a professional skydiver and part of the SCS Tracer Team! Click the picture to play Jodie on her way to RETA 2020!


Bill Lape, Project Director with SCS Tracer, will give a presentation on the effects of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) regulation on the ammonia refrigeration industry. Bill sits on the RETA Board of Directors.

The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard, or CFATS, is one of the most misunderstood regulations that may govern ammonia refrigeration facilities. Bill’s presentation will cover Chemical-terrorism Vulnerability Information and the requirements for protecting this information. Next, he’ll review the basic submission of data to the Department of Homeland Security, otherwise known as a Top Screen. Then cover the specific levels or tiers associated with CFATS, including facility tier assignments and the requirements for each tier. Finally, Bill covers the update requirements and the communication of updates.

In addition, Bill will provide some general observations from across the ammonia refrigeration industry identifying typical tier levels for facilities with ammonia refrigeration systems and illustrating examples of items that typically are included in site security plans for these facilities.


For details on the conference visit the event page here.


To better serve the unique needs of our clients, we employ experienced staff with backgrounds in oil, petrochemical/chemical industries, aerospace, and manufacturing companies. Tracer’s service professionals are strategically located across the nation and perform the calibration in a wide range of ammonia refrigeration industries such as dairy, food, and beverages; ice arenas and ice manufacturing; cold storage warehouses; and for facilities using ammonia for metal/tooling heat treating, and fossil fuel plants with NOx systems.

As an added service, we can provide consultation on your ammonia detection system based on the IIAR 2-2014 Standard and Recognized and Generally Accepted Good Engineering Practices (RAGAGEP). SCS also offers operator, custom, PSM/RMP training programs.






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

April 14, 2020

SCS Engineers is offering Ammonia Refrigeration Operator classes, including RETA Operator I and RETA Operator II using our online delivery system. Ensure your operators continue to receive training for compliance with the Process Safety Management and Risk Management Program regulations.

We also offer our PSM/RMP courses, as well as our CARO/CIRO Review course online. Taking this training enables your operators to stay safe and avoid travel costs.

Contact SCS to discuss options for customized classes and hours.

See class descriptions. Or, email the training team






Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am

October 14, 2019

Eric Girven, SCS Engineers

SCS Engineers welcomes Eric Girven, CRST, CIRO, and RAI to SCS Tracer Environmental, the firm’s practice specializing in industrial refrigeration and environmental management plans and systems.

Eric Girven serves public and private clients in the eastern United States providing expertise in process safety management and energy management with a focus on industrial refrigeration facilities. Industrial refrigeration operates in conformance with regulations administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Risk Management Program (RMP).

Eric assists clients in complying with these requirements, including mechanical integrity inspections for the ammonia refrigeration system, as well as assistance with energy efficiency measures.

“Eric’s energy-saving strategies streamlines operations and energy programs,” said Lee Pyle, an SCS Engineers Vice President and Project Director of the PSM and RMP programs. “Eric’s national and international certifications and his expertise are a welcome part of our industrial safety professional team.”







Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:05 am

July 10, 2018

SCS Engineers recently added ammonia refrigeration Process Safety Management and Risk Management Program (PSM/RMP) Project Director William Lape to their professional team working with industrial clients. Mr. Lape joins the SCS Tracer Environmental team in the firm’s Minneapolis–St. Paul, Minnesota office.

Lape brings his expertise and established reputation as a plant engineering manager, senior environmental health and safety manager, and as the director of environmental health and safety – Process Safety, at Dean Foods (NYSE: DF). Dean Foods is a multi-billion dollar American food and beverage company, and the largest dairy company in the United States.

Ammonia refrigeration is a well-proven and effective refrigerant. It does require special programs and safety precautions called PSM/RMP. Lape’s education, expertise, and experience qualify him for the SCS team who hold safety and efficiency paramount. His experience includes senior positions in the food processing industry, direct management of facility operations and environmental compliance programs. Lape will support SCS clients with refrigeration and food industry changes and energy conservation initiatives while helping to keep their employees and facilities safe from potential toxicity and flammability events.

Lape is also a regulatory lobbyist for the Ammonia Refrigeration industry and is expert in developing and conducting technical and safety training classes. His process safety expertise includes Management of Change, Mechanical Integrity, Compliance Auditing, Process Hazard Analysis facilitation, and writing Operating Procedures. His experience also includes: developing release scenarios and preparing RMP submissions; operating and maintaining large industrial ammonia refrigeration systems; project management with scope and specification generation, cost estimating, scheduling, project oversight and commissioning.

He is formally educated and degreed from Purdue University, an active member in the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA), sitting on their Board of Directors, and in the International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration (IIAR) on both the Code and Standards Committees. He has multiple RETA and IIAR certifications; is CVI Certified for U.S Dept. of Homeland Security CFATS, and trained in RCRA & DOT Hazardous Materials Reporting.

“Bill is supporting SCS’s rapid growth in the Upper Midwest and Central U.S. industrial operations by providing increased safety and efficiencies to our private and government clients,” stated Thomas Rappolt, a vice president at SCS Engineers, and office director of SCS Tracer Environmental. “Our customers in the region and nationally will benefit from his valuable expertise managing the staff and protocol for safe and efficient multi-facility and multi-disciplinary facility needs.”

Welcome to SCS Engineers!





Posted by Diane Samuels at 6:00 am