Friday, March 27, 2009

Keeping Your Family Safe - Underground Storage Tanks

Monday, March 23, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Lee Wasserman, founder and President of LEW Corporation and Mr. Larry Graf, Grounds Division General Manager of LEW Corporation, headquartered in Mountainside, New Jersey for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe” (find it at www.voiceamerica.com on the Green Talk Network). Our discussion was about Underground Storage Tanks (UST). LEW Corp. is a full service environmental consulting company who has managed tank installations, closures, and subsurface investigations from Maine to Maryland, from 275 gallon oil tanks to 12,000,000 gallon storage tanks. LEW Corp. has handled hundreds of soil remediations regarding leaking oil tanks. LEW Corp. is licensed in New Jersey for tank installation, closure, and subsurface investigation. Mr. Wasserman and Mr Graf discussed handling and managing Underground Storage Tanks. In our program, we covered the following points:
  • The Federal government does not regulate residential USTs
  • State government may regulate them in specific instances, but generally do not
  • Residential USTs are primarily regulated by local Counties, Towns, or Villages
  • Home Insurance plays an important role regarding USTs
  • Homeowners want to ensure they hire specifically licensed UST installers, and removers
  • Individuals that test the tanks for leaks, to avoid conflict of interests, are required to be independent of the installers and removers.

This Monday, March 31, 2009, at 2 PM Eastern Time we will be discussing HUD’s Healthy Homes Program with Dr. Peter Ashley, a senior environmental health scientist with Housing Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control and Dr. Pamela Meyer, of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Keeping Your Family Safe - Audubon at Home


Monday, March 16, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Aaron Virgin, Executive Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center (www.ny.audubon.org/CentersEdu_TRoosevelt.html) for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe” (find it at http://www.voiceamerica.com/ on the Green Talk Network). The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center was established in 1923 as the first Audubon Songbird Sanctuary in the nation and is one of the largest providers of environmental education in the New York metropolitan area. Mr. Virgin discussed the Audubon At Home Program (www.audubon.org/bird/at_home/index.html). In our program, we covered the following points:
  • Together Green (http://www.togethergreen.org/) and what it is all about
  • Healthy Yard Pledge
  • How the Audubon at home program works.
  • Eliminating or reducing the use of pesticides
  • Conserving water
  • Protecting water quality
  • Removing exotic plant pests
  • Planting native species

This Monday, March 23, 2009, at 2 PM Eastern Time we will be discussing “Underground Storage Tanks” with Lew Wasserman, President, and Larry Graf, Grounds Division General Manager of the Lew Corporation.

Monday, March 16, 2009

2009 PACNY Environmental Conference


On February 26-27, 2009, the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York (PACNY) held their 13th annual Environmental Conference at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona, New York. If you have attended this conference before you already know that PACNY does a great job of inviting individuals to speak on current contractor/consultant issues and/or current regulatory issues. In what has become a tradition for the conference, the focus of the second day was the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL) and what was affectionately referred to as the Chris Alonge Road Show.
Over 200 people attended the conference this year, not a bad number considering the condition of the economy. However, this year the absence of downstate contractors/consultants was particularly noticeable. It was too bad, because this year’s conference was one of the best. The Mohawk Room had nearly 30 vendors including Grayling Industries, DiVal Safety, Aramsco, and Fiberlock Technologies. Aramsco‘s booth was showcasing a new piece of equipment, a floor buffer with an attachment for a HEPA vacuum, that could be used under the NYS DOL Applicable Variance A-3. This floor buffer with the attachment for a HEPA vacuum would allow a contractor using it to perform mastic removal work with a remote decontamination facility.
All the presentations were held in the Oneida Room. One of my favorite presentations was a two part presentation between Mr. Dale Lesinski, Vice President of DiVal Safety and Mr. Eric Giguere. Mr. Eric Giguere was buried alive in a construction accident and told us his story of survival and his life since his near-death experience. Before Mr. Giguere’s presentation, Mr. Lesinki set the audience up with a Behavior Based safety presentation that worked well with Mr. Giguere’s presentation. The presentation created a powerful 1-2 punch for worker safety. This presentation was so powerful we saw several audience members, including myself, wiping tears away.
The other presentations included:

  • Dr. Bruce Lippy’s, of The Lippy Group, presentation on lessons learned from Ground Zero and Boca Raton Anthrax Cleanup. Interesting points: (1) Hazwoper procedures should be an integral part of disasters; (2) Better management of critical incident stress among workers; (3) Better management of the transitions from Rescue to Recovery to Cleanup; (4) Most fatalities involved with work zone safety; (5) Better understanding of the linear relationship between extended work schedule and worker risk of injury: (a) 18 hours of sustained wakefulness produces a performance impairment = 0.05% of blood alcohol content; (b) 24 hours of sustained wakefulness produces a performance impairment = 0.10% of blood alcohol content.

  • Mr. Aaron Hilger’s, of the Rochester Builders Exchange, presentation on the recent changes to Wick’s Law (Nassau/Suffolk –increase to threshold from $50,000 to $1.5 million) and the economic climate for the construction industry. His discussion also included current view of the stimulus bill and impact of health care reform.

  • LeChase Construction/Eastman Kodak’s presentation involved four speakers (Raymond LeChase, Jr., Darren Yehl, Jim Gerek, & Edward Slovak) point of view of the Eastman Kodak’s Footprint Reduction Program. The program consisted of the remediation – demolition of 80 structures totaling over six million square feet.

On the second day the Oneida room presentations included:

  • IAQ Technologies’ Mr. Bob Krell did a presentation on Indoor Environments and Green Buildings that was primarily a mold presentation.

  • Lawyers from NYS DOL & Mr. Chris Alonge then discussed: (1) The “Asbestos Successor Legislation” that went into effect in July 2008; (2) The Guidance Document version 2.0; (3) Proposed changes for the Emergency Rule Making of Industrial Code Rule 56.

  • The final presentation was a panel discussion including Mr. Chris Alonge. This panel discussion was a Q&A session for the panelist to discuss directly with Mr. Alonge. Audience participation was restricted until after the panelist finished their questions.

All in all the conference was very informative and well worth the trip. It was a pleasure to get together with old friends, make some new ones, and reacquaint with some friends we had not seen in years (Special hello to Patty Kirkland of EMSL). Bravo to the PACNY organization and the committee that put this year’s conference together, they did a great job. We look forward to next year’s conference and hope to see you there next year.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Keeping Your Family Safe - Dangers in the Basement

Monday, March 9, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Bob Krell, President and Certified Indoor Environment Consultant for IAQ Technologies for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe” (find it at www.voiceamerica.com on the Green Talk Network). IAQ Technologies is an indoor environmental and building performance firm offering consulting, mitigation, and training services to a variety of clients throughout the country. Mr. Krell discussed various dangers we can find in basements that homeowners should be aware of and some ways to protect themselves. In our program, we covered the following points:
  • Asbestos
  • Radon
  • Mold and Bacteria (Differences between black, grey, and clear water)
  • Better Building Materials and Dehumidification to help prevent mold growth

This Monday, March 16, 2009, we will be discussing “Audubon at Home” with Aaron Virgin Executive Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Keeping Your Family Safe Program - Talks about Drinking Water


Monday, March 2, 2009, we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Richard Humann, P.E., Vice President and Chief Water Resources Engineer for H2M, for our internet radio program “Keeping Your Family Safe” (find it at http://www.voiceamerica.com/ on the Green Talk Network). H2M, headquartered in Melville, NY, is a multi-disciplined engineering and architectural consulting firm that has worked in the field of public water supply for the past 75 years. Mr. Humann discussed drinking water safety and the processes municipal water suppliers go through to provide us with safe drinking water. In our program, we also covered the following points:

  • Municipal water suppliers must test the drinking water to meet Federal, State, and local requirements (State and Local requirements must be as strict or stricter than Federal requirements).
  • All municipal water suppliers must test drinking water for a minimum of 150 parameters.
  • Treating water contaminated with MTBE is challenging to municipal water suppliers.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has guidance documents for testing drinking water once it gets to our faucets.
  • Water suppliers are required to continuously monitor the pH (corrosiveness) of water to ensure that the water does not cause the leaching of metals from the plumbing.
  • Most municipal water does not need filtering or treatment at home. Chlorine taste or smell can be eliminated by putting the water in the refrigerator.

This Monday, March 9, 2009, we will be discussing “Dangers in the Basement” with Mr. Bob Krell, President of IAQ Technologies.

Monday, March 02, 2009

NYC DEP Releases Draft Revision to Asbestos Regulations

New York City Department of Environmental Protection has released a draft revision to Title 15 - Asbestos Regulations. Visit out Future Environment Designs Discussion Group (click on the title to go to the website) files for a copy of the draft regulation. A big Thank You to Gloria Schmitt from Hazard Elimination Corp. for giving us a copy of the draft.