Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Record Turnout Makes For A Successful PACNY Conference - Part 1

Linda Reinstein of ADAO, Keynote Speaker
 On March 10-11, 2011, we went to the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York's (PACNY) 15th Annual Environmental Conference at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York.  The event this year was well attended with over 220 attendees.  Future Environment Designs (FED) increased our participation this year, by deciding to become one of the Conference Sponsors and joined the other vendors in the Exhibit Hall.  We enjoyed our placement next to Ciotti Enterprises and enjoyed several discussions with Jeff Cooper the operations manager.  Ciotti Enterprises is a Central New York waste hauler handling demolition debris, municipal solid waste, and are Part 364 permitted by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), enabling them to handle asbestos and contaminated soil hauling.
The conference began with the usual introductions by this year's conference chair person Deb Johnson, of Aramsco, and the current President of PACNY Kevin Canaan, of AAC Contracting Inc.  Mr. Canaan then introduced the keynote speaker Ms. Linda Reinstein, the President/CEO/Co-founder of the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO).   We first met Ms. Reinstein when she did our radio program "Keeping Your Family Safe from Asbestos".  She started her presentation announcing the Senate passage of the seventh annual resolution that establishes “National Asbestos Awareness Week".  Her presentation included these facts regarding global occupational exposure to asbestos: greater than 107,000 workers die annually; 1,523,000 years lost due to premature mortality and disability; construction workers are 11 times more likely to contract mesothelioma, and 1.3 million workers exposed to asbestos.  These are some sobering numbers regarding asbestos, in addition the fact that mesothelioma treatment can exceed $1 million without a guarantee of success, should be a rememberance of why the asbestos abatement industry is important.
Ron Williams, the Assistant Syracuse Area Director for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was the next speaker and discussed emerging safety and health issues and current remediation enforcement actions.  Regarding emerging issues he discussed falls in residential construction, crowd management, distracted driving, workplace violence, and residential construction (effective 6/16/11).  Mr. Williams also discussed 27 fatalities in OSHA Region 2 last year (10/1/09 - 9/30/10); 38% of fatalities were Hispanic/Latino (2nd highest in the country); Syracuse area conducted 527 inspections (33% were in construction) resulting 1,348 serious violations averaging $979 per serious violation.  OSHA's new penalty structure went into effect on 10/1/2010 increasing serious violation from $1,100 to $3,000 and repeat violations will now look back 5 years versus 3 years, previously.
Bob Krell of IAQ Technologies discussed "Practical Approaches to An Energy Efficient Indoor Environment" visit for a copy of his presentation, Victoria Pretti of New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory discussed "An Overview of ELAP, PCM, and PLM Analysis", and Richard Washburn of New York State Commission on Public Integrity discussed "Ethics and the Construction Industry".  All three were excellant presenters, though I would give the award to best presenter to Mr. Washburn for keeping a topic that could be very boring and scary, very interesting, entertaining and led to alot of discussions afterwards regarding construction industry practices that probably need to change.  Ms. Pretti discussion on the Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Program (ELAP) was informative, visit their website at regularly to ensure your laboratory is approved to analyze samples.  Delisted labs are updated on the website within 24-hours.  The 7402 method for analysis of asbestos air samples is approved by ELAP.  Other important information is ELAP is currently reworking the asbestos bulk sample methods to require labs to reduce friable asbestos samples if they have matrix interference, this will lead to an increase in costs for lab analysis for certain samples.  The reception after the last speaker, Mr. Washburn, was excellent and the pass around food was excellant and Saranac Brewing Company's Pomegranate Wheat Beer was very good and went well with the snacks and the hors d'ourves.  Day one ended with the anticipation of the next day with Mr. Chris Alonge and the roundtable discussion.
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