Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Another Great PACNY Conference - Part Two

As we discussed in our previous post, the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York's  (PACNY's) 20th Annual Environmental Conference was witty, intelligent, & had a magnetic personality.  Held at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, New York for all three days was magnetic with excitement.  Wednesday night included the first annual PACNY Poker Tournament won by Mr. Chuck Kirch of Environmental Compliance Management Corp.  However, we digress, the Technical Session on Thursday continued after lunch with presentations from Dr. Bryan Bandli, PhD of RJ Lee Group on the "Quantification of Amphibole Asbestos in Loose Fill Vermiculite - A validation case study" written with an eye to New York State approving it for bulk vermiculite analysis.  Then Ed Cahill of EMSL presented on "Identifying and Dealing with Naturally Occurring Asbestos in Surveys".  Exhibit Hall break followed and the issuing of the wrist bands for the Vendor reception after the last presentation.

Deb Sanscrainte of Aramsco, Lisa Brown of Summit Environmental the PACNY Adinistrator, & Lynn Burlingham of Cornerstone Training Institute
The final presentation of the Thursday Technical Session was Mr. Tom Laubenthal of The Environmental Institute (A division of ATC Group Services).  Mr. Laubenthal's presentation was on the "American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) E2356-14 Standard Practice for Comprehensive Building Asbestos Surveys" which included a letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the ASTM standard and its relevance in performing asbestos surveys for compliance with the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants' (NESHAP's) "thorough inspection" requirement.  The letter and the standard are extremely helpful information for performing a proper inspection in order to comply with the NESHAP regulations, which we will add to our asbestos inspector courses (a copy of the letter can be found at our Resource Page on our website, Click on the link to the Dropbox Folder.  The letter is in the EPA folder).  The day ended with the vendor reception in the Vendor Hall.  One of the interesting vendors was qub9 Environmental which is creating portable decontamination units from shipping containers.  Unfortunately, they didn't have a container at the conference to see how it would work.  We thank everyone who stopped by our booth to say hello and enter there card for the drawing on Friday.

There were 27 vendors in the vendor hall and the reception was a perfect way to end the Technical Session first day.
It was an honor for me to present on Friday with Mr. Bob Krell of IAQ Tech on the New York State (NYS) Mold Law Article 32.  A big Thank You! to everyone who encouraged me with my first presentation at PACNY.  Our presentation was very well-balanced between technical and overview, in my humble opinion.  The usual highlight of the last day of the conference is the panel from NYS Department of Labor (NYSDOL) led by Dr. Eileen Franko, Director of the Division of Safety and Health; which included Mr. James Meachum, P.E., manager of the Asbestos Control Program; Mr. Ed Smith, P.E. of the Engineering Services Unit; and "Mean" Mr. Kirk Fisher, manager of the License and Certification Unit.  Some of the highlights of the presentations by the panel included changes to Industrial Code Rule 56; additional inspections of school districts regarding compliance with the AHERA (Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act) regulation (Long Island School Districts can expect to see NYSDOL this spring); there will be a public comment period for rules and regulations under the new mold law (Article 32) and an expectation that mold supervisors may need to be present at mold projects; code officials must provide condemnation letters for demolition projects; emergency projects are handled on a case-by-case basis and the information should be forthright and accurate; and what consists of a contamination assessment.  Some of the changes to Code Rule 56 are removing the 1974 cut off date and adding responsibilities and teeth to the project monitor.  The conference ended with lunch and a final networking among attendees.

FED Team (Kimberly Granmoe, Sheryl Esposito, Veronica & Angelo Garcia III) at the Vendor Reception
Overall the conference was an excellent source of information, the presentations have helped to improve our classes, and was an excellent networking event in meeting regulators, suppliers, trainers, consultants and contractors.  If you missed the conference and you want to get some additional highlights, you can head over to Twitter and search for our tweets during the conference under the hastag #FEDTCPACNY.  We look forward to attending next year's event (scheduled for March 1-3, 2017, so save the dates) and hope to see you there!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another Great Conference! PACNY Does It Again! - Part One

This year, 2016 in the Chinese New Year is the year of the Monkey.  Monkeys are witty, intelligent and have a magnetic personality.  Well that description pretty much describes the 20th Annual Environmental Conference held by the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York (PACNY) this year.  The three day conference started with the Third Annual Proficiency Day on Wednesday, February 24 and finished on Friday, February 26 with the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) panel led by Dr. Eileen Franko.  Each day was a wealth of information and networking.  With such a strong line-up there were quite a few people from all over New York State, New York City and Long Island at the conference (several people we haven't seen for quite a few years). This year's conference was the most attended conference ever.
    
Mr. Kevin Malone Presenting Asbestos Training Stats for 2015
The Third Annual Proficiency day, which had 105 attendees versus last year's 72 attendees, started with Mr. Kevin Malone, Director of the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) Asbestos Training Program, giving us an update on the asbestos training program and the goals of the program to "bring consistency to training, elevate training standards, and ensure a competent workforce".  Dr. Eileen Franko of NYSDOL, followed with an update on the NYS mold training program.  Dr. Franko's update included clarifications of mold law and emphasizing that the law is a "consumer protection law."  Ms. Theresa Bourbon of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explained the changes to the Renovation, Repair, & Painting (RRP) Training Program regarding hands-on component training and violations cited in Fiscal Year 2015.  Those violations included: "93% of cases involved "paperwork" violations, 69% of cases involved firm certification, and 40% of cases involved "work" violations.  Finishing the day was Mr. Doug Miller of the Rochester Institute of Technology an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Education Center discussing the Outreach program and new OSHA outreach cards that will be issued (for construction, general industry, & maritime).  The President's reception (the current President is Mr. Sean Hart of Energy and Environment President's reception) was entertaining and featured "Dan the Magic Man!".

Ms. Deb Sanscrainte of Aramsco, Chairwomen of the PACNY Conference
The Technical Sessions began on the second day of the conference, with the hall holding 227 attendees versus last year's 197 attendees.  Ms. Deb Sanscrainte of Aramsco, chairwomen of the conference, welcomed everyone.  Opening Remarks from Mr. Brent Kynoch of the Environmental Information Association (EIA) and Mr. Thomas Meade, the Executive Director of PACNY followed.  The first session was Mr. Ed Cottingham of the Zonolite Attic Insulation Trust discussing the history of the trust and how it is paying for the removal of zonolite attic insulation.  The next presentation was on Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) in building materials presented by Dr. Dan Leftkowitz followed by Mr. Steve Fess of Xerox Corporation discussing an update on the American Industrial Hygiene Association's (AIHA) "Guidance Document on PCBs in the Built Environment."  After a break in the Vendor Hall, the next presentations were on silica by Dr. Michael Lax, MD of Upstate Medical University, discussing diagnosis treatment & prevention of silica related disease; Mr. Jeff Prebish, CIH of OSHA, discussing OSHA's proposed respirable crystalline silica rule; and Mr. Jim Sorel, CIH of Industrial Hygiene Consulting Services, discussing silica sampling methods and protocols.  The set-up of the sessions for the silica presentation was outstanding and assisted with information gathering.  At this point, the conference broke for a buffet lunch.  While PACNY held a meet & greet session just after lunch, to encourage membership in PACNY.  The conference continued after lunch and in our next post will discuss the rest of the conference.