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Thursday, May 04, 2017

PACNY's Environmental Conference - The NYSDOL Round Table - Day Three and So It Ends!

Day Three of the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York's (PACNY's) 21st Annual Environmental Conference started with Mr. Angelo Garcia, III's, of Future Environment Designs, Inc, presentation "Changes Are A Coming."  Our presentation can be found in our dropbox folder under conference presentations.  We discussed the many changes that will affect the abatement/restoration industry including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (the new Director and Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA)); Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (the new Director, Silica, Beryllium, Safety & Health Programs, Recordkeeping & Reporting Requirements; & the increase in penalties); New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) proposed asbestos regulation changes to Industrial Code Rule 56; and changes coming from NYSDOL on the mold regulation (Article 32).  Our presentation, was videotaped and is attached below. 

The DiVal Safety Equipment Hospitality Suite caused a few late comers on Day Three
The next presenter was Mr. Jack Springston, of TRC Environmental, discussing "Mold Clearance Testing - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly."  Mr. Springston's presentation discussed all the different sampling methods for mold from spore traps (has a capture zone that collects air about the size of a golf ball), particle counters (not specific), Environmental Relative Moldiness Index (ERMI) (still under research) and culture plates (tried and true method).  In addition, he discussed the variability of data from certified laboratories and the interpretation of the that data.

Mr. Jack Springston, of TRC Environmental
After Mr. Springston's presentation, we took one last break in the Exhibit Hall to network with exhibitors Admar Construction Equipment & Supplies and Paradigm Environmental Services.  Our staff, Ms. Kimberly Granmoe, Ms. Sheryl Esposito, and I would like to thank all of you who visited our booth this year.
Our Booth, Sheryl Esposito, Kimberly Granmoe, Veronica & Angelo Garcia III
  The NYSDOL Round Table as usual is the highlight of the PACNY Environmental Conference.  Having NYSDOL regulators at the conference allows for questions and answers that can be timely and very useful.  The panel consisted of Dr. Eileen Franko, Director-Division of Safety and Health, Mr. Ed Smith, P.E., Engineering Services Unit, Mr. Kirk Fisher, Licensing & Certification Unit, and Mr. James Meachum, P.E., Asbestos Control Bureau.

Dr. Franko, Mr. Smith, Mr. Fisher, & Mr. Meachum on the Dais, Left to Right
This year's presentation they came armed with alot of information that was very useful.  They presented an update on the mold regulation from 2016 including the number of complaints (40), the number that was related to issues NYSDOL could address (16), while the remainder was outside of their jurisdiction (24).  The number of mold training courses held in 2016 were 31 assessor (1348 attendees), 26 remediation (1,668 attendees), & 32 worker courses (2,284 attendees).  There are 553 mold assessor companies (451 individuals); 526 mold remediation companies (526 individuals); 910 mold supervisors; and 1,941 mold workers.  Compare that with the 21,237 asbestos handling certificates, and 1,539 asbestos handler licenses (companies).  In 2016, NYSDOL conducted 2,457 asbestos inspections, and resolved 494 cases with 1,094 violations.  The top violations include:

Discussing Top Ten Violations
  • Asbestos Survey Required; 
  • Certification & Training Required; and 
  • Licensing Requirements and Procedures      
As many of you know, our biggest complaint about NYSDOL is that they don't do enough to go after companies that do asbestos without an asbestos survey, an asbestos license, and asbestos certified workers.  These three were the top three violations issued by NYSDOL, which means we say BRAVO!  NYSDOL keep up the good work!  It was interesting to us that one of the top ten violations was not having a manometer or working one (this piece of equipment literally can be purchased for about $30-50, the fine can be $5,000).  One of the biggest issues discussed was the need for a mold rule and at this point NYSDOL does not see the need for a rule.  After some questions and answers the conference ended with lunch.  This year's conference definitely seemed more technical than previous years.  As a trainer, this year's conference has provided significant information to bring back to our classes and provide to our attendees.  We look forward to seeing your next year, which Future Environment Designs will be celebrating 30 years in business.   

In the past week, NYSDOL announced the training requirements for mold refresher training.  All mold licensees will have to take a 4-hour refresher course to renew the licenses.  We are currently working on the submittal to become approved for these courses.  Below is the video from our presentation from the conference.

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