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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

The 2022 PACNY's 8th Annual Pro-AM Fishing Tournament Was A Success, Again!

Well, the annual salmon fishing trip was a success, again!  We had a great time and enjoyed the time on the lake.  We took the 8th Annual journey to Point Breeze to participate in the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York (#PACNY) Salmon Fishing Pro-Am Derby.  This year 18 boats participated in the derby.  We left Orchard Creek to fish the Great Lake of Ontario at 6 AM.  Future Environment Designs (#FEDTC) was represented by Ms. Sheryl Exposito, Ms. Veronica Hansen-Garcia, Mr. Matt Dech, and Mr. Angelo Garcia, III, and we were in the same boat as last year's "Catchin Hell" piloted by Captain Tom.  This year we hoped to defend the trophy we won last year.

Sunrise from our Hotel Room in Warwick

As always, a great big "THANK YOU" to Darren Yehl of Cornerstone Training (CTI) and PACNY for organizing this event.  This event allows us to catch up with many of the PACNY members and see how the year is doing.  Here was this year's line-up of PACNY members and boats:
  • Cornerstone - Sunrise II
  • Cornerstone  - Legacy
  • Expert Environmental - get Hooked
  • Expert Environmental - Richmond 4
  • Expert Environmental - Lucas
  • AAC Contracting - Bite Me
  • Future Environment Designs - Catchin’ Hell
  • US Ecology - Shotgun
  • US Ecology - Bait Master
  • Abscope Environmental - Reel Excitement
  • Metro Environmental - Rusty Lure
  • Paradigm Environmental - Trolling Tails
  • Lozier - Screem
  • Sessler Environmental Services - Intimidator 
  • First On-site - Creeper
  • Aramsco - Mister 
  • Aramsco- Lake Runner
  • United Rentals - Tomahawk
It was a beautiful day, the Lake was a little rough and because of it, we bounced around a bit on the way out and during the fishing.  Captain Tom did a great job handing us the poles and giving us encouragement as we reeled in our catches.  We stayed on the lake until about noon and then came ashore to weigh our catches and see who won the derby.  After the weigh-in, a catered buffet lunch was provided by the Black North Inn, and the trophies/prizes were awarded.  This year's winners were:

Expert 1/Get Hooked won Big Fish & Aramsco/Mister won Big Box

We had a great time, we caught 1 King Salmon and 3 Rainbow Trout.  We are looking forward to some good eating over the year as we usually bring all the fish home to have some over the next few days and then freeze the rest to have until next year's catch.  Thank you to Darren Yehl for adding to what we brought home.  This year we were a little disappointed in that we didn't bring home more King Salmon or maintain our title from last year, however, we have been very fortunate in the past and we are very grateful for attending the event every year.  Looking forward to next year on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, save the date!

Saturday, July 09, 2022

AHERA Bulk Sampling Rules and Other Requirements that Apply to Asbestos Surveys.

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded to a question by the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) regarding the minimum number of bulk samples required for suspect asbestos-containing miscellaneous materials (see our blog post dated 6/24/08 and rebooted 07/09/22). This clarification determined that the minimum number of samples is two (2) samples for each suspect homogeneous miscellaneous materials.  This clarification was determined based on a review of the EPA's Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) section 763.86 -Sampling. This section of the AHERA regulation is used by asbestos inspectors to determine the number of samples to take for each homogeneous area.  However, it is important to remember when sampling joint compound and add-on material (which are miscellaneous materials) that EPA's "Sampling Bulletin 093094", requires 3 samples per homogeneous area for joint compound and 3 samples per homogeneous area of add-on material.
The core of all asbestos inspections is the determination of the type of material (surfacing material, thermal system insulation, or miscellaneous material) and whether the materials are homogeneous. A homogeneous area is defined as a type of material that is uniform in color and texture (as per 763.83). Once the type of material is determined and the material is classified as a homogeneous area, then the number of samples for each area is determined.
If the suspect asbestos material is a surfacing material, the square feet of the homogeneous area is determined which provides the inspector with the minimum number of samples that shall be taken. If the homogeneous area is less than 1,000 square feet, the inspector shall take 3 samples. If the area is between 1,000 and 5,000 square feet, the inspector shall take 5 samples. When the area is over 5,000 square feet, the inspector shall take 7 samples. This is sometimes known in the industry as the 3-5-7 rule.  In addition, EPA also published "Asbestos in Buildings: Simplified Sampling Scheme for Friable Surfacing Materials," otherwise known as the "Pink Book."  This document not only describes the process for random sampling but also recommends that for surfacing materials the number of samples should be 9 per homogeneous area no matter the number of square feet.
Should the suspect asbestos material be classified as thermal system insulation then the inspector must determine if the material is a homogeneous area, a patch material, or a cement or plaster used on fittings (tees, elbows, or valves). Homogeneous areas of thermal system insulations shall require 3 samples, while each homogeneous area of patch material less than 6 linear feet or 6 square feet shall require only 1 sample. Cement or plaster used on fittings shall be sampled based on each insulated mechanical system (hot water, cold water, steam, chilled water, etc.) and shall require a minimum of 2 samples to  be taken.  In addition, EPA strongly recommends that at least three samples be taken in large homogeneous areas, even when the regulations do not require it.  This recommendation was published in EPA's 700/B-92/001 A Guide To Performing Reinspections Under AHERA.
Some general rules to remember when taking bulk samples is sampling should be taken in a randomly distributed manner, samples cannot be composited, and shall be submitted to laboratories accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) and, in New York State, approved New York State Department of Health Environmental Laboratory Approval Program (NYSDOH ELAP).  Asbestos Inspectors determine a homogeneous area contains asbestos when one of the required numbers of samples contains asbestos in the amount greater than 1%. Should all the required samples taken in a homogeneous area result in asbestos amounts less than or equal to 1%, then the area does not contain asbestos as per EPA. However, you must make sure your client is aware that under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation 1926.1101 these materials are still regulated as asbestos and there are specific requirements under the OSHA regulation on handling these materials, see OSHA's standard interpretation letter dated November 24, 2003.  
As Asbestos Inspectors we should also remember that the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) has a Standard Practice for Comprehensive Asbestos Survey ASTM E2356-18.  This standard practice has also been approved by EPA as the method for performing asbestos surveys for the purposes of complying with the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) regulation.  That regulation requires a "thorough inspection" of the facility for asbestos and EPA expects an owner/operator to follow the steps described in Sections 1 through 5 and section 8 (the pre-construction survey) in the ASTM standard.  Being an Asbestos Inspector and performing an asbestos survey is not an easy task.  There are a lot of different documents that you have to have knowledge about to be able to perform your task and then on top of that you must have knowledge regarding where asbestos was used in building materials.

EPA Clarifies Miscellaneous Materials Sampling - RePublished

Over the past several months in the asbestos refresher classes, we have been talking about the clarification letter that the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York (PACNY) sent to all asbestos contractors and consultants back in November 2007. This letter detailed clarification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) regulation to a question from Mr. Christopher Alonge of the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) regarding the minimum number of samples that should be taken for miscellaneous materials. According to this clarification (follow the link above for the PACNY letter and clarification), the minimum number of samples that should be taken of miscellaneous materials (i.e., floor tiles, roofing, caulk, ceiling tiles) is two. The original AHERA section covering sampling of miscellaneous materials indicates that the word used in this part of the regulation is "samples" indicating more than one.

Realize this is only an issue if you took one sample of let's say floor tiles, and based on the result (remember floor tiles are analyzed utilizing the nonfriable organically bound material method of analysis, requiring final negative results to be analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)) you said the floor tiles did not contain asbestos. The EPA clarification says that you needed another negative sample result to say the floor tiles did not contain asbestos. This issue obviously does not impact those of you who have been following our recommended procedure of taking at least three samples per homogeneous miscellaneous material. If you followed our recommendation you would have three negative results before declaring a miscellaneous material not asbestos-containing and would be in compliance with the clarification and the original regulation.

Chrysotile Asbestos Banned? More Like Certain Conditions of Use Will Be Eventually Banned!

Many of you, as did I, read about the " Ban of Chrysotile Asbestos " and rejoiced over something long overdue.  However, after rea...