Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

PACNY's 26th Annual Environmental Conference - On the Second Day Size Does Matter and NYSDOL's Response to Questions Upsets the Room! - Part Two

The second day of the Professional Abatement Contractors of New York's (PACNY's) 26th Annual Environmental Conference continued at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York with two presenters, the New York State Department of Labor Question and Answer (Q&A) Session, and the vendors in the Mohawk Room.

Mr. Craig Kaputa, the President of PACNY "State of the Union"

Two changes to the typical program were the moving of the keynote speaker to Friday (usually on Thursday) just before the NYSDOL Q&A session.  The other change was a PACNY State of the Union presentation by Craig Kaputa, the President of PACNY.  Both of these changes provided the participants with reasons to wake up early on Friday and hence many participants attended the two sessions where previously many participants slept in until the NYSDOL Q&A session.  

President's Award winner Mr. Russell Vent

Mr. Kaputa's presentation included the awarding of the President's Award to Russell Vent and the Lifetime Achievement Award to Kevin Cannan, of ACC Contracting.  Both are hard-working individuals that have done a lot to help PACNY currently and historically! 

Lifetime Achievement Award to Kevin Cannan

The keynote speaker was Lee Poye, Vice President Emeritus Eurofins Built Environment, discussing "Asbestos in Human Tissue and the Environment - Does Size Matter?"  His presentation provided plenty of evidence for using an air sampling method (Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM)) that would analyze fibers that are less than and equal to 5 microns in length, less than and equal to 0.25 microns in diameter, and aspect ratios less than or equal to 35:1.  Much of his presentation discussed what type of asbestos fibers were found in diseased human lung tissue.  The conclusion of Mr. Poye's presentation is that size does matter.

Lee Poye - Size Does Matter

After the last break with the Vendors in the Mohawk Room.  The conference continued with a pared-down New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) Panel.  The attendees included Matthew Robinson-Loffler, the Deputy Director of NYSDOL, Kirk Fisher, Asbestos Control Bureau, and Edward Smith, PE Engineering Services Unit.  Mr. Robinson-Loffler informed everyone that soon individuals will be able to apply for their mold and asbestos certificates and licenses online.  In fact, at the writing of this blog post, this service is now available for mold licenses and certificates at  To read more about it: click here.  

Mr. Robinson-Loffler discussing online licenses & certifications

However, the biggest shock was the response to two questions one regarding soft/controlled demolition and the other regarding contamination assessments/incidental disturbances.  The first question was if there are building materials that don't contain asbestos that can be demoed with non-asbestos contractors.  This demo would not disturb the asbestos-containing materials behind these building materials.  The answer was that demo cannot be done until all asbestos-containing materials are removed.  The second question was based on an asbestos inspector and contractor being issued a violation for not including the surfaces to be cleaned as part of the quantities to be notified.  The response was that the area to be cleaned is the notifiable quantity, not the incidental disturbance quantity.  This seemed to get the whole room agitated and proceeded to involve several more questions on this topic.  Mr. Kirk Fisher attempted to answer these questions but his answers only seemed to make matters worse.  It is interesting that this last issue was covered by Mr. James Meachum, PE, the former NYSDOL Asbestos Control Bureau head, Angelo Garcia, III, of Future Environment Designs (FEDTC), and Mr. Bart Gallagher, of Enviroscience Consultants, Inc. on the proficiency day of PACNY's 24th Annual Environmental Conference in March 2020.  

Dan Crothers, AirBox, Veronica & Angelo Garcia, III, Matthew Desch, & Sheryl Esposito (FEDTC team)

As usual, the conference ended with a networking lunch. where we got to sit with our colleagues and discuss what has gone on over the last few days.  It's interesting to see the changing of the guard to a younger generation and we wish them luck and good fortune moving forward.  We are looking forward to seeing everyone next year!

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...