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Stormwater Management Plans

Stormwater Management Planning Steps

Stormwater Management Plans

Stormwater management plans are required for most new commercial and residential developments, provide long-term plans for rainwater harnessing, modernization of antique water management systems and reinvigoration of communities through updated waterways and green spaces. Effective management of stormwater prevents flooding and contamination of water

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Wastewater Treatment Basics

Wastewater Treatment Basics

Wastewater TreatmentWastewater is generated after human and commercial consumption of water. The domestic use produces wastewater, also called sewage, from showers, sinks, various household cleaning appliances and flush toilets. Industrial and agriculture wastewater comes from water usage for various processes and washing and cleaning of products. Wastewater is directed to a wastewater treatment plant for removing pollutants before it can be released into

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Implementing LID and Green Infrastructure BMPs

Implementing LID and Green Infrastructure Best Management Practices

Implementing LID and Green InfrastructureStormwater runoff is a major cause of water pollution in urban areas. Whatever doesn’t get soaked into the ground and filtered back into the natural water cycle floods and carries trash, bacteria, heavy metals, and other pollutants from the urban landscape into nearby water bodies.

Higher flows as a result of heavy rains can also cause erosion and flooding in urban streams that damage habitat, property, and infrastructure. One can manage stormwater runoff by engineering Blue, Grey, and Green Infrastructure.

Stormwater Infrastructure

Green Infrastructure, or Low Impact Development (LID), uses or mimics the natural processes that result in infiltration, evaporation or use of stormwater. These processes aim to create functional and appealing site drainage that treat stormwater as a resource rather than a waste product. On a broad scale, these practices can be managed so that they maintain or restore a watershed’s hydrologic and ecological functions.

Gray Stormwater Infrastructure includes the conventional piped drainage and water treatment systems that are designed to move urban stormwater away from the built environment. This separate from Blue Infrastructure, which uses small footprint high-efficiency devices installed and retrofitted within existing collection systems.

Implementing Best Management Practices

EEC Environmental (EEC) assists industrial facilities with the identification and implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to assist in consistently meeting California’s established numeric action levels (NALs).

Industrial facilities are required to implement source control BMPs. These BMPs are intended to keep pollutants out of the stormwater and could be structural or non-structural. However, when source control BMPs are not sufficient to consistently meet the NALs, a facility may need to implement advanced BMPs, which are controls intended to remove the pollutants from the stormwater. Examples of source control BMPs and advanced BMPs include:

  • Good Housekeeping (i.e., sweeping, preventing material tracking)
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Spill and Leak Prevention and Response
  • Material Handling and Waste Management
  • Erosion and Sediment Controls
  • Employee Training
  • Quality Assurance Record Keeping

Advanced BMPs include:

  • Exposure Minimization (i.e., shelters, preventing contact with materials)
  • Containment and Discharge Reduction (i.e., infiltration, reuse, diversion, LID BMPs)
  • Treatment Control BMPs (i.e., mechanical, chemical, biologic, or other treatment technology)

For more information about stormwater infrastructure and best management practices contact EEC by clicking the following link here.

Wastewater Treatment Compliance

Wastewater Treatment Compliance and Meeting Regulatory Requirements

Wastewater Treatment ComplianceThe treatment of wastewater is essential to ensuring public health and clean water. The process involves converting the wastewater into an effluent, or an outflowing of water to a receiving body of water, which can be directly reused or returned to the water cycle with minimal impact on the environment. However, before treated wastewater can be discharged to the water cycle, it must comply with local, state, and federal regulations. So, how can wastewater treatment facilities and entities that produce wastewater remain compliant with these regulations?

Federal State and Local Regulations

The Clean Water Act (CWA) prohibits the discharging of pollutants from a point source into a water of the United States unless they have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. The permit provides control for technology-based and water quality-based limits.

The national pretreatment program, a component of the NPDES program, is a cooperative effort of the federal, state, and local levels of environmental regulatory agencies that have been established to protect water quality. Local municipalities can then perform permitting, administrative, and enforcement tasks for discharges into the municipalities’ publicly owned treatment works (POTWs).

Wastewater Treatment Compliance

EEC Environmental (EEC) conducts local limits evaluations, develops industrial pretreatment ordinances and enforcement response plans, and assists in industrial user permitting. EEC also designs and builds wastewater pretreatment systems and performs pretreatment system evaluations for flows up to 2.5 millions of gallons per day (MGD).

Our team has unique expertise in developing technically based local limits and ensuring that industrial users have reasonable discharge permits. EEC has also created and conducts an operator training program for industrial wastewater dischargers and assists industries in achieving compliance with their wastewater discharge requirements.

EEC has developed a strong national reputation for helping public agencies, private industries, and commercial businesses come into complete compliance with their environmental regulations. We have experience negotiating favorable permit conditions for our clients resulting in reasonable regulations and millions of dollars in savings.

Industrial laundry washing machines in dry cleaner's workshop, PERC

Reducing PERC Contamination in Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Industrial laundry washing machines in dry cleaner's workshop, PERC ContaminationPerchloroethylene or Tetrachloroethene (PCE, PERC) has been used as an effective dry cleaning solvent in dry cleaning facilities for a number of years. Today, it is the most commonly used solvent. However, PERC can pose health hazards if exposure is not adequately controlled. So, how can one reduce PERC contamination and workplace exposure in dry cleaning and industrial laundry facilities?

Sources of PERC Contamination and Exposure

Employees in dry cleaners can be exposed to PERC while performing routine maintenance on machines and conducting various tasks such as removing clothes (especially thick items) before the drying cycle is finished or transferring solvent-laden garments into the dryer.  Working around uncontrolled “fugitive emissions” from dry cleaning machines can also expose workers to high levels of PERC.

Reducing PERC Contamination and Exposure

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has implemented mandatory standards such as Hazard Communication (29 CFR 1910.1200); General requirements for personal protective equipment (29 CFR 1910.132); and Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134) in order to reduce PERC exposure with employees. Laundry and dry cleaning facilities also must comply with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations to control the release of PERC into the environment.

Machine operation and maintenance, building design and ventilation, work practices, as well as PERC storage and disposal are ways in which these facilities comply with these regulations. Air monitoring for PERC release, recordkeeping, and PERC use reporting are also critical when reducing contamination.

Environmental Solutions for Dry Cleaners, PERC Contamination

EEC Environmental (EEC) has significant experience with the evaluation of industrial laundry facilities that have been impacted by petroleum, chlorinated solvents, and other contaminants. EEC performs a wide range of activities for the laundry industry, including Phase I Environmental Site Assessments‎ (ESAs), compliance services, Phase II subsurface investigations, insurance cost-recovery, remedial services, regulatory negotiations, and litigation support. EEC provides a broad base of general compliance services to the industrial laundry industry, including regulatory compliance, permitting, emergency business plans, emergency response, safety, Underground Storage Tanks (USTs) compliance, and state-specific compliance such as compliance with California’s SB989.

EEC prides itself on working with landowners, managers, and individual dry cleaner owners to evaluate potential contamination and provide remedies, when necessary, in a manner that allows business to continue uninterrupted so that both the landowner and dry cleaner owner do not lose essential revenue. When dealing with an operating dry cleaner, decisions cannot always be driven by environmental factors alone.

EEC’s overall project goal in supporting the dry cleaning industry is about smart, common sense decisions that meet regulatory requirements that are manageable for the client.

Contact EEC for more information.

Regulatory Closure, Compliance & Negotiation for Litigation, EPA

EPA Compliance Requirements for Real Estate Construction and Property Development

Environmental and land use regulations can, frequently, become overwhelming. Understanding and complying with these regulations take away from time-sensitive projects, and unwanted fines ranging into the tens of millions of dollars for larger commercial or retail property can be more than daunting. So what are some of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance requirements for real estate construction and property development?

Clean Water Act (CWA) Permit Coverage
Regulatory Closure, Compliance & Negotiation for Litigation, EPA, Construction

If your real estate construction activity disturbs one or more acres of land, you may have to obtain Clean Water Act (CWA) permit coverage for discharge of stormwater runoff from your construction site. The EPA National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program or the state NPDES permitting authority issues general permits for stormwater. However, to obtain permit coverage, you will need to submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) or permit application to develop and implement a Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) and provide a Notice of Termination (NOT), if required by your permitting authority.

Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

If your site or project generates or handles hazardous wastes, such as lead-based paint (LBP); fluorescent lamps that contain mercury; and construction/demolition (C&D) wastes, such as wood, roof material, insulation, plaster, or sheet rock, then you may have to check their allowed concentrations are in the regulations that implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Assistance Meeting EPA Compliance

Industrial Wastewater – CERCLA Allocation ProjectThere are a number of other laws and regulations under the construction sector (NAICS 23) of the EPA. However, there’s help to meet the requirements. EEC Environmental (EEC) has assisted real estate and property developers throughout the United States on all aspects of environmental-related issues. Our professionals understand the nuances of this business sector, including the need for rapid response, quick turnaround, and discretion that must be maintained throughout the process. EEC’s services are utilized at the earliest stages of the real estate transaction and development process, often even before the due diligence phase, when we do a “Phase 0” to quickly determine if there will likely be significant environmental issues.

We have extensive experience in large portfolio and specialized due diligence necessary for property transactions, evaluation of costs associated with environmental liabilities, evaluation of fast-track remediation alternatives, evaluation of risk-based remedial strategies, and installation of preventive mitigation equipment such as those to prevent vapor intrusion. Further, EEC assists our clients in determining if the utility infrastructure (electrical, sewer, stormwater) and permitting abilities are sufficient for the intended property use, developing and implementing SWPPPs, and conducting facility audits.

Our construction personnel has diverse backgrounds, which include mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and structural concrete experience. All construction staff works under the direct supervision of a construction manager with more than 20 years of experience and are 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operations, and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) trained to work at contaminated sites.

Contact EEC for more information.

What Is GIS And How Is It Used?

GIS

Hundreds of thousands of organizations are using GIS to solve problems. But what is GIS, and how is it being used?

GIS, or Geographic Information Systems, is a technological field that incorporates geographical features with tabular data for one to map, analyze, and assess real-world problems. According to Esri, the company that builds and manages ArcGIS, “a geographic information system (GIS) is a computer-based tool for mapping and analyzing things that exist and events that happen on earth.” However, GIS is more than just a generated computer system and, in many ways, GIS can change the way we view the world.

Geographic information systems operate on various levels.  On the most basic level, geographic information systems technology is used as computer cartography or straightforward mapping. The real power of GIS is through using spatial and statistical methods to analyze attribute and geographic information giving one a deeper understanding of the layers of collective data.

GIS works as a tool to help frame an organizational problem. The tool can help organizations make various analysis with acquired data, and to share results that can be tailored to different audiences through maps, reports, charts, and tables and delivered in printed or digital format. Geographic information systems allow organizations of all sizes and in almost every industry to better visualize, question, study, interpret and understand the relationships, patterns, and trends in their data.

GIS Integration

Geographic Information System (GIS) and Data ManagementEEC Environmental’s (EEC) technology professionals assist in all phases of new application development and adoption of GIS design and asset management software implementation. We match the appropriate technology to our clients’ business needs and deploy these solutions to ensure that they remain sustainably effective.

EEC retains business partnerships with companies like Esri, Cityworks (CMMS), and Amazon Web Services which gives us access to the latest in GIS and information technology software, infrastructure, and best practices. EEC’s engineers utilize computer-aided design (CAD) software for drafting and updating As-Built plans, and database technologies to support and manage a variety of projects across all divisions of the company.

The technology services team at EEC can provide the tools to meet their mission whether they have a small-scale project or need enterprise implementation. Our team of expert consultants will help our clients establish their organization’s vision for their GIS and craft a pragmatic, budget-conscious, step-by-step approach to getting the most out of all software investments.

Contact EEC for more information.

Stormwater Pollution Prevention

What Is Stormwater Management and Why Is It Important?

Stormwater Pollution PreventionStormwater management is the effort to reduce runoff of rainwater or melted snow into streets, lawns and other sites and the improvement of water quality, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

When stormwater is absorbed into the soil, it is filtered and ultimately replenishes aquifers or flows into streams and rivers. However, when heavy rainwater hits, ground saturated by water creates excess moisture that runs across the surface and into storm sewers and road ditches. This water often carries debris, chemicals, bacteria, eroded soil, and other pollutants, and carries them into streams, rivers, lakes, or wetlands.

So, how does stormwater management help?

In urban and developed areas, impervious surfaces such as pavement and roofs prevent precipitation from naturally soaking into the ground. Instead, water runs rapidly into storm drains, sewer systems and drainage ditches and can cause flooding, erosion, turbidity (or muddiness), storm and sanitary sewer system overflow, and infrastructure damage. However, stormwater design and “green infrastructure” capture and reuse stormwater to maintain or restore natural hydrologies.

Detaining stormwater and removing pollutants is the primary purpose of stormwater management. Pervious Surfaces that are porous and allow rainfall and snowmelt to soak into the soil, Gray infrastructure, such as culverts, gutters, storm sewers, conventional piped drainage, and Blue/Green infrastructure that protect, restore, or mimic the natural water cycle, all play a part in stormwater management.

How can you help?

Educating yourself on where rainwater and snowmelt flow on your property when it doesn’t get absorbed into the ground is a huge first step. Implementing best management practices to reduce runoff and to make sure that it is clean when it leaves your property is the next step.

Stormwater MS4 InspectionsOur staff at EEC Environmental (EEC) has been specializing in stormwater compliance for more than 20 years. EEC can aid anyone looking to improve stormwater management on their property with our experience in developing stormwater pollution prevention plans (SWPPPs), sharing best management practices (BMPs), assisting with design, municipal separate storm and sewer systems (MS4), conducting inspections, and helping clients with Level 1 & 2 ERAs compliance.

Our staff has assisted both MS4 programs and industrial facilities with compliance issues as part of these services. EEC develops Local Implementation Plans (LIPs) that include program management and the inventory, prioritization, and inspection of industrial, commercial, and municipal facilities.

EEC’s Stormwater/National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) group has developed and implemented municipal, industrial, commercial, and construction programs to achieve full compliance with federal, state, and local stormwater regulations.

Successful implementation and management of a stormwater program demand a clear understanding of the NPDES permit requirements and solid teamwork between staff and consultants/contractors. EEC stands poised to support any city or industrial facility with their stormwater compliance needs, having supported other cities and industrial facilities with the development and implementation of their stormwater/NPDES programs, as well as having developed multiple LIPs.

Please click here if you need assistance with stormwater concerns.

OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Found Safety Violations (Infographic)

When it comes to compliance, you can learn a lot by reviewing the safety requirements that OSHA most frequently finds to be in violation. This enables you to review your own operations for similar compliance issues and implement corrective action before OSHA comes calling. View the Infographic below to learn more about OSHA’s top 10 most frequently found safety violations.

 Infographic created by EEC Environmental; Information was taken from OSHA.

1 – Fall Protection in Construction Work: Consider your work area. Are there locations from which someone could fall? What sort of protection is in place to prevent a fall? And is there equipment to stop a fall?

2 – Hazard Communication: You must ensure that the hazards of all chemicals are labeled correctly. The requirements must be consistent with the provisions of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling Chemicals (GHS).

3 – Scaffolding in Construction Work: Inspect and check daily. Take no chances. Scaffolding must be inspected by the scaffolding contractor after erection, and before use. Don’t remove or allow removal of any parts. Leave this to the scaffolding contractor only.

4 – Respiratory Protection: If you use a respirator, you must be cleanly shaven. Facial hair limits the effectiveness of the face-to-facepiece seal. Fit testing is also required prior to respirator use.

5 – Lockout/Tagout: Lockout/tagout is more than just putting a lock on the main electrical disconnect to a machine or part of a machine. You should always follow the lockout/tagout plan and verify that each potential hazard has been “de-energized” before starting a job.

6 – Powered Industrial Trucks: Ensure that a daily lift truck inspection is completed for each lift truck, prior to use. Do not use a lift truck if the checklist shows that maintenance is required.

7 – Ladders in Construction Work: All ladders shall be maintained in a safe condition and inspected regularly, with the intervals between inspections being determined by use and exposure. Those which have developed defects shall be withdrawn from service for repair or destruction and tagged or marked as “Dangerous, Do Not Use.”

8 – Electrical Wiring, Components, Equipment: Is there any exposed wiring in your work area? Are there any open receptacles? Is all the equipment properly grounded?

9 – General Machine Guarding: It is important that everyone working with or around machinery understands that no guard shall be adjusted or removed. No machine should be started without guards in place. If you see that guards are missing or defective, report it to your supervisor immediately.

10 – Electrical General Requirements: It is a violation when employers use equipment in the workplace that has only been labeled and listed for home use. Never use an extension cord as a permanent connection. An extension cord must be put away at the end of each task.

Why Do In-Situ Remediation Projects Fail?

In-Situ remediation refers to the cleanup of contamination in-place without the costly removal/ex-situ treatment of the soil and/or groundwater. In-situ remediation is often a logical choice for remediating a site due to the inherent cost savings; however, in some cases in-situ remediation is ineffective.

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Industrial laundry washing machines in dry cleaner's workshop, PERC

EEC Provides Dry Cleaner Remediation Solutions

Dry Cleaner contamination has become a significant liability for many individuals and retail shopping center owners. The remediation of chlorinated solvents, specifically tetrachloroethene (PCE), from dry cleaning operations can place an extreme financial burden on a company as it can impact not only the existing dry cleaner location but it can also have ramifications for adjacent suites and shopping centers as a whole.

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ABA SEER 46th Annual Spring Conference

EEC exhibited at the American Bar Association’s Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, or  ABA SEER, 46th Annual Spring Conference in Los Angeles, California, in March.

EEC’s extensive litigation support and expert witness experience include:

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EEC Helps Clients Recover Millions in Environmental Investigation and Remediation Costs from Old Insurance Policies

Insurance Cost Recovery – Are you staring at a costly site remediation or Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) allocation? Did these releases start before 1985? Did you have a comprehensive general liability (CGL) insurance policy at the time or did you purchase or acquire a property that was contaminated by others, in which the prior owner may have had a CGL policy?

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So You Want to Build a Safety Culture?

So You Want to Build a Safety Culture? by Pat Karol
Imagine you get a call from your operations manager the Saturday evening of Labor Day weekend. Sue is calling to tell you that Joe, a hardworking employee with 15 years of experience fell 21 feet and is in the hospital. Joe’s lucky—he’s going to make it.

There was an issue with the fall protection gear, and Sue is investigating. This is the third time this year employees have encountered fall protection issues. Usually, that means there wasn’t any protection. No one has been seriously injured though, until today.

“Why can’t they just follow procedures? Why can’t they get it right? Enough is enough,” you think. “I’ve got to get tough!”

You intend to build a strong safety culture and ask Sue to meet you Tuesday morning in your office. In the meantime, you issue an edict that anyone caught not following procedures will be sent home and disciplined.

You know you must improve your safety culture, but is that the best way? Building a safety culture has as much to do with leadership as it does with managing safety. It has to do with creating an environment in which employees are “buying” safety and not being “sold” safety. In this environment, following procedures is second nature.

How do you properly build a safety culture? Continue reading Pat Karol’s article “So You Want to Build a Safety Culture?” in Petroleum Equipment Institute (PEI) Journal. In it, you’ll find some fundamental but often overlooked steps in creating minimal risk environments.

As EEC’s previous Safety Director, Pat has extensive experience in assessing safety cultures and safety management systems. He spoke at PEI’s conference in October of 2016, an event that brought together thousands of professionals in the gas station/fuel delivery industry. You can check out this article in the link below.

Karol, Patrick J. “So You Want to Build a Safety Culture?” Petroleum Equipment Institute Journal. 4th Quarter 2016: 50-53. Print.

EEC Environmental Welcomes Senior Project Geologist

Jeff Hensel, PG Senior Project Geologist

EEC Environmental (EEC) is proud to announce and welcome Senior Project Geologist, Jeff Hensel, PG. Mr. Hensel’s responsibilities include technical oversight of site investigation and remediation projects, client development, staff mentorship, as well as general management responsibilities.

Mr. Hensel comes to EEC with more than 29 years of site investigation and remediation experience with a proven track record of technical project execution; project, liability and contractor management; project safety; governmental agency interaction; stakeholder engagement; staff mentorship; and customer satisfaction. He has an industry reputation for finding innovative cost-effective solutions for clients, thorough technical data analysis, strong organizational skills, and completing high-quality work.

Technical areas of expertise include Phase I ESAs; soil, soil gas, and groundwater investigations; and site remediation.  Jeff has experience with monitored natural attenuation, SVE systems, groundwater pump & treat systems, product recovery, chemical oxidation, enhanced bioremediation, air sparging, chemical fixation, and soil washing remedial technologies.

Mr. Hensel is a Professional Registered Geologist in California, Kentucky, and Wyoming.

Read more about EEC’s dedicated staff here.

EEC Honored To Host Chinese Delegation of Mayors

EEC hosts Chinese delegation of mayors

EEC Environmental (EEC) was honored to host a delegation of mayors representing 12 cities from the province of Shangdong, China.  The purpose of the visit was to observe state-of-the-art technologies for soil and groundwater remediation and industrial wastewater treatment.

The visit included tours of an operating soil and groundwater remediation system installed and operated by EEC and an industrial laundry facility using ceramic microfiltration to treat and recycle their wastewater.  The field visit was followed by two presentations at EEC’s Orange County office.

The first, an in-depth presentation of hydrogeologic processes, site investigation techniques and the latest soil and groundwater remediation techniques that would be applicable to pollution issues in the Shandong province.  The second, a presentation of the latest advanced wastewater treatment technologies that could be used by industries to improve Shangdong surface water quality.

EEC  provides an array of industrial pretreatment consulting services for wastewater agencies and private industries utilizing experienced engineers and chemists that are uniquely skilled in industrial wastewater issues. For agencies, EEC conducts local limits evaluations, develops industrial pretreatment ordinances and enforcement response plans, and assists in industrial user permitting. For industries, EEC designs and builds wastewater pretreatment systems and performs pretreatment system evaluations for flows up to 2.5 millions of gallons per day (MGD). EEC has unique expertise in developing technically based local limits and ensuring that industrial users have reasonable discharge permits.

EEC has also created and conducts an operator training program for industrial wastewater dischargers and assists industries in achieving compliance with their wastewater discharge requirements.

EEC also has significant experience with the evaluation of industrial laundry facilities that have been impacted by petroleum, chlorinated solvents, and other contaminants. EEC performs a wide range of activities for the laundry industry, including Phase I Environmental Site Assessments‎ (ESAs), compliance services, Phase II subsurface investigations, insurance cost-recovery, remedial services, regulatory negotiations, and litigation support.

Markets | International

EEC Vice President Spoke At Oil Extraction Symposium

A panel of scientists
Photo by Paul Rodriguez, OC Register Staff Photographer

EEC Environmental (EEC) Vice President, and Principal Hydrogeologist, Mark Zeko spoke at California State University, Fullerton’s campus as a panelist on Symposium on the Impact of Oil Extraction in North Orange County. The panel was comprised of distinguished scientists and industry representatives with expertise in hydraulic fracturing and its environmental impact.

Mr. Zeko addressed the environmental impact questions. EEC’s Vice President is a registered professional geologist/hydrogeologist who is licensed in 14 states and specializes in the remediation of groundwater, soil, and soil vapor impacted by industrial and commercial land use.

Mr. Zeko who is an expert in the field of hydrogeology and environmental geology spoke to the potential impact of oil pumping – including fracking – on groundwater and water quality.

Representatives of the local oil industry also presented information about ongoing oil drilling in north Orange County. Representatives of the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Energy Resources – the government entity responsible for overseeing oil production in California – was also on hand to discuss regulatory and policy aspects of oil drilling.

Click the following link for more information: http://nsm.fullerton.edu/fracking/panelists

Updated: Highlight of last nights conference on the Orange County Register.

 

EEC’s Mark Zeko Honored With CSUF Alumni of the Year Award

EEC Environmental (EEC) Vice President and Principal Hydrogeologist, Mark Zeko, was presented with the 2014 Geological Sciences Alumni of the Year Award at Cal State Fullerton’s Department of Geological Sciences’ 5th Annual Geology Research Day. Mark was honored for his continued commitment to the Department as well as his ongoing contributions to the environmental industry.

Mark graduated from C.S.U.F. with a Bachelor of Science in Geology in 1987 and a Master of Science in Environmental Science / Hydrogeology in 1994. Since then, Mark has built a career as a renowned professional in the environmental industry specializing in the remediation of groundwater, soil, and soil vapor impacted by industrial and commercial land uses.

Mark is a registered professional geologist/hydrogeologist in 14 states whose distinguished career in geology has led him throughout the United States and abroad. During his career, he has presented numerous lectures at both scientific and trade association conferences.

He is currently pursuing expansion opportunities in California’s emerging and hotly debated hydraulic fracturing, or fracking industry where he seeks to help devise regulations and guidelines for the safe and environmentally responsible extraction of natural resources using this method. The issue is now at the forefront of policymaking efforts, especially in California, which is expected to set a precedent for regulation of the American energy industry. Mark currently speaks throughout the country on the emerging policies, risks, and opportunities that will give shape to the fracking industry in the coming years.

Mark has employed many C.S.U.F. alumni at EEC and generously volunteers his knowledge and time to mentor C.S.U.F. undergraduates in developing successful careers. Through his and his wife, Janet’s (also a C.S.U.F. alum), donations the C.S.U.F. Department of Geological Sciences was able to hold its first annual alumni event this past fall 2013.

For his professional accomplishments and personal commitment to the C.S.U.F. Department of Geological Sciences, Mark is a prime example to the CSUF community, and the professional community at large, of the value of a C.S.U.F. education and therefore deserves to be named the Geological Sciences Alumni of the Year in 2014.

Read the original post by Cal State University, Fullerton here.

EEC Covers Hydraulic Fracturing At 16th Annual CUPA Training Conference

EEC Environmental Vice President and Principal Hydrogeologist, Mark Zeko, spoke at the 16th Annual California CUPA Training Conference at the San Francisco Hyatt in Burlingame, CA.

Mark covered Hydraulic Fracturing during a session at the conference and participated, along with other regulatory inspectors and industry professionals, in some of the training offered by Local, State, and Federal environmental agencies. Some of the topics covered included hazardous materials risk management, hazardous waste, regulatory enforcement, emergency response, and environmental administration and management.

The California CUPA Forum is a statewide alliance of Certified Unified Program Agencies (CUPAs) and Participating Agencies (collectively known as Unified Program Agencies-UPAs) that implement the Unified Program under California Health and Safety Code Division 20, Chapter 6.11. The organization works to update and continuously improve the Unified Program for the agencies, businesses, and communities served.

This conference provides training in subjects related to enhancing the Unified Program implementation and improving consistency and coordination between the 84 CUPAs and 32 participating agencies (PAs) throughout California.

Other topics such as counting universal waste in California, new requirements for hazardous materials business plans, land disposal restrictions, documentation of outside training, and California-specific hazardous waste training were also covered at the conference.

Soil Vapor Extraction: A Proven Method of Reducing VOCs in Environmental Media

Soil vapor extractionSoil vapor extraction (SVE) is a proven in-situ technology used to remediate various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from soil and soil vapor within the vadose zone. Vapor extraction involves applying a vacuum throughout the area of soil that has been impacted by VOCs. Through the pressure differential created between the extraction wells and the surrounding soil, VOCs are stripped from the soil by moving air through the vadose soil zone. The applied vacuum, contaminant characteristics, soil type, and the volume of air passing through the soil dictate the time required to remediate a site using SVE.

SVE is most effective for sites with (1) permeable soils where the wells are screened within distinct units and the site is capped or paved, and (2) on VOCs, such as many chlorinated solvents and hydrocarbons, that have high vapor pressures. Therefore, EEC strongly recommends that a pilot test is performed to evaluate and confirm the applicability of this or any remediation method. SVE also has the added advantage of mitigating the potential for soil vapor intrusion by removing vapor-phase VOCs trapped in the subsurface beneath buildings. SVE will remove the potential pathway for vapor migration to indoor air by creating and sustaining an applied vacuum to the subsurface, thereby creating a negative pressure gradient beneath the structure.

A generic SVE system is composed primarily of subsurface wells, remediation piping, a blower that exerts the vacuum, and the remediation equipment. The equipment needed will be determined based on the contaminant of concern. The two most commonly employed remediation equipment are thermal oxidizers and vessels filled with carbon-absorbent material. In an SVE system targeting chlorinated solvents, generally, two or three vessels are fitted together in series and filled with granular activated carbon. As the constituents of concern flow through the vessels they are absorbed into the carbon, thereby decreasing in concentration. In an SVE system targeting hydrocarbon contaminants of concern, a thermal oxidizer is used to fuel an incinerator that decomposes the hazardous gases then releases them into the atmosphere.

EEC Environmental currently operates and maintains six SVE systems within Southern California and is scheduled to start up a seventh SVE system in Northern California in early 2014. For more information about this or other effective remediation methods, please e-mail contact@eecenvironmental.com to contact a remediation expert.