What’s in it for Greater Philadelphia? Presidential Infrastructure Plan

Internet Fulfillment Center

The Trump administration compiled a list of about 50 infrastructure investment priorities nationwide, with a focus on shovel ready projects that promote public safety, national security and economic development, according to McClatchy’s Kansas City Star. Improved infrastructure could mean safer, more efficient and more economical travel and transport in the Greater Philadelphia region.

 The proposed projects, selected from a larger list developed by the National Governor’s Association (NGA), represent an investment of $137.5 billion and are estimated to create 193,350 direct jobs.  These are full time equivalent, year long positions related to on-site labor and professional services for the design and construction of these projects. 

Philadelphia stands to gain, with a proposal to repair or replace 15 bridges on I-95.  This is estimated to be an $8 billion investment that will generate 15,800 direct jobs during the construction phase.  

The NextGen Air Traffic Control System, a priority of Pennsylvania Congressman and House Transportation Chair Bill Shuster, would upgrade the nation’s air traffic control system to a satellite-based system.  The benefits?  Shorter flight times, fuels savings, increased safety, and the ability to increase air traffic capacity by 50%. Implementing this system would generate 2,300 direct jobs.   

Beyond public safety - and the immediate jobs for civil engineers, structural engineers, road builders, geotechnical experts, stormwater experts, construction workers, concrete suppliers, and steel workers – these infrastructure investments buttress existing economic growth that relies on strong infrastructure. 

As Craig Ey highlighted in his recent report in the Philadelphia Business Journal, “Greater Philadelphia is on a roll.” The city and surrounding burbs are alive with new projects from new manufacturing (Proconex) and innovation hubs (Wexford and Schuylkill Yards).  But, as Ey notes, “infrastructure remains a concern, as bridges and highways continue to age” and our rail system struggles with structural and operational challenges.  No one sets their watch by SEPTA. 

The Brookings Institute’s analysis of thriving metropolitan areas, considers infrastructure connectivity to be a key competiveness factor.

Consider, for example, the area’s warehousing/industrial big box and logistics sectors. “The Eastern Pennsylvania Big-Box/Logistics market’s 5.5% year-to-date growth ranks the region as one of the most rapidly expanding in the U.S., confirming its first tier status among national industrial markets.” (Colliers, Research Report Q3 2016). Eastern Pennsylvania, the Lehigh Valley, and New Jersey have emerged as one of the most robust regions for big box development, like the fulfillment center Advanced GeoServices helped Urban Outfitters develop, due to proximity to customers, strong transportation infrastructure, and available workforce.   The growth in internet ordering, especially for food and beverage, drives the need for strategically located and effectively designed warehouse facilities. Eastern Pennsylvania offers one-day truck driving access to four metropolitan statistical areas. 46 million people, with a combined income of $1.46 trillion, live within a 200-mile radius.  Safe, right sized highway and transport infrastructure are fundamental to this sector. 

Improving I-95 must, of course, be a part of a much more comprehensive approach to strengthening the region’s infrastructure. 

Trump’s administration plans to rely on public-private partnerships and tax credits to finance.  Project criteria are public safety or national security emergencies; 30% design and engineering work complete (“shovel ready”); direct job creation; and the potential to increase U.S. manufacturing. 

Senior Senate Democrats unveiled a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. One big difference – that plan relies on direct federal spending. 

Tomorrow, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing on “Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America”. Expert testimony will come from BMW, FedEx, the AFL-CIO, and others.  

For more information, contact:

Skelly Holmbeck
Senior Consultant
610.840.9153

USEPA Classifies TCE as a Carcinogen

USEPA Classifies TCE as a Carcinogen

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) recently changed its classification of Trichloroethylene (TCE) from "possible human carcinogen" to human carcinogen in its recently released Toxicological Review of Trichloroethylene (EPA/635/R-09/011F, September 28, 2011). 

The Toxicological Review is provides specific details and rationale for USEPA's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) pertaining to TCE.  TCE is a chemical widely used by industry and is often found at contaminated sites, including hundreds of Superfund facilities across the country.

Trichloroethylene is a colorless, volatile organic compound.  It is nonflammable and has a sweet odor.  TCE is often used as a solvent to clean metal parts or used to create other chemicals. At one time it was used as a surgical anesthetic.

Trichloroethylene can be released to air, water, and soil.  TCE is a problematic compound in soil and water since it breaks down very slowly and is removed mostly through evaporation to air. However, TCE does breaks down quickly in air, making it very likely that it will be included as a contaminant of concern in future vapor intrusion standards.    

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR), "Exposure to moderate amounts of trichloroethylene may cause headaches, dizziness, and sleepiness; large amounts may cause coma and even death. Eating or breathing high levels of trichloroethylene may damage some of the nerves in the face. Exposure to high levels can also result in changes in the rhythm of the heartbeat, liver damage, and evidence of kidney damage. Skin contact with concentrated solutions of trichloroethylene can cause skin rashes.  There is some evidence exposure to trichloroethylene in the work place may cause scleroderma (a systemic autoimmune disease) in some people. Some men occupationally-exposed to trichloroethylene and other chemicals showed decreases in sex drive, sperm quality, and reproductive hormone levels.  There is strong evidence that trichloroethylene can cause kidney cancer in people and some evidence for trichloroethylene-induced liver cancer and malignant lymphoma. Lifetime exposure to trichloroethylene resulted in increased liver cancer in mice and increased kidney cancer and testicular cancer in rats.  It is not known whether children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of trichloroethylene.  Some human studies indicate that trichloroethylene may cause developmental effects such as spontaneous abortion, congenital heart defects, central nervous system defects, and small birth weight. However, these people were exposed to other chemicals as well."

Advanced GeoServices has spent decades working on sites contaminated with TCE.  We have designed many solutions for this complex compound and can help you find a solution for your site.  For more information about trichloroethylene, contact:

Steve Kirchner, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant
610.840.9117

Chris Reitman, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant
610.840.9123

Pennsylvania updates General Industrial Stormwater Permit regulations

PA Updates General Industrial Stormwater Permit

Pennsylvania recently updated its requirements for the General Permit for Discharges of Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity, which include:

  • New sector-specific requirements;
  • Stormwater pollutants benchmarking;
  • Semi-annual outfalls inspections and sampling;
  • eDMR system reporting;
  • Annual renewal; and
  • Annual renewal, including reports and $500 payment.

If you have a General Industrial Stormwater Permit, these new regulations will affect you.  Contact us so we can help you understand how these new requirements will affect you:

Steve Kirschner, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant
610.840.9117

Chris Reitman, P.E.
Senior Project Consultant
610.840.9123

Updates to PA Land Recycling Program

On August 27, 2016, the PA Bulletin published an amendment to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's (PADEP) Land Recycling Program (25 Pa. Code, Chapter 250), changing the administration of the Program.  Chapter 25 of the Pa. Code (The Land Recycling Program) was created to implement standards to clean up soil and/or groundwater contamination from releases of various toxic chemicals.

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

The new amendments update the Medium-Specific Concentrations (MSCs) that are a part of the State-Wide Health Standards.  These updates provide clear information on the acceptable level of contamination at a site based on the intended use of the property, and provide a uniform endpoint to the remediation process.  Each site will have specific MSCs for each contaminated substance based on toxicological health risk:

1) specific constituents in groundwater at points of compliance,
2) specific constituents in soil, where there may be direct contact through ingestion or inhalation, and
3) specific constituents in soil that may leach into groundwater.

These amendments will help further promote the remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites and bring these sites back to productive use for their communities.

To learn more about these regulations or to discuss your brownfield site, contact:

Chris Valligny, LSRP
Project Professional
610.840.9195

Bernie Beegle, PG, CPG
Senior Project Professional
610.840.9125

Drinking Water Health Advisory for PFOA and PFOS

Drinking Water Health Advisory for PFOA and PFOS

Man-made chemicals Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA, also known as C8) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) were commonly used in the manufacturing process years ago, but have been phased out due to potential health risks.  PFOA has been linked to many diseases, including thyroid disease, high cholesterol, and some cancers.  However, these compounds still persist in many drinking water supplies because of the strong carbon-fluorine bond.  

In response to these chemicals being identified in many regional water supplies, USEPA has issued a new health advisory to address these potentially harmful chemicals .  The agency “issued a lifetime drinking water health advisory of 70 parts per trillion for human exposure to the manmade chemical,” per Albany’s Times Union.

To read more about contamination guidelines visit Water Online’s Drinking Water Contaminant Removal Solutions Center.

If you would like to discuss this issue, please contact:

Joe Mingle
Wastewater Engineer
joe@gpmwater.com
856.354.2273

Rick Shoyer
NJ LSRP
rshoyer@advancedgeoservices.com
856.354.2273

Delaware Sediment & Stormwater Regulations Invalidated by Court

On October 7, 2015 the Delaware Superior Court ruled that the 2014 Sediment & Stormwater Regulations were invalid.  Why?   The very definition of "regulation" came to light.  The Technical Document issued by DNREC to provide guidance for following the new regulations was being enforced by DNREC as if it were law.  If it was intended to be enforced in this way, the Technical Document should have followed Delaware’s Administrative Procedures Act (APA) procedures for adoption as the regulations had.

Delaware Sediment and Stormwater Regulations Invalidated by Court

DNREC has appealed the Court's decision.  In the interim, DNREC has adopted emergency sediment and stormwater regulations, reinstating the 2014 regulations invalidated by the Court and is adopting the Technical Document as part of the regulations.  The interim regulations were adopted under the state's APA and will be in effect for 120 days and may be extended for an additional 60 days while the regulations and Technical Document go through the formal adoption process as required by state law.  

More information on this decision:

If you would like to discuss this issue in depth or would like to discuss your site issues, please contact:

Barry G. Stingel, RLA, ASLA
Senior Landscape Architect & Land Planner
302.540.1651

 

OSHA’s Hazcom/Global Harmonization System (GHS) next Compliance Deadline: June 16, 2016

OSHA’s Hazard Communication (Hazcom) standard has been Globally Harmonized!

Employers have until June 1, 2016 to meet the final compliance dates for updating employee training and company Hazcom GHS programs.  Several deadlines have arrived and passed, including:

  • December 2013 - Employer’s initial requirement to train employees on the new hazard classification and labeling system 
  • June 1, 2015 - Chemical manufacturer requirements to update labels and Safety Data Sheets to meet the new required formats 

As a result of the re-evaluation of chemical hazards in order to properly identify and categorize the hazards, employers must provide additional training and make any final changes to their Hazcom/GHS programs by June 16, 2016.

For assistance with OSHA compliance issues,  contact our Safety and Industrial Hygiene department:

Nicole Sheets, CSP, CIH
Industrial Hygienist
717.321.4869

OSHA Confined Space Rule for Construction Starts in August

Twenty years later, OSHA finalizes rules for confined space entry in the construction industry.  The new rules follow much of the same requirements as in the general industry rule.  Read more below in a great article from Doug Day in Municipal Sewer & Water magazine.  Advanced GeoServices’ Certified Industrial Hygienist/Certified Safety Professional has been providing confined space entry training for years and can help your business comply with these new regulations.

OSHA Confined Space Rule for Construction Starts in August

OSHA Confined Space Rule for Construction Begins in August

By Doug Day
May 21, 2015
http://www.mswmag.com

Since 1994, OSHA has been working on a confined space entry rule for the construction industry. See what will change on Aug. 4 as the rule goes into effect.

Workers in the construction industry now have the same confined space protections that those in manufacturing and general industry have had for more than 20 years. The new rule, published May 4 and effective Aug. 3, incorporates most of the general industry rule and includes several provisions specific to construction hazards.

OSHA regulations for the construction industry used to have just a training requirement — employees working in confined spaces had to be instructed about the hazards, necessary precautions and the use of protective emergency equipment. The new rule has five key new requirements according to information published by OSHA:

  • Detailed provisions on coordinating activities when there are multiple employers at the work site to ensure hazards are not introduced into a confined space by workers performing tasks outside the space (e.g., a generator running near the entrance of a confined space causing a buildup of carbon monoxide).
  • A competent person must evaluate the work site and identify confined spaces, including permit spaces (those that may have a hazardous atmosphere, engulfment hazard or other serious hazard that can interfere with a worker’s ability to leave the space without assistance).
  • Continuous atmospheric monitoring whenever possible.
  • Continuous monitoring of engulfment hazards. For example, when workers are performing work in a storm sewer, a storm upstream could cause flash flooding. An electronic sensor or observer posted upstream could alert workers at the first sign of the hazard.
  • Allowance for the suspension of a permit, instead of cancellation, in the event of changes from the entry conditions list on the permit or an unexpected event requiring evacuation of the space. The space must be returned to the entry conditions listed on the permit before re-entry.

Three other provisions of the new construction rule clarify requirements that already exist in the general industry standard:

  • Employers who direct workers to enter a space without using a complete permit system must prevent workers’ exposure to physical hazards through elimination of the hazard or isolation methods such as lockout/tagout.
  • Employers relying on the aid of local emergency services must arrange for responders to give the employer advance notice if they will be unable to respond for a period of time.
  • Employers must provide training in a language and vocabulary the worker understands.

OSHA’s online FAQ says companies that work in both construction and general industry will meet OSHA’s requirements by following the new construction rule (Subpart AA of 29 CFR 1926). Employers should review the agency’s website for more specific information on how the rule might affect them.

“This rule will save lives of construction workers,” says Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels when announcing the new 621-page construction industry regulation. “Unlike most general industry work sites, construction sites are continually evolving, with the number and characteristics of confined spaces changing as work progresses. This rule emphasizes training, continuous work site evaluation and communication requirements to further protect workers’ safety and health.”

Work on the new rule began in 1994 when OSHA agreed to establish regulations specific to the construction industry when it settled a lawsuit concerning the general industry rule. Michaels says the rule will prevent an estimated 780 serious injuries and save the lives of five construction workers annually. 

If you have questions about this Rule, please contact:

Nicole Sheets, CIH, CSP
Certified Industrial Hygienist & Certified Safety Professional
610.840.9110
nsheets@advancedgeoservices.com

New Water Protection Rule

The USEPA has issued its long awaited new rules under the Clean Water Act.  An extension public comment period preceded these new rules that look to further protect the quality of the nation’s waters.  As with most federal regulations, various parties differ on the appropriateness of the new rules.  Some calling it a shameful power grab by the federal government while others hailing it as much needed regulations to protect an invaluable national resource.  These rules will have significant impacts on future land development. Click here for more information.

new protection water rule

If you have questions about this rule or would like to discuss how this may affect your project(s), please contact:

Chris Reitman, P.E.
Senior Environmental Engineer
creitman@advancedgeoservices.com
610.840.9123

Dan Wright, P.E.
Senior Civil Engineer
dwright@advancedgeoservices.com
610-840-9167

New Employer Reporting Requirements for Severe Injuries & Fatalities

As of January 1st 2015 OSHA has changed requirements for reporting work related fatalities or severe injuries. In the past, employers were required to report all fatalities and or when three or more workers were hospitalized during the same incident. The new law requires:

  • Employers are required to report all work related fatalities within 8 hours, and
  • Employers are required to report all inpatient hospitalization, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours of finding out about the incident.

The new reporting requirements are intended to help prevent further severe injuries and fatalities by identifying the problem and taking preventative measures. 

New Employer Reporting Requirements for Severe Injuries & Fatalities
New Employer Reporting Requirements for Severe Injuries & Fatalities

3 Ways for Reporting an Incident:

•    Call 1-800-321-6742 (24 hour hotline);
•    Call the closest OSHA Area Office; and
•    Report online using http://www.osha.gov/report_online (coming soon).

For more information visit the OSHA website or contact Advanced Safety & Industrial Hygiene, an Advanced GeoServices Company.

Nicole Sheets, CIH, CSP                    
nsheets@advancedgeoservices.com
717.321.4869    

Andrew Heivly
aheivly@advancedgeoservices.com

610.840.9165

February 1 - April 30 Deadline Approaching - Employers Must Post OSHA's 300A Log

Between February 1 – April 30 of each year, covered employers MUST post the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHAForm 300A.  Form 300A summarizes the illnesses and injuries that were reported during 2014 in OSHA Form 300.  Form 300A must be posted in a location that is accessible to all employees (e.g., break room, employee bulletin board, or near time clock).  If an OSHA Inspector finds that the log is not posted, OSHA can issue a citation.

February 1 - April 30 Deadline Approaching - Employers Must Post OSHA's 300A Log

Between February 1 – April 30 of each year, covered employers MUST post the Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s (OSHA) Form 300A.  Form 300A summarizes the illnesses and injuries that were reported during 2014 in OSHA Form 300.  Form 300A must be posted in a location that is accessible to all employees (e.g., break room, employee bulletin board, or near time clock).  If an OSHA Inspector finds that the log is not posted, OSHA can issue a citation.

The list of exempt employers has been updated on OSHA’s website.  Employers with ten or few employees, regardless of what industry they are in, are typically exempt from this new regulation and exempt from other OSHA recordkeeping requirements.

If you have questions regarding this requirement or need assistance with your recordkeeping, please contact Advanced Safety & Industrial Hygiene, an Advanced GeoServices company:

Nicole Sheets, CIH, CSP
nsheets@advancedgeoservices.com
717.321.4869

Andrew Heivly
aheivly@advancedgeoservices.com
610.840.9165

Stay Safe This Holiday Season: Ladder Safety

As the Holiday Season approaches, please remember to use proper ladder safety when setting up lights and decorations, or cleaning the gutters.  At Advanced GeoServices we want everyone to be safe - on and off the job!

Stay Safe This Holiday Season:  Ladder Safety

10 TOP LADDER SAFETY TIPS:

1.    Do select the right ladder for the job
2.    Do NOT improvise by creating your own “ladder” with chairs, stools, etc…
3.    Do stabilize ladder, if necessary
4.    Do NOT exceed the ladder weight capacity 
5.    Do make sure that the ladder is on a firm, level, non-slippery surface 
6.    Do NOT use metal ladders near electrical lines/equipment
7.    Do center your body on the ladder 
8.    Do NOT set up a ladder near a doorway or high traffic area unless you cordon off the area 
9.    Do face the ladder at all times
10.    Do NOT use less than 3 points of physical contact with the ladder 

Advanced GeoServices is committed to safety – we provide Health and Safety training and consulting in support of safe work places.  To learn how your workplace can become a safer environment, contact our Certified Safety Professional:

Nicole Sheets, CIH, CSP
nsheets@advancedgeoservices.com
717.321.4869

Stay Safe This Holiday Season:  Ladder Safety

Compliance is Good Business Practice

Advanced GeoServices’ professional industrial services continues to grow. Our Certified Safety Professional is assisting a new Pennsylvania client with its annual OSHA-required safety training program (e.g., lock-out tag-out, confined space entry & respirator protection).  Meanwhile in Maryland, we are finishing a NPDES permit renewal and Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan for a heavy machining/manufacturing facility.  In response to a potential compliance issue, Advanced GeoServices has been retained to perform a RCRA and California waste stream characterization for multiple facilities across the country for a global manufacturer.

Compliance is Good Business Practice

For more information on our industrial services, please contact:

Stephen W. Kirschner
Senior Project Consultant
610-840-9117
skirschner@advancedgeoservices.com