On Saturday, May 9, 2015, the “usual suspects” gathered at a familiar stomping ground, West Creek Reservation. The occasion was RiverSweep 2015 and for the 10th consecutive year, NEOCHMM members assisted the West Creek Conservancy (“WCC”) in cleaning-up and beautifying West Creek. This is volunteerism done in one-half day.
In the past, NEOCHMM led a number of groups in extracting shopping carts, tires, and other urban debris from the headwaters of West Creek. Indeed, during this event, some of those groups did remove some 11 shopping carts in ‘pieces parts.’ as well as about 74 bags of litter. However, the amount of debris in the creek has been steadily declining.
As a true sign things are turning for the better, NEOCHMM’s work was more proactive than reactive. For the second year in a row, we concentrated on planting trees and wetland vegetation in the upper reaches of West Creek, south of West Pleasant Valley Road and west of the shopping centers on Broadview Road, in Parma, Ohio. The goal was to stabilize the banks of West Creek and the related wetland areas, so to control erosion and better accommodate steam surging and slowing down runoff from an urban area.
To accomplish this, we planted samplings of Dogwood and Willow right on the banks of West Creek. The roots of these trees can accommodate a wet foot print. Over time, the roots grow out over a wide area and can capture more sediment. We then planted wetland vegetation in the wetlands abutting the banks and then over seeded that area with wetland grasses. Finally, we planted oak trees on the shoulders of the plateau above the creek. Some of vegetation planted last year is starting to take hold, but some of the plantings did not survive the harsh winter of 2014 or the deer that frequent the area.
While more work needs to be done, visual progress is evident. Further, the WCC authorized Enviroscience, a local consulting firm that specializes in aquatic evaluations, to evaluate West Creek. In 2007, the QHEI score was 55 and by 2013, it increased to 64. Once the plantings placed during RiverSweep 2014 and 2015 take hold, further increases in the QHEI can be expected.
While West Creek is changing for the better, some things seem to remain constant. Herb Mausser, CHMM still plants trees while wearing a ten year old, blue bandana. “Soccer Dad,” Ken Doyle CHMM, alumnus of Normandy High School in Parma, still returns to ‘kick’ current students into planting oak trees. Elise Allen, CHMM, still hasn’t found the “lucky nickel” that fell out of her backpack three years ago. Luckily, this work will be continued for RiverSweep 2016, scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2016.
NEOCHMM thanks our members, aka “the usual suspects,” for participating in this event. Also, NEOCHMM thanks Executive Director, Derek Schafer and the WCC for organizing and managing the event.
- Written by Mark Baumgardner, CHMM
- Created: 11 May 2015
- Last Updated: 25 May 2015
Risk Management in the GOM (Gulf of Mexico): Lessons Learned for Land-Based Manufacturing Operations
On Thursday, April 16, Lance Traves, Principal of Labyrinth Management Group, spoke to NEOCHMM. Lance was retained by the US Department of Justice to be the Lead Auditor on the enforcement of the Consent Decree with Transocean. Transocean was a contractor to BP and operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and platform. This rig was involved with the blow out of the Macondo Well in the Gulf of Mexico. For 87 days in 2010, the blowout lead to the ongoing release of millions of barrels of oil in the Gulf. Consequently it required an extensive clean-up of oil from open waters and shorelines.
The Department of Justice wanted an Auditor with significant experience in auditing of complex issues, yet not previously connected to companies or the situation in the Gulf. Lance was the right man for the job. However, even before the onsite audit could be completed, Lance had to go through extensive training on the safety procedures related to long trips in helicopters and working on ocean based drilling rigs. Upon arriving on various sites, Lance had to audit many requirements of the Consent Decree, the individual elements of which extended many dozens of pages. Lance prepared a report for the Justice Department, the findings of which have been posted on line.
While Lance found that company had made a significant effort to comply with the provisions of the Consent Decree, the formal procedures needed to be extended down to even the lowest levels of workers on the rigs. Lance will be conducting additional rounds of audits in the future to document full compliance with the Consent Decree. From a practical perspective, Lance and others involved with audit, had to stay several days on the rig. When the drilling encountered any pockets of gas that resulted in minor off gassing during the drilling process, alarms would sound on the rig, even in the sleeping quarters. Lance found it very difficult to get a sound sleep with so many alarms and could empathize with those who may have wished to turn the alarms off, if only to be alert and refreshed for the next day of work. Lance also said that many of the safety procedures used on these rigs could be extended to land based operations.
NEOCHMM, wishes to thank Lance, one of our own, on a very interesting talk on an important issue that is not commonly encountered in our part of the country. Many of our original members do not ever recall a speaker covering such a topic and providing his perspective for one of our meetings.
- Written by Mark Baumgardner, CHMM
- Created: 23 April 2015
- Last Updated: 23 April 2015
I just attended my first IHMM Board meeting in Baltimore. I would like to thank all who voted for me and for the opportunity to serve. From time to time, I would like to provide you with a Board Member’s perspective of IHMM.
There is a lot going on with the IHMM Board. It took me over three solid days of work to go over the Bylaws, Management Systems Manual, Financial Statements and Minutes for the past year. Al though I already knew many of the Board members, I studied their bios intently, hoping to see where I could complement their strengths. I was able to meet most of the Board Members and many of the IHMM Staff at the Board meeting. Allison King, CHMM, the Chairwoman of the Board and Jeff Greenwald, PE, CAE , the Executive Director of IHMM, have the Board and its staff well focused and engaged. All have been working together on a number of programs, the results of which you will see in the upcoming months.
IHMM is celebrating its 30th anniversary. IHMM conducted a very successful Symposium at the last AHMP Conference in New Orleans. It has started a rebranding effort with a new logo and outlook. The website has been updated. Check it out and come back frequently for more news. More changes should be announced this year that will significantly streamline back office operations.
IHMM recently received its reaccreditation from ANSI. That represents a lot of hard work by the staff and enhances the value of your credential. Even further, ANSI also approved and has granted accreditation under ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 for the Certified Dangerous Goods Professional (CDGP). If you spend a lot of time in the transportation of hazardous materials, then the CDGP may be for you, even if you are already a CHMM. If not, maybe you know someone in the field that would be interested in the CDGP Credential. Recruit them and pass along the value of your credential to them.
- Written by Mark Baumgardner, CHMM
- Created: 23 March 2015
- Last Updated: 27 April 2015