As a new Board member to the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management, from time to time, I would like to offer a Board Member’s perspective of what is happening at IHMM.
Many often only think about IHMM when it is time to recertify. Note that IHMM offers a newsletter, IHMM Today, so take some time to review that on a semi-annual basis for the latest official news from IHMM.
Recently, you should have received a request by e-mail to update you information in the new MyIHMM certificant database. Keeping this information current will allow to IHMM to serve you better. The new and improved MyIHMM will allow you to more easily complete a recertification application and help the staff to expeditiously approve it. Many of the supporting documents can now be uploaded electronically and the amount of paper is kept to a minimum. This saves a considerable amount of staff resources and time. The same processes will apply for new applicants. More importantly, as the database is updated, the staff will be able to use it to better offer Products and Services to segments of the membership on a timely basis.
If you attend the AHMP National Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ this September, be sure and stop by the IHMM Booth in the Exhibitors’ Hall. There you will be able to find out more about IHMM’s initiatives to streamline its operations and will be able to interact one-on-one with many of our staff. It will be nice to place a face with a name.
Finally, if you know of a candidate that would qualify as a Fellow of the Institute, nominations will be accepted in the third quarter of the year. Check out the website for details.
- Written by Mark Baumgardner, CHMM
- Created: 30 June 2015
- Last Updated: 30 June 2015
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: 19 June 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