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It’s that time of year again, so here are some tips to make sure it’s as enjoyable and safe as possible.
- Avoid loose fitting costumes to prevent trips and falls.
- Try getting creative with make-up or face paint instead of wearing masks that can impair vision.
- If a sword, cane, or lightsaber is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be hurt if he/she stumbles or trips.
BEING SAFE AT HOME
- Be careful of garden decorations, stones or anything hazardous that might trip your ghoulish visitors this year!
- Make sure outdoor lights are working and replace old bulbs if necessary.
- Keep pets indoors and safe – Halloween is an ever SCARIER night for them!
- Do not leave lit pumpkins unattended or near flammable objects.
- Stay in well-lit areas.
- Look both ways crossing the road – do not take chances!
- Bring a flashlight with you for getting home safely.
- Never enter a stranger’s house even if invited.
- If you have a mobile phone, carry it with you for emergencies.
From all of us at REGENESIS, have a fun and scary safe Halloween!
For Jeffrey Holden, Senior Engineer at GEI Consultants, Inc., a leading environmental services firm and valued REGENESIS client, a career in environmental engineering came about after initially having interest in a career in the aerospace industry. However, he soon left the solar system behind for planet earth. “I had originally intended to pursue a career in aerospace engineering,” shares Holden, “But I was rather disappointed by my college internship experiences in that field. At about the same time, I also became passionate about the outdoors, and wanted to do something to help preserve and restore impacted land.” Holden’s efforts in helping to preserve our planet’s environment began upon graduation from Clarkson University, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in both Mechanical/Aeronautical and Civil/Environmental Engineering. He worked for nearly 25 years at a leading global design, engineering and management consulting company, ultimately managing roles as a Senior Engineer, Vice President, and Principal in Charge. He shifted gears to join GEI in December of 2016 and immediately found himself immersed in new and refreshing multi-disciplinary roles. He shares, “I manage a variety of projects, provide regulatory and technical guidance for projects, and support marketing and proposal opportunities. I’m also the coordinator of GEI’s PFAS Team, which is aimed at developing, coordinating, and leveraging GEI’s experience and expertise related to emerging contaminants like PFAS compounds.”
A Constantly Changing Environmental Remediation Industry
At GEI, Holden appreciates the impressive wealth of knowledge, expertise, and steady growth the company has forged since it was first founded in 1970. Headquartered in Massachusetts, GEI was ranked #92 on the 2018 ENR Top 500 Design Firms list, and has climbed 30 positions just since 2013. In addition, the company is also ranked #66 on the list of Top Pure Designers in the United States, and has 38 office locations throughout the country. Adds Holden, “I really enjoy expanding GEI’s scope of services and mentoring junior staff. And as a P.E. and a Massachusetts Licensed Site Professional (LSP), I also have technical and regulatory compliance responsibilities. However, what I enjoy most about my position is the complex and highly diverse types of sites and projects that I’ve been fortunate to work on. I’m also lucky to have worked with some excellent clients, coworkers, and collaborators.” When asked about the future goals of GEI, Holden points to a desire to foster even greater levels of client trust, ingenuity, and collaboration. He shares, “GEI’s goals are to be a preferred provider and trusted advisor to our clients; to be known for creative yet practical solutions to challenging issues; to be recognized for outstanding expertise in our service areas; and to be an employer of choice for the best people in our industry. And we want to do all this while retaining the collaborative and entrepreneurial atmosphere of a small firm.” Not surprisingly, as a result of the company’s culture and objectives, Holden is pleased with the direction GEI is taking in accomplishing its objectives. When asked about the most demanding aspect of his work, he points to the constant changes taking place within environmental remediation. He continues, “It can be difficult at times keeping abreast of new technologies and finding ways to be increasingly efficient in a mature and competitive marketplace.”
Preventing PFAS Migration at a Superfund Site
When describing his relationship with REGENESIS, Holden’s enthusiasm is quickly evident in the wake of GEI’s current project and initial use of PlumeStop®. He continues, “Thus far, PlumeStop® and AquaZVI™ are the two products I’ve personally worked with. Right now, we are in the midst of a pilot study to evaluate the effectiveness of PlumeStop® at preventing downgradient migration of PFAS in groundwater at a Superfund site. Although I am aware that PlumeStop® has been used on hundreds of sites globally to address other contaminants, I understand this to be the first such application in treating PFOS and PFOA in the U.S. and I am eager to assess its effectiveness. I have found the REGENESIS team to be forward-thinking, innovative, collaborative, and competent, which makes them enjoyable to work with.” Suffice to say, these attributes help illuminate some of the changes Holden has observed within the environmental remediation industry itself. These include changes in corporate attitudes toward environmental regulations and increased burdens on environmental agencies with shrinking budgets. He continues, “The amount of science supporting the industry has increased significantly, and I think we’re on the verge of seeing shifts in the types of contaminants we focus on within our industry.”
Residing in Ithaca, NY, Holden and his fiancé, Lisa, are each parents to two college-aged children, and are looking forward to continuing to integrate their lives and families. In his spare time, he enjoys watching soccer, a sport he has played, coached, and been a fan of throughout most of his life. He also enjoys gardening and cooking, and is especially proud of his baked Steelhead Trout and a homemade jalapeno tomato sauce dishes. “A neighbor dropped off a bunch of fresh garden vegetables once, and I had to come up with a creative way to use them. I ended up adding sausage and hot peppers to create something truly memorable.” In addition, he supports his local Ducks Unlimited chapter by volunteering at select events and activities. He also finds time to study and learn about current trends and developments within his industry by attending conferences and webinars whenever possible, especially within the areas of PFAS. He shares, “REGENESIS offers free webinars that I take advantage of whenever my schedule allows, and continuing education is required for my New York PE and my Massachusetts and Connecticut licensed professional certifications.”
When asked about what he feels the future holds for environmental remediation, he expects societal pressures will drive regulators and industry to consider a substantially expanding list of chemicals that have come to be present in the environment, with many representing a potential threat to human health or the environment. He concludes, “I think this will extend beyond “classic” contaminants, such as PCBs, to include things like caffeine and chemicals/pharmaceuticals we currently use on a routine basis, without much consideration of their ultimate fate. I also expect cleanup goals will continue to get more and more stringent as the public becomes less tolerant of any level of contamination in air, water, and soil.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Jeffrey Holden, Senior Engineer at GEI Consultants, Inc., as a valued client in environmental remediation, and appreciates his wealth of experience and ongoing efforts in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.
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We celebrate Labor Day across the country to recognize the achievements of American workers and the contributions they made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. You deserve a day off and should take the time to enjoy this holiday weekend – but do it with appropriate planning and awareness for safety.
This Labor Day weekend, millions of drivers will take to the highway for one final summer getaway, making it one of the busiest holiday travel weekends of the year. The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 368 traffic fatalities and an additional 19,900 nonfatal disabling injuries will occur during the Labor Day weekend.
Here are some safety tips to ensure a safe Labor Day weekend.
- Plan ahead
- Buckle up
- Leave early
- Have alternate routes
- Be patient (A lot of people are traveling this weekend)
- If you encounter a drunk driver, contact local law enforcement (You could save a life)
- Stay alert
While a lot of people hit the water to beat the heat at the end of the summer, it can be dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken.
- Never consume alcohol while driving a boat
- Always wear life preservers
- Never dive headfirst
- Always swim with a buddy
- Always have a first aid kit nearby
- Drink plenty of water
- Check gas grill hoses for cracks, holes and leaks
- Keep children away from grills
- Never grill in the garage or anywhere inside
- Keep your grill at least two feet ways from branches, decks, and any outdoor equipment that can easily catch fire
From all of us at REGENESIS, have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!
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Accidents and Incidents are preventable. However, when an accident occurs, knowledge of proper first-aid techniques can minimize injury and save lives. First-aid skills can help keep you and those around you safe and will give you the capability and responsibility to respond appropriately in the case of an emergency.
The following guidelines address common situations involving first aid. Review these guidelines and stay educated on up-to-date first-aid practices. In addition, make sure you know the location of first-aid kits and ensure that they are fully stocked.
Checking on an Injured or Ill Adult
- Check for responsiveness by tapping on shoulder and asking, “Are you OK?”
- If no response call 911.
- Open the airway by tilting the head and lifting the chin.
- Check for breathing for no more than 10 sec, occasional gasps are not breathing.
- Quickly scan for bleeding.
- If not breathing, proceed with CPR or use AED (Automatic External Defibrillator).
- If breathing, maintain open airway and monitor for change in condition.
- Give 30 chest compression.
- Administer compressions in the middle of the chestat least two inches deep.
- Give two rescue breaths.
- Tilt the head back and lift the chin.
- Pinch the nose and give a breath for one second for the chest to clearly rise.
- Continue CPR until you are unable or medical personnel have arrived.
- Give rescue breaths.
- Give 30 chest compressions.
- Look for and remove object if seen.
- Give two rescue breaths.
- If breaths do not make chest rise, repeat steps 2-4.
- Give 5 back blows.
- Bend person over at the waist and use heel of hand to hit between shoulder blades.
- Place hands in middle of abdomen with thumb against their body above their belly button, with other hand covering your fist and give upward thrusts.
Head, Neck, or Spinal Injury
- Call 911.
- Minimize movement of head, neck and spine.
- Stabilize head to keep it in position it was found in by placing hands on either side of the head.
- Remove from source of burn.
- Cool the burn under running water until pain is relieved.
- Cover loosely with sterile dressing.
- Call 911.
- Care for shock.
- Cover the wound with sterile dressing.
- Apply direct pressure until bleeding stops.
- Cover the dressing with a bandage.
- Apply more pressure and call 911.
- If bleeding does not stop, apply more dressing and pressure. Also take steps to minimize shock by laying down, elevating feet, and do not raise the person’s head. Shock symptoms include pale skin, weakness, rapid pulse and increased rate or irregular breathing. Never remove any dressings.
- Be aware of the scene and the injured to know the cause of poisoning.
- If person is unconscious, not breathing, or has a change in consciousness call 911.
- If person is conscious, call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222 and follow advice given.
The guidelines offer just a brief overview of some essential first-aid skills. To broaden your first-aid knowledge and expertise, consider taking a first-aid class or additional training in techniques that are most pertinent to your home and workplace.
When it comes to honing one’s expertise within the environmental remediation industry, Richard Desrosiers, Associate Principal and Hydrogeologist at GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., a leading environmental services firm and valued REGENESIS client, continues to excel. As a Connecticut licensed environmental professional and Professional Geologist, Desrosiers has more than 30 years of experience in Geology, Hydrogeology, and project management, and continues to build a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable remediation experts in his field. “I initially started my professional career in the mid-1980s in Massachusetts as a Geologist/Hydrogeologist with an A&E firm,” shares Desrosiers. “At that time my focus was aimed at locating water supply wells and evaluating resources for developing large tracks of land for residential, industrial and commercial development. I moved to Connecticut to work on what became a major ATSDR hazardous waste facility that included PCBs, dioxin, chlorinated solvents (DNAPL), hydrocarbons (LNALP), metals and asbestos in soil. As the Project Manager and lead Hydrogeologist, I characterized the nature and extent of the contamination under an EPA administrative order, along with remedial actions to close lagoons.” Throughout the mid-1990s Desrosiers’ firm focused on Recirculation Well Technologies and innovative groundwater solutions for military, municipal and industrial facilities throughout the U.S. “This included managing a bioremediation study using UVB Vacuum Vaporization Well technology at an EPA Site Demonstration Project at several pilot studies at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, capturing and treating chlorinated solvents in a single pass.”
Characterizing Complex Plumes
In the early 2000s, Desrosiers joined another environmental firm as a Senior Associate/Hydrogeologist, characterizing and remediating various industrial sites. One of his more technical projects involved providing environmental due- for the purchase and sale of a Base Realignment and Closure facility of the Department of Defense. He shares, “The characterization identified multiple , three-release area that resulted in 6-groundwater plumes that migrated radially out for the releases. At one release, 2-shallow and 1-deep plume migrated in 3-directions. The characterization delineated that the plumes impacted 1-square mile (chlorinated solvents and hexavalent chromium) and included the completion of an ecological risk assessment. Subsequently, remedial action plans were developed that included the in-situ chemical oxidation and biochemical stabilization.”
In his current role with GZA GeoEnvironmental, where he’s served for the past 12 years, Desrosiers is responsible for marketing efforts and project management. He adds, “I also continue to develop my technical skills by working with other GZA offices and with the staff in our Glastonbury, Connecticut office.” When asked about the future goals of GZA, a multidisciplinary environmental consulting firm with offices spanning much of the Midwest and Eastern U.S., Desrosiers’ thoughts turn to the future, saying, “Simply put, GZA’s mission is to be the premier provider of practical and innovative solutions to the 21st century challenges of natural and built environments, for the benefit of our clients, employees, shareholders, and society.” Throughout his career, he has lived and worked across much of the Eastern U.S., and earned his BS in Geology at Northeastern University. In fact, it was while studying chemistry at Northeastern University that Desrosiers decided to pursue a career in geology. He continues, “I was originally studying to be a chemist, but my education path changed at Northeastern and I fell in love with geology. This opened many other opportunities exploring subsurface conditions, which to the natural progression to solving complex soil and groundwater issues using a variety of characterization and remedial techniques.”
Turning to the Suite of Innovative REGENESIS Products
When it comes to working with REGENESIS, Desrosiers quickly points to the company’s innovative products and experienced staff as keys to his success. He continues, “REGENESIS provides several specialty products that we have used at contaminated sites. They also have a very competent technical staff that provides the quantities of the product needed, but more importantly, an expert team to confer with for the ideal product selection.” Among the REGENESIS products used, he cites PlumeStop® Liquid Activated Carbon™, 3-D Microemulsion®, RegenOx®, and Hydrogen Release Compound (HRC®) as solutions which have been particularly impressive. When asked what he enjoys most about his work, he points to helping the environment and mentoring staff. “I enjoy the everyday challenges, and that includes helping to resolve a client’s environmental issues and facing technical challenges. I also gain satisfaction by helping junior staff grow so that they can become the future leaders of GZA.” And the most difficult aspect of his work? “After 33 years in the industry, the environmental industry still challenging to finding economic solutions for our clients’ needs as the industry keeps changing.”
Married for 30-plus years, Desrosiers and his wife Pam have three grown children and one granddaughter. Outside of work, his hobbies include travel, (he’s traveled to 46 states and counting), coached his kids soccer teams, (he was a licensed coach for 10 years), and working on various home remodeling projects. As an eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America program, he was an Assistant Scout Master and Charter Organization Rep he watched as his son earn his Eagle Scout award. With regard to how he would encourage others to pursue a career in environmental sciences, Desrosiers suggests those interested in this field of study should focus on geology, chemistry, biology, and engineering. He concludes, “I would advise those who have an interest in our environment to concentrate on the core sciences and engineering degrees, and not the general environmental sciences. Our industry has evolved into one of specialization, so obtaining expertise in specific facets of environmental remediation should prove to be extremely beneficial.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Richard Desrosiers, Associate Principal, Hydrogeologist at GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., as a valued client in environmental remediation, and appreciates his wealth of experience and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.
For Erin Huntley, Senior Technical Manager/Technical Principal at WSP, a leading engineering and professional services firm and valued REGENESIS client, combining her experience in field geology with an interest in project management allows her to enjoy a diverse, satisfying role in her efforts to help sustain our environment. With a background that includes geochemistry, environmental health & safety, and other areas of earth science, Ms. Huntley is able to identify and assist other team members in bringing projects to successful closure. “I started out as a field geologist and gained experience in hydrogeology, geology, and geochemistry,” shares Huntley. “I worked my way up through various positions while at WSP. Having had that experience really helped as a project manager because I can understand what can and will go wrong in the field, and how to adapt and recover.” In her current role with WSP, where she has worked since 2000, Huntley is fortunate to be involved in several aspects of environmental remediation. She continues, “I definitely wear a couple of hats – general project management, due diligence, and health & safety, but I really like working as the geological lead on a project and pulling all the historical and regional information together to develop an effective, comprehensive sampling plan that can translate into a realistic CSM.”
A Career in Remediation
To prepare for a career in remediation, Huntley earned her B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina, and shortly thereafter an M.S. in Geosciences from Pennsylvania State University. Choosing a career path that would eventually lead her to WSP began with her early field work. Huntley continues, “My experience sloshing around salt marshes and collecting samples was better suited to environmental consulting, and I was quite interested in how the biome affects the geochemistry and vice versa. I found I much preferred the tangible experience of being in the field over sitting behind a computer constructing a model.” To stay abreast of the latest trends and technology in her industry, Huntley attends the Battelle Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated & Recalcitrant Compounds every two years. She adds, “The scope at this conference is very broad, but you can really drill down into a topic and learn about cutting edge technologies.” In addition, she attends various webinars on a regular basis. Her ongoing experience, successes, and continued training serve to help her and WSP reach their goal of providing their clients with innovative and effective solutions to address their most difficult business and technical challenges. She continues, “We are part of a global 43,000 plus multidisciplinary corporation, yet, we are able to still provide our clients with a strong local presence and need to continue to do so. Additionally, we now have the ability to draw upon world-renowned experts to provide relevant specialty services. We want to ensure we maintain this level of service and expertise in the future.”
Working with REGENESIS to Achieve Destructive Treatment of Chlorinated Solvents
When it comes to partnering with REGENESIS, Huntley says she began working with the company in 2008, using Hydrogen Release Compound (HRC®) in upstate New York at an abandoned site. She shares, “Needless to say there were some challenges, but we also enjoyed great success. More recently, we’ve been using a combined remedy approach that incorporates HRC®, Bio-Dechlor Inoculum® Plus and PlumeStop® to stimulate sorption and destructive treatment of chlorinated solvents. We’ve seen a reduction in tetrachloroethene and trichloroethene concentrations and are approaching remedial objectives.”
Huntley and her 13-year-old daughter live in Pittsburgh, where she works out of WSP’s office. In her spare time she enjoys music, (“My daughter is finally old enough so I can drag her along with me to shows.”), and anything outdoors, especially water-related activities. She is also quick to point out that she and her daughter took up alpine skiing last year and are relieved there have been no major injuries yet! Her volunteer activities include spearheading an office food drive for a local pantry, and she recently participated in a fundraiser and walk for Autism Connection. When asked what the most rewarding aspect of her job is, she says it’s the teamwork aspect. “I like working as a part of a project team and listening and learning from all the other perspectives and experience.” And the most challenging part of her work? “All the bureaucratic stuff, I have little patience for forms.” Throughout her career, Huntley has seen the remediation industry evolve, and feels it is trending in the right direction. She shares, “Although it would be great to find that “silver bullet”, a one size fits all solution, at least now we have a couple of decades of research behind us. We are smarter as an industry, and we can collect the right data, target the sources, and today have more effective technologies to implement which actually close out sites.”
Appreciating How Things Should Be
Being a woman in a field that is dominated by men does not faze Huntley, who feels her field of study needs more women. She continues, “One of the reasons I decided to work for WSP (then ESC) was because there were women on the technical staff and my interview questions were about what I knew and my experience, not if I could carry a toolbox. We really need to have more women in leadership roles where we can influence policy, mentor, and ultimately change the culture.” When it comes to encouraging others to join her field of study, she says it’s important to get outside. “Get out of your house and experience the woods, mountains, and beaches,” says Huntley. “You need to have an appreciation for how things can and should be if you want to make a difference.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Erin Huntley, Senior Technical Manager/Technical Principal at WSP, as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates her dedication and diverse contributions in making a difference in successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.
When you ask Nick Alfino, Project Professional at Antea Group USA, Inc., about his role within the company, it quickly becomes apparent he is tasked with a broad range of responsibilities. As a leading international engineering and consulting firm, and valued REGENESIS client, Antea Group USA, Inc. relies heavily on Alfino to manage field oversight that includes site investigations, soil sampling, remediation implementation, System Operation and Maintenance, Phase I investigations, and Storm Water Pollution Protection Plans (SWPP)/Spill Prevention Control Plan (SPCC) inspections. In addition, he’s also responsible for technical report writing for air permit applications, emission inventories, remedial action plans, work plans, performance monitoring reports, and closure requests. Suffice to say, the depth and volume of these responsibilities keeps Alfino extremely involved and busy, yet he wouldn’t want it any other way. Shares Alfino, “I really enjoy my position, especially the diversity of the projects I work on. I like that each day is a new challenge in a different industry or practice area. It allows me to expand my knowledge in multiple fields through Antea Group’s wide variety of experienced Consultants and Project Managers.” His broad range of work is further amplified by the varied and extensive capabilities of Antea Group’s vast operations, which as an international health, safety and environmental consulting firm, employs more than 3,500 employees in over 75 offices on six continents.
Nick’s Path to a Career in Remediation
Alfino’s path that eventually would lead him into environmental remediation was sparked while working on a senior design project in college. Initially, through his early education, he was interested in structural engineering, with his sights on bridge construction, but in college he was unable to find a suitable design project. He continues, “The project that interested me the most was designing a mobile treatment system for produced and flowback water from hydraulic fracturing. My work on this project encouraged me to switch directions and focus on environmental remediation.” This directional change in his studies culminated with Alfino earning his B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University , and he began his career with Antea Group USA, Inc. shortly thereafter. To stay current within the industry he takes additional coursework through the University of California Irvine (UCI) Extension program. “I have taken an Air Permitting Course through UCI”, he says, “and an Advanced Tanks – Air Emissions course offered by International Liquid Tanks Administration (ILTA). I also attend various webinars offered by REGENESIS which include recent webinars, “Safe and Effective In Situ Remediation: Best Practices for Amendment Selection, Design and Project Execution” that my colleague, Jack Sheldon presented on and “Demonstrating Contaminant Biodegradation in Conjunction with PlumeStop Liquid Activated Carbon.” Not surprisingly, his steadfast efforts to continually stay abreast of the latest trends in land sciences, coupled with his day-to-day responsibilities and academic background, have positioned Alfino as a member of the industry’s new breed of rising stars.
Trusting REGENESIS to Understand the Site
When asked what he enjoys most about working with REGENESIS, Alfino points to the close working relationship between Antea Group USA and REGENESIS, and how it has helped in achieving his objectives. Shares Alfino, “I enjoy working with REGENESIS because they have the feel of a partner more than that of a contractor. As an example, when working on a project in Yuma, AZ, Dan Nunez, REGENESIS Southwest Technical Manager, made the effort to come by our office multiple times during the process to have discussions with us about our understanding of the site, our remediation goals, and to ultimately help us select the correct solution for our site. We received other bids from contractors for this project, yet none asked what our remediation goals were or took the time to understand our site. It appeared they had just plugged numbers into a spreadsheet and sent the information to us in a bid. Our trust in REGENESIS’s understanding of the site made using their products an easy decision.” Alfino and Antea Group USA have used a variety of REGENESIS’s products, including PlumeStop®, PerfulfOx®, RegenOx® and ORC®/ORC Advanced®. He continues, “I would not say there is a specific REGENESIS product I favor most, however, what I enjoy about working with REGENESIS is the wide variety of products they offer. We are able to sit down with their team, evaluate our site conceptual model, and then select the product we believe will be the most effective given all of the information that we discussed for a given site.”
Although he maintains a demanding work schedule, Alfino tries to find time for hiking, skiing, and fly fishing. “My favorite river to fish is the South Platte (Colorado)” says Alfino. “Especially Eleven Mile Canyon, The Dream Stream, and Cheeseman Canyon. I also enjoy fishing the Yampa in Steamboat Springs, where my parents now live. My favorite hike is probably Potato Chip Rock in San Diego, and for a top ski resort I’d have to say it’s Steamboat and Winter Park, both of which are in Colorado.” He also enjoys donating his time for charity. While attending college, he helped Habitat for Humanity build homes in Fort Collins, CO. He continues, “I also raised money for Saint Baldrics Foundation by shaving my head in honor of my sister who beat leukemia at the age of 14. At Antea Group, they give the staff one day per year, with pay, to volunteer for a charity of our choice. This past year our Long Beach office used our day to work with the Catalina Island Conservancy to remove invasive species from the beach along the island.”
Working Hard for Remediation Success
When asked what he likes most about his work, Alfino points to the success of his and Antea’s efforts in water quality. “I think the most rewarding aspect of my job is getting groundwater or soil data post remediation and seeing decreases in concentrations. Much of this job is unseen, and it’s hard to know if it worked until the results are in, so getting that data and calculating a percent reduction is quite rewarding.” And the most challenging part of his work? “The extended travel can be demanding at times. This job has taken me all over the western United States- the good and the bad, and sometimes up to months at a time in rural areas which can be challenging.” One project in particular comes to mind that required several weeks and some extremely long hours. He concludes, “One of the most challenging projects was the site in Yuma, AZ I mentioned. I was essentially living in the Best Western Inn for almost three months. Due to project delays, we were working for almost two months consistently, including weekends, to achieve deadlines. The project required me to fly home from Yuma on Thanksgiving Day to be with my family. In the end, we were able to complete the project on schedule and budget. The project was one of the more challenging but also one of the most rewarding.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Nick Alfino, Project Professional with Antea USA, Inc., as a valued client and rising star in environmental remediation, and appreciates his dedication and diverse contributions in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.
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According to the American Sleep Foundation, about half of U.S. adult drivers admit to consistently getting behind the wheel while feeling drowsy or fatigued. About 20% admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point in the past year – with more than 40% admitting this has happened at least once in their driving careers.
These startling figures show how prevalent fatigued driving is. What drivers may not realize is how much fatigued driving puts themselves – and others – at risk. In fact, an estimated 6,000 fatal crashes each year may be caused by fatigued drivers.
Symptoms of Driver Fatigue
It is very difficult for drivers to assess their own level of fatigue. Nevertheless, there are some warning signs to look out for, including:
- Trouble focusing or narrowing of attention
- Head nodding, or inability to keep the eyes open
- Not remembering the last few minutes
- Poor judgement, slower reaction time
- “Zoning out”
- Daydreaming and wandering thoughts
- Constant yawning or rubbing your eyes
- Drifting in the lane
Keep in mind that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms of driver fatigue, it is very likely that your driving performance is already impaired. Stop and take a break before it is too late.
Interventions of Fatigued Driving
Fatigued driving affects everyone. Ways to reduce fatigued driving include:
- Getting more sleep: According to the AmericanAcademy of Sleep Medicine adults should get sevenor more hours of sleep per night
- Have someone else drive that isn’t fatigued
- Pull over and take a nap
Numerous studies have found that sleep deprivation can affect driving as much as (and sometimes more than) alcohol. Researchers have found that driving after 17 to 18 hours of being awake is as harmful as driving with a blood alcohol level of .05%. Awareness is key to solving this issue for everyone. Stay safe, recognize these symptoms. None of us would let a friend or family member drive drunk, don’t let them drive fatigued.
Choosing a career in environmental sciences was an easy choice for Elliot Haro, Vice President and Principal Scientist at Haro Environmental, Inc., an environmental consulting firm and valued REGENESIS client. In high school, Haro was already interested in chemistry, math and biology, three important subject areas that would eventually frame his undergraduate studies in college. “I really enjoyed math and chemistry in the first two years of college,” says Haro. “Then I took an introduction course on soils and realized this field included a great combination of math, chemistry, and biology. I knew then that for me, environmental science was the perfect match!” As an executive with Haro Environmental, Inc., Elliot is responsible for a wide range of the firm’s services, which provides him with ongoing diversity in his work. He continues, “My current role with the company includes managing everything from procurement and marketing to project management and project implementation, including sampling and reporting. As such, there’s a nice balance between field work and office work.” He also likes the fact that each day is different. His work spans client and contract management, project management where he manages field services and reporting, to soil, soil vapor and groundwater investigations and site assessment.
The Path to Environmental Remediation
Haro’s path to environmental remediation started while in college. After earning his BS and MS in Soil Science from California Polytechnic State University, he worked as an Associate Soil Scientist, working his way up to Senior Soil Scientist for a several environmental consulting and engineering firms. He then helped form Haro Environmental, Inc. in 2013, with the goal of providing best in-class, client-focused consulting services. He continues, “I believe this is what sets us apart from other consulting firms. Unlike other firms which often utilize staff-level employees to perform the work which could result in critical items being missed, we have senior-level staff intimately involved in all of aspects of our projects. This enables us to maintain close contact with the client to ensure their goals are met.” To stay abreast of changes in technology and advancements within the environmental remediation industry, Haro regularly attends webinars on remediation and monitoring trends. When asked what he enjoys most about his work he points to two simple words he likes to hear from clients. He shares, “The best part is when the client says ‘thank you’, because that tells me we are doing a good job and validates our commitment to client goals. Another rewarding aspect about the environmental field is the challenge and success of developing remediation alternatives that minimize the environmental impact. For example, using in-situ remediation strategies instead of dig and haul can conserve resources such as diesel fuel for the excavation equipment, and the disposed soil to a landfill. This means fewer trucks on the highway and also eliminates the need to import clean fill soil.” And the most challenging aspect of his work? “Figuring out ways to reduce environmental contaminants to concentrations, for unrestricted land use.”
Partnering with REGENESIS in a Changing Environmental Industry
When he’s not involved in groundwater monitoring, investigating soil vapor, or a host of other day-to-day work responsibilities, Haro can be found surfing somewhere off California’s Central Coast, near Los Osos, where he lives with his wife and two children. “I’m up for anything in the ocean,” he says, “Except sharks! I really enjoy surfing, and living on the central coast offers great opportunities for that.” He is also involved in charity work, and points out that Haro Environmental, Inc. donates its services to support local non-profit organizations, including the Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo. When it comes to working with REGENESIS, Haro is especially impressed with the level of their technical expertise. He continues, “REGENESIS brings a strong technical background to each project. We recently completed an injection of PlumeStop® and Hydrogen Release Compound (HRC®) to degrade chlorinated VOCs. The challenges of this project were the same as with most injection projects- distribution. The pre-injection design verification field assessment was helpful in understanding the subsurface conditions, and the outcome was successful. VOC concentrations were reduced, and project goals were met within 2 years of the injection without the need for any follow up injections.” He is also pleased with how PlumeStop® has been shown to be rapidly effective for reducing dissolved-phase chlorinated VOC concentrations in groundwater, and feels Bio-Dechlor Inoculum® Plus is helpful with the full dechlorinating reaction.
In terms of how he’s seen the industry change over the past several years, Haro says he’s noticed the industry’s services have evolved, as well as changes in its overall approach to remediation. He continues, “I think it’s changed from an engineered approach to removing contaminant mass, to enhancing natural systems for reducing contaminant concentrations, with an emphasis on risk management.” And when asked what he sees the future holds for environmental remediation, Haro quickly points to the field of biology as an essential focal point. “In my mind, without question the future is biology. The remediation industry is continuing to advance its understanding regarding the complex interactions between living organisms and the chemicals in their environment. This understanding is enabling consultants to take advantage of the natural biological systems to degrade environmental pollutants for efficient remediation.” And in offering advice to others who might be interested in a career in environmental sciences, he concludes by underscoring the need for practical work experience prior to completing university studies. “If someone is interested, an internship is a great way to learn more about the environmental field. He also suggests joining clubs or organizations that are involved in the conservation on natural resources. This is helpful to gain an understanding of the type of work environmental consultants do, and allows you to meet those in the field who may be helpful in starting a career after college.”
REGENESIS is proud to have Elliot Haro, Vice President and Principal Scientist at Haro Environmental, Inc., as a valued client and partner in environmental remediation, and appreciates his range of diverse experience in providing successful remediation outcomes for REGENESIS and its clients.
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The Risk of Heat Stress
As the days become warmer, it is important to take precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses, which occur when the body is unable to cool itself efficiently after exposure to heat stressors. Each year, hundreds of workers die in the U.S. from heat exhaustion and thousands more are affected by other heat related illnesses. Heat illness is a serious medical condition that can lead to death if the body’s core temperature is not cooled down promptly.
Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments may be at risk of heat stress. Heat stress can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, or heat rashes. Heat can also increase the risk of injuries as it may result in sweaty palms, fogged-up safety glasses, and dizziness.
Workers at risk of heat stress include outdoor workers and workers in hot environments. Workers at greater risk of heat stress include those who are 65 years of age or older, are overweight, have heart disease or high blood pressure, or take medications that may be affected by extreme heat.
Your risk of heat stress depends on many factors:
- Your physical condition
- The weather (temperature, humidity)
- How much clothing you have on
- How fast you must move
- How much weight you must life
- If you are near a fan or there is a breeze
- If you are in the sun
Warning Signs of Heat Stroke:
- Extremely high body temperature (above 100 F, orally)
- Red, hot and dry skin ( no sweating)
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Throbbing Headache
- Dizziness, Nausea
- Disorientation, Confusion
Watch out for signs of your pet overheating
- Heavy Panting
- Excessive Thirst
- Glazed Eyes
- Vomiting and Bloody Diarrhea
- Bright or Dark Red Tongue
- Excessive Drooling
- Weakness, Collapse
- Elevated Body Temperature