Month: August 2021

Employee Spotlight: Todd Clark

Todd Clark Senior Vice President & Epicure

1.  What drew you to Hoyle Tanner?
Peer recommendations and size of the firm. The people I knew who worked at Hoyle Tanner enjoyed the project work and how the company size afforded professional growth.
2. What’s something invaluable you’ve learned here?
How a team can achieve success beyond expectations when faced with the challenge and possess the determination to do so.
3. What’s your favorite time of year to work at Hoyle Tanner?
Definitely over the holidays. We are like a second family in ways.
4. What’s the coolest thing you are working on?
A historic roadway.  There is so much past activity associated with this piece of infrastructure that has shaped the uses of the area and established resident needs well beyond traveling on the pavement.
5. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far this week?
A long conversation with my mom.
6. How many different states have you lived in?
Two. Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
7. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
A traditional Italian Christmas dinner which consists of fresh bread, antipasto, seafood, meatballs, chicken parmesan, cannoli’s, and tiramisu, to name a few.
8. What kind of pet do you have and how did you choose to name it?
We are a dog family and each pup has multiple names depending on their behavior at any particular instance. (Macie/Knuckles/Relay) and (Tatum/John/Chunks). They respond to each.
9. What is a fun or interesting fact about your hometown?
I grew up in the “Immigrant City” and I like the diversity of all the available, good food.
10. What are three things still left on your bucket list
1. Visit Paris, France
2. Spend an overnight on my (future) boat on the ocean
3. Find the best mountain bike trail

11. Name three items you’d take with you to a desert island
1. Swiss Army knife
2. A bucket hat
3. My fishing tackle

12. What characteristic do you admire most in others?
Self-made success.
13. How old is the oldest item in your closet?
26 years oldI have a pair of wool pants I wore to my rehearsal dinner.
14. Words to live by? Favorite Quote?
Nothing bad ever came from a good day’s work. On tough days, a good day’s work is an accomplishment no one can question.
15. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An inventor.
16. If you were to skydive from an airplane what would you think about on the way down?
“I did it. Now calm down and stick the landing!”

The Importance of Local Limits for Our Wastewater Systems

Clean water is essential to our environment and quality of life. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) includes National Pretreatment Program elements developed by USEPA to control pollutant discharges from Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs) into the nation’s waterways. In other words, the National Pretreatment Program is an important program which includes specific regulatory tools to keep our water clean – all over the country.

Issues Pretreatment Programs Help Prevent

POTWs must ensure compliance with federal pretreatment standards by regulating non-domestic (industrial and commercial) users, such as pharmaceutical manufacturers, metal finishers and breweries, to name a few.  Local limits are intended to keep POTWs in compliance with NPDES permits as well as to prevent operational issues at wastewater treatment facilities and within the wastewater collection system. Pollutants incompatible with treatment works can cause major disruptions to the collection system and treatment works as well as contribute to permit violations.

Essentially, local limits regulate the type and quantity of pollutants, discharged to the POTW by non-domestic users, that could cause pass-through, interference or sludge contamination. Local limits are part of an Industrial Pretreatment Program’s (IPP) regulatory framework and are generally published in a local Sewer Use Ordinance. There are many USEPA-approved IPPs throughout Region 1 with varying numbers and types of industrial users and site-specific local limits.

POTWS should Develop Technically Based Local Limits

POTWs should develop technically based local limits to protect operations, ensure compliance with state and federal environmental requirements and protect the health and safety of workers, using site-specific conditions including the following factors:

  • The POTW’s history of compliance with its NPDES permit
  • The POTW’s efficiency in treating the wastewater
  • The water quality of the waterbody receiving the treated effluent
  • Sewage sludge disposal regulations
  • Worker health and safety concerns

When Local Limits Should be Developed

Local limits should be developed for approved IPPs and nonapproved programs if pollutants from non-domestic sources result in interference, pass-through or sludge contamination at the POTW. It is increasingly important to protect the sludge disposal options available to POTWs considering the federal and state PFAS (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) sludge disposal standards due to be issued in the very near future. Having technically based local limits in place to protect the POTW will assist with the process of assessing the need for potential PFAS local limits as well.

When Local Limits Should be Updated

A requirement of the NPDES permit is to conduct a reassessment of technically based local limits, typically every five years at the time of an NPDES permit renewal. Local limits should also be updated when there is an NPDES permit revision, there is an increase or decrease in the number or type of Significant Industrial Users (SIUs), the POTW is upgraded or there is a change in the NPDES permitted flow, or the POTW’s pollutant removal efficiencies.

In Relation to PFAS

Local limits are critically important in view of the emergence of new contaminants and increasing lower detection levels for contaminants. Several New England POTWs have recently received new NPDES permits that include influent, treated effluent and dewatered sludge monitoring for PFAS compounds. Many other POTWs will soon notice requirements for PFAS monitoring in their newly issued NDPES permits. In addition, monitoring for PFAS at expected known PFAS source facilities are now included in recently issued NPDES permits.  Source facilities may include the following:

  • Commercial car washes
  • Platers/metal finishers
  • Paper & packaging manufacturers
  • Tanneries & leather/fabric/carpet treaters
  • Manufacturers of parts with polytetrafluoroethylene (PFTE) or Teflon type coatings (i.e., bearings)
  • Landfill leachate
  • Centralized waste treaters
  • Contaminated sites

The final USEPA requirements for wastewater and sludge monitoring using multi-laboratory validation and reporting is still in process, but the data gathered over the next five years across New England, and nationally, will be used to further define the requirements for controlling the disposal of PFAS into the environment.

Hoyle Tanner’s Experts are Ready to Help

Hoyle Tanner continues to meet the needs of the industry with engineering professionals whose experience includes understanding NPDES permit requirements, developing and reassessing local limits, including public outreach sessions, to provide information to industrial users to understand the impact local limits may have on their businesses and to give wastewater treatment plant operators the tools necessary to understand and control their wastewater treatment and sludge disposal processes. Want to learn more? Contact me!

5 Facts About Sustainable Stormwater Practices

In urban and densely populated suburban areas where the highest concentration of impervious surfaces are found, stormwater runoff can be a significant contributor to water pollution. As rain falls in outlying rural areas, the water is absorbed and filtered by the natural vegetation and soil. The impervious surfaces, including roofs, sidewalks, paved parking areas and wide city streets, do not allow the ground to absorb the water and instead is collected in closed drainage systems and often time discharged into nearby surface waters without filtration.

Here we review 5 Facts About Sustainable Stormwater Practices to help communities and agencies that may be planning to develop new “green” infrastructure.

  1. Regulatory Compliance: Stormwater is regulated at the federal level by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA “establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.” Thus making it “unlawful to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained.” State Environmental Agencies often apply additional requirements beyond EPA minimum standards to further protect impaired state waters. On a local level, some communities have developed Stormwater Management Plans to assist managing discharge from both private and public properties. Local Ordinances are crafted by community officials as an integral part of subdivision and site plan development review and approval processes. New stormwater regulations often require implementation of sustainable stormwater management practices.
  2. Green Materials: “Green” or sustainable stormwater best management practices treat stormwater as a resource to be preserved and maintained, taking advantage of natural processes to clean and filter stormwater runoff.  Vegetation and soil filtration highlight the obvious green materials used, but some methods growing in popularity include permeable pavement, down spout disconnection, rainwater harvesting, rain gardens, planter boxes, tree filters, green roofs, bioswales, as well as land conservation. With the incorporation of one or more of these design features, urban spaces are able to reduce the percentage of impervious surfaces thus reducing the volume of stormwater runoff.
  3. Public-Private Partnerships: State and local governments collaborating with developers on properties within different regions to incorporate Green Infrastructure into the design/redesign will in turn save money via stormwater diversion and treatment by the agencies. Offering tax credits or incentives to the developers is intended to accelerate the adoption of these improved stormwater management practices leading to more extensive implementation statewide.
  4. Funding Availability: Many funding options are available through federal and state agencies including EPA, Departments of Transportation, US Economic Development Administration (EDA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as the Departments of Agriculture, Energy and Treasury. Grants available through these agencies will help offset the cost for municipal and private entities to invest in sustainable stormwater collection, filtration and treatment upgrades to existing or redeveloping sites.
  5. Benefits: Environmental – Improperly managing stormwater runoff into surface waters can contain pollutants from the surfaces it is diverted from, potentially causing damage to aquatic vegetation and wildlife. Uncontrolled stormwater runoff can also cause physical damage such as erosion and flooding.  With the implementation of green infrastructure practices, contaminants can be reduced in the receiving water bodies and create healthier environments. Social – Incorporating sustainable stormwater management practices can improve water quality, quantity and aesthetics, thereby enhancing the livability of a community, creating multifunctional landscapes and green spaces, encouraging revitalization, and providing educational opportunities. Economic – The use of green infrastructure may provide incentives to attract investment; reinvigorate neighborhoods; inspire redevelopment; or provide new recreational opportunities.

To find out more about community stormwater management practices, the EPA has issued resources outlining practices to assist while achieving other environmental, social and economic benefits.

Airport Master Plans: More Than Forecasting

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” Investor Warren Buffet’s simple observation encapsulates the reward that can be derived from a thoughtful long-term planning effort, whether that effort is for an individual or a central transportation hub. The dynamic Master Planning process creates a living document that is able to adapt to unanticipated events or external factors as they occur. Recent global events have highlighted the impact unanticipated events can have on the planning process. For airports, part of the planning process includes developing a comprehensive Master Plan which:

  • Evaluates the airport’s current and future role in the national airspace system,
  • Evaluates current socio-economic and technological trends, and
  • Assesses aviation demand to create short-, medium- and long-term development plans.

Master Plan Brief Overview:

A Master Plan looks at existing conditions to develop a forecast for the next five, 10 and 20 years. This includes an inventory of existing conditions, anticipated future demand and the facility requirements that can handle the projected demand. Once the aviation activity forecast is complete, alternative options for development are considered, and a financial plan is built within the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the next five years and beyond. A master plan should be reviewed every 10 years.

How to plan:

The first step in the Master Plan development process includes an inventory of the existing conditions at the airport. The existing condition study is more than an inventory of existing physical facilities such as hangars, terminal space, parking and runway lengths. The study should include socio-economic and demographic data for the airport service area, regional setting, land use and industry trends, which can affect the airport’s operation and sustainability.

This study is followed by the aviation forecast of aeronautical demand for various future time frames determined by individual aircraft types and aircraft operations. Forecasting consists of (passenger) enplanements, aircraft operations (takeoffs and landings) and fleet mix (type of aircraft using your airport, fixed-wing, jet, helicopter, etc.). This process identifies the critical aircraft, which dictates the design standards used in a Master Plan for future development.  

Once a forecast has been determined, submitted and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, facility requirements will be proposed that specifically address facility additions or improvements needed to support the forecast demand. Alternative development options are then identified and evaluated based on operational, environmental and financial impacts leading to the emergence of a recommended development alternative. For example, the future development of a parallel taxiway is going to make it necessary to move a fuel farm. Alternative development will look at where the fuel farm could be relocated. Further assessment will determine the best relocation site, which becomes the “preferred alternative” for development.

Why plan:

As worldwide lockdowns were imposed and commercial passenger travel came to a virtual standstill, we in the industry were all left wondering the validity of thoughtfully prepared aviation forecasts and the proposed development plans associated with them.

Since Master Plans can adapt to unanticipated events, consider a Master Plan as your GPS: it can recalculate when you veer off course but still get you to your destination. To learn more about Master Plans and its benefits contact, me, Patrick Sharrow.