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Gabriel Environment Blog

November 22nd, 2019

Thanksgiving Hours

Gabriel will be closed on Thursday, November 28th and Friday, November 29th, 2019 in honor of Thanksgiving.

We are thankful for all of our clients, friends, and family.

July 2nd, 2019

Holiday Hours – Independence Day

Gabriel will be closed Thursday, July 4th and Friday, July 5th in honor of the Independence Day holiday.

May 23rd, 2019

Gabriel will be closed for Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day, Gabriel will be closed on Monday, May 27th. We honor the brave Americans who gave their lives defending our country.

December 19th, 2018

Gabriel Holiday Hours

Gabriel will be closed for the holidays on the following days:

  • December 24th – Christmas Eve
  • December 25th – Christmas Day
  • December 31st – New Year’s Eve
  • January 1st – New Year’s Day

Wishing you all a wonderful and festive holiday season!

August 29th, 2018

Gabriel will be closed for Labor Day

Gabriel will be closed on Monday, September 3rd in honor of Labor Day.  We will reopen on Tuesday, September 4th.

 

June 20th, 2018

LUST Fund Reauthorized in FY2019 Budget

State of Illinois has continued funding the UST Trust Fund with its FY19 budget that taxes effect July 1, 2018. Illinois maintains this UST Fund to help investigate and clean up eligible leaking tanks through the Illinois EPA’s LUST program.

Tank owners are assessed a deductible for each Incident, depending on the date of the tank registration and date of the LUST Incident.  Most site investigation and cleanup costs above that amount should be eligible for reimbursement from the UST Fund if activities are conducted in accordance with plans and budgets approved by Illinois EPA.

New owners of properties with existing LUST Incidents may also be eligible to access the UST Fund, even if they were not the owner or operator of the leaking tanks.

If you have questions about how the UST Fund works or if your tank/site is eligible to access the UST Fund, contact Nancy Valenta at nvalenta{at}gabenv.com or 773-486-2123.

May 23rd, 2018

Gabriel will be closed for Memorial Day

In honor of Memorial Day, Gabriel will be closed on Monday, May 28, 2018.

 

May 16th, 2018

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Spotlight: Soil Conditions

Vent stack and fill port for a former fuel oil tank where the building has been converted to natural gas for its heat.

During the course of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ASTM E1527-13), Gabriel attempts to document soil conditions through visual observations, regulatory database review, and historic document review.

Visual observations may include:

  • Above-ground storage tanks
  • Evidence of underground storage tanks (eg: vent stacks or fill ports)
  • Drums
  • Staining or corrosion
  • Stressed vegetation
  • Pools of liquid
  • Hazardous materials
  • Wells
  • Septic systems or cesspools
  • Geological/topographical observations

Regulatory database and historic document review may include:

  • Underground Storage Tank (UST) installation or removal records
  • Leaking USTs
  • Past uses of property
  • Records of hazardous materials usage and/or violations
  • Environmental remediation/clean up
  • Fire insurance maps

If a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) impacting the site’s soil is discovered either through visual observation or a review of regulatory databases or historic documents during a Phase I, Gabriel may recommend soil borings to investigate if there is analytical data showing hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at the property.

Contact Natalie Neuman, Group Leader Assessment Services, at nneuman[at]gabenv.com or 773-486-2123 with any questions about how Gabriel assesses soil conditions during a Phase I.

April 19th, 2018

OSHA Increases Fines for Silica Violations

Effective January 2, 2018, Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) increased its daily fines for silica violations to $12,934.  Willful or repeated violations will now pay a $129,336 penalty.

OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica standard for construction sites requires employers to limit exposure and take other steps to protect workers.

Breathing in very small (“respirable”) crystalline silica particles causes multiple diseases, including silicosis, an incurable lung disease that leads to disability and death. Respirable crystalline silica also causes lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and kidney disease.

All construction employers covered by the standard are required to:

  • Establish and implement a written exposure control plan that identifies tasks that involve exposure and methods used to protect workers, including procedures to restrict access to work areas where high exposures may occur.
  • Designate a competent person to implement the written exposure control plan.
  • Restrict housekeeping practices that expose workers to silica where feasible alternatives are available.
  • Offer medical exams-including chest X-rays and lung function tests-every three years for workers who are required by the standard to wear a respirator for 30 or more days per year.
  • Train workers on work operations that result in silica exposure and ways to limit exposure.
  • Keep records of exposure measurements, objective data, and medical exams.

OSHA has released several Fact Sheets for how construction companies can limit exposure to silica dust depending on what equipment is being used (eg: handheld power saws, vehicle-mounted drilling rigs, heavy equipment and utility vehicles used during demolition activities, etc).

Gabriel can assist companies in creating a written exposure control plan, as well as perform silica dust testing and reporting.  Contact Bill Gray, Senior Vice President, at bgray{at}gabenv.com with any questions or for a proposal.

More information about the changes can be found on the OSHA website.

April 4th, 2018

Annual Emissions Reports (AERs) Due May 1st

All facilities that have, or are required to have, a State of Illinois air pollution operating permit are required to file an Annual Emissions Report (AER) by May 1st each year.

These reports include data about the previous calendar year’s emissions for regulated pollutants.

IEPA emailed forms to each applicable facility in January, but did not physically mail any forms this year. Failure to receive the AER forms from IEPA does not relieve facilities of their obligation to file a timely report. If your facility did not yet receive your forms, contact buzz.asselmeier@illinois.gov.

IEPA has been cracking down on air violations, assessing over $1 million in penalties to companies throughout the state in 2017.  More than $300,000 of that total was assessed for air permitting violations.

If you need assistance completing your facility’s AER report, contact Gabriel’s Consulting Department at 773-486-2123 or water{at}gabenv.com.