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Gabriel Environment Blog

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.

March 1st, 2018

Chicago’s Water & Sewer Tax More Than Doubles for 2018

Chicago’s new water and sewer tax has increased from $0.59/1000 gallons to $1.28/1000 gallons effective January 1, 2018. This tax is assessed in addition to the water/sewer rates and was enacted to help pay for part of Chicago’s pension debt.

For facilities which use a lot of water, this increased tax will impact their 2018 budget. Enacting water conservation strategies may be helpful, especially as these water-sewer taxes will continue to rise to $2.01/1000 gallons in 2019 and $2.51/1000 gallons in 2020.

Contact Gabriel’s Water Department at water{at}gabenv.com or 773-486-2123 to discuss if a water saving audit may be beneficial to your facility.

January 17th, 2018

New SBA Environmental Regulations in Effect

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has updated its environmental requirements for the 7(a) and 504 loan programs effective January 1, 2018.  SBA’s SOP 20 10 5 (J) includes a tiered approach for its environmental review process, depending on the use of the site and loan amount.

Most of these requirements are familiar to those who have been involved with SBA lending the last several years, but there are a few changes to note:

  • SBA now specifies that the ‘Records Search with Risk Assessment’ (RSRA) must include historical records back to the property’s first developed use, or back to 1940, whichever is earlier. Previously, SBA did not specify a year for its historic research requirements but left it up to the Environmental Professional’s discretion.  In addition, this RSRA must include all supporting documentation.
  • All dry cleaners currently in operation at the site require a Phase II Environmental Site Investigation.  Previously, the Phase II was only mandatory if a dry cleaner had been in operation at the property at least 5 years.
  • SBA specifies that vapor intrusion must now be addressed for dry cleaners, in additional to soil and groundwater contamination.
  • Environmental Professionals must review tank and equipment testing compliance documentation for all gas stations and include this documentation in the Phase I ESA appendices.
  • SBA added new NAICS codes to its list of “environmentally sensitive industries.”

Gabriel is pleased to be a trusted partner for SBA lenders.  Our environmental reports will meet all new requirements in January 2018.  If you have any questions about our SBA-compliant reports, contact Natalie Neuman, Group Leader Assessment Services, at nneuman[at]gabenv.com or 773-486-2123.

December 21st, 2017

Gabriel’s Holiday Hours

Gabriel will be closed on Monday, December 25th and Monday, January 1st.

We look forward to working with you again in 2018!

Happy holidays to all!

November 22nd, 2017

Gabriel is closed for Thanksgiving

Gabriel is closed Thursday, November 23rd and Friday, November 24th for the Thanksgiving holiday.

We wish you all happy Thanksgiving!

November 10th, 2017

Snow comes early to Chicago this year

A bit too early in the season for some of us at Gabriel’s headquarters, but it’s definitely snowing in Chicago today:

October 19th, 2017

Tour of MWRD’s McCook Reservoir

Gabriel was excited to tour the almost-ready-to-be-opened McCook Reservoir, near MWRD’s Mainstream Pumping Station.  When this reservoir goes online around Thanksgiving, it will hold 3.5 billion gallons of stormwater to help prevent flooding, improve water quality in Chicago area waterways, and protect Lake Michigan from pollution.  Phase II of the McCook reservoir isn’t scheduled to be completed for another 10-12 years, but it will eventually add another 6.5 billion gallons of capacity.

 

MWRD’s Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) has been process since the initial tunnel construction started in 1975.  The four TARP tunnel systems are designed to flow to three huge reservoirs, and the system will have a total capacity of 20.55 billion gallons when complete. The stored water is then pumped from the reservoirs to water reclamation plants to be cleaned before being released to waterways.

Learn more about how TARP works on the MWRD website.

 

Stage 1 of McCook Reservoir: the white masts are 150 feet high and will hold aerators to reduce odors

The blocks on the floor of the reservoir will help prevent erosion from the inflow of stormwater

This ramp will stay in place once the reservoir goes online so MWRD can do routine maintenance and cleaning of the reservoir floor. The walls are all surrounded by a ‘grout curtain’ to keep stormwater in and groundwater out.

Stage 2 of McCook Reservoir – still being mined for dolomite limestone.

Stage 2 of McCook Reservoir – some of the mining equipment ready to work.

MWRD’s photo booth

MWRD’s photo booth

MWRD’s photo booth

 

MWRD’s photo booth

 

MWRD’s photo booth

September 13th, 2017

Astronomers Without Borders – Donation Site

Gabriel is pleased to be an official ‘Astronomers Without Borders‘ (AWB) donation site for used solar glasses.

The donated glasses will be sent to schools and other institutions in South America and southeastern Asia for the next eclipse in 2019.

AWB will examine all of the donated glasses to make sure they are ISO-certified and aren’t damaged.

Donations can be dropped off at our reception desk from 8:00am – 5:30pm.  After-hours and weekend donations can be dropped off in the collection box by our side door in our parking lot.

Gabriel is located just north of downtown Chicago between North Avenue and Division Street, off the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94).

1421 N. Elston Ave.

Chicago, IL 60642

 

August 21st, 2017

Solar eclipse

Gabriel’s staff put on their ISO-certified solar eclipse glasses and enjoyed our viewing today (despite the clouds at peak eclipse time).

 

 

August 2nd, 2017

MWRD Offering Limited-Time Tours of Mainstream Pumping Station and McCook Reservoir

For a limited time, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) is offering free tours of its Mainstream Pumping Station and McCook Reservoir this summer and fall.  The tours will give visitors a complete overview of the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) system and how it functions to improve local water quality and mitigate flooding throughout Cook County.

McCook Reservoir is scheduled to be completed in late 2017.  It will be the last and largest of three reservoirs being constructed as part of TARP.

Tours are offered:
  • August 6
  • August 27
  • September 17
  • September 24
  • October 1
  • October 15
All tours start at 9am and are expected to last 2 hours.  All ages are welcome.  Wear sturdy shoes and note that shorts, dresses, sandals, and high heels are not allowed.

Tours will include a tour of the pumping station, followed by a bus ride to McCook Reservoir overlook.

MWRD will also offer free tree saplings, compost, photo booth and TARP rock at these events.

Parking is free at the Mainstream Pumping Station (6100 River Road, Hodgkins, IL).

Call 312-751-6632 to reserve your space on one of these tours.  All attendees must RSVP.

More information can be found on MWRD’s Facebook page.