Two companies partner to develop revolutionary HazMat detection systems

Aerialtronics, a Netherlands-based commercial UAS manufacturer, and RAE Systems BeNeLux, a provider of gas and radiation detection systems, recently announced an integrated technology partnership that they claim will help keep professionals and the public safe from invisible toxins in the air.  The two companies claim that the collaborative technology will detect gas and gamma radiation aerially to increase safety, improve mobility and streamline data analysis for professionals.

The technology that will be developed through the partnership will enable professionals, such as first responders and site managers, to assess potential HazMat risks in unstable environments by detecting and monitoring gasses, chemical threats and radiation from a safe distance using the MultiRAE Pro and MiniRAE 3000 monitors integrated into the Altura Zenith ATX8 UAS.

This collaboration is critical to improving awareness, safety and mobility for professionals in the inspection and first response industry by allowing them to assess the potential dangers of atmosphere they are working in from a safe distance.  If a chemical fire breaks out, firefighters need to be aware of the potential threat of toxins being released into the air before entering a burning building so they can effectively protect themselves and civilians.  Chemical engineers and site managers must also be alerted of the presence of HazMats before they are exposed to them at a construction site.

The integrated Zenith with gas and radiation monitors can collect comprehensive data from a toxic environment which is then transferred to a ground station up to 3 kilometres (1.8 miles) away for real time data analysis and processing.  This is essential to keeping individuals safe because wireless alarms at the central command station will automatically ring if any toxins are present in the air.  There are unique alarms for each potential threat, which allows individuals to react quickly and appropriately to different scenario’s like HazMat incidents or leak detection from a safe distance.  This will lower their risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals and compounds found on site, as well as protect the public that is in the nearby vicinity.

The MultiRAE Pro and MiniRAE 3000, created by RAE Systems, are monitors that check for a variety of threats present in the air.  The MultiRAE Pro can contain multiple customisable sensors for detecting gamma radiation, toxic and combustible gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxygen levels.  There are a total of 25 different sensors available to monitor a range of threats with up to parts per billion precision.  The MiniRAE 3000 is a highly accurate VOC monitor which uses a photoionization detector with parts per million measurement precision.

This newly integrated technology will prove to be beneficial to professionals in industries working with poisonous chemicals, gasses and radioactive materials, such as Energy and Chemicals, as well as first responders and Search & Rescue personnel.

Hazmat Services Contract awarded by U.S. TSA for Federalized Airports

Leidos (NYSE: LDOS), a global science and technology company, was recently awarded a prime contract by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (U.S. TSA) to continue to provide hazardous materials management and disposal services at more than 440 airport screening checkpoints across the United States and abroad.  The single-award, firm fixed-price contract has a one-year base period of performance, four one-year options, and a total contract value of $45 million if all options are exercised.  Work will be performed at all U.S, TSA continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, South Pacific and U.S. Virgin Islands screening checkpoints in federalized airport locations.

Under the contract, Leidos will provide regulatory support to ensure compliance with Federal, State, and local hazardous materials and hazardous waste regulations; treatment, storage, and disposal facility due diligence audits; management and operation of the Leidos-developed online documentation and recordkeeping system, HazOUT®; emergency and spill response support; and development and execution of training programs.

“This contract award represents the continuation of more than 13 years of Leidos support to the Transportation Security Administration and its more than 440 CONUS and OCONUS airport locations,” said Leidos Civil Group President Angie Heise.  “The TSA’s mission is vital to protecting the nation’s transportation systems and ensuring freedom of movement for people and commerce.  Our dedicated team remains ready to support this critical citizen solution.”

 

Leidos is a global science and technology solutions company working to solve the world’s challenges in the defense, intelligence, homeland security, civil, and health markets.  The company has 32,000 employees.  Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $7.04 billion for the fiscal year ended December 30, 2016.

ONEIA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner – May 30th

The Ontario Environment Industry Association cordially invites you to attend a Reception and Dinner with The Hon. Glen Murray to celebrate ONEIA’s 25thAnniversary. 

The reception and dinner with the Minister will follow the fifth annual Ontario Environment and Cleantech Business and Policy Forum on May 30 and run from 5:30 to 9:30 PM at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Join companies like Waste Connections of CanadaTerrapureWillms & Shier Environmental Lawyers LLPFielding Environmental, Norton Rose Fulbright LLPXCG ConsultingRCCAOLafargeHolcimWalker Environmental Group and RWDI who have already reserved their table.

Corporate tables of eight (8) are available for just $1850 and come with a range of sponsor benefits:

  • Table with eight (8) seats with appropriate signage
  • Logo recognition at event (on screen)
  • Thanked in remarks at dinner
  • Name recognition in all email blasts, social media and promotional materials. (Email exposure will reach more than 10,000 people in the environment and cleantech sector)
  • Name recognition on website content

To discuss your corporate table, please contact Ellen Greenwood at ellengreenwood@rogers.com.

Or join us as an individual for the dinner for just $249.  Please purchase your ticket HERE.

If you are already registered for the day-long Forum you can add an individual ticket for just $149 HERE.

DATE:  Tuesday, May 30, 2017

TIME:  5:30 to 9:30 PM
LOCATION:  Mandarin Ballroom, Doubletree by Hilton, 108 Chestnut Street, Toronto, ON

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you at the 25th Anniversary Celebration.

 

Global Hazardous Waste Handling Automation Market

Research and Markets recently released a report on The Global Hazardous Waste Handling Automation Market.  According to the report, the global hazardous waste handling automation market is expected to grow at a Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.50% for the period 2014 -2019.  Hazardous waste management is the collection, disposal and treatment of harmful materials.  If improperly handled, it can cause substantial harm to human health and the environment. These include waste materials generated on a day today basis by people, power plants, and manufacturing companies.

The report breaks down the global hazardous waste handling automation market into Products, Type of Waste, End User, Geography, Vendor Analysis Forecasts and Trends from 2016 to 2021).

Some of hazardous wastes can be handled manually while some may require expertise and automation solutions to minimize human contact with the waste.  Use of such automation solutions for handling waste also improves the process efficiency and reduces the reliability on manual intervention. Thus, concerns about proper handling of these harmful substances can be eliminated.

Growing awareness has brought government’s attention towards legislations which can help in effective tackling of these wastes.  This also helps in controlling the expenditure towards healthcare treating after effects of these hazardous wastes on population. Growth in awareness and the changing environmental conditions are expected to drive the Global Hazardous Waste

Handling Automation Market

The report talks about the key factors that contribute to the growth in the Global Hazardous Waste Handling Automation Market, discussing the trends, technology overview providing the recent developments and the products available in the market.  To discuss this, the market has been segmented based on types into manipulator arms market, telescoping masts market, cranes market, trusses market, size reduction systems market.
The market is also classified based on the type of hazardous waste, that is, Listed Wastes, Characteristic Waste, Universal Wastes, and Mixed Wastes. It also provides region and country specific forecasts of the market, giving a detailed insight on the market’s performance. In addition it also talks about the competitive landscape, some of the key players discussed in the report are PAR Systems, Konecranes, DX Engineering, Floatograph ® Technologies, among others.

Ontario Excess Soil Report

As reported in the Daily Commercial News, a recent report issued by the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) stresses the measurement of not only the quantity but the quality of excess soil from excavations so that effective management tools can be put in place.  The report, 2017 Update: Quantification of Excess Construction Soils in Ontario, is an update of a 2012 report on the same subject that was commissioned, in part, due to a request from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

Report author Frank Zechner, a Toronto-based environmental lawyer, estimates 25.8 million cubic metres of excess construction soil was produced in 2015 from municipal infrastructure, residential and ICI projects.  That figure is up from the 2012 report, which provided a range of 20 to 24.4 million cubic metres of construction fill generated. He said the numbers will continue to rise with governments expected to make more investments in infrastructure in the coming years.

The MOECC released its Excess Soil Management Policy Framework in December 2016and the RCCAO decided it was time to update the excess soil numbers.  The 2012 study provided estimates for different construction sectors from 2008 to 2010 and the intent for the recent study was to do the same, but data sets formerly provided by Statistics Canada are no longer available, the report states. Therefore Zechner had to rely on other data to fill in the gaps.

“It would be a lot more precise if some government agency was collecting that information,” said Zechner, adding the lack of information from Statistics Canada has “reduced the reliability of some of the data in the report to estimate excess construction fill” and the 25.8 million cubic metres figure is “likely understated.”

“You’re trying to develop policies and manage what you perceive to be an issue and so you need two measurements — you need quality and you need quantity. Even if we know that there are 25.8 million cubic metres of excess soils, is it contaminated? We don’t know and that would be the other half of the equation,” he said.

The average dump truck carries about 10 cubic metres of soil, so if the volume of the Rogers Centre is 1.6 million, that means it would take 160,000 dump trucks to fill it up, then multiply that 16 times, explained Zechner.

The cost of excess soils is also adding up for many contactors as well.

“We did other studies for the RCCAO a number of years ago and the capital cost for management of excess soils can be more than 10 per cent of capital costs of the project,” said Zechner.

“It’s an environmental concern as to where the soil goes. Landfills are expensive and there is a limited capacity to take soil, so sending 25 million cubic metres to landfill is not necessarily an answer.”

The answer, he said, is more tolerance in terms of where the soil can go.

“Right now you’ve got a lot of municipalities saying ‘no soils being imported into our region’ and that’s because some systems have been abused,” Zechner explained. “You’ve got some people hauling soils from industrial lands that are being redeveloped into condos and who knows what’s in that and they put that on a farmer’s field…not a good idea.”

The focus now is to try to get a handle on what the quality of the soil is and then passing appropriate policies and regulations so that relatively clean soils can be put into places where it can be beneficially used such as parks, golf courses, ski hills and berms.

The RCCAO has worked in collaboration with the MOECC for years to promote best management practices and develop policies for implementing an excess soil management policy framework. They have put a proposal forward to the MOECC to establish Soils Ontario which would undertake studies to measure the quantity and quality of excess soils being generated in different sectors.

“We need to set up this organization that is able to track all municipal projects and other development projects and how much soil movement there is,” said Andy Manahan, executive director of the RCCAO.

He would like to see municipalities use best management practices wording in tender and soil bylaw documents to reduce the current “dig and dump” approach.

“We’re at ground zero in Ontario and if we can start doing good data collection, we’ll be making better decisions in the long run,” said Manahan.

Global Call from Ontario for Carbon Negative Projects with Funding Available

The Government of Ontario recently announced a funding program for projects that can be shown to be carbon negative.  Called Ontario’s Solutions 2030, the program is a global call for innovators to propose their solutions to help Ontario industry reduce GHG emissions.  With up to $7 million in funding, including up to $3 million in support for the winning team to bring their transformative technology to market, the challenge asks teams and industry to collaborate and envision a path forward to tackle climate change in Ontario and around the world.

A three-phase competition over three years, the Solutions 2030 Challenge is designed to identify and accelerate the development of technologies that have a high potential to help Ontario industry meet 2030 emissions targets.

To guidelines for the challenge can be found at the Ontario Solutions 2030 website.

Phase One of the Challenge- Concept

Phase 1 of the challenge will be evaluated on the concept and description of a team’s proposed technology and plan to market. To participate in Phase 1, the technology should be proven and the team should have a vision for large-scale implementation of their technology in Ontario by 2030.

The top eight teams will be invited to proceed to Phase 2 and will be awarded up to $250,000 each to support costs related to their participation.

Applications are now open to apply for Phase 1 

Phase 2 of the Challenge – Prototype

Phase 2 of the challenge will require teams to build a lab-scale technology prototype in a controlled environment and will be evaluated based on prototype performance and the team’s vision to scale their technology to reduce GHG emissions by Ontario industry by 2030.  The top four teams from Phase 2 will be invited to participate in Phase 3 and will be awarded up to $750,000 each to support costs related to their participation.

Phase 2 will launch in January 2018. Sign up to receive updates on the challenge.

Phase 2 Timeline

Figure 2 – Timeline for Phase II

Phase 3- Demonstration
Phase 3 of the challenge will require teams to demonstrate their technology in partnership with an organization that has an industrial or manufacturing presence in Ontario.  The grand prize will be awarded based on technology performance and the team’s technology commercialization plan.  The top team from Phase 3 will be awarded up to $2 million to support costs related to technology commercialization in Ontario.
The winner is expected to use this funding to create a business presence in Ontario.
Phase 3 will launch Spring 2019.  Sign up to receive updates on the challenge.
Phase 3 Timeline

 

 

Court settlement funds cleanup and reuse of Virginia Superfund site

The Hidden Lane Superfund Site was formerly a landfill that accepted construction and demolition (C&D) debris, land clearing wastes and other materials.

A recently announced U.S. federal court settlement between Persimmon Lane LLC and the Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will help fund the cleanup of the Hidden Lane Superfund Site, and encourage the reuse of the 150-acre property in Sterling, Loudon County, Va.

The agreement, filed in federal court in Richmond, requires Persimmon Lane to reimburse the federal and state governments for cleanup costs with proceeds from the future sale of the property. Persimmon Lane LLC, was established by the estate of the former property owner, to facilitate the sale or transfer of the property.

The former waste disposal landfill, located north of Virginia Route 7 and adjacent to the Potomac River, was added to the U.S. EPA’s Superfund list of the nation’s most contaminated sites in 2008.

Beginning in 1971, the private landfill accepted a variety of wastes including construction and demolition wastes, land clearing wastes and other items. Loudon County closed the facility in 1984 pursuant to a state court order after testing of groundwater and drinking wells revealed the presence of several landfill-related contaminants including a common degreasing solvent trichloroethylene (TCE).

As part of the settlement, Persimmon Lane must make good faith efforts to generate proceeds from the transfer of the property for potential development and/or wetlands mitigation credits, which can be used by purchasers to compensate for the impact of lost wetlands on other locations.  Persimmon Lane must then pay a portion of those proceeds to EPA and Virginia to cover cleanup costs.

The agreement settles a case filed under the federal “Superfund” law — formally known as the Comprehensive Environmental Responsibility, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) — which requires landowners, waste generators and waste transporters responsible for site contamination to either clean up the site, or reimburse the government or other parties for cleanup costs.

Canadian Government introduces law to ban oil tankers off northern B.C. coast

As reported in the Globe and Mail, the federal government recently introduced legislation that would bar most oil tankers from operating along the coast of northern B.C., fulfilling an election pledge by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and formalizing a moratorium Ottawa announced last year.

Although environmental activists welcomed the news, others voiced disagreement with the proposed legislation saying Canada already has legislation that protects the environment and that a tanker ban could hinder economic development in the region.

“We had really hoped the government would embark on a more comprehensive planning process and actually look at what risks they were trying to address,” said Robert Lewis-Manning, president of the Vancouver-based Chamber of Shipping.

The proposed legislation – because it is not evidence-based – flies in the face of the federal government’s Oceans Protection Plan, Mr. Lewis-Manning maintained.

That plan, a $1.5-billion initiative announced in November of 2016, is billed as a national strategy to create “world-leading marine-safety system” that will protect jobs and the environment.

Mr. Lewis-Manning also raised trade-related concerns, saying the proposed legislation could discourage companies from stopping at B.C. ports if, for example, they are carrying more of a certain product than the maximum set out in the legislation.

“Right now, when we are feeling a lot of pressure from the U.S. … anything that makes Canada look less competitive to outside companies or investors is something that we are very concerned about,” he said.

Tankers carrying less than 12,500 metric tonnes of oil are exempt from the proposed law, to ensure northern communities can continue to receive shipments of necessary fuels. Maximum fines range up to $5-million.

In announcing the bill, the government said it proposes “flexibility” for amendments, saying that refined-petroleum products could be added or removed from the list based on science and environmental safety.

The proposed legislation has the potential to “hold back an economic engine that drives Canada, Alberta, B.C. and provides values to communities,” said Isaac Laboucan-Avirom, chief of Woodland Cree First Nation in Alberta.

Mr. Laboucan-Avirom is part of the Chief’s Council with Eagle Spirit Energy, a group that has proposed building an “energy corridor” between Alberta and B.C. that would involve refining crude oil in Alberta or B.C. and then sending it by pipeline to the B.C. coast for shipping to export markets.

In a statement, the Chief’s Council for Eagle Spirit said it was disappointed with the proposed legislation, saying there was insufficient consultation before it was announced.

There has been a voluntary tanker-exclusion zone on the coast since 1985.

The proposed legislation will prohibit oil tankers carrying crude oil from stopping, loading or unloading at ports in northern B.C. in a zone that stretches from the Canada-U.S. border in the north to the northern tip of Vancouver Island and includes Haida Gwaii.

Energy Transfer Partners Fined $431,000 for Oil Pipeline Spill in Ohio

As reported by EcoWatch, the construction of Energy Transfer Partners’ new Rover Pipeline through Ohio only began mid-February but the project has already resulted in 18 incidents involving mud spills from drilling, stormwater pollution and open burning that violated the U.S. Clean Air Act.

The Dallas-based company, which is also the operator of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline, has been fined $431,000 by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for water and air pollution violations across various sites in Ohio.

As The Columbus Dispatch reported, the incidents occurred from late March up to Monday’s 200-gallon release of mud in Harrison County.  The largest discharge leaked millions of gallons of bentonite mud, a drilling lubricant, into a protected wetland in April.

Notably, Craig Butler, the Ohio EPA director, told The Washington Post that the largest spill could reach 5 million gallons, much higher than the original 2 million gallon estimate.

An Energy Transfer Partners spokesman responded, “We have no idea where they came up with those figures.”

Butler told The Post that two of the spills affected drinking water supplies and that two municipalities needed to adjust their filtration systems to protect drinking water.

As far as Energy Transfer’s response, Butler said the company has been “dismissive,” “exceptionally disappointing” and unlike any other response he has seen.  According to Butler, the company claimed that the state EPA lacks the authority to interfere with the Rover project.

Butler said he arranged a meeting with Energy Transfer Partners executives to say “how upset Ohio was” and to arrange new response plans. However, the company said it would continue to operate and has not yet paid any of its fines.

An Energy Transfer spokeswoman told The Columbus Dispatch that the “small number of inadvertent releases of ‘drilling mud’ during horizontal drilling in Ohio … is not an unusual occurrence when executing directional drilling operations and is all permitted activity by (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission).”

“We do not believe that there will be any impact to the environment,” she said, adding that the company is managing the Rover Pipeline situation in accordance with its federal- and state-approved contingency plan.

Ohio EPA officials contacted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an analysis of the project.  Butler said the state EPA is also examining other legal options.

The finished 713-mile pipeline will carry fracked gas across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and Canada, and crosses three major rivers, the Maumee, Sandusky and Portage, all of which feed into Lake Erie.  The pipeline is designed to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of domestically produced natural gas per day.

 

Arctic Collaborations on Response Technology Possibilities

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) provided the latest details on its efforts to improve oil spill response technologies at the Arctic Oil Spill Response Research and Technology Workshop held in April.  The BSEE works to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement.  Bureau staff presented results of several BSEE-funded projects including the development of a submersible skimmer prototype for oil recovery in and around broken ice.

“At the workshop, we all worked together to collectively understand the suite of response technology possibilities that are available today as well as those that may become available in the near future,” said David Moore, chief of BSEE’s Oil Spill Preparedness Division. “Developing and refining technologies for oil spill response in the Arctic requires collaboration on a global scale,” Moore added.

The April workshop was organized by the Arctic Council’s Working Group on Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response, and attended by subject matter experts from the U.S., Canada, Iceland, and Norway.  Discussion focused on three separate areas that are key to an efficient oil spill response – traditional mechanical response countermeasures such as boom and skimmers, evolving response countermeasures such as in situ burn and dispersants, and response optimization that includes remote sensing devices and common operating pictures.

The U.S. is one of eight nations that serve on the Arctic Council as a permanent member.  BSEE serves on the U.S. Delegation to the Arctic Council’s Working Group on Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response, which is one of six working groups of the Arctic Council. Members of the Working Group exchange information on best practices and conduct projects to include development of guidance and risk assessment methodologies, response exercises, and training.