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  • 8 Recent Items Added to the Ca UST Fund

    UST Fund News from CORE Environmental

    INFORMATION HEARD FROM THOSE WHO DEAL WITH THE FUND Eight Recent Items as to the California UST Fund

    No. 1 –  The Fund’s Payment Unit recently hired two payments analysts and a manager, and it expects to hire two additional payments analysts next year. The Fund also has four engineering geologists coming onboard as well.

    No. 2 –  The Fund’s estimated revenue for the 2017/2018 fiscal year is about $330 million with $185 million allocated for reimbursement, with 20% earmarked for Class D claimants. This is an increase from last year and it is because the Fund is “activating more Letters of Commitment” (“LOCs”).

    No. 3 –  The Fund is now reviewing Budget change requests (“BCRs”) for the fiscal year 2017-2018 (“FY 17/18”). The Fund estimates review should take 60 to 90 days, and if a claimant does not receive a response in 30 days, it should contact the Fund through the correct Fund “mailbox,” here is the email - USTCleanUpFund.

    No. 4 –  Claimants should submit Project Execution Plans (“PEPs”) with their BCRs. However, the Fund admits that it is “just not there yet” in having the PEP process replace BCRs. So for now use the two processes in tandem.

    No. 5 –  The Fund is working through February and March 2017 reimbursement requests (“RRs”). The Fund reports that one of its “time sinks” is the first RR, in other words, RR #1. CORE Environmental, Inc. (a nonprofit advocate for cleanups) has suggested a dedicated channel at the Fund that would review only first RRs. The Fund staff seem very receptive to the idea.

    No. 6 –  The School Districts Account is “in good shape.” No new money is scheduled to be added to this account in FY17/18.

    No. 7 –  As for the Commingled Plume Account Program, the Fund says claimants need to submit their PEPs as soon as possible, or there may be no funding available.

    No. 8 –  Legislative Update relevant to the Fund: At the end of the 2017 legislative year, SB 5 (De Leon) passed both the State Senate and the State Assembly, designating $370 million to clean up sources of drinking water, among other things. However, SB 623 (Monning), the bill for a “water fee” to clean up shallow groundwater to protect small drinking water systems and wells, passed the Senate, but not the Assembly (so it will be ad-dressed in 2018).

    September 19, 2017

    Purposes of CORE

    • Create & support solutions to funding necessary for groundwater investigation and remediation
    • Encourage site closures based on sound science
    • Provide accurate information and knowledge

    For more information visit: Core Environmental's Website

    Read more EnviroTech News here.

  • Why Calibrate?

    The Importance of Instrument Calibration

    Calibrating an instrument is all about establishing a baseline value, or a reference point within the electronics of the instrument. This is done so that all subsequent readings can relate to a known set value. Unless if the instrument has a reference point then all the readings, or measurements, have very little value.

    A good example is a simple pH meter that measures acidity and alkalinity along a scale of 1 to 14 points, the lowest value being more acid - the highest value being more alkaline. The value of 7 is referred to as neutral, as in pure water. Want a more scientific explanation of what exactly pH is….?

    Generally, buffers solutions of known values of pH 4, 7 or 10 are used to calibrate a pH meter. The meter is set, or adjusted against a known value during calibration. This allows the pH meter to have reference point so that the readings taken can relate to a set reliable value. If you took a pH reading of pool water without calibrating your instrument, you would have no confidence the value was representative of the true pH.

    Moreover, in the environmental consulting industry there several meters that require calibration prior to use; some are photoionization meters (PID) for measuring Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in the air, multi-meters to measure groundwater parameters or a water level meter to measure the depth of water in well. Yes; a simple water level meter must be properly calibrated in the form of having reliable tape markings to within 1/100th of an inch.

    Imagine if you rented a water level meter that has been incorrectly spliced and the increments are missing a few feet. This means every measurement you take in the field is inaccurate by a few feet. If your project is trying to evaluate the subsurface groundwater gradient direction to determine where a leaking underground storage tank plume is heading and your water tape is off a few feet, then you have a big problem to reconcile.  If you never checked your rented tape before it was returned then you may never know why the measurements are false and ultimately your end hydro geologic study could be compromised.  This is one example why calibrating an instrument or meter is important.

    In fact most environmental consultants establish guidelines for their clients when acquiring groundwater, soil, or air monitoring measurements when conducting operations in the field. These guidelines are often referenced in a document entitled Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). A staple in the industry SOP is to calibrate an instrument in the field prior to use to best establish a true value. This establishes that the conditions in the field are reflected in the calibration as representative of actual field conditions allowing for a more accurate reading.

    This is why when renting any piece of equipment to have to assure it has been proper calibrated and has a calibration certificate included. Many regulators require this and may want to see it onsite.

    EnviroTech has been in business since 1987 and our qualified staff have been to many manufacturers’ schools to learn the trade of proper calibration. You can be assured when renting equipment from EnviroTech it is properly calibrated and you’ll receive a calibration certificate.

    We have video tutorials on calibrating the MiniRAE 3000 Calibration, MultiRAE Lite Calibration, YSI-556 Calibration, and Hanna 991300 Calibration. Let us know if you have other calibration questions, or would like to request a new calibration video for water level meters or other instruments, we will add it to the cue!

  • Relationships Matter

    Building relationships allow you to connect with people who are the key source of information, resources and opportunity. But how do you start building your network and investing in your professional career?

    Organizations. Besides creating a network of relationships, organizations also provide excellent opportunities to give back, mentor others, and find resources to help businesses succeed.

    As a Geo-Technician, here are the organizations you need to know about:

    National Groundwater Association (NGWA)
    This organization keeps an active pulse on all National Groundwater issues. Right now they are concentrating on the effects of Federal Budget cuts at the EPA level and the impact that will have on the environmental community and the environment in general. For example, did you know the proposed cuts are approaching 30% for the EPA, the largest single budget reduction of any government agency. This is good news to know, plus annually the NGWA sponsors an exciting Las Vegas Groundwater Week convention every December plus a variety of other conferences, conventions and seminars. For all Project and Senior level consultants, being a member of NGWA is a must.

    Groundwater Resources Association (GRA)
    The Groundwater Resources Association is certainly top of the list. This is a must membership for those residing on the West Coast at any level from staff geologist to Senior management. This Association monitors all activities on the west coast and right now key subjects that impact all environmental consultants are SGMA, subsidence and the ongoing drought relief efforts in California to name only a few. They have an active technical branch and are further integrated into the political hub of Sacramento. Plus, this group is active and fun hosting branch monthly dinner meetings, webinars, conferences and a totally inspiring Hydrovisions publication that carries it's full weight in groundwater news. It's really a exceptional organization and if you don't believe it, just visit their web site.

    Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG)
    If you are past the staff geo-level then it's time to become a member of AEG, it's nearly a requirement to being a professional engineer or geologist or geophysicist. The subjects covered include economic geology, hydrology, engineering geology and more. AEG has local chapters for networking, annual conferences, several professional publications and frankly to much to cover here. If you're an environmental professional or  engineer, the AEG is a good Association to be part of.

    If you are looking for other resources:

    Hand’s Down the best publication for Geo-Sciences is Earth Magazine

    We're not talking about a computer publication we are referring to a real magazine. Like the old days, the kind where you can sit back in an armchair and simply enjoy reading about the subjects you love; like the Earth. The best publication for this is Earth Magazine. If you are schooled in any realm of the earth sciences, this publication will have you spell bound emerging you into a world of Geology, paleontology, archeology with interesting and fast articles leaving you contemplating....... You can not walk away from a sit down with Earth Magazine without having an agenda of interesting things you want to do. Visit Earth Magazine Online and get your subscription.

    And dont forget to connect with EnviroTech Online:

       

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