Minnesota to Reissue its Municipal Stormwater (MS4) Permit

Runoff from rain or snow events picks up pesticides, fertilizers, automotive fluids, sediment, pet waste, trash and more that is carried into storm drains. These storm drains discharge directly from streets to surface waters like lakes, rivers, wetlands, and streams. The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit program was designed to reduce this type of surface water pollution.  What is the MS4 permit? The MS4 is a publicly-owned and operated network of conveyances (storm sewers, catch basins, ditches, drains, etc.) that collect rain and snow melt that eventually discharges to surface waters. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) requires...

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Employee-Owner Spotlight: Ken LeBlanc, ASNT NDT Level-III in UT, RT, MT, PT and VT / AWS CWI

We recently met with Ken LeBlanc, NDE operations manager, from our La Porte, Texas office to learn about his professional background, expertise in nondestructive testing and what he likes best about being a Braun Intertec employee-owner. Tell us about your background I actually went to school to become a professional journalist but what eventually led me to nondestructive testing (NDT) was my concern for where I lived. When I was younger, I saw how material and process failures caused risks to life, property and futures. I felt a more noble career path would be to work on a team that...

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PSM/RMP: Exceptions to the Rule

2020 has necessitated change and adaptability on many levels. To abate the many risks posed by the pandemic, many facilities have started to explore additional service lines or processes, which means an entirely new set of equipment, chemicals, and employees. These additions create an additional set of hazards to mitigate in the workplace. If your businesses pivoted manufacturing practices earlier this year, you may now be faced with the dilemma of installing and implementing new processes at your facility associated with the storage of flammable liquids. Do you know if you have the appropriate permitting or programs in place to...

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Regulatory Relief for Major Sources of Hazardous Air Pollutant Emissions

Major Area Sources Air Emissions

In October, the EPA issued the final rule text  for an amendment to the Clean Air Act’s (CAA) National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP standards). The amended rule allows major sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) to reclassify as “area sources.” Permitting for air emissions requires consideration of not only the amount of emissions currently generated by operations, but also the amount that could be generated. A major source emits or has the potential to emit 10 tons per year or more of a single HAP or 25 tons per year or more of combined HAPs. Under EPA’s...

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Winter is Coming: A Quick Guide for Your Stormwater BMPs in Cold Climates

Stormwater BMP

The leaves have changed and snow is beginning to fall in several places across the country. By this time, construction projects are frantically trying to wrap up grading, landscaping, and other outdoor tasks. But is your project overlooking a big stormwater task during this season? As we know, northern winters in the U.S. can be brutally cold, snowy, or mild with little to no snow. Preparing your site to handle the winter will greatly reduce your stormwater best management practice (BMP) maintenance and allow a quicker return to work come spring. Here are a few tips and tricks project owners...

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Environmental Reporting – Leveraging a Requirement into Better Results

Timely and accurate environmental reporting is an important piece of maintaining compliance with environmental regulations.  Not only is it required by law, but it also helps assure the regulatory agencies, your community, local units of government, and other interested parties that you’re committed to being a good “neighbor” and making a conscientious effort to protect the environment and public health. Environmental regulations require facilities to submit reports to local or state environmental agencies or the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The information you are required to submit and the associated reporting deadlines vary by regulation and jurisdiction. For example, listed below...

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Employee Owner Spotlight: Brady Turk, Senior Scientist, Baton Rouge, LA

We recently met with Brady Turk, a senior scientist out of our new Baton Rouge (Gonzalez), Louisiana location, to learn more about his background and expertise in environmental consulting. Tell us a little bit about your background.Well to start, I'm a veteran! I joined the military when I was in high school and graduated first in my military class as a Desert Storm veteran. I was part of the U.S. Army National Guard combat engineering battalion. I became interested in environmental consulting after being a Criminal Investigator for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ). Working for LDEQ afforded me...

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Ask an expert: How does soil compaction testing add value to my project?

Soil compaction is vital to the success of almost any construction project. Despite given design standards and specifications, the testing and verification of materials used in soil compaction can sometimes be overlooked or tested less frequently than desired. Using improper materials or methods during soil compaction can lead to foundation and slab cracks, soil erosion, utility pipe leakage/breaks, or trench settlement. It is important that the earthwork contractor and the materials testing agency communicate throughout the project to provide the best results for their client(s). Soil compaction testing is often overlooked Each lift of soil used for structural, site grading,...

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Meet our Geotechnical Engineers and Construction Materials Testing Technicians in Amarillo, Texas

Amarillo

We sat down with Shane Nance, Amarillo Business Unit Leader, to learn more about how he and his team works together, their project expertise and why they love working at Braun Intertec. What kind of services and projects does the Amarillo office focus on?We primarily focus on construction materials testing (CMT) and geotechnical engineering in our office and work on projects that vary from universities to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to government facilities. However, TxDOT is probably the driving force behind our work in Amarillo. We work on quite a few ISD projects for Amarillo and the small...

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Using the Right Tools for your RPM/PSM Hazard Assessments

Process Hazard Analysis

At Braun Intertec, our consultants practice eight non-negotiables that are the core of our safety program.  These eight non-negotiables are to be followed at all times to ensure that our employee owners have safety at the forefront of what they do.  These non-negotiables lay the groundwork for daily operations and are designed so that if, at a minimum, they are followed, there is a high likelihood of completing the job at hand safely. One of the non-negotiables is “use the right tool for the job”. It’s short, simple, to the point, and applicable to each of the various Braun Intertec service lines. This...

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