TCEQ Hydrostatic Test General Permits Require Renewal by July 6, 2020

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reissued the Hydrostatic Test Water General Permit TXG670000 on March 10, 2020. The Permit authorizes discharges into water in the state resulting from the hydrostatic testing of equipment, piping and vessels involved in the processing in natural gas liquid extraction and processing plants, refineries, petrochemical manufacturing plants, and gas compressor stations. This includes: New vessels; Existing vessels that contain or previously contained or transferred raw or potable water, where the water used for hydrostatic tests does not contain corrosion inhibitors, antifreeze compounds, biocides, or other chemical additives (except chlorine or tracer dyes);Existing vessels...

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Oil & Gas Contaminated Site Cleanup Options: What is the Right Program for You?

Oil Gas Contaminated Site Cleanup

Remediating sites with oil and gas contamination is typically an extensive process which must be tailored to the specific contamination, property, past or ongoing operations, and intended future use of the property. Depending on these factors, different programs will need to be followed and a determination must be made for which program is appropriate to seek regulatory approvals and closure. In Texas, the Railroad Commission offers the Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) as an incentive to any commercial lenders, developers, prospective purchasers, owners and operators who did not cause or contribute to contamination of a site; and the Operator Cleanup Program...

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New Navigable Waters Protection Rule Takes Effect June 22

Waters Protection Rule

In April 2020, the USACE and EPA published a final rule in the Federal Register entitled “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” (NWPR) that refined the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and jurisdictional wetlands under the Clean Water Act (CWA). When the CWA was passed in the early 1970s with the objective to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity” of the nation’s waters, Congress explained how to define those waters. Recognizing WOTUS has been left to executive branch agencies, in particular the EPA and USACE, and to federal courts. As a result, the definition of WOTUS...

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No Downturn for Due Diligence: Refinancing Commercial Properties during the Pandemic

Economic shockwaves caused by the coronavirus have affected borrowers and lenders alike. While many small businesses are unfortunately facing economic injury during this time of uncertainty, borrowers with more flexibility have a unique opportunity to refinance due to historically low interest rates. Although some aspects of lending markets have slowed, many lending entities are continuing to lend with refinancing deals pushing forward to rate lock. If you have good credit, solid payment history and meet lending guidelines, you have likely considered taking advantage of this option at this point in the pandemic. Environmental Due Diligence - Another Phase I? Most...

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Giving Back to Our Community in Wichita Falls, Texas

Boyd Branch and his daughter On behalf of Braun Intertec, Boyd Branch, Operations Manager of our Wichita Falls, Texas office teamed up with his daughter and Henrietta Independent School District to give back to the community. They found an opportunity with the Wichita Falls Faith Mission which has the goal of eliminating homelessness in their community. They provide several programs including homeless shelter, case management, addiction recovery, job readiness, transitional supporting housing, and social services. This shelter provides meals for families three times a day. “Any time there is an opportunity, we’re going to jump on it. We’re going to...

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Sulfate and Chloride Soil Corrosivity Testing Services in Texas and Beyond

The Braun Intertec materials laboratory in La Porte, Texas has established a set of corrosivity tests for chloride and sulfate ions, PH and resistivity testing in soils and concrete with rapid test turnaround times—often in as little as 48 hours. Soil Corrosivity Testing Corrosivity tests are often run as part of a larger suite of geotechnical soils properties tests during the preconstruction phase of a project or to account for corrosion control measures required on an aboveground oil storage tank, important structure or pipeline. In addition to PH and resistivity testing, the added corrosivity testing capabilities follow ASTM guidelines for...

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Braun Intertec Welcomes New Co-ops!

In Mid-May, Braun Intertec and a team of experienced employee-owners extended a warm welcome to this year’s co-ops. This year, Braun Intertec has more than 50 co-ops joining us in Texas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Braun Intertec Co-Op Program Overview The Braun Intertec co-op program was created more than ten years ago and has evolved ever since. The co-op program is a six-month paid internship which allows currently enrolled students to gain industry experience with our engineering and construction materials testing group.  Before the program kicks off, we recruit and interview students from more than 30 different colleges...

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Tom Posey, PE, Joins Braun Intertec in Houston, Texas

Tom Posey, PE, Technical Leader at Braun Intertec Braun Intertec, an engineering, consulting and testing firm with more than 35 offices in seven states, is pleased to announce Tom Posey, PE has joined the Braun Intertec team in Texas. Posey brings 25 years of experience consulting on national and international commercial infrastructure and industrial projects and expertise within construction materials testing, field exploration, laboratory testing, geotechnical engineering design and analysis, QA/QC and project management. “We are thrilled to welcome Tom to our team of employee-owners at Braun Intertec,” said Jon Carlson, Braun Intertec CEO. “His engineering and testing expertise as...

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Braun Intertec Ranks 98 on ENR Top 500 Design Firms List

Geotechnical Engineer

Braun Intertec, an engineering, consulting and testing firm with more than 35 offices in seven states, is pleased to announce ranking 98 on the Engineering News-Record (ENR) Top 500 Engineering Firms list. Ranked 117 in 2019, this ranking on the ENR Top 500 reflects significant expansion in our commercial, industrial, oil and gas as well as transportation markets throughout Texas and nationwide. “As an employee-owned company, our culture is the main driver of our growth and success. Our latest ranking on the ENR Top 500 represents the commitment and focus of our employee-owners,” says Jon Carlson, CEO of Braun Intertec....

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Vapor Mitigation: Challenges, Sub-Slab Solutions, and the Correct Approach for Your Building

vapor intrusion mitigation system

Last month, we addressed the potential for vapor intrusion and the investigation and mitigation of vapor intrusion; and the potential for organic vapors to enter residential, commercial, or industrial spaces with adverse human health effects. Remediating the source of those organic vapors or mitigating the exposure potential through control of environmental conditions within or beneath the building indoor space can be an engineering challenge. The factors that go into the best solution include, but are not limited to: New versus existing constructionThe actual source and mass of the contaminantsThe media that one is trying to influence (e.g., soil, groundwater, simply soil vapor)The...

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