Braun Intertec Office Spotlight: Baton Rouge, LA

One of the newest Braun Intertec office locations is Baton Rouge (Gonzales), Louisiana. This location offers several of our services which range from environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing. We spoke to Brady Turk, Senior Scientist, to learn more about what makes our new Baton Rouge office special. What was the strategy behind choosing Baton Rouge, LA as a new office location?The main reason we chose the Baton Rouge area is because it is booming with industrial and commercial work. Bryan Landers strategically brought me on to help get this office location up and going. With my 23...

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Meet Our Engineering, Testing and Environmental Consultants in Austin, Texas

Austin Texas Geotechnical Engineers and Environmental Consultants

Get to know the team We virtually met with two members of the Braun Intertec team in Austin, Texas, Trevor Armstrong (Field Operations Coordinator, Construction Materials Testing) and Sarah Thompson (Group Manager, Permitting and Compliance) to learn more about the culture in our Austin offices, the work they do with our clients and how our Environmental Consulting and Engineering and Testing divisions collaborate and support each other’s projects. The Braun Intertec team in Austin consists of approximately 20 environmental consultants, engineers and construction materials testing technicians located across two offices. Early next year, they will combine into one office location....

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Tackling RCRA Hazardous Waste for Overlooked Non-Industrial Sectors

Federal hazardous waste regulations changes in 2017 and 2019 under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) have increased regulatory oversight and scrutiny of “non-industrial” business sectors such as hospitals; healthcare-related businesses like pharmacies and laboratories; retailers; and academic institutions. These sectors and their environmental impact have been historically overlooked when discussing RCRA compliance, but accompanying increased regulatory attention is an increase in the environmental risks these business sectors are facing. This translates to new challenges in unfamiliar territory for many businesses. Since nearly every facility within these sectors is a hazardous waste generator, business and facility leaders must understand...

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More on the Recently Issued Harris County Hazardous Material Operational Permit

Hazardous Waste Management

This photo taken by the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office shows the KMCO Chemical plant fire in April 2019 in Crosby, Texas. Chemical risks are particularly acute in Harris County, home to Houston’s major industrial pockets and some of the nation’s largest petrochemical plants and oil refineries. Harris County has experienced at least five major chemical incidents in the last year, costing businesses large sums related to shut down costs and property damage, and triggering human health implications in surrounding neighborhoods. Harris County has responded to these events by setting the expectation for greater oversight of facilities that may contain...

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Living with an SPCC Plan: Training and Inspections

SPCC Plan

If your facility stores more than 1,320 gallons of oil, fuel, or oil-like products, then you probably need to have a Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasures (SPCC) Plan per federal rules. Perhaps you were recently appointed to be the facility SPCC coordinator and are wondering, “Where do I start?” The development of the SPCC Plan is just the first step to maintaining compliance with these regulations. There are four main activities that your facility will need to do to maintain compliance, and they should be spelled out in the SPCC Plan.  They are: Train relevant facility staff on the SPCC PlanConduct inspectionsKeep records of...

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Permitting for Small Sources of Air Emissions: Know Your Options

Even if your facility is a small source of air emissions, you may still need an air permit or authorization depending on your state or local air permitting authority. When dealing with permitting, you often need to consider not only the amount of air emissions your operations generate, but the amount your operations could generate. Each state or local air permitting authority has different statutes or rules that govern what is required of small sources of air emissions. Changing Standards Additionally, these statutes and rules often change. For example, due to recent changes to Minnesota state permitting rules, some small sources that were previously regulated...

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Protect Your Company at All Levels During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cleaning and Disinfection Planning

Note: This post was updated on July 2, 2020. Currently, information on the spread and handling of COVID-19 cases, social distancing, quarantine measures and the like are abundant. It is extremely important to understand COVID-19 and know where to find the most reliable information to keep you, your employees, and your business safe, productive, and informed on the most recent information.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is widely considered the foremost authority in the US and the World Health Organization (WHO) is the international leader for all diseases and outbreaks. From a workplace safety perspective, the Occupational...

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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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