Babcock Edu: Seminars on Regulatory Updates and Technical Training Programs

Last month, on January 29, over 65 people attended Babcock Labs’ TEAM Event to hear industry experts Kathleen Harrison of Geosyntec and Matthew Lentz of GSI Environmental discuss the new Industrial General Permit (IGP) pertaining to stormwater discharge. The event’s focus on the new IGP was intended to help industrial facilities better prepare for the coming changes, as dischargers have a vested interest in understanding the new compliance regulations before the updated permit goes into effect on July 1, 2015.

Among the significant changes taking place, the new IGP will require electronic applications and reporting, Exceedance Response Actions (ERAs), and employment of appropriately trained personnel. During the TEAM Event, Harrison provided information on how to become a Qualified Industrial Stormwater Practitioner, or QISP. The new IGP mandates that dischargers with level 1 and 2 statuses appoint a QISP, whether that trained individual is hired externally or appointed internally. Harrison explained that QISP enrollment is set to take place this winter, however, facilities can take precautions now as they anticipate the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) sanctioned QISP training and certification. Lentz discussed the new IGP changes sampling protocols, the redefined terms of a Qualifying Storm Event (QSE), and the introduction of Numeric Action Levels (NALs), NAL Exceedances, and Exceedance Response Actions (ERAs), all of which must be taken into account as dischargers modify their Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPPs) and prepare for compliance. Lentz also demonstrated to TEAM Event attendees how their respective organizations can strategically plan to meet the new requirements using already acquired data.

TEAM Events are just one of the ways Babcock Labs helps to disseminate important industry information and knowledge. We provide additional value-added services to our clients, such as training seminars. Recently, Babcock Labs’ UCMR Program Director Susan Thomas and Director of Field Operations Mark Tracy conducted sample collection training for California Steel Industries, Inc (CSI). Gary Drylie, ISO Safety Coordinator for Site Maintenance and the Environmental Department of CSI sought Babcock Labs’ expertise to ensure that the CSI staff were equipped with the knowledge they need to meet their sampling goals. During the two-hour training session Thomas and Tracy explained how various factors such as sample type, sampling method, holding time, bottle type, and preservatives can affect test results. The session consisted of both Q&A style discussion and hands-on training, where attendees practiced collecting samples for various analyses commonly used in stormwater, wastewater, and drinking water monitoring.

Part of the hands-on training demonstrated the importance of using proper sampling instrumentation and protocol during oil and grease sampling to get a truly representative sample. As Eric Brown, a Crane Repair Mechanical Technician for CSI explained, “It was a pretty informative class. We do some oil sampling in our department, so the more you know the better.”

Attendees of the sampling guidelines training received contact hours, and the training, which took place at CSI’s facilities, was tailored to meet the organization’s specific needs and address any concerns.

“We want our clients to be prepared and informed,” said Thomas. “We have very knowledgeable staff at Babcock Labs and we are always willing to share that knowledge with our clients. Training sessions allow us to provide additional customer support because we can customize the training program to meet the needs of that particular organization.”

“Developing practices in knowing what to look for when doing sampling [at CSI], depending on what we’ve got, makes a difference,” said Drylie when asked about the training Babcock Labs provided. “That’s why I thought it was so important we get this class together.”

Would your organization be interested in a Babcock Labs’ training seminar? Whether it’s better understanding sampling guidelines or making sense of testing results, we’re here to help. Contact Cathy Iijima for more information about the various training programs we can provide or about attending our quarterly TEAM Events.

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