SSCI Environmental

Founded in 1986, SSCI specializes in enhancing the environment through its sound solutions approach. “Getting the job done is priority number one, not prolonging our participation,” says Helen I. Hodges, President and CEO.

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SSCI News

Wetlands Permitting, Continuing Education

Project Manager, Chrystal Fretwell, recently attended a Wetland Permitting Workshop based on the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Regulation and the Clean Water Act (CWA) Enforcement requirements.  The workshop included documentation of wetland delineations, review of hydric soils, and performance of a Hydrology and Hydric Soils Field Practicum at Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center in Humble, Texas.

 Gathering soil data using the Munsell Soil Color Book. Wild strawberries growing at the Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center.
   
 Iron deposit fissures in the soil indicate hydric soils. Soil testing location.

Mr. Jim Herrington, PWS was the course instructor.  Mr. Herrington, PWS has over 30 years of professional Natural Resources experience, and worked for the Environmental Professional Agency (EPA) for 14 years of his career.  Ms. Fretwell, “Found this workshop highly informative, with Mr. Herrington, PWS having a profound amount of knowledge regarding wetland classification and permitting”.  Ms. Fretwell further stated, “I can’t wait to continue my wetland education, by attending a second Wetland Permitting Workshop in November of 2017”!

SSCI provides Wetland and Ecological Services, and we can’t wait to utilize Ms. Fretwell’s newly found knowledge on projects!

Drones in Environmental Investigations

The usage of drones by civilians has increased significantly over the past few years.  An estimated 600,000 drones will be in use by commercial enterprises by 2018. The top industry using drones in the United States is photography with the second largest being real estate ( DMR, www.expandedramblings.com).  Drones have been used in military applications for years but as the drones move to the commercial industry and to hobbyists, concerns have been raised regarding safety and enforcement of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.  The FAA refers to drones as an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and regulations apply for personal and professional use.  With drones becoming more common, it’s important to know the rules.  Even if you’re just flying a drone for fun, you must register with the FAA, stay at least 5 miles away from airports unless you have prior permission from air traffic control, and have the drone in a person’s line of sight at all times.  Visit the FFA’s website for rules regarding Fly for Fun, Fly for Work.

Scientists have been exploring the use of drones in environmental applications for several years.  Drones can be used to collect ecological data by aerial surveillance without disturbing sensitive environments or species thus limiting human interaction that can often be damaging to the environment.  Drones have also been applied to situations to minimize the risk of human injury such as surveying elevated heights or assessing conditions that may result in physical danger.  The usage of drones also provides efficiency in surveying.  For example, drones are used to survey pipeline corridors from remote stations saving both time and energy by not using aerial flight to photograph corridors.  Drones use a number of imaging techniques including infrared sensing, which can be used to measure vegetation growth and photogrammetry, a remote sensing process that creates an “ortho-mosaic” of the area.  This technology has been used in real estate functions such as Property Condition Assessments and Phase I Environmental Site Assessments.  Other environmental applications include detecting water intrusion, animal management and conservation, coastal management, river and flood management, plant conservation, forestry, regulation enforcement, and monitoring change.

There are two UAS Platform Types of drones: fixed wing and rotary. Fixed wing drones generate lift through wings while rotary drones generate lift by rotating propellers. This allows rotary drones to land and takeoff from the ground while fixed wing drones must be started by throwing into the air. Fixed wings have longer endurance times, are generally faster, and are more efficient for large areas. Rotary drones are more flexible, can hover, fly lower, and are better for inspections/higher resolution pictures. Both drones can be autonomously flown using apps or by defining a set path.  Drones are now being researched for use to count livestock, check fence lines and roads, find missing animals, and measure the nutritive value of forage.

SSCI participated in a webinar entitled “Drones on Rangelands–The Basics” presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service ecosystem science and management unit.  In the presentation, an example of drone use in range land application was provided.  The drones map out the area surveyed and then a computer software is used to search for the shape of the cattle and take out the background aerial image leaving only the cattle, as seen on the right side with the yellow background. The program then counts the number of outlines of cattle.

Summer is Here, 2017 Company Picnic

SSCI recently held its annual Ranch Picnic located at the Hodges Ranch in Santa Fe, Texas. SSCI was also happy to host CRG Texas Environmental Services, Inc. at the annual Ranch Picnic.  This year’s Ranch Picnic featured a wide variety of delicious Texas BBQ!  From ribs, chicken, sausage, and smoked brisket to tasty sweet treats, a fun time was had by all!  Friendly competitive games of corn-hole and croquet commenced between a few SSCI and CRG employees throughout the afternoon.  A ranch tour was provided by Ms. Helen Hodges, President of SSCI, to all who attended the festivities.  Throughout the tour Ms. Hodges showed guests a few of her retired performance horses, her beef cattle, and a tour of her lovely ranch home.

 

All guests left the Ranch Picnic far too full of BBQ and with many fond memories!  Planning for the 2018 SSCI Ranch Picnic is already underway!

 

Southeast Texas Cooperative Purchasing Organization

Separation Systems Consultants, Inc. has been awarded a vendor contract by the Southeast Texas Cooperative Purchasing Organization.   Cooperative buying can provide lower prices and better quality for school districts.   Region 5 Education Service Center (ESC) acts as the coordinator for this cooperative and facilitates the process needed for it to be successful.  Through the ESC Region 5, SSCI has been awarded an Environmental Services contract.

Purchasing Cooperative Members include school districts, colleges, cities, counties, and charter schools.  Members participating in the SETCP can access SSCI’s vendor profile by searching the Vendor Database.

Southeast Texas Purchasing Cooperative
Awarded Vendors

June 1, 2017 to May 31, 2018

Company Name:
Separation Systems Consultants, Inc.
Contact Person:
Jo Keim
Address:
17041 El Camino Real, Suite 200
City, State Zip:
Houston, TX 77058
Telephone Number:
281-486-1943
Fax Number:
281-486-7415
Email Address:
jdkeim@sscienvironmental.com
Website (www.):
www.sscienvironmental.com
EIN Number:
76092206
Printable W9:
76092206.pdf
Discount:
Call for quote
Shipping:
N/A
Comments:

 

Provides Service:
Environmental consulting, Phase I & II ESAs, asbestos & lead surveys, remediation, soil and groundwater sampling and waste disposal.
Category 1:
Environmental Services

 

 

 

Keep Galveston Bay Clean Public Meeting

Galveston Bay Foundation wants Bay area residents to have a stake in keeping harmful bacteria out of Galveston Bay. That’s why GBF will host this public meeting at the Civic Center in League City on Monday, June 12, at 6:30 pm to update residents on our plan to keep our waters clean.

In partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and local stakeholders, GBF is working to keep bacteria out of the Bay through improving wastewater treatment plant operations, improving pollution reporting strategies, eliminating boater waste and more.

Galveston Bay Foundation wants Bay area residents to have a stake in keeping harmful bacteria out of Galveston Bay. That’s why we are hosting this public meeting to update residents on plans to keep our waters clean.

Date: Monday, June 12
Time: 6:30 – 7:30pm
Location: Civic Center in League City (400 W Walker St, League City, TX 77573)

If you have any questions, please contact Nate Johnson at njohnson@galvbay.org or 281-332-3381.

Earth Day, April 22, 2017

SSCI will be celebrating Earth Day tomorrow, April 22, 2017 at the Party for the Planet  at Armand Bayou Nature Center.  Earth Day is an annual event created to celebrate the planet’s environment and raise public awareness about the environment.  The day, marked on April 22, is observed worldwide with rallies, conferences, outdoor activities and service projects. The first Earth Day was in 1970.  For more information about the history of Earth Day, visit Live Science.

Party for the Planet is being hosted by Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) Board of Trustees.  ABNC stands out as one of the largest urban wilderness preserves in the United States, providing the community with exceptional educational, recreational, and health benefits of nearby nature. ABNC is planning for the future to ensure ecosystem preservation and to educate our community about preservation and the benefits of nature.  The Party for the Planet is on Saturday evening, April 22nd includes honorary guest Senator Larry Taylor with live music by Andy and the Dreamsicles.  The evening will be topped off with a catered dinner, dancing, charitable auctions, and games.

Proposed Mold Assessors and Remediators Rules Published

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) has proposed new rules for Mold Assessors and Remediators. The proposed new rules are necessary to implement the transition of the Mold Assessors and Remediators program from the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) to TDLR.  Texas Senate Bill 202 proposed transferring Mold licensing from TDSHS to Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) effective on November 1, 2017.

The proposed rules are published in the April 21, 2017, issue of the Texas Register (42 TexReg 2057). The TDLR will accept comments on the proposal until May 22, 2017.  The proposed rules are available for review at TDLR Programs.

SSCI provides a variety of indoor air quality services include mold assessment and remediation.  Please read more about our services Don’t let mold make a move on your building.