Tag Archive: ssci

SSCI Gives Back – Pelican Island Beach Cleanup

SSCI team member Stacy Emerick lead the clean-up crew known as the Vilmaris Crew to help clean the beach along Pelican Island.  The cleanup was organized by the Mountain Ocean Project (MOP) an organization that has removed over 7,200 pounds of trash from the beaches of Galveston, Texas. 

Participants in the beach cleanup included over 150 individuals with groups from SSCI and the Save Our Seas – Texas A&M University at Galveston.  Save Our Seas is a student organized network supporting conservation efforts and healthy lifestyles through education and participation in environmental outreach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BACREN Presentation: Mitigating Wetlands

   SSCI-Environmental is pleased to have had the opportunity to speak at the Bay Area Commercial Real Estate Network (BACREN) Monthly Luncheon on February 20, 2020.  BACREN is a non-profit professional organization formed to serve Commercial Real Estate practitioners, associated businesses, investors, and the public in the Houston Bay Area, including but not limited to Harris, Galveston, and Brazoria Counties, Texas.  SSCI-Environmental has been a long time sponsor and supporter of BACREN.  SSCI’s Vice President, Jo Drake Keim, and Natural Resource Specialist, Allyson Graziano, presented the ins and outs of wetland mitigation for the real estate market.  The audience of real estate specialists and service contractors were intrigued and found the presentation to be informative and enlightening.  May attendees had questions regarding their specific projects and how wetland regulations affect development of their properties.

Wetlands are protected under the Clean Water Act and development of properties containing Wetlands or Waters of the United States (WOTUS) are regulated by the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  SSCI provided an overview of how wetlands are identified and what tools are used in evaluating wetlands for real estate developers.  Delineations, permitting, agency coordination, and mitigation was discussed. A link to the BACREN presentation is provided below:

Wetlands Presentation BACREN 02-2020 v2

It’s Houston Bird Week!

 

ABNC is partnering with Houston Audubon to celebrate their 50th Anniversary with an Early Morning Birding Hike for the first-ever Houston Bird Week!

Watch a roseate spoonbill and great blue heron wade in water or watch an Osprey soar as you listen to the chirp of colorful songbirds. Located in the heart of a major migratory path, Armand Bayou Nature Center is an amazing place to go birding all year round.

Spaces are limited, so register today!

When: September 28, 7-9am

Reservations: Reservations required

Age: 12 years & up

Rates:  Members $10, Non Members $12

BOOK YOUR EARLY MORNING BIRDING HIKE TODAY!

Global Recycling Day

March 18, 2019 is Global Recycling Day!

SSCI will be doing its share of recycling and waste reduction in the office environment. SSCI reuses copy paper as much as possible for internal use, and we have a designated recycling bin for paper and plastics. Plastic or Styrofoam coffee cups have been replaced by ceramic mugs in the common area to reduce waste all year round. Other ways to make the office environment greener include bringing your own lunch to work in a reusable container to reduce waste and utilizing paper clips in lieu of staples. These seemingly small actions really add up over the course of a year.

Recycling at home does not require much effort, and separating recyclables is easy. Many refuse providers offer recycling pick up with garbage collection. Otherwise, dropping off recyclables at the nearest center can be a wonderful teaching moment for the next generation. Reusable shopping bags are one of the best ways to reduce plastic waste, and some stores, like Target, offer the incentive of a small discount for using them. Even if one uses plastic grocery bags, they can be brought back to large chain stores, like Walmart or HEB, where bins are provided to accept clean plastic bags to be recycled. One globally recognized day of conservation can be the start of educating the masses on the importance of recycling everyday thereafter. Click here to find a recycling center near you.

SSCI Participates in Career Fair

SSCI participated in the Second Annual Career Night at Pearland Junior High East (PJHE) on August 4, 2018.  The PJHE Roughnecks invited presenters from a variety of backgrounds to discuss careers and educational paths with the 7th and 8th grade students.  The students experienced exciting, hands-on learning while gaining an understanding of the educational steps needed to achieve their goals.


 

 

SSCI presented a booth displaying sampling equipment, protective gear, and education materials.  Students were able to ask questions from the SSCI staff such as, “Where can I study environmental science?” or “What kind of services do you provide?”.  Demonstrations of how to use hearing protection were a big hit!

 

 

Also in attendance was SSCI’s very good friend, Tim Pylate, Executive Director of Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC).  ABNC brought wildlife to show students the importance of these species and discuss careers in natural resources.  ABNC located on Bay Area Boulevard is the largest urban wilderness preserve in the United States.  Read more about ABNC at www.abnc.org.

SSCI also participated in the PJHE career night in 2017.  We are pleased to be able to support the local community in providing educational information and career guidance.

SSCI Job Timeline: Culvert Construction

SSCI provided maintenance activities to a damaged culvert owned by an HOA located in Dickinson, Texas (Site) where existing articulated concrete blocks (ACBs) were uplifted and separated during a Hurricane Harvey.  This caused the subgrade to be eroded and a large hole to form at the base of the culvert. SSCI was able to mobilize quickly and efficiently to solve the problem.  The work involved designing a new, more effective culvert layout that would significantly reduce erosion during large rain events.

The following construction services were also completed during the remediation:

  • Pumping of standing water in the washout area;
  • Replacement of soil and re-grading of subgrade slope;
  • Salvage and placement of ACBs onto subgrade;
  • Placement of inlet and piping;
  • Paving of high-flow areas in the culvert to reduce erosion.

A final post-repair visit to the Site was conducted to ensure the satisfaction of the HOA and replace ACBs in an aesthetically pleasing pattern. The HOA continues to work with SSCI on other detention pond, erosion, and maintenance activities.  SSCI finished the work ahead of schedule even after being impacted by weather-related delays.

New Emergency Preparedness Training Requirements for Hospitals

The implementation date for the new training requirements is November 15, 2017.  The new rule establishes national emergency preparedness requirements that include adequately planning for disasters that fall on a continuum between disruptive to disastrous.  The new regulations apply to healthcare providers, including hospitals, critical access hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and long-term care facilities.  To find out more, please follow this link to Occupational Health and Safety magazine.  https://ohsonline.com/articles/2017/11/01/cms-emergency-preparedness-training.aspx

If you need assistance with assessing your training needs or if you are looking for a training provider, please contact SSCI at 800-324-7724 or visit our website at www.sscienvironmental.com or SSCI-HEALTH-SAFETY & TECHNICAL TRAINING_201509.

SSCI Awarded Contract with HGACBuy

SSCI has been awarded the Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery contract with HGACBuy.  HGACBuy has established contracts with firms to provide professional planning, consulting and interim recovery services in the areas of Homeland Security, Disaster Preparedness and Recovery, Emergency Response and All Hazards Planning, Continuity of Operations and Recovery Services, and FEMA programs. SSCI’s services under the contract include Environmental Assessments, Asbestos Containing Materials Services, Emergency Response, Construction and Remediation, Oilfield Services, Wetlands and Ecological Services, and Storm water Management.

HGACBuy is an award-winning, nationwide government-to-government procurement service operated by the Houston-Galveston Area Council. Beginning in 1975, HGACBuy assembled a team of experienced professionals, who, collectively, offer more than 150 years experience to members.  HGACBuy is active throughout the United States and provides nearly 6,000 members with 36 major categories of products and services from more than 800 highly qualified contractors. Entities eligible to participate in HGACBuy include:

• Municipalities, Cities, Counties and State Agencies
• Councils of Government
• Schools, School Districts, Colleges, Universities
• Hospitals, Hospital Districts
• Emergency Medical Services and Services Districts
• Volunteer Fire and Rural Fire Departments
• Prevention Districts
• Special Law Enforcement Jurisdictions
• Judicial Courts and Districts
• Emergency Communications Districts
• Utility Districts (MUDs, WCIDs, Irrigation)
• Authorities (Airport, Port, River, Water, Toll Road)
• Not-for-Profit Corporations [501(c)3] providing government functions and services

SSCI has a long standing relationship with many public sectors clients and is pleased to be part of the HGACBuy team of consultants who are ready for any emergency, or natural disaster. SSCI provides services under the Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery, which include:

• Emergency Operations and Response
• Contingency and Risk Assessment
• Hazard Identification
• Training and Consultants
• Emergency Preparedness/Safety Equipment

For more information regarding HGACBuy Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery please click and download HGACBuy Information.

 

 

SSCI: Hazardous Materials Manager for SH 288 Toll Lanes Expansion Project

SSCI began work on the State Highway (SH) 288 Toll Lanes Expansion Project in Harris County providing hazardous materials management and emergency response in July 2016. Since that time, SSCI has assisted in construction activities, hazardous material handling and disposal, and in managing environmental hazards associated with the project. Construction activities have taken place in the early morning hours before rush hour traffic and in the middle of the night.  We’ve been there to see it all.

The project consists of expanding three major interchanges within a 10.3-mile stretch from US Interstate 59 (US 59) to the Harris County line at Clear Creek. The completed project will provide direct accessibility to the Texas Medical Center and relieve traffic congestion on SH 288.  The construction of new toll lanes will connect Sam Houston Parkway (Beltway 8) and Interstate Highway (IH) 610, and includes the construction of new tolled lanes, direct connectors, an Electronic Toll Collection System, utility adjustments, and adjustments of existing lanes.  Construction began in October 206.

 

Visit Drive288 for information regarding the construction activities and lane closures.

 

 

Environmental concerns for the project were identified in the Environmental Assessment prepared for SH 288, US 59 to CR 60, Harris and Brazoria Counties, prepared by the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in April 2013.   The project area is located with an highly urbanized community south of Houston.  The Environmental Assessment was a comprehensive review of the construction project and any impacts on the environment including but not limited to socioeconomic impacts, environmental justice, wildlife, vegetation, soils, threatened and endangered species, fish habitat, water quality, noise, air quality, floodplains, coastal zones, cultural resources, and hazardous materials.  Several hundred potentially impacted properties were identified in the immediate vicinity of the expansion project. Further investigation included soil and groundwater sampling to depths greater than 60 feet below ground surface in specific construction areas.  Ultimately, the FHWA determined that a significant impact to the human or natural environment would not be created by the proposed project.  

SSCI’s role in the project has been to provide construction oversight regarding potential hazardous materials identified during the performance of the Environmental Assessment. These hazards have included asbestos and chemical compounds in soil and groundwater.  Our team of professionals have developed a Soil Groundwater Management Plan working closely with the Drive 288 team and TxDOT.