Gray is the New Green Blog Series #3: Early days as an aspiring environmental scientist Reply

Picking up where I left off, and what it was like when I was a young person in the environmental field and how things have changed…here are some reflections…

College days

So it’s 1977, I’m at Cook College, Rutgers University, studying Environmental Science and I think this is going to be a breeze. I was in the top ten of my high school class and felt like I was prepared to take on the world. But actually, it didn’t happen that way.

To refresh my memory, I had a copy of my college transcripts sent to me because I couldn’t remember the classes I took and I wanted to be able to talk about them honestly in this blog…I was horrified…let’s just put it this way…my daughter Frankie, who is currently a junior at U Miami, would be thrilled to have crushed my GPA. For most of the intro courses …chemistry, calculus, I was a straight “C” student. I wasn’t sure I had made the right decision being so far from home, wondering if maybe I should have studied music …remember there were no cell phones, no internet, no computers…maybe I should just quit and become a folk singer? I had the chance to do just that. In fact, I recorded in NYC…   I knew I didn’t want my love of singing to become a job…but by sophomore year I I needed a break from school.

Co-Op work opportunities were not what they are today but I managed to get a job with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. I inspected wastewater package plants and I walked streams looking for illegal discharges. These inspections were required as part the NPDES program which regulates discharges to surface water. There continue to be modern day “stream walkers” in search of illicit discharges to storm water. They still perform visual inspections but also use high tech tools to discover illicit discharges such as infrared, aerial, and thermal photography to locate dischargers by studying the temperature of the stream water in areas where algae might be concentrated and in soils.

Being a Co-Op student taught me a lot…like what it’s like to get up early, commute to work (from Perth Amboy to Trenton NJ-the 1979 energy crisis was at its peak so carpooling made sense because of gas rationing), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_energy_crisis, (hybrids and electric cars were not even in our minds) be responsible for paying rent…and that going to school was a lot better than working…smile.

The Environmental Science program offered today at Rutgers is much more multi-faceted http://academics.envsci.rutgers.edu/envsci/ . Remember when I was in school RCRA and CERLA were just being born! It was when I started taking classes in my major that I started to shine…Elements of Environmental Pollution; Water and Wastewater Analysis, International Environmental Studies, Environmental Toxicology, Environmental Impact Statements, Pollution Microbiology. I became somewhat of the Professor’s pet in Pollution Microbiology. Dr. Melvin Finstein was researching composting and needed assistance going through all the periodicals related to composting. I remember reviewing stacks upon stacks of periodicals, no internet, and summarizing my findings.

First jobs

Careers with an Environmental Science degree were not plentiful when I graduated in January 1982. The country was also experiencing a major recession. http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/ROHO/projects/debt/1980srecession.html

My first “real” job, though temporary, was as a chemist at the East Providence Sewage Treatment Plant. The day they received my resume, their chemist fell and broke his leg…this is true! That job only lasted 2-3 months. I guess he healed quickly!

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Lucy Servidio in the tank at her first job

My first real permanent job was Environmental, Health and Safety Coordinator for a plating company, W.F. Wood Corporation. I ran the ultrafiltration, cyanide destruct system, performed quality control testing on the plating line and kept the company out of trouble with the regulators. That’s exactly how the position was explained to me…keep us out of trouble. Visions of pollution prevention, sustainability or proactive anything were not even thought of, never mind an expectation. At this time, most companies were just trying to understand the new regulations related to hazardous waste management, chemical spills, water and air pollution control. I learned a lot and felt like I was protecting a very small portion of the planet. I wanted to get out and do something that I thought would have a greater impact…that’s when I decided to become a consultant. Not to “dis” plating but they say if you stay in the industry for more than 5 years you never get out…I think I was at 4 years and 360 days! Smile

Since the 1970’s, a multitude of careers have grown out of the environmental movement. The jobs can be more impactful to business’s bottom line, more impactful to the planet and more satisfying.

I’ll talk more about consulting and where it has taken me in my next blog…Lucy

CAPACCIO Promotes and Continues to Grow its Engineering Team Reply

Dave Averill

David Averill, EIT

Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. is proud to announce the promotion of David Averill to Senior Environmental Engineer. Aligning with CAPACCIO’S mission of “Helping Industry and the Environment Prosper” and in delivering high value total solutions to our clients, Dave has been a consistent key player in bringing a variety of water/wastewater engineering and related projects to fruition for CAPACCIO clients. Dave’s promotion will further elevate his role within the Water/Wastewater Engineering group.

A multi-talented engineer, Dave has been instrumental in providing our clients with his wastewater expertise in permitting, system design, system evaluation and optimization, construction administration, commissioning, operator training, operation, sampling, testing, and environmental reporting. He supports several CAPACCIO clients who are regulated by the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) and provides compliance strategy, permit negotiation support, regulatory filings and correspondence, and other engineering assistance.

Dave began as an Environmental Engineer at CAPACCIO in 2014 and quickly came up to speed to assist the engineering team in many areas most notably in using AutoCAD to depict all types of drawings from simple process flow diagrams to more complex piping and instrument diagrams as well as site plans. He became an effective contributor to a variety of projects, including assisting with Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) and Stormwater (SW) plans.

In recent years, Dave has successfully stepped into the Project Manager role and became the facilitator and instructor for CAPACCIO’S Wastewater Treatment Operator Exam Prep and Training Contact Hour (TCH) courses. Dave holds a Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and is also an Engineer-in-Training (EIT). 

Lily

Ben Lilly, EIT

CAPACCIO is also happy to announce a new addition to its growing engineering team, Benjamin (Ben) Lilly, EIT. Ben, a University of Rhode Island graduate with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, joins our team as an Environmental Engineer (ES1).

Ben who successfully achieved his Engineer-in-Training (EIT) certification in March 2018, has skills in AutoCAD as well as experience working as a water quality field technician, a Best Management Practices (BMP) inspector, and a Sustainability intern.

Dave and Ben work together with others on CAPACCIO’s talented Water/Wastewater Engineering design team on a variety of projects.  For example, the team, led by Director of Engineering, Art Cunningham, PE, LSP, is nearing completion on a project for a large institution which has involved extensive sampling of labs and water use/discharges in numerous buildings to determine eligibility for a low flow low pollutant permit. This ongoing project involves tracking calculated flow rates for the numerous locations and tying the sample data to the actual files from the lab. To make the project more efficient and to ensure accuracy of the data, the engineering team is working with CAPACCIO’s Solutions Design team to develop and implement a customized solution utilizing CAPACCIO’s software as a service, EHS-DashboardTM, to meet project needs and objectives. Stay tuned for the complete write-up when the project is completed.

At CAPACCIO, we live our mission of “Helping Industry and the Environment Prosper”. We align EH&S with your overall business objectives to strategically position you for success.  Our unique approach combines our extensive EH&S experience with cutting edge technologies, such as our EHS DashboardTM, to effectively address your challenges.  Our comprehensive solutions have resulted in award-winning EH&S and overall business performance for our clients. We are certified WBENC, WBE. To learn more visit us at www.capaccio.com.

 

CAPACCIO promotes John Kelleher to Environmental Health and Safety Scientist II Reply

Kelleher_John

John Kelleher

Capaccio Environmental Engineering, Inc. (CAPACCIO) is proud to announce the promotion of John Kelleher from Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) Scientist I to EH&S Scientist II. Aligning with CAPACCIO’s mission of “Helping Industry and the Environment Prosper” and in delivering high value total solutions to our clients, John’s promotion to EH&S Scientist II will further advance his role in a variety of Health & Safety (H&S) and Industrial Hygiene projects he is involved with at CAPACCIO.

John started with CAPACCIO in June 2015 as a EH&S Intern following his graduation from Keene State College with his Bachelor’s Degree in Safety and Occupational Health Applied Science. In November 2015, he was hired as an EH&S Scientist I. Since then, he has shown great initiative in increasing his skills specific to H&S, On-site Services, and Industrial Hygiene.  He has also taken on the role of Project Manager for several projects and works on-site as an EH&S specialist for a host of CAPACCIO clients.

John works within CAPACCIO’S EH&S group which includes Nick Grote, CSP, and Katie Grasso, both of whom are Senior EH&S Scientists. They work individually and as a team on a variety of projects. One collective effort includes conducting job hazard analyses (JHAs) for a local state university. For the same client, they are also conducting a health and safety compliance audit to identify gaps against the applicable OSHA regulations. The project is helping the client to comply with a recent update in the Massachusetts Department of Labor standards which is requiring companies in the public sector to be in compliance with Federal OSHA regulations by February 1st, 2019.

As an individual or as part of the Capaccio Health and Safety Team, John provides value to our clients by providing solutions that take a holistic approach to EH&S compliance.

At CAPACCIO, we live our mission of “Helping Industry and the Environment Prosper”. We align EH&S with your overall business objectives to strategically position you for success.  Our unique approach combines our extensive EH&S experience with cutting edge technologies, such as our EHS DashboardTM, to effectively address your challenges.  Our comprehensive solutions have resulted in award-winning EH&S and overall business performance for our clients.  To learn more visit us at www.capaccio.com.