PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram
Search the site

 

Get the latest FREE eResource Blasting Resource Guide Download Now

PAINTSQUARE BLOG

Comment |

ECO Plans: More Green on the Job Site

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2013

By Michael Halliwell


More items for Environmental Controls

Our job sites have sure changed over the last 15 years or so. Many things that were once commonplace can no longer be done, due to their impact on the environment.

To that end, many jurisdictions have added, or are adding, a requirement for Environmental Construction Operations (ECO) Plans to the projects we work on.

These plans look at more than just the work being performed. Their scope includes  reducing or preventing impact on the surrounding area.

Method, Not Madness

Unless you are involved with project management, you might not be aware that your project has a specific ECO Plan.

Containment
Photos: Michael Halliwell

Seeing more full containment on projects these days? Environmental Construction Operations (ECO) Plans, or whatever your region calls them, may be in place.

Yet, you may have noticed that full containments are more and more common, environmental aspects are finding their way into job site orientations, and auditors are wandering around the site, having a look at what’s going on.

It may be easy to dismiss these as “just the way things are done now,” but there is actually a systematic method to the environmental “madness” that has been creeping onto our job sites.

By Any Other Name...

ECO Plans are becoming more and more universal in Canada, where I’m located.  The terminology may vary in other countries, but the same idea is taking hold.

They may be “Environmentally Sustainable Construction plans” or the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO)’s “Environmental Stewardship Practices, Procedures, and Policies for Highway Construction and Maintenance.”

But no matter what you call it, it’s pretty much the same thing: making sure your job doesn’t impact the environment and cleaning up if it does.

Whether you're in the public or the private sector, no one wants the authorities on their case for contamination that was the result of a “simple” job.

How They Work

ECO Plans are typically developed before the project starts, and they can be fairly involved.

Bridge work

ECO Plans are living documents that may change as the project progresses.

The entire job is examined to identify:

  • Regulatory requirements (permits for all things that may be impacted by the work);
  • Items and procedures that have the potential to impact the physical environment (i.e. contamination, physical changes to the surroundings and impacts to wildlife); and
  • Impacts to users and neighbors (i.e. closures and detours, noise and dust).

Once identified, mitigation measures are developed both for normal operations and emergency situations, to try to prevent the potential impacts from becoming actual ones.

This could be as simple as letting the workers know about specific conditions at the site, situating laydown and refueling locations away from sensitive areas, scheduling the work for certain times of day or year, making sure that spill kits are available on site, and using containment structures.

About Those Auditors...

The ECO Plan also includes some form of monitoring, to confirm that the job is being carried out according to plan and the appropriate mitigation measures are being used.

This is where those auditors come from.

Depending on the project, the contractor and the owner may have their own auditors dropping by to perform inspections. These visits may be coordinated with a site superintendent or Health, Safety and Environment leader. Or they may be done independently of the contractor’s project team.

Dust escaping containment

Dust generated during prep work can blow right past the containment and into the green space below. Auditors will be watching closely; adjustments may be in order.

Regardless, they have the same purpose: to see what success is being achieved using the plan's mitigation measures and to identify areas for improvement.

Any deficiencies or potential improvements will typically be passed along to the site supervisory staff, with records kept to permit future follow-up. These visits can also be opportunities to have a “new set of eyes” look at what is going on during the project.

Making it Work

Finally, the ECO Plan is a living document that may need to be modified, depending on what is seen on the job site, changes during the project, or problems that arise.

Changes may include new techniques or technologies to better protect the workers or the environment or different ways to reduce the impact on those living and working near the project.

As public awareness of environmental impacts has grown, our job sites and work procedures have changed, too.

Hopefully, by using tools such as ECO Plans, we can continue this evolution and minimize the disruption and impact from our activities while we continue to get the job done.

ABOUT THE BLOGGER

Michael Halliwell

Michael Halliwell, M.Eng., CESA, EP, P.Eng., is an Associate and Environmental Engineer for Thurber Engineering Ltd. in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. During his 15-plus years with the company, he has been involved with environmental site assessment, remediation, construction inspection and supervision, and project management. He also performs hazardous building material assessments for asbestos and lead paint.

SEE ALL CONTENT FROM THIS CONTRIUBTOR

   

Tagged categories: Thurber Engineering Ltd.

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
DRYCO
 
Humidity & Temperature Control Equipment
 
Rental Desiccant Dehumidifiers, ArcticDRY Units, Air Conditioners, Heaters and Generators to help control the climate on your next industrial painting project. Nationwide locations, 24/7 service: (866) 379-2600 www.drycogroup.com”
 

 
Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
 
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
 
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Enduroguard -
The Tough Cable
for a Tough Industry.
 
Reduce maintenance costs and down time, increase job site safety with Enduroguard Cable. Available exclusively from SAFE Systems. UL listed, flexible, abrasion resistant and cut resistant.
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
 
We Protect and Beautify the World
 
PPG is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.
 

 
BASF
 
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water!
 
Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films www.basf.us/industrialcoatings dpsolutions@basf.com 800-231-7868
 

 
KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
 
KTA-Tator
Coatings Inspection
 
Any structure, any height, any place - A qualified coatings inspector is always available. Call 1-800-245-6379.
 

 
RBW Enterprises, Inc.
 
Robotic Blasting and Painting
 
When using the FasterBlaster and FasterPainter, blasting and painting can be conducted simultaneously. View the video for a full explanation of the operation.
 

 
Sherwin-Williams
 
Sherwin-Williams Oil & Gas App
 
Our coatings and linings expertise available 24/7, allowing you to explore the best Sherwin-Williams solutions for oil refineries, shale drilling sites, and offshore. Android users
click here. Download today!
 

 
NLB Corporation
 
NLB Sure Shroud: Greater Protection and Flexibility
 
NLB’s Sure Shroud’s lighter weight and flexibility reduces operator fatigue and offers unmatched protection against high pressure hose ruptures. 10k to 40k psi rated.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us