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W i n t e r 2 0 0 0, V o l u m e 2 9 , N u m b e r 1

Wes Eckenfelder: Wastewater Pioneer

C O N T E N T S • W I N T E R • 2 0 0 0

Wes Eckenfelder, one of the three

people recently named 20th-Century
Pollution Control Pioneers by
“Environmental Protection” magazine.

2 Industry/Municipality
Cooperation for Kentucky
Wastewater Treatment
An acute wastewater
treatment problem is
resolved when a food
processing facility installs
a pretreatment system
in just four months and
a city is persuaded to
take a second look at its
treatment plant capacity.

Marketing Terry Peckham

Editor Lisa Bernstein

Writers Lisa Bernstein

Against the Clock, With two months to
close escrow, RMC
Mark Weber
Due Diligence Digs Deep Nevada sought an
accurate analysis of a
Assistant Andrea Atkins site’s mineable resource—

Design Marc Rappaport

for Possible Quarry Purchase along with Phase I ESAs
and a review of
operating permits—
Printing Bacchus Press to assess whether
it should finalize the

acquisition deal.
To speak with a Brown and
Caldwell representative,
call us at (800) 727-2224
or visit our web site at
Quarternotes Choosing the best way
to comply with GASB;
Brown and Caldwell provides a unique collaborative
environmental engineering and process helps convert
consulting services to public a Wyoming refinery
agencies, the federal to recreational and
government, and industry. commercial use;
the kaolin industry
Quarterly is published by overcomes internal

Brown and Caldwell, P.O. Box 8045, competition to shape
Walnut Creek, CA 94596-1220; MACT standards.
tel. (925) 937-9010.
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© Brown and Caldwell 2000.
Please contact the editor
at (925) 210-2452 or
Academic Institutions Traditionally less regu-
lated by environmental
for permission to reprint.
Learn Hard Lessons agencies, colleges and
universities can avoid
fines, demonstrate lead-
Brown and Caldwell is an equal
opportunity employer supporting
work force diversity.
Through EPA Enforcement ership, improve public
relations, and reduce
operating costs through
compliance efforts.
Wesley Eckenfelder:
Pioneer Craig Goehring: In the mid-1950s, who were your
peers in teaching and advancing environmental or
sanitary engineering?
Wes Eckenfelder: Back then, probably Ross McKinney,
a major researcher with the University of Kansas. There
weren’t many people in the ’50s who were doing process
design for industrial wastewater. On the international scene,
there was Wuhrman in Switzerland, Downing in England,
and Von der Emde in Germany. I organized the first inter-
national conference at Manhattan College in 1955 and got
T his issue honors Dr. W. Wesley Eckenfelder, one of
the three people named 20th-Century Pollution Control
the world’s primary movers to come and give a paper or
two. We published the proceedings in 1956.
Pioneers by “Environmental Protection” magazine this past CG: Did the conference have a particular focus?
December. Along with recognizing Wes, that magazine WE: We had roughly 100 people, with all of the major
honored J. J. Thomson and Arthur J. Dempster, early leaders from England, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan.
developers of the mass spectrometer, and Rachel Carson, It was principally focused on biological factors. We held
author of “Silent Spring,” the book credited with beginning a second conference in ’57 and another in ’60. There was
the modern American environmental movement. no international association in those days. It was the first
Wes is a trailblazer in the wastewater industry. He time equations and formulations were discussed, and
has personally trained thousands of graduate-level students it was probably the thing that propelled me to publish
and practicing professionals in the science and art of indus- “Biological Waste Treatment” in 1960. That was the first
trial wastewater treatment, and his textbooks are standards book on biological waste treatment and the first time all
worldwide. He started his first environmental consulting these equations appeared.
business in 1949; has consulted with more than 150
industrial companies; developed several biological treatment CG: Any thoughts on your early impact on the industry?
systems specifically for industrial applications; authored or WE: I designed one of the first activated sludge plants for the
edited 27 books; is the recipient of 26 national and interna- pulp and paper industry in 1953. Prior to that, it was primary
tional honors; and co-founded the International Association treatment and then into the river. We ran pilot studies for
for Water Pollution Research and Control (IAWPRC) in 1962. about eight months because there was no information around
Today, as a senior technical director for Brown and at that time. The plant was designed by Gibbs and Hill; I did
Caldwell, Wes continues to educate, innovate, and develop the process design. The plant went on line in 1955 or 1956.
practical solutions. In the nearly two years since Brown Interestingly, not only is it still operating, but it’s treating
and Caldwell acquired Eckenfelder Inc., we’ve found that triple the load for which it was originally designed.
the firm’s 30-year track record in serving top industrial
companies perfectly complements Brown and Caldwell’s CG: You started with pilot tests to get reaction rates.
environmental practice. A shared value has propelled our Were you using process equations?
ongoing combination: a pioneering spirit. WE: They were really crude at that point. Then around
When Wes and I sat down to talk for Quarterly in late 1955 or ’56, we were the first to come up with an aerated
December, he started by telling me of a new idea for improv- lagoon design. In fact, Donald O’Connor from Manhattan
ing biological-nutrient removal in a low-dissolved-oxygen College and I published a paper that included equations
environment. He described field measurements planned at which were the forerunner of the kind of mathematics that
a local plant to test the process modification, a low-cost we’re using now.
treatment solution to comply with pending state regulations.
That this was first on his agenda says it all: Rather than CG: So you were looking for repeatability, ways to
discussing his 50-year career and the recent honor from expand the process. Was there a chemical engineering
“Environmental Protection,” this internationally acclaimed first-rate reaction equation that you were building from?
pioneer was more interested in doing just that—pioneering. WE: I got to know a biochem professor at Columbia who was
You can reach Wes at weckenfelder @ in the process of developing equations for the fermentation
industry. I figured, this is the same kind of thing we do in
An acute
treatment problem
is resolved when a
Industry/ Municipality Cooperation Leads to

Solution for Kentucky Wastewater Treatment

food processing
facility installs a
pretreatment system
in just four months When both look at pretreat- Division of Water had of the plant upset. The City
and a city is persuaded A ment and capacity options threatened the City with a ordered the food processor
to take a second food together, they can maximize moratorium on new sewer to install a pretreatment
look at its treatment process- existing capital investments connections.The City had system that would reduce
ing plant, and minimize new ones. responded by assigning its BOD load by 70 percent.
plant capacity. the City of That saves money for private its consultant to evaluate Estimated cost: $3.5 million.
Murray, Ky., industry and the city.” possible plant upgrades
and Brown and that would meet the
Caldwell recently proved Division of Water’s pub- Quickly installing
again that industry and A problem with lished design values. industry pretreatment
municipalities can meet City effluent Then an acute non- “The food processing plant
wastewater treatment targets sends up a red flag compliance event occurred called on Brown and Caldwell
more quickly and inexpen- Satisfactory wastewater treat- in the City’s only—and to design and build the
sively when they collaborate ment at the publicly owned, effluent-dominated—creek, pretreatment system and
in their search for solutions. Murray, Ky., facility was prompting the Division of negotiate the pretreatment
The solution in this defined largely according to Water and other agencies permit with the City and
case hinged on conducting “Recommended Standards to get involved. state,” explains Project
a comprehensive assessment for Wastewater Facilities,” The most likely cause Manager Houston Flippin.
of the municipal treatment known as the Ten State of the event was a sludge “We were able to negotiate
plant capacity, and the Standards, which had been blanket carryover from the a 45 percent reduction
design and installation of a embraced by the Kentucky treatment plant’s secondary in BOD load within six
pretreatment system at the Division of Water. In 1994, clarifier, which in turn months—and a delay of
food processing facility that the City facility was rated to was caused by two factors. the 70 percent reduction
reduced its biochemical treat an annual average BOD One was inadequate sludge requirement until we could
oxygen demand (BOD) load of 10,328 pounds per wastage due to the City’s comprehensively evaluate
load on the City by more day (lb/day), at a wastewater inability to land-apply the the actual treatment capacity
than 50 percent. flow of 4 million gallons sludge over a prolonged of the City’s facility.”
“Cooperative problem- per day (mgd). Actually, the wet-weather period (the City Meanwhile, Brown and
solving between industry plant treated an annual wasn’t prepared to dispose Caldwell evaluated design
and municipalities about average BOD load of 12,300 of the sludge in a landfill). alternatives for the pretreat-
discharge compliance makes lb/day. The food processor’s The second factor was the ment system and performed
sense,” comments Jeff share of that load was poor sludge settleability that bench-scale testing. An aer-
Pintenich, the project principal approximately 5,000 lb/day plagued the City plant. ated equalization tank was
in charge. “The municipality (roughly 40 percent), at an Nevertheless—because selected for design, which
has a large investment in average flow of 0.2 mgd. it generated 40 percent of began in October 1998.
facilities and is considered Because the City treat- the City treatment plant’s Only four months later, the
the expert in treatment. ment plant’s operating load annual average BOD load— pretreatment system started
Industry is the expert on was more than 90 percent the food processor was up. It consisted of on-line
producing its products. of its rated capacity, the implicated as the instigator CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
The former aerobic digesters
of the Murray, Ky., municipal
wastewater treatment plant.
As part of minor modifications
recommended by Brown and
Caldwell, these digesters were
converted to sludge thickeners
to promote more effective use
of a newer aerobic digester.
This and other modifications
stemmed from Brown and
Caldwell’s six-week program
to re-evaluate the City plant’s
capacity, which was thereby
increased by 25 percent

Two workers inside the

new 570,000-gallon aerated
equalization tank at a food
processing plant in Murray,
Ky. The tank is part of a
wastewater pretreatment
system — designed and built
by Brown and Caldwell in
just four months— that
reduced the food processor’s
biochemical oxygen demand
load by more than 50 percent.

With two months to close
waste-load monitoring through turbidity analysis, a escrow, RMC Nevada sought an
lift station, a force main, and a 570,000-gallon aerated accurate analysis of a site’s
equalization tank with jet aeration, defoamer addition, mineable resource—along with
nutrient addition, and process-control systems. The interim Phase I ESAs and a review of
pretreatment limits were met immediately. Later, they were operating permits—to assess
exceeded, with more than 50 percent of the BOD load whether it should finalize
reduced by the new system. Installed cost: $1.8 million. the acquisition deal.

Already-improved City capacity

further unmasked by evaluation
The food processing plant’s new pretreatment system
allowed the City’s facility to achieve good sludge settleability,
since pretreatment mitigated dissolved oxygen and nutrient
deficiencies at the City plant. Previously, this could be
P hillip Bonnell, president of RMC Nevada, had
roughly 60 days until the close of escrow on two
achieved only with chlorination of return activated sludge, quarry sites his company had agreed to purchase.
because the City plant was already operating all of its aera- The seller claimed that one of the sites—an
tion equipment and had no facilities for nutrient addition. 858-acre property east of Reno—contained
With some of the City’s technical problems already approximately 1 billion tons of mineable material.
resolved, Brown and Caldwell embarked on the capacity re- The site’s value would vary by millions of dol-
evaluation, putting together a team of engineers: Scott Hall lars according to the veracity of the seller’s claim.
of Charlotte, N.C.; Steve Batiste, Pintenich, Flippin, and Bonnell needed an accurate analysis of its
others of Nashville, Tenn.; Henryk Melcer and Patricia resources, and he needed it quickly. In addition,
Tam of Seattle; John Bratby of Denver; Dave Kinnear of he had to get a thorough assessment of existing
Salt Lake City; and Marc Pritchard of Pleasant Hill, Calif. operations and mining permits to evaluate whether
They performed a six-week program involving full-scale RMC could continue mining at the site, which had
stress testing of clarifiers and the belt press, dirty-water been operating since 1988. Finally, so RMC would
oxygen transfer testing, determination of nitrification rates, qualify for the innocent landowner defense under
determination of influent total suspended solids degradability, the Comprehensive Environmental Response and
full-scale plant monitoring, and a review of existing data. Liability Act (CERCLA), Phase I environmental
Using the Division of Water design values, the City’s site assessments (ESAs) of the two parcels were
consultant had proposed a $2.5 million upgrade to treat an needed before the sale could proceed.
annual average BOD load of 15,000 lb/day. But Brown and “On July 16, 1999, we first got a call from
Phil,” recalls Kevin Hebert, Brown and Caldwell’s
Caldwell’s results showed that the City facility could be
client service manager for RMC Nevada. “He
upgraded to treat the same waste load simply by adding
realized we had our work cut out for us to
aeration equipment and making other minor modifications,
complete all the due-diligence activities before
at an installed cost of $500,000.
close of escrow. But I assured him that by the
The City—and its consultant—agreed with Brown
time we propose our scope of work to a client,
and Caldwell’s findings. The food processing plant and the we’ve already scheduled most of the subcontrac-
City co-petitioned the state to rerate the publicly owned tors. When we receive authorization to proceed,
treatment plant for the greater waste load with aeration our team is off and running.”
upgrades and minor modifications alone, and to allow the
food processor higher pretreatment limits on BOD. That The team quickly mobilizes
way, both the food processor and the City could depend on On July 27, Hebert flew from the Phoenix office
the available capacity for a 25 percent increase in waste load. to Reno, where the sellers gave him and Bonnell
The upgrade and its terms are expected to be a preliminary tour of the site. By August 13, RMC
approved shortly by the Division of Water. “Everyone was a had authorized the proposed work plan, which
winner,” says Flippin. “The food processing plant saved $1.7 included aerial mapping, quarry and pit mapping,
million by not having to provide additional treatment. And the completion of an exploration program, permit
City saved $2 million by implementing a site-specific solution.” review, data compilation and modeling, and a draft
report documenting all results and conclusions,
Contact Mike Roeder or Houston Flippin in Nashville, to be submitted within six weeks, one full week
at (615) 255-2288, or Paul Klopping in Corvallis, Ore., before the close of escrow.
at (541) 754-7677, for more information on this project, This schedule gave RMC enough time to iron
design-build pretreatment systems for industry, and out with the sellers any issues that Brown and
capacity rerating for municipal treatment plants. Caldwell uncovered, or, if necessary, to renegoti-
ate the sale price.
Against the Clock,
Due Diligence Digs Deep
for Possible Quarry Purchase

To calculate the volume of a quarry site’s mineable resource over time for its possible purchase, Brown and Caldwell
used topographic images (bottom) to help develop three-dimensional topographic models (top) and conceptual pit designs
(middle). The pit designs incorporate five different constraining surfaces, property boundaries, geologic data, assumptions
regarding pit slopes, and other site information. The design illustrated here depicts a 2 horizontal:1 vertical pit slope. 5
Against the Clock, C ONTINUED FROM PAGE 4

Meanwhile, nearby forest fires were layout and constraints—specifically, its survey. The geologic model allowed
producing smoke and haze that threat- mineable resource, the Washington Brown and Caldwell to estimate the
ened to indefinitely delay aerial survey- Hill rhyolite. The rhyolite is crushed, shape, vertical and horizontal extent,
ing, which was needed to gain essential processed, and used to produce and variability of rhyolite on the
topographic data. concrete and asphalt. 858-acre site.
As the fires kept burning, Hebert Field mapping, exploratory Next, the team developed mining
and Project Manager Rob Matter assem- drilling, and detailed site examination scenarios, harnessing Surpac 2000 and
bled the team: from the Phoenix office, proceeded through September. A sub- SurvCADD to prepare conceptual pit
Jim Robison, senior mining engi- designs for the identified
neer, Janice Petticrew, environmen- extraction scenarios. The
tal scientist, and Bill Simmons, sen- pit designs accounted for

ior design engineer; from the Boise, a number of variables:
Idaho, office, Geologist Rob
Mullener; and from the Carson
With three- five different constraining
surfaces, a 200-foot offset
City, Nev., office, Geologists Brad inside the property line,
Hart and John Bennett. Each team
member would contribute expert-
dimensional model- the rhyolite contact with
an underlying andesite
ise—gained from environmental
assessments, mining projects, and ing software, we can rock body, the encroach-
ing highwall pit slopes,
geologic mapping—that would the assumed structure of
yield a whole view greater than the
sum of its parts.
render surface the andesite, the existing
topography, wash loss,

3D resource modeling details, add a pit and material quality, the

latter partly determined by
new to industry laboratory analysis of drill
While three-dimensional modeling
has been employed for years in the
outline, and overlay cuttings. A discrepancy
in information about the
mining industry to evaluate base property boundary also
and precious metals, the construc- it with an aerial was accounted for.
tion materials industry only recent- Then, as Petticrew
ly began to reap the fruits of this was completing the Phase I
technology. Brown and Caldwell ESAs and Hebert was
employs the modeling programs reviewing the site operat-
Surpac 2000™ and SurvCADD™ to ing permits, the rest of
develop conceptual pit designs that the team employed the
incorporate topographic data and volumetric modeling
geologic models. meter-accuracy global positioning programs to merge the geologic model
“Using this software, we can render system (GPS) instrument was used with the conceptual pit designs to
surface details, add a pit outline, and to locate the drill holes and to identify determine the total tonnage of
overlay it with an aerial photograph,” geologic structures that could hinder extractable rhyolite at the site.
explains Geologist Rob Mullener, a complete extraction of the rhyolite.
former Surpac technical specialist who And finally, on August 30, the smoke At the finish line
recently joined Brown and Caldwell. subsided enough for North American “If a buyer doesn’t quantify a site’s
“And we can generate a moving image Mapping to complete its subcontracted resources before purchase, he or she is
as if we were flying over the property. aerial photogrammetric survey. taking on a huge risk,” explains Brian
This allows visualization of the property During the next three weeks, from Anderson, who spearheads Brown and
layout before, during, and after mining.” offices in three states, the team amassed Caldwell’s construction materials
and interpreted multiple data sets to practice. “Many acquisitions are based
From field data to modeling provide an in-depth picture of the on an economic model that’s linked
to accurate prediction proposed acquisition’s resources. First, to the facility’s mine life, and thus
Matter, Hebert, Hart, and Petticrew they prepared a geologic model. This ultimately tied to the total resource
arrived on site August 25 to begin incorporated information from many quantity. But the buyer may not know
Phase I-related inspections and to sources: the U.S. Geological Survey, if this model is accurate. An analysis
develop an understanding of the site’s aerial topographic survey, legal docu- like the one we did for RMC finds
geology and the operation’s physical ments, exploration boreholes, and GPS out. We provide a credible third-party
bargaining chip.”

The bargaining chip was delivered
to RMC on September 24, not two
months from the preliminary site
inspection, in the form of the promised
draft report.
It showed that the recoverable
resources of the 858-acre parcel were
much more limited than the the seller
had asserted. Instead of 1 billion tons
of mineable rhyolite, approximately
136 million tons of product was recov-
erable using a 2 horizontal:1 vertical pit
slope, and approximately 117 million
tons of product was recoverable using
a 3 horizontal:1 vertical pit slope,
according to the due-diligence team’s
Guidebook Navigates
estimate. Assuming the current produc- Texas’ New Rules
tion rate of 1 million tons per year, the
team determined the site’s mine life to on Environmental
be approximately 100 years.
ESAs for both sites uncovered
Risk Assessment
no significant environmental problems The Lone Star State has finalized new rules for risk assessment of contaminated
present that would prevent the deal sites and cleanup using natural attenuation. And a new guidebook is available
from closing. Also, the permit review from Brown and Caldwell to help industry users understand and apply the wide-
showed that conditions for continued ranging regulations.
operation of the site were acceptable In development since 1996, the Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP) Rules
to RMC. reflect the state’s reputation for doing things in a big way. ”They are the most
Although Brown and Caldwell’s comprehensive rules for risk-based corrective action promulgated by a state
estimated volume of recoverable rhyo- so far,” says Austin Cooley, P.E., Houston-based environmental program
lite was far lower than the seller’s
manager for Brown and Caldwell. “And in the past, many states have followed Texas’
claim, RMC had previously drawn its
lead in this area.”
own line in the sand: 100 million tons
Brown and Caldwell helped develop the new program, participating in all meet-
of rhyolite to be extracted with reason-
able confidence. Brown and Caldwell’s ings of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission’s TRRP working group
analysis reassured Bonnell that the and providing extensive written comments on the rules. The company also trained
minimum could be mined. And the Commission staff in risk assessment and natural attenuation evaluation methods.
team’s other findings added the final Brown and Caldwell’s 30-page “Texas Risk Reduction Program Guidebook”
pieces to the puzzle of what the two summarizes the regulations in a comprehensible way, addresses their framework,
parcels really offered. and discusses their most important elements. A section on “Frequently Asked
“RMC Nevada is very pleased that Questions” is included. For a copy, send $5 to Kelly Ansley, Brown and
Brown and Caldwell met our timeline,” Caldwell, 1415 Louisiana, Suite 2500, Houston, Texas 77002, or call (713) 646-1134.
says Bonnell. “The team’s efforts
helped us support our position and
our purchase price. The transaction Salo Elected to WEF Board of Directors
closed successfully.” John Salo, senior vice president in Brown and
Caldwell’s Atlanta office, was elected to the Water
Contact Brian Anderson in the Boise, Environment Federation (WEF) Board of Directors at the
Idaho, office at (208) 336-1340 for Annual Conference in New Orleans in October 1999. One of
more information on construction two directors from Georgia, he will serve a three-year term.
materials services. In 1998, Salo received WEF’s Arthur Sidney Bedell
Award, the most prestigious award that can be given to
honor an individual member, “in acknowledgement of
extraordinary personal service.”
Choosing the Best
Way to Comply with
(Gasp!) GASB 34
Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 34 (GASB) isn’t
Norris Co-Authors Two Books a problem waiting somewhere in the distant future. It’s here. Roughly

on Subsurface Cleanup 84,000 agencies will need to comply with the new rules for financial
reporting—many of them in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2001, and

and Bioremediation the rest over the following two years, depending on their revenues.
Forward-thinking agencies are starting now to prepare for GASB
34. But choosing the best way to comply may not be easy: Compliance
strategies will have effects reverberating well beyond the CFO’s office.

Two approaches to accounting for fixed assets
The new rules require public agencies to identify all their fixed assets,
establish each asset’s value, and determine its service life. Agencies
then must calculate and report the depreciation of these assets—or
ocusing on the Department of mittee helped lead to the
report activities and expenditures to maintain assets—as part of the
Energy’s (DOE’s) environmental influential book “In Situ
cost of doing business.
practices and technologies, a Bioremediation—When Does It
Many agencies will find this difficult because of incomplete fixed
new publication from the Work?” That volume introduced
asset records, poor knowledge of historical costs, or unknown asset
National Research Council the term “intrinsic remediation”
service lives.
examines current issues in and served as the basis for the
Once depreciation is reported as a utility cost, current rates may
subsurface remediation. U.S. EPA’s monitored natural
not appear to be in line with the cost of providing service. For instance,
“Groundwater and Soil Cleanup: attenuation protocols.
if payments on debt principal, rather than depreciation, have been the
Improving Management of Also co-authored by Norris
basis for current rates, the sudden substitution of depreciation will
Persistent Contaminants” is “Accelerated Bioremediation
skew the apparent gain or loss from operations, perhaps dramatically.
is co-authored by Robert D. Using Slow Release Compounds,”
Offering an alternative to reporting depreciation, GASB sets out a
Norris, Ph.D., Brown and recently published by Battelle
"modified approach"—which it encourages infrastructure agencies to
Caldwell’s Nashville-based Press. The book presents
adopt—requiring that agencies periodically assess the condition of
technical director of in-situ selected papers from a confer-
their fixed assets and report activities and expenditures to maintain
remediation. ence series on bioremediation
the assets. This rigorous approach to GASB 34 compliance is not
The Council formed a com- technologies sponsored by
strictly required, but bond rating agencies will probably favor it for two
mittee in 1997 to review how the Battelle—a Columbus, Ohio-
reasons: It avoids the distorting effects of reporting depreciation based
DOE develops technologies to based non-profit technology
on historical costs; and it demonstrates good stewardship of assets in
characterize, remediate, and organization—from 1993 to
a way that simply reporting depreciation does not.
contain contaminants on its 1999. Norris and co-editor
Many infrastructure agencies will choose to adopt programs to
sites, evaluate the technologies, Steve Koenigsberg,
periodically assess and report asset conditions in accord with GASB
and critique the DOE’s manage- Ph.D., highlight the key issues
34’s modified approach. These agencies will need to develop scales to
ment of their technology devel- involved in the use of slow-
rate asset condition, methodologies to document asset condition, and
opment program. The resulting release oxygen and hydrogen
a GASB 34-compliant asset management system. Of course, they also
book details the department’s compounds to clean up various
groundwater and soil problems contaminants.
and the changing regulatory Contact the National
environment. It then examines Academy Press at
DOE responses to dense, or (888) 624-8373 to order
non-aqueous-phase liquids “Groundwater and Soil Cleanup.”
(DNAPLs), metals, and radionu- To obtain “Accelerated
clides and recommends Bioremediation Using Slow
technical approaches. Release Compounds,” contact
Norris’ efforts on another Norris at (615) 255-2288 or
National Research Council com-
After a strategy has been formulated, Brown and Caldwell may
help implement it, working with agencies as program or project man-
agers in several key areas:

■ Developing asset condition scales and asset inventory and

condition assessment methodologies
■ Conducting asset inventories, valuations, and condition assessments
■ Developing procedures to keep the asset database up-to-date
will have to inventory their assets and conduct the periodic condition
■ Developing or helping to implement related asset-based systems
assessments. None of this will be easy, although the effort may well
■ Integrating GASB 34 compliance efforts with other asset-based
prove valuable in the long run.
management systems and regulatory compliance programs, such as
those specified in the Clean Water Act and proposed under the EPA’s
Different agencies will have different objectives draft sewer overflow prevention program
Dealing effectively with GASB 34 requires establishing compliance ■ Integrating fragmented asset databases so that all agency users can
goals and objectives, which may include the following: be served from a consistent and up-to-date database
■ Formulate an initiative to fully comply with GASB 34 in a way that
maximizes financial health and promotes good bond ratings If agencies can get ahead of GASB 34’s looming requirements,
■ Create, or change, the agency’s asset management system to meet they may discover compliance choices that benefit them in the long
the new financial reporting needs run. For more information, contact me at (949) 260-6152, or
■ Integrate this asset management system with other asset-based
systems such as geographic information systems (GIS), mainte- —KEN HARLOW
nance management, work order systems, and replacement planning
■ Set policies to maintain infrastructure assets to a standard of excellence
■ Minimize rate disruption
Different utilities and public agencies will adopt different
approaches to meeting the new GASB standards. To help an agency
develop an optimal compliance strategy, Brown and Caldwell typically
takes some or all of the following steps:
Unique Collaborative
■ Review fixed asset and historical cost records, and recommend
how these records can be completed and brought up to date
Process to Convert Former

according to GASB 34 guidelines
Interview staff throughout the organization to document Refinery Site
existing and needed asset-based applications (GIS, maintenance
management, master planning, replacement planning, etc.)
■ Interview the agency’s auditors to determine their standards for sing a federal court-
a GASB 34-compliant fixed asset system, and which compliance ordered collaborative
approaches are preferred versus those likely to generate unfavorable
process never before applied
footnotes to the financial statements—or even a qualified audit opinion
to a RCRA refinery site
■ Help chart an overall compliance strategy that meets identified
closure, BP Amoco, the
needs and compliance objectives while considering other existing
or planned systems that may depend on a comprehensive Wyoming Department of
fixed-asset database Environmental Quality, a Joint
Powers Board formed by the
City of Casper and Natrona
County, and Brown and
Caldwell together are work-
ing towards beneficial reuse
Salo, CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 of a former refinery and its
associated properties.
Salo served as Chair of the Georgia WEF Section in 1997-98 and
Chair of the Section’s Legislative Committee, which he organized, Their aim to rapidly
from 1992-94. He has been an officer of the Georgia Section since return the unique Casper,
1994. WEF, an international, not-for-profit educational and technical Wyo., site to recreational,
organization of more than 40,000 members, focuses on activities that CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
preserve and enhance the global water environment.
Unique Collaborative Process A sheet-pile barrier wall is being constructed along the North
CONTINUED FROM PRECEDING PAGE Platte River to help contain releases from a former refinery
site in Casper, Wyo. The site is being restored to support
wildlife, and commercial use contrasts with recreational and commercial uses. Brown and Caldwell is
conventional RCRA closures, which typical- part of a court-ordered collaborative process to address site
ly take 15 to 20 years. The former Amoco characterization and remediation.
refinery project is on track to achieve a
final remedial decision in three years.
The Joint Powers Board (JPB), which in charge of the project and senior vice president of
includes both elected officials and appoint- environmental services, “and by focusing on prob-
ed citizens, needed an unbiased ally to rep- lem-solving using scientific methods.”
resent its interests in the technically com- In early 1999, for example, the involved par-
plex process and to help maintain the pro- ties began considering the issue of non-aqueous
ject’s aggressive schedule. “Drawing on phase liquids (NAPLs) underlying the former
their knowledge and experience in environ- refinery and the length of a sheet-pile wall
mental remediation, Brown and Caldwell is that would help contain it. Initially, it had been
giving the JPB an objective voice in the agreed that the wall would be constructed along
process,” explains Dave Engels, the a particular stretch of the North Platte River. Then
board’s executive director. “They’re helping considerable contention arose, with some arguing
us make sure that whatever is proposed pro- that the wall should extend the whole length of
tects human health and the environment.” the river or even surround the entire property.
The refinery operated for nearly a Recognizing the stalemate, Brown and
century before being closed approximately Caldwell recommended convening an expert
eight years ago. With almost 10,000 feet of panel composed of members invited by
frontage on the North Platte River and prox- each participant in the process. The JPB
imity to downtown Casper, the desirable site was represented by Brown and Caldwell’s
of the now-demolished refinery offers a number of possible uses. The Robert Mutch, of Mahwah, N.J., and Ron Burt, of Nashville,
draft reuse plan for the site, proposed by the JPB and a citizen commit- Tenn. “The panel produced a report describing the migration of
tee, envisions a golf course, office park, and large areas of open space NAPLs—oil— and dissolved-phase groundwater contaminants at the
reserved for recreation and wildlife. An offsite property, Soda Lake, site,” says Mutch. “With that technical basis, the panel recommended
also offers valuable new uses: Where refinery wastewater was dis- that the sheet-pile wall span the length of the North Platte River on the
posed of, now migratory waterfowl, antelope, and other wildlife have refinery side, but not encircle the property.” Breaking through the
established themselves in a habitat of unusual diversity for a semi-arid stalemate, the expert panel also established a precedent on how to
region. Characterization activities and corrective-measure studies for resolve any future collaborative stalls.
the lake are scheduled for later this year. The high-profile project involves media coverage of all key
One of the Casper project’s toughest challenges is resolution of com- meetings. Linda Henry, Ron Zurlinden, and Cindy Paulson
plex technical issues in a collaborative process that requires agreement via round out the company’s team, providing assessments of ecologic and
consensus by all the parties.“We’ve been able to achieve breakthroughs human health risks and making public educational presentations in
by emphasizing the range of knowledge that everyone in this process has addition to offering expertise on site characterization, remediation,
to contribute,” comments Steve Haverl, Brown and Caldwell’s principal and water quality.

Wes Eckenfelder’s “Industrial Water Pollution Control”

McGraw-Hill recently published the third edition of "Industrial Water Pollution Control" by
W. Wesley Eckenfelder, Jr., D.Sc., P.E., senior technical director for Brown and Caldwell
(see the interview this issue). The 1989 and 1967 editions also were authored by Eckenfelder.
The new edition features case histories, problems from the field, and increased emphasis on the
application of theories and state-of-the-art technology. The contents reflect changes demanded over the
past few years by higher water-quality standards.
For an examination copy, email with your mailing address, request,
and the book’s ISBN (0-07-039364-8), or call the publisher at (800) 338-3987.

Kaolin Industry promulgated for 78 categories of examining the EPA’s approach problem as a whole, weighing
Aims to Shape emission sources. Over the next
three years, 66 standards cover-
to various air pollutants as well
as indicators, emissions levels,
the risks and rewards of different
technical issues, and then
MACT Regulations ing 96 source categories are to
be issued. If federal MACT
required monitoring, final
compliance requirements,
developing strategic paths). The
company’s team includes special-
standards aren’t issued on time, and industry costs. ists in mining, testing, permitting
The kaolin industry is helping states can put forth equivalent Smith cites the outcome and compliance, health and risk
to shape new federal standards air emissions regulations. that befell the portland cement assessment, decision and strategic
for maximum achievable control MACT standards have industry as one the kaolin analysis, modeling, economic
technology (MACT) to limit air pol- raised considerable concern industry wants to avoid: Two analysis, and process engineering.
lution. The clay products MACT, among private industry because manufacturer associations are
which includes kaolin, is due to be
promulgated by May 15, 2002. DOE
“The economic impact
of this regulation on the kaolin
manufacturing industry could Clarke for
be enormous, as much as Pit 9 Drilling
eight or nine figures,” says
Craig Smith, Ph.D., a Safety Review
Brown and Caldwell air regula- In an unusual recognition of
tions expert based in Atlanta. timely and high-quality work,
“We hope to reduce that impact the Department of Energy
by supporting the development gave a Corporate Award to
of regulations that fit this indus- James Clarke, Ph.D., of
try, not the other way around.” Brown and Caldwell, and his
Smith leads the strategic fellow team members from four
response of the China Clay other firms, for their independent
Producers Association (CCPA), technical review of proposed
which consists of five compa- sonic drilling in Pit 9 at the Idaho
nies that produce 60 percent of National Engineering and
the world’s kaolin. A type of clay Environmental Laboratory.
used in high-grade paper, paints, The Department had received
additives, and pharmaceuticals, conflicting advice about whether
kaolin deposits in North America sonic drilling into the pit’s buried
are concentrated in Georgia. The waste–which contains potassium
clay processing industry also and sodium nitrates and petrole-
includes alumina, bentonite, um hydrocarbon oils –could result
fuller’s earth, and ball clay. in explosion or fire. The 1-acre pit
“Brown and Caldwell is the so far, their limits have required suing the EPA, disputing its pre- also contains barrels, boots, rags,
quarterback, running the plays to capital-intensive emissions con- scribed monitoring technology and debris contaminated with
get the CCPA through a myriad trols. Emissions may be reduced and its ability to regulate certain plutonium and other hazardous
of regulatory issues,” explains through elimination, process pollutants, while the Sierra Club chemicals generated during
Smith. "A big part of our work is modifications and substitutions, is suing the EPA as well, alleging nuclear weapons production at
facilitating meetings by a group new operating procedures, that it has not gone far enough the Rocky Flats site in Colorado
which is bound by a common and/or "end-of-the-pipe" controls. in reducing hazardous air pollu- and dumped in the late 1960s. The
goal, but made up of ardent Costs for the latter have run into tants. Meanwhile, the EPA Department planned to sample it via
competitors. This group contin- the millions of dollars. estimates that the portland sonic drilling as part of a cleanup
ues to develop honesty and Smith is drawing on his cement MACT standard will project that had been plagued by
openness among themselves— work with other industries that lead to industry compliance technical and legal delays.
which is critical to achieving have responded to MACT stan- costs of $240 million per year. The independent panel con-
consensus on strategic issues.” dards development, including For the kaolin industry, cluded in November 1999 that
An outgrowth of the 1990 gasoline storage and organic Brown and Caldwell formulated the potential for explosion or fire
amendments to the Clean Air liquid distribution companies. In a decision analysis process that from sonic drilling is "beyond
Act, and administered by the particular, he has analyzed the wouldn’t predetermine the extremely unlikely" if the panel’s
U.S. Environmental Protection efforts of others to influence course of action. A more typical recommendations are followed.
Agency (EPA), MACT regula- MACT regulations development, approach would be linear Recently, 20 subsurface probes
tions will eventually cover more including the portland cement, (collecting information and then were installed using sonic drilling
than 174 industrial categories. phosphate fertilizer, and lime responding to the EPA) rather throughout the full depth of Pit 9,
To date, 43 standards have been industries. This has involved than global (looking at the without incident.
Learning Hard Lessons
Through EPA Enforcement
Sounding a clarion bell heard period prevented the site from being
Issues and Ideas

ic facility information, and a training pro-

across the United States, the included on the state Superfund list. By gram covering fire safety, chemical storage,
U.S. Environmental Protection clearly understanding the regulatory envi- and utilities identification. To expedite
Agency (EPA) announced last fall that it ronment, encouraging the university to information-gathering and enhance
had fined the University of Hawaii more respond quickly and appropriately, and, response capabilities for the local emer-
than $115,000 for its shortcomings in envi- above all, keeping the university’s best gency response teams, the university com-
ronmental compliance. interests in mind, the consultant helped it piled all of this information into one docu-
No longer, the EPA seemed to be say- turn a negative into a positive. ment, accessible via a web-based browser
ing, would the nation’s colleges or univer- (with password). The user-friendly elec-
sities sidestep its enforcement hammer. Do you have an automated, tronic format allows the document to be
Since then the buzz among trade associa- systematic program for notifica- continuously upgraded.
tions serving thousands of top cam- tion about compliance deadlines
pus administrators has been and requirements? One major As part of their environmental
about a crackdown. The Southeastern university began its envi- efforts, some universities are
threat is perceived as an ronmental stewardship with a top-to-bot- reaping financial rewards through
amorphous one, tom review of environmental health and improved management of energy
less regulated by and concern safety (EHS) practices. The university, systems. As with their environmental
environmental agencies, is high. already a leader in handling environmen- compliance efforts, universities often begin
colleges and universities can tal issues up front, requested a compre- with an audit to analyze system perform-
hensive third-party review of its EHS pro- ance, costs, and efficiency. Next, a report
avoid fines, demonstrate leadership,
gram, focusing on management systems, might identify potential cost-savings items,
improve public relations, and hazardous waste management, asbestos, such as increased centralization, each with
reduce operating costs radiation, biosafety, tank management, an estimated payback period. A consulting
through compliance Significant solid waste management, air/wastewater firm with a full palette of HVAC, mechani-
work already being treatment and permitting, steam plant cal, and electrical engineering skills can
efforts. done for some of the operations, and vehicle maintenance work with a client to identify methods to
nation’s leading universities operations. The final report summarized implement system improvements in a
in advance of this latest wave of regulatory compliance and management phased approach to accommodate budget-
enforcement illustrates how academic issues and gave more than 200 recom- ing cycles. These improvements often lead
institutions can take action to allay their mendations on improving operations. to immediate and significant reductions in
concerns. operating costs.
By successfully implementing an envi- Here’s another example of As today’s business sense, bottom-line
ronmental program, these institutions will how to turn a potential public mentality penetrates university administra-
not only improve compliance and reduce relations disaster into environ- tions, it is crucial to avoid surprises—be it
the chances of an unpleasant six-figure mental “solutioneering.” A universi- a massive capital expense after an energy
fine—they will also demonstrate their lead- ty discovered an undetermined number of system shutdown, or a major fine for fail-
ership, turning compliance measures into buried drums of the pesticide DDT. Facing ure to properly manage environmental
an example of environmental stewardship, liability under state Superfund laws, the compliance. Be honest, assess your envi-
with accompanying public relations university turned to its consultant for ronmental needs, staff capabilities, and
rewards. Just as important, they can signifi- information about its regulatory responsi- potential liabilities, and then develop a
cantly reduce operating costs, allowing bilities. The response they planned and plan. Ask experts to share what they have
them to redirect savings to improve aca- enacted included not only traditional engi- already learned. As times continue to
demic programs. neering services to confirm the extent of change, you will find yourself ready for
contamination, but also community out- the tests ahead.
Leaders of academic institu- reach efforts and ongoing communication —JIM CLAFFEY, PH.D.
tions should start with a frank with the media—yielding good press and
and honest assessment. Do you public respect. For more information
handle environmental issues only after the An effective environmental manage- on environmental
regulators and notices of violation show ment program these days can mean a lot management strate-
up? Does your staff have the depth of more than proactive compliance. For gies tailored to
experience to properly support and negoti- example, with increasing threats of bioter- institutions of higher
ate your case with a regulatory agency? rorism, one university has put together an learning, contact
In one recent case, a consultant’s abili- emergency operations plan for its entire Claffey in Atlanta
ty to develop a plan for handling haz- campus of more than 300 buildings. It at (770) 673-3663.
ardous materials within an allowed 30-day developed a core response plan with specif-

Most coveted honor:
C ONTINUED FROM P AGE 1 “The Imhoff-Koch Medal from the

Eckenfelder activated sludge, so I literally picked up all of his material and

reworked it for activated sludge.
International Water Association.
I received it in Kyoto in 1990,
and I was especially honored
because an international panel
CG: What constituted a pilot study in the ’50s?
made the selection.”
WE: At the West Vaco Mill in Covington, Va., we had steel
tanks. The aeration tank was roughly 7 feet wide and 14 feet
First job out of college:
deep, and we had a clarifier. We simply compared the deten-
“Paint inspector for the City of
tion time—sludge age wasn’t really used at that time. We used
New York, 1946. Prompted me
a mixed liquor of 2,500 milligrams per liter or somewhere
thereabouts. Four hours, six hours detention time. Not highly to go to graduate school.”
sophisticated, but it worked.
Motivation for becoming
CG: What was the objective of secondary treatment then? a professor:
WE: 85 percent removal of BOD. At that point, industry was “I needed a job that paid,
considered the same as municipal. but I was also determined
to overcome my speech
CG: And with primary treatment, you weren’t getting that. impediment—my way.”
WE: Right. Something around 20 percent.
Biggest personal
CG: What were the early arguments against secondary achievement:
treatment? “Becoming an educator, as well
WE: Cost. They claimed either that it was going to put them as knowing that my books are
out of business or that there really wasn’t a problem out there. published in many languages
Unless there was a fish kill, industry wasn’t being squeezed. and in use all over the world.”

CG: Thinking through the advancements in technology Biggest technology bust:

over the span of your career, what hasn’t changed “Physical-chemical
and what has? treatment of municipal
WE: Interesting you’d ask that. A few weeks ago I was looking
through my 1960 book and thought to myself, “Things sure
haven’t changed much since I wrote that!” Of course, things
An anecdote:
are still being fine-tuned, but basic concepts . . .Well, the bugs
“I was keynote speaker at
haven’t changed in thousands of years. They’re still doing the
same things. Today, I’d say that membranes—biomembranes the Purdue Industrial Waste
in particular—is certainly new technology that will become a Conference in 1965. Unfortunately,
milestone. I got caught up in the festivities
the night before and ended up
CG: What about the move toward statistical modeling losing my car. I opened my
to anticipate problems? remarks the next morning by
WE: Certainly in the municipal area, we’re already there. Not asking if anyone had seen it.”
so in industrial. If you take domestic sewage with no industrial
input, it has a reasonably predictable cycle over 24 hours that Most harrowing experience:
can be programmed. But for industry, with changes in produc- “Attending the 1968 IAWPRC
tion, batch processing, you have no predictable model. It’s a Conference in Prague the day
different game. But we’ll eventually come up with something. Soviet tanks rolled into the city.
They cancelled the conference
CG: As predictable as the municipal waste stream looks, that year, but managed to
the operations philosophy is still very reactive. put it back on in Prague the
WE: It’s a mindset. People are convinced that there is so much following year.”
variability that their charter is just to react to what they get
every day.

CG: So what we see with Eric Wahlberg’s work on this

whole concept is that operators need a higher level of
confidence in statistical process control.
WE: Education, attitudes, understanding—that’s what’s
important. Science is already there.

The Short Course on Pulp
and Paper Activated Sludge
The new Short Course on Pulp and Paper Activated Sludge targets sludge settling
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■ Differentiate between performance problems caused by operational control Paper Activated Sludge is
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Course components: Cost: $595 status by TAPPI each year
Overview of Biological Treatment from 1994 through 1999.
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PERMIT NO. 11882