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EPCON 2016/EBC’s 20th Anniversary Connect Environmental Professionals

by: John Galandak, President, CIANJ

CIANJONE OF THE Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey’s (CIANJ’s) most important functions is to bring people together to initiate and build upon strong professional relationships. Indeed, one element of CIANJ that distinguishes it from other organizations is the special bond that develops between and among members. EPCON 2016, New Jersey’s premier environmental procurement conference, is an excellent example of the action we take to realize that goal.

Our Environmental Business Council’s (EBC’s) magnum opus—its tour de force of events—EPCON 2016, “provided some great information on the state of the environmental industry in New Jersey,” says CIANJ Chairman Martin W. Kafafian, managing partner of the law firm Beattie Padovano LLC in Montvale, New Jersey. “It afforded our members the opportunity to connect with and introduce themselves to new and potential clients.”

New Jersey’s environmental industry is a close-knit community where professionals know one another and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. The common bond and interests that bring them together is apparent and visible at EBC’s peer-to-peer meetings, events and conferences.

In fact, more than 200 environmental business professionals attended EPCON 2016. Held at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin, New Jersey, on May 20, 2016, the event attracted developers, consultants, contractors, laboratories, manufacturers, attorneys, and buyers and sellers of environmental services and technical expertise.

“New Jersey faces a myriad of environmental challenges,” says John Falcone, CEO of Gold Sponsor Envirobidnet.com. “Much of the resources to address such issues depends on the Fed and, given the current political climate, all bets are off. The most pressing projects, in no specific order, are coastal hazards, air and waterway pollution, toxic sites and sewage.”

Other conference sponsors included Aqua Pro-Tech Laboratories; AWT Environmental Services, Inc.; Bayshore Recycling; Enterprise Network Resolutions (ENR) Contracting, LLC; GEI Consultants; and SGS Accutest.

“Since 1996, the Environmental Business Council has worked to highlight the important role that the environmental industry plays in New Jersey,” wrote New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a welcome letter delivered to the conference. “Through workshops, conferences and educational programs, the EBC emphasizes the fundamental relationship between environmental and business issues in order to protect New Jersey’s natural resources and promote public health.”

Presented by CIANJ’s EBC, EPCON 2016 was produced in partnership with the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals; the American Council of Engineering Companies, New Jersey Chapter; the Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast; the New Jersey Alliance
for Action; the New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association (LSRPA); the Society of American Military Engineers; and the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, New Jersey Chapter.

“EPCON 2016 served as both a forum for discussing environmental business issues—such as the state of the industry— and as a seminar focusing on new and pending procurement opportunities that exist in the private sector and at the state and federal levels,” says EBC Chair and Executive Vice President of Creamer Environmental, Inc., Tracy Straka.

Breakout sessions focused on topics such as government agencies; disasterresilient buildings, infrastructure and communities; waterways, ports and harbors; prime government contractors; brownfield redevelopment; and industrial and commercial remediation. A networking luncheon provided a break in between technical sessions, and attendees at EPCON 2016 were able to use this time to explore an on-site exhibit area featuring products and services for the environmental community from more than 30 exhibitors.*

Industry Insights
After EPCON, the following environmental business leaders shared their thoughts on the most promising opportunities for new projects and for the industry.

● “In the future, environmental businesses will see continued focus on protection of natural resources, sustainable infrastructure, reducing emissions while improving productivity and brownfield redevelopment,” says Ann Massey, president, Environment & Infrastructure Americas, Amec Foster Wheeler. “With our technical expertise and project references in New Jersey in these service areas, we will see sustainable growth and diverse project opportunities.”

● “As we are well into 2016 and looking ahead to 2017, our firm is focusing on the financially strong commercial and industrial property redevelopers to lead the way for the next three to five years,” says ENR Contracting President and CEO Ted Budzynski. “I’m convinced that these firms will continue to shape our industry’s economy well into the next decade.”

● “Redevelopment of contaminated former industrial facilities as bigbox logistics centers represents a significant market opportunity for environmental consulting firms with in-depth
knowledge of each state’s regulations and a strong background in investigation and remediation,” says Steven P. Byszewski, P.E., P.P., president, SESI Consulting Engineers.

● “We are very optimistic about the balance of 2016 and 2017,” says Summit Drilling President and COO Tory Donnelly. “The most exciting opportunity we see is the increase in use of our sonic drilling rigs. We have been ahead of the curve with our investment in sonic equipment in New Jersey, investing in a range of equipment that can be used on diverse site conditions.”

● “We have seen strong interest in our Geospatial Services division,” says Steven D. Parent, P.L.S., principal of DPK Consulting. “The use of 3D scanning is creating immediate and long-term value for our customers. The data point cloud of information gathered onsite offers more comprehensive information about the site than traditional surveying, and enables our environmental clients to gain increased value from a single day in the field.”

● “We see great opportunities in major public construction underway in the metropolitan areas,” says CHEMTECH President Emanuel Hedvat. “The new investments in these projects along with other private projects are helping the growth of our business. Also, the current alarm about lead issues in drinking water may create new opportunities for our firm this year.”

● “We are seeing an increase of building predemolition service requests throughout the state,” says William P. Dolan, Esq., CEO and principal of TTI Environmental, Inc. “Through New Jersey’s Blue Acres Demolition Program, private industry is improving assets and building infrastructure, and redevelopment agencies are refurbishing their inventory. TTI has also seen an increase in requests for new equipment fabrication or vendor surveillance inspections over the past few years.”

● “The NJDEP is encouraging solar companies to target landfills for their solar arrays, and we are seeing the benefit of this trend,” says Marwan M. Sadat, Ph.D., P.E., CEO of Sadat
Associates, Inc. “We have one active project now to redevelop a landfill/brownfield site in Pennsauken into a solar facility, and are working with several other solar developers,
some from out of state, who are interested in tapping into New Jersey’s solar market.”

● “New Jersey continues to be a leader in environmental regulations that are protective of human health and the environment, and also has among the highest number of contaminated sites in the country,” says Renova Environmental Services President and Founder Paulo Heyman. “Over the next few years, the contaminated sediments market will be at the forefront, since effective and safe remediation of sites in New Jersey watersheds is now possible due to advancements in remediation technology.”

● “We’ve recently entered into a partnership with Charge Point to install and maintain electric vehicle charging stations,” says Pfister Energy President Wayne Pfisterer. “We see this as being more and more prevalent for employers and retail shops in 2016. Battery backup systems are becoming more efficient and cost-effective. We see strong opportunities to add battery solutions to existing solar projects.”

● “The biggest trend I see facing our developer clients is finding and securing properties for redevelopment,” says EWMA President Don Richardson, P.G. “The real estate market in New Jersey often struggles to support the incremental costs necessary to perform site cleanups, especially since the sites possessing the highest intrinsic real estate value have either already been redeveloped or cleanup costs far exceed the tolerable level to return a reasonable profit after development.”

● “Sustainable solutions for wastes are not only top-of-mind among our customers, but at most times, a requirement,” says Clean Earth President and CEO Chris Dods. “This goal of sustainability is trending across all markets, including energy, industrial, commercial
and consumer commodities. Waste generators are seeking true, sustainable solutions that not only address an environmental issue, but also provide a sound, cost-effective solution that preserves our environment.”

● “We see more data being shared and delivered in digital formats that are compatible with consultant and government systems for reviewing and managing data,” says J. Peter
Borbas, P.L.S., P.P., owner and president of Borbas Surveying and Mapping, LLC. “An example of this is the new electronic wetland application submission provision at the NJDEP. Surveyors historically submitted paper maps by mail, but we are now submitting digital computer mapping.”

● “New Jersey has had mandatory recycling in place since 1987, and state-of-the-art processing facilities are critical to prepare curbside material for marketing and remanufacturing of materials into new products,” says Valerie Montecalvo, president and CEO of the Bayshore Family of Companies. “With our new Single Stream Solutions (BS3) facility, we feel we are significantly advancing New Jersey’s aggressive recycling goals and promoting sustainable materials management.”

● “Over the last several decades, there has been a 70 percent increase in the frequency and intensity of storm events in the northeast,” says Leah Yasenchak, Ph.D., AICP/PP, CEcD/EDP, co-owner of BRS, Inc. “Given the dual coastline makeup of our state, there is a need for local governments to advance green infrastructure and other flood resiliency projects. BRS has been able to help many communities find additional funding and advance projects that are protective of life and property.”

● “It is everyone’s desire to utilize the best available technology when it comes to waste management,” says Turn-Key Environmental Services, Inc. CEO Bob Greco. “Recycling, beneficial reuse and waste-to-energy are always the primary options considered when approaching our customers. Reducing our customers’ liability is also a key factor when discussing their waste disposal options.”

● “Two environmental and LSRP hot topics are the issuance of draft rules on the Unregulated Heating Oil Tanks that are specific to homeowner tanks and remediation on these properties, which may provide more guidance to contractors, more confusion to homeowners, but hopefully relief and a streamlined process; and the NJDEP should propose or at least open discussion on remediation standards for ground water quality standards,” says Phillip I. Brilliant, CHMM, LSRP, owner and principal environmental scientist, Brilliant Environmental Services LLC.

● “Clients are increasingly seeking sophisticated environmental remediation options, as well as more specialized contract terms,” says Mark G. Vigneri, president and CEO of Environmental Remediation and Financial Services LLC (ERFS). “In addition to developing in-situ or subsurface technologies, we have added new treatment technologies for metals and PCBs; excavation and demolition services; and expert services for Resource Conservation and Recovery Act hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste case support.”

● “We are gearing up for our brush maintenance on expired landfills, capped facilities and mowing of solar sites,” says Classic Landscaping President Patrick Donavan.

EBC’s 20th Anniversary EPCON 2016 was also a special opportunity to recognize EBC’s 20th Anniversary with a celebration— sponsored by Pace Analytical—at the event hotel’s Olio Restaurant and Lounge the evening before the show. Finger foods, drinks and good cheer were the first course followed by networking and an awards presentation honoring EBC members who have contributed to the organization over its 20 years of success.

“The mission of the EBC is to promote the recognition that the environmental industry plays an important economic role within the state, to demonstrate that environmental issues are also business issues, and to educate the business and regulatory communities that environmental responsibility and economic growth are intrinsically related,” explains Straka.

Many honors and awards were presented at the EBC’s evening anniversary celebration. For her contributions to the EBC from 1996-2016, EBC Chair Tracy Straka received a “20 Years of Service Award” plaque; EBC Roundtable Moderator Lanny Kurzweil, Esq., a partner with McCarter & English, LLP, received a Service Award plaque; Sheridan Balmeo accepted a Service Award on behalf of PSE&G, which hosts the EBC’s bi-monthly Environmental Roundtable; and numerous additional Service Award Certificates were presented to members of EBC’s Steering
Committee.**

**EBC Service Award Certificates
Amy S. Green Environmental’s Amy Greene; Aqua Pro-Tech Laboratories’ Paul Maide; Brennan Environmental’s John Brennan; Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC’s Robert Crespi; Connell Foley LLP’s Steve Barnett, Esq.; Emilcott Associates, Inc.’s Bruce Groves; Equity Environmental Engineering LLC’s Bob Jackson; EWMA’s Don Richardson; EWMA’s Michael Sylvester; GEI Consultants, Inc.’s Robert Blauvelt; GEI Consultants, Inc.’s Sue Boyle; Geo- Cleanse International, Inc.’s Robert Glaser; Golder Associates’ Anthony Savino; I.C.E. Service Group, Inc.’s Dennis Morgan; Langan Engineering & Environmental Services’ Jorge Berkowitz; Langan Engineering & Environmental Services’ Neil Rivers; Madison-Vector, LLC’s Richard Vaccaro; McCarter & English, LLP’s Paul Dritsas; Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.’s Edd Hogan, Esq.; Posillico’s Tom Spatafora; Ramboll ENVIRON’s Jeffrey Entin; RTP Environmental Associates, Inc.’s Roger Greenway; Scarinci Hollenbeck’s Dan McKillop, Esq.; and Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer PA’s Jeff Cappola, Esq.

*EPCON 2016 Vendors/Exhibitors
Amec Foster Wheeler; Amy S. Greene Environmental Consultants, Inc.; Aqua Pro-Tech Labs; AWT Environmental Services Inc.; Bayshore Recycling; Casella CEL, Inc.; CHEMTECH; Classic Landscaping; Clean Earth Inc.; COMMERCE Magazine; Conifer; Creamer Environmental, Inc.; Cycle Chem, Inc.; DPK Consulting LLC; EAI, Inc.; EDR; Emilcott Associates; Enterprise Network Resolutions Contracting, LLC; Envirobidnet.com; Environmental Logic, LLC; ESC Lab Sciences; GEI Consultants; Hager- Richter GeoScience Inc.; Hampton-Clark, Inc.; Heritage Waste Solutions; JM Sorge, Inc.; Prestige Environmental, Inc.; Princeton Geoscience; Pure Soil, Inc.; Resource Options, Inc.; Reterro; SESI Consulting Engineers; SGS Accutest; Subsurface Environmental
Technologies LLC; and Summit Drilling.

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