December 2018 Newsletter

December 14, 2018

Author: Equity Environmental Engineering

At this time of the year, the leaves look so lovely with all the wonderful colors as you drive by in the country side but, they're horrible when you have to rake them and bag or drag them to the curb. Especially when there are a billion acorns underneath that just bounce when you rake them. I was happy about having a 200 foot long backyard until that first fall. The Equity team hopes you and your families enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday and don't feel too guilty about eating so much. It's the one day of the year when its encouraged!

Bob Jackson, Managing Director


Society of Military Engineers Conference

Equity staff attended the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) 2018 Federal Small Business Conference and the Department of Veterans Affairs' National Veterans Small Business Engagement in New Orleans, LA.  This is the first time that both conferences were held simultaneously and allowed participants the ability to connect directly with federal government procurement decision makers, contracting officers, and other small business officers to gain the necessary insight for upcoming procurement opportunities. There were over 4,000 attendees, approximately 400 exhibitors, Keynote 

Speakers, Federal Procurement Specialists and  there were various Conference Sessions SAME National Council & Committee Meetings held over the 3-day event. Equity attended and participated in the following discussions groups:

  • SAME Resilience Committee
  • Leader Development Program, & Joint Engineer Contingency Operations Committee
  • The Young Member Council, Small Business Council
  • Environmental Committee.
  • Competitively Respond to Sources Sought to Influence Acquisition
  • Small Business Federal Systems Primer
  • Enhancing You BD Culture from the Inside-Out

The highlight of the conference was getting together with other SAME New Jersey Post members over a typically wonderful New Orleans supper and the obligatory beignets from Café du monde. Halloween on Bourbon Street; nuff said! The 2018 Federal Small Business Conference illustrated the great number of opportunities to work with the Federal Government and/or team with a host of small and large businesses.

  

 


Navigating the New York City Board of Standard and Appeals

Navigating the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (Board) process is often a time consuming and frustrating process for clients seeking variances, special permits and waivers in order to execute their projects. Equity works with land use attorneys and architects to help steward developers through this process, preparing CEQR environmental assessments, conducting parking and traffic studies, and of course, environmental investigation and remediation. Getting an action and ultimately your project approved so you can start the DOB permit process cannot be done without the right team and understanding of the requirements and review timeline for the various components of a submission. Equity has been in this rodeo a long time, running the gauntlet of Community Board and BSA testimony and myriad submissions. Not having the various required environmental studies completed or programmatic elements defined for a project can doom an application to cycle through repeated hearings with no resolution.

Equity, has prepared the necessary studies for a wide variety of applications, including schools, religious and faith organizations, residential and commercial bulk and land use variances as well as parking waivers. We have observed that some specific characteristics of environmental review and the level of scrutiny on specific types of actions before the board have become more complicated and require specific foresight, understanding and luck to navigate successfully.

On this theme, applicants seeking a Special Permit to place a Charter School in a manufacturing zone face heightened scrutiny for air quality issues related to potential toxic emissions from existing adjacent land uses, noise from the same sources or potentially heavy vehicles entering and exiting manufacturing uses, and traffic and safety. In particular, the review of traffic and pedestrian safety impacts by the New York City Dept. of Transportation (DOT) is a frustratingly long and often unpredictable process, the results of which may cost clients tens of thousands of dollars in additional field data collection and analysis. It is understandable however, when you place a school with hundreds of students, staff, and care givers arriving and departing via private car, bus, and on foot within approximately an hour period in an area that has not experienced such traffic patterns, the scrutiny should be considerable.  

In response to these realities, Equity recommends clients have a very strong programmatic basis for the School that defines its future student population and staff travel patterns and arrival/departure process. These components of the proposed Charter School need to be based on verifiable, quantitative survey or nearby school characteristics. Further, Equity has found as in all things, that when it comes to DOT you must engage them immediately in the process and seek their guidance and approval on traffic and safety study assumptions or you risk many months of delays in the review and ultimately Board approvals process.

One other recent change in terms of procedures and requirements at the Board is that they are now requiring all projects in which a Phase 1 Environmental Site Investigation has identified conditions suggesting potential contamination, excepting special circumstances, must have a completed Phase 2 Environmental Site Investigation prior to gaining a resolution by the board. This is of critical importance for those applicants on a tight project budget or who out of caution, wait for various stages of DEP approval. You could be adding upwards of 90 days of delays in approvals process for work that you will invariably be required to do for Board approval of your project.  

Equity Environmental is available to advise any clients on the Board of Standards and Appeals and DOT processes, the risks, rewards, and requirements.

Kevin Williams, Managing Director
kevin. williams@equityenvironmental.com  |  973-527-7451, ext. 301


Peter Jaran featured in Commerce Magazine

Peter Jaran appeared in the November 2018 issue of Commerce Magazine providing insight into where Equity has assisted clients in the past concerning potential fines for not complying with the New Jersey environmental laws and regulations. In this case, Equity negotiated with the NJDEP to allow the client to come into compliance and the case to be closed before NJDEP's deadline for the implementation of penalties and fines.

Click on the link below to read the full article on page 30, with Peter's contribution on page 32.
https://www.cianj.org/commag/november2018/index.html


Volunterr Activities

Peter Jaran of Equity was the Event Coordinator for the FIRST Lego League Qualifying Event held on November 17, 2018 at Grace Bible Chapel in Chester, NJ. Jim Heineman was a judge for the third time. This was the third time that Peter has led the Qualifier at Grace. There were 12 teams of elementary and middle school students, coaches, mentors, parents, families, and volunteers. The event raised about $1,500 for various missions supported by Grace including Market Street Mission in Morristown, NJ and an orphanage and churches in Haiti. This year's challenge was titled "INTO ORBIT". Teams had to choose a problem associated with outer space and develop innovative solutions to the problem for their Project. Robots designed and programmed by the teams had to choose "missions" to run on the game board during three rounds of competition. The teams were judged in the areas of: Project, Robot Design, and Core Values. Awards were handed out to teams in each area and in Robot Performance. Three teams won advancement to the Regional event at Mount Olive High School on December 8-9, 2018.  Peter and Jim are in the photo on the left.

 

Peter Jaran, Managing Director
peter.jaran@equityenvironmental.com  |  973-527-7451, ext. 102


Peter Jaran featured in Commerce Magazine

Peter Jaran appeared in the November 2018 issue of Commerce Magazine providing insight into where Equity has assisted clients in the past concerning potential fines for not complying with the New Jersey environmental laws and regulations. In this case, Equity negotiated with the NJDEP to allow the client to come into compliance and the case to be closed before NJDEP's deadline for the implementation of penalties and fines.

Click on the link below to read the full article on page 30, with Peter's contribution on page 32.
https://www.cianj.org/commag/november2018/index.html


Charitable Efforts

On Sunday November 18, Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce Contractors and Building Services Committee member and an Equity LSRP participated in the Committee's annual Basket Brigade charity event. The committee's Basket Brigade originated in 2012 following Super Storm Sandy, and continues to provide complete Thanksgiving meals to needy families throughout the Meadowlands region. This year's Basket Brigade included over 130 volunteers who gathered at the friendship House in Hackensack on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and assembled, packaged, and delivered approximately 300 complete Thanksgiving meals to families in need. The annual event is organized by the Contractors and Building Services Committee and the official fundraising and organization by committee members starts with a kick-off event in September. Mr. Langewisch has been nominated as Committee co-chair for 2019, and looks to continue the committee's commitment to charitable work in the Meadowlands region.


Events

Equity staff have attended or will be attending the following events:

  • Montclair State University  - ITRC Managing PFAS - October 12
  • Mid-Atlantic Urban and Regional Information Systems Association Conference -  October 24-25
  • Middle States Association of American Geographers - October 26
  • SAME SBC Conference in New Orleans, LA - October 30 - November 2 
  • Morris County Chamber of Commerce Grow Your Business Seminar - November 7
  • ESRI Mid Atlantic User Conference - November 28-29
  • Small Business Capabilities Briefing - January 9, 2019

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