September 2016 Newsletter

September 30, 2016

Author: Equity Environmental Engineering

Well that went by quicker than expected!  Summer is already over, the children are back in school, and it's SOCCER season!  Oh yeah, its MLB, WNBA, NWSL and NFL season too.  Congrats if you know all of those leagues without googling them.

We're also very proud of our New Jersey and New York Olympians and Para-Olympians whom brought home metals or gave great performances in Rio.   Several of them were among the youngest representing the US.

As always, please drive MORE carefully now that school is back in session and there are children walking while searching desperately on their phones for Pokemon and not paying attention to where they're going.  That goes for some adults too!

New York Sustainable

The Sustainable Cities Index studied 22 North American cities and  New York City took second place in North America, ahead of Boston (5th), San Francisco (6th) and Seattle (7th) according to Arcadis.  However, New York was only 26th in the overall world table.

Cities are home to more than half the world 's population and so it is important for them to seek ways to become an attractive place to live, work and invest, which ultimately makes them more sustainable. The index explores the three pillars of sustainability - People (social), Planet (environmental) and Profit (economic) - to develop an indicative ranking of 100 cities worldwide that represent a cross section of the population. The overall index is an analysis of 32 different indicators such as income inequality, education, crime, affordability (People); energy consumption, drinking water, sanitation, green space (Planet), and transportation, economic development and employment (Profit).

The report said that that 63% of North America cities measured for the index rank in the top 50 for Profit, but this figure falls to 27% for the People category and 50% for Planet.  To achieve greater sustainability in the People category, US cities need to improve social factors such as work-life balance, crime, health and affordability, it said. To improve in the Planet sub-index, US cities need to lower their per-capita greenhouse gas emissions, use less energy, and generate more urban green space.                                                 

New York City  tops the Profit category and ranks higher than its U.S. counterparts in environmental efforts. However, it falls to #15 in North America and #77 worldwide in the People category, primarily due to the high cost of housing and a high consumer price index.

In the Planet sub-index, NYC has worked to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the city has placed additional emphasis on infrastructure expansion and modernization. New York, like Boston and other coastal cities, faces threats from rising sea levels and potential damage from intense storm surge but, is making headway with designs for flood protection systems.

West Coast US cities are not far behind NYC with San Francisco and Seattle coming in as the third and fourth highest ranked US cities for sustainability. Both west coast cities have a health-conscious population, low amounts of air pollution, reduced homicide rates, perform well in ease of doing business and enjoy economic vitality. But skyrocketing property prices make it difficult to find affordable housing and the amount of green space per city size is lacking compared to NYC or Washington, DC.

Source: The Construction Index 9/13/16

Hexavalent Chromium in NJ Drinking Water

Drinking water in more than 150 New Jersey water systems contained the carcinogenic chemical hexavalent chromium at levels that exceeded a health limit recommended by California scientists when the local systems were tested by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to a national analysis.

The study by the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy nonprofit, concluded that 218 million Americans in all 50 states, or some two-thirds of the population, are drinking water that contains the chemical at levels that are above the proposed California health limit but, below current limits adopted by both that state and the federal government.

The chemical was found in different concentrations around New Jersey when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tested water systems in 1,370 counties across the country from 2013 to 2015.

Hexavalent chromium, which is used in steel making, chrome plating, and lowering water temperature in the cooling towers of power plants, has been linked to lung cancer, liver damage, and reproductive and developmental problems.

In New Jersey, some of the highest concentrations were found in the Ridgewood Water system in Bergen County, where the chemical was found at above the proposed California level of 0.02 parts per billion (ppb) in 56 locations with an average of 0.398 ppb, or almost 20 times the recommended California standard. In Burlington County, the average level was 0.491 ppb in the Mount Holly system.

The following is a link to the article.

Source: NJ Spotlight 9/21/16

Upgrade to NYC Wastewater Treatment Facilities

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has finalized an Order on Consent for New York City to upgrade its North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, Bowery Bay facility, and City wide pump stations to improve efficiency and air quality. 

The City will invest approximately $360 million throughout the five boroughs to improve performance and reliability. The upgrades will allow the North River and Bowery Bay facilities to capture and treat twice their design capacity during rain events to reduce the overflows into receiving waters. The City will be required to annually submit its comprehensive wastewater assets management program to anticipate repairs, upgrades, and general maintenance to reduce breakdowns and resulting pollution events. 


New Employee

Equity is proud to annouce the addition of Kevin Williams to our Mt. Olive, NJ office.  Kevin is a Senior Project Manager with over 17 years of planning and design experience. He blends education and experience in the legal & regulatory frameworks that control public and private development with design and engineering know-how. His background includes nearly 15-years of stewarding both small and mega projects through the preliminary design and environmental due diligence required of NEPA at Federal, State, and the New York City levels. In addition to his environmental and regulatory experience, Kevin has worked as principal planner and site master planner for projects as varied as new residential development and re-development, rail and highway infrastructure, multimodal facilities, new parks, towns and cities. Kevin has been married for 18 years and has recently added a crazy golden retriever to his household.

In The Community

The Jefferson Township High School (JTHS) Golden Falcon Marching Band hosted their 8th Annual Kick-off Classic Marching Band Competition on September 17th. Nine local high school marching bands performed spectacular shows as part of the Tournament of Bands mid-Atlantic region competitive circuit.  

Equity is proud to continue to sponsor the JTHS marching band and be the sponsor of the Group 2A second place trophy that was awarded to the Hawthorne High School Band for their performance entitled "Under the Stars". The trophy was presented by JTHS marching band member, Joseph Merolle.


Staff from Equity Environmental Engineering LLC will be attending the following events:

Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of NJ Grillin and Chillin on Sept. 15.

NY State Bar Assoc. Environmental Law Section symposium on Redeveloping Gas Stations and Other Petroleum Contaminated Sites in NY on September 21.

Equity is sponsoring the Environmental Business Council of CIANJ Roundtable Meeting on September 28.

Morris County Chamber of Commerce More Than Lunch on September 29.

SAME North Atlantic Industry Day on October 24-25.

Site Remediation Practitioners Forum on October 26

St. Nicks Annual Awards Benefit and 41st Anniversary on November 2

CAMBA Casino Night on November 3

Equity is celebrating our 13th Anniversary and we are thankful to all of our clients and colleagues for their continued support. If you would like more information on any of these topics please contact us at

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