Speakers

2017 Call for Session/Presentation Abstracts

The 2017 Oil and Gas Environmental Conference is designed to complement our very successful OSHA Oil & Gas Safety and Health Conference. We are expecting up to 450 attendees at the event. The mission of the conference is to improve environmental performance in the Oil and Gas Industry through cooperative educational programming provided by Oil and Gas Industry leaders, Environmental stakeholders, and Government and Regulatory Agency representatives. The goal of the conference is to build a productive and collaborative relationship between the Oil and Gas Industry and Regulatory Agencies through the sharing of best practices.

The proposed session should cover topics, emerging and current issues, best practices, theoretical/practical applications in industry, regulatory issues and/or other pertinent and pressing subjects as they relate to at least one of the Conference Breakout Session Topics listed below:

Important Dates


Keynote Speakers


Dan Clark, CSP, CPAE
Hall of Fame Speaker,
New York Times® Best Selling Author
View Video


Ann McElhinney
Journalist, Producer, & Director
FrackNation – A Journalist's Search for the Fracking Truth
View Video

Featured Speakers

Diana Lundelius
Senior Enforcement Officer,
EPA Region 6

Cynthia Kaleri
Enforcement Officer,
EPA Region 6

Don Shandy
Director,
Crowe & Dunleavy

Ryan Sitton
Commissioner,
Railroad Commission of Texas

John Erichsen
Fire Chief of the U.S. Army (Ret.)

Panel Speakers

Becky Keogh
Director, Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

Ryan Flynn
Secretary of Environment and the
Natural Resources Trustee for the
State of New Mexico

Peggy Hatch
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality



Breakout Session Speakers

Click on a Speaker to Expand

Air/Greenhouse Gas

Barry Andrews, Antea Group
Overview of a Strategy to Exempt Multiple Process Heaters from the “Boiler MACT” at a Large Oil and Gas Processing Facility

Barry Andrews, a Senior Consultant with Antea Group in Loveland, Colorado, has worked in the air quality field for nearly 35 years. After initially working for industry as a manufacturing engineer, his career in air quality begin in 1981 working as an entry level air permitting engineer for the State of Colorado. Barry continued working with regulatory agencies and was the Administrator of Florida’s Air Permitting and Standards Section when he resigned to become a consultant in 1992. As a consultant Barry’s work has predominately focused on providing air quality permitting and compliance services to the oil and gas industry. Barry, a Registered Professional Engineer, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Science with a concentration in Atmospheric Sciences from Colorado State University and has completed graduate level studies in Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University and the University of Central Florida.

Major sources of hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) are subject to the National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPS) and become subject to the application of Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT). Once a facility has become established as a major source of HAPs, it is required to be regulated as a major source of HAPs going forward in time, even if it has taken measures to reduce HAPs below the major source threshold levels. This provision is known as the “Once In Always In” policy. In what has been viewed as a departure from this policy, EPA is allowing boilers and process heaters at major sources of HAPs to take measures to obtain a federally enforceable permit which limits its potential to emit below the major source threshold for HAPs. By doing so major sources of HAPs can become established as non-major (area sources) of HAPs, thereby enabling boilers and process heaters to be subject to less stringent compliance standards. This is particularly beneficial for facilities that have existing process heaters and are classified as major sources of HAPs, since process heaters will be regulated only at major sources and not at area sources of HAPs. This presentation provides an overview of the strategy that was used to demonstrate that a large oil and gas processing facility, which was initially established as a major source of HAPs, could become an area source of HAPs and thereby exempt five process heaters from the provisions of the “Boiler MACT”. The presentation focuses on several different measures that were evaluated which included the addition of control on previously uncontrolled sources of HAPs and the economics of taking specific sources of HAPs out of service to reduce potential emissions to below the major source threshold. Other options that were evaluated and implemented included source-specific stack testing and sampling and analysis of process streams containing HAPs to more accurately estimate the emissions of HAPs rather than relying on generally accepted methods such as the use of EPA’s AP-42 factors. An underlying component to this strategy is that there was open communication between the representatives of the facility and the regulatory agency to disclose what was the intent of this program to reduce the permitted level of HAPs emissions and to obtain feedback throughout the process. At this point in time it appears that the regulatory agency agrees that the facility has made a successful demonstration it can now become established as an area source of HAPs before the first applicable date of the “Boiler MACT’ which is January 31, 2016 for existing sources.


Bryan Osborne, Zephyr Environmental Corporation
A Portfolio Approach to Managing and Submitting Oil & Gas Air Permit Authorizations

Mr. Osborne has eight years of experience in air quality environmental consulting and three years of agency experience with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ). As an air quality consultant, he has been involved in numerous projects for industrial clients in the upstream and midstream energy, petrochemical and terminal sectors. Mr. Osborne routinely helps to develop air permitting strategies, prepares permit applications, develops compliance strategies, and performs compliance audits and due diligence assessments. Mr. Osborne earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University and a M.A. in Energy and Earth Resources from the University of Texas in Austin.

Oil and gas companies are required to manage the air permitting and compliance of large portfolios of production, gathering and midstream facilities with a wide range of associated equipment and operating parameters. Frequent changes to equipment configurations and operating scenarios, acquisition of new facility assets, and the ever-changing state and federal air permitting and compliance requirements necessitate quick and efficient management of these portfolios. This discussion outlines the challenges of managing asset portfolios to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations and presents a broad, system-based air permitting and compliance approach that has been demonstrated with clients across hundreds of sites.


Gary Vegh, ERA Environmental Management Solutions
Tank Emission Tracking Tools: A Comparative Analysis

Gary Vegh is senior toxicologist and co-founder of ERA Environmental Management Solutions. He is a member of the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment and has worked extensively with manufacturers and the EPA to educate and improve environmental reporting in the petrochemical and automotive industries.

Recent years have seen significant changes to the landscape of Oil & Gas reporting tools and information systems: notably, the industry standard EPA TANKS 4.09 has been deemed inappropriate to use for hot & heated tanks, but is still a valid option for some specific reporting scenarios. Likewise, many reporting tools have emerged to fill the gaps. One of the most common questions ERA’s system analysts are asked by oil & gas EHS professionals is: How can I know which tool or tools to use for my emissions and petrochemical processing reporting? This informational presentation will address this common question, outlining the strengths of the industry’s varying existing options. The focus will be on reporting tools designed for tank-related emissions. Tanks have proven to have some of the most complex emission determination calculations and requirements, and it is often for tanks that EHS professionals seek a tool or software to manage. Tools exist to cover a wide range of tank types, including hot & heated tanks, fixed-roof tanks, floating-roof tanks, tanks storing petrochemical substances, and tanks storing pure chemical liquids. Not all tools available are compatible with all types of tanks, so understanding the options is essential. Specifically, the presentation will serve as a brief introduction and comparative analysis of EPA TANKS 4.09, TankESP, ERA Tanks, and E&P Tanks. Each of these reporting tools has different strengths and shortcomings; a business may need to use a combination of more than one tool to get a fully-realized reporting platform depending on the types of activities taking place at its facility. For example, some tools are more accurate for certain types of petrochemical products than others, while another might have greater flashing emission calculations. The goal of this presentation is to equip EHS professionals with the information they’ll need to assess their reporting tool needs. Although the presentation does not go in depth into the how-to of specific air emission reports (i.e. Quad O), it does examine reporting tools as they address the major Oil & Gas emissions reports. Does a solution offer direct electronic upload? How does formatting or compatibility compare for available tools?

Key takeaways of the presentation include:

  • Understanding which reporting tools are best suited for which reporting scenario.
  • Software best practices and standards that any tool you consider should meet.
  • How a tanks software can be integrated with other tools (i.e. CEMS) to improve efficiency.
This session will be informational and educational, with an emphasis on which tool works for which types of tanks and tank-related emissions so that attendees will be able to assess which tool(s) are the right fit for their own operations.


Georgette Reeves, Trinity Consultants
Transparency and GHG Reporting: Welcome to the Fishbowl

Ms. Reeves serves as the Director of the Oil and Gas Business Line based out of Trinity’s Austin office. On a national level, Ms. Reeves oversees project activities in all oil and gas producing states. Ms. Reeves is heavily involved in all aspects.

Many oil and gas operators have been reporting Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions under EPA’s mandatory reporting rule since 2012 for the following equipment and activities: Compressors; Storage tanks; Completions and workovers; Associated gas venting and flaring; Flares; Pneumatic device venting; Pneumatic pumps; Acid gas removal units; Well testing venting and flaring; Dehydrators; Equipment leaks; and Combustion in certain engines and heaters. EPA has made it easier than ever for anyone to access all greenhouse gas (GHG) reports, and will soon release details including inputs to calculations used to determine emissions. Media, non-governmental organizations, state and local agencies and even federal agencies outside of the EPA are using data reported under the Mandatory Reporting Rule program for a host of reasons. With methane rules expected soon, this reported data may come under intense scrutiny. What does your reported data say about you?

This presentation will cover the following issues relating to the oil and gas industry and GHG reporting under
Subpart W:

  • We will cover what data is available to the general public and identify some ways that information can be used.
  • We will detail areas in the oil and gas reporting program where there appear inconsistencies between operators.
  • We will identify ways to benchmark your own reports against other operators.
  • We will touch on what can be expected moving forward now that EPA has required reporters to include certain calculation inputs dating back to 2012 reporting year.
  • And finally, we will provide a brief overview of the recently finalized changes to the regulation and the potential impacts on oil and gas operators.


Jeff Voorhis, HY-BON Engineering
Best Practices for Vapor Recovery Systems to Reduce Venting and Flaring

Mr. Voorhis joined HY-BON Engineering in 2012 supporting technical and marketing efforts. His knowledge and experience in engineering, environmental issues and facility optimization helps companies implement solutions to increase profits and reduce liabilities. His 30+ year career includes 13 years of private sector oil and gas experience and work for the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). At TCEQ he provided engineering/technical assistance on pollution prevention. His experience includes design, installation, start-up and troubleshooting of environmental control systems as well as commercialization of new processes and technology. Mr. Voorhis earned a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Kingsville Texas A&M University in 1983. Mr. Voorhis is a registered professional engineer in the State of Texas.

Existing and evolving regulatory requirements require oil and gas producers to reduce venting and flaring of natural gas from their operations. Regulatory agencies tightening venting and flaring emissions include Environment Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA), U.S. Department of the Interior, state/province environmental and oil and gas mining regulatory agencies. These rules seek to minimize the loss of natural resources and to reduce air pollution emissions. The air pollutants of concern include volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and the greenhouse gases methane and carbon dioxide. The source of the natural gas is primarily flash gas liberated from the storage of crude oil and condensate. The presentation discusses the drivers for reducing venting and flaring and gives a step by step approach to vapor recovery from project identification to ultimate success in sending gas to a gathering or sales pipeline. The characteristics of storage tank vent gas are discussed. Steps include identifying project scope and emission standards, design data needs, best design practices, installation, commissioning and monitoring systems. The use of smart systems to measure and monitor system operation and the amount of gas recovered is included. Also covered is the design and use of vapor recovery towers (VRTs) to reduce the chance of oxygen entering the vapor recovery system. Supplemental emission controls using vapor combustion units as backups to the vapor recovery system is also addressed. The presentation will also introduce the new HatchSense™ technology used to automate the detection and reporting of leaks from open thief hatches used on storage tanks.


Phil Roberts, The Williams Companies
GHG Reporting Rule Changes for RY 2016: A Streamlined Plan for Midstream Compliance

Phil Roberts is a Senior Environmental Specialist with The Williams Companies and lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma (BS Chemical Engineering, 1985) and the University of Arizona (MS Hydrology, 1990). Phil is a Registered Professional Engineer in Oklahoma and is a Subject Matter Expert for the field of greenhouse gas inventorying and reporting. Before working for Williams, Phil worked in consulting for 17 years as an Environmental Engineer / Project Manager with ARCADIS and URS. He has been employed with Williams for 10 years.

EPA recently proposed revision and confidentiality determinations for the petroleum and natural gas systems source category of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. In particular, EPA proposed new, expanded reporting requirements for greenhouse gas emissions from the midstream sector. EPA’s proposed Program modifications for gathering and boosting operations starting January 1, 2016 are reviewed. Alternative data collection methods considered by Williams are presented, as are strategies for streamlining the calculation and reporting process.


Sarah K. Walls, Cantey Hanger LLP
Looking Through the Haze: EPA's New Methane Regulations

Sarah Walls is a partner with the law firm of Cantey Hanger LLP, with offices in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. She is head of Cantey Hanger’s environmental law practice. Ms. Walls received her law degree from Harvard Law School, and graduated first in her class at Emory University. Ms. Walls has practiced law with several law firms around the country, and has also served in-house with two different corporations as the officer in charge of all environmental and safety matters. She has been Chair of the Environmental and Safety Committee of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and on its Executive Committee. She has been Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association several times, now serving as its Advisor. She currently serves on the EPA’s National Compliance Advisory Panel, as well as the TCEQ’s Compliance Advisory Panel. In 2012, at the request of the National Association of Realtors, she co-authored a white paper report on hydraulic fracturing. Last year, she was appointed to Fort Worth’s Water Utility Task Force by the City Council, and the Board of Directors of the North Texas Commission. Ms. Walls has been featured for many years in “Best Lawyers in America,” and has been named a Texas Superlawyer® for many years. Her awards include the YWCA Tribute to Women in Business, the Fort Worth Business Press “Who’s Who in Business,” “Tarrant County’s Elite 100,” and “Women of Influence Awards.” She speaks frequently at corporate and industry meetings and conferences.

In February of this year, OSHA announced a new policy which designates oil and gas well drilling and servicing operations as “High-Emphasis Hazards” for the purposes of OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program (“SVEP”). The presentation will explain the reasoning behind the SVEP, and how it is being used by OSHA in bringing enforcement actions against oil and gas companies. Insights into OSHA’s enforcement policies will be given, as well as tips to employers for getting off and staying off of OSHA’s “black list”.


Sube Vel, GHD
Co-speaker: James VanAssche, GHD
Compliance Challenges in Meeting 1-Hour Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) NAAQS

Mr. Vel is a Principal of GHD. Mr. Vel is a registered professional engineer in the State of Michigan with 30 years of experience in the environmental industry. Mr. Vel provides environmental consulting services to major manufacturing, oil and gas, and utility sector clients in the areas of air quality, Clean Air Act, SARA, NPDES and RCRA Compliance. Mr. Vel oil & gas sector experience encompasses Exploration & Production (E&P), gas processing, transmission, compression, refining and storage in air quality compliance, auditing, engineering and consulting services.

The revisions to National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) provides compliance challenges to industries in permitting new sources. These 1 hour SO2 and NO2 standard are more stringent than the previous NAAQS they replaced, the traditional approach of over-estimation built in EPA’s present modeling guidance document proves to be an impediment for the industries to demonstrate compliance. As a result, refined approaches are required to utilize the models such as AERMOD in predicting impacts. This presentation will provide an overview of 1 hour, NO2 and SO2 NAAQS, discuss challenges and approaches to dispersion modeling procedure in meeting these standards.


Tanya Jackson, Avanti Environmental Inc
The Direction of LDAR

Tanya Jackson is a graduate of the University of California at Riverside in Environmental Science with emphasis in Toxicology. She is certified in Tank Seal Inspections, Visible Emissions Evaluations and Fugitive Emissions Operator. She is the leading Project Manager at Avanti Environmental, specializing in agency liaison, regulatory compliance analysis and data management for her petroleum industry clients. Prior to joining Avanti Environmental she was employed as an Air Quality Inspector at the South Coast Air Quality Management District in Southern California, where she served on the enforcement team.

What is the direction of the US, the industry and how does LDAR fit in with that? US is pushing for independence from foreign oil, with new technologies this is now possible, eliminating power struggles associated with oil and other countries. The communities are concerned and pushing for a safe environment for the future. How does LDAR fit in with these needs?


Environmental Planning

Cassandra M. Dillon, Systran / UTA ETI
Fundamentals of Risk Management from an Environmental Perspective

Cassandra Dillon currently holds certifications as a Certified Environmental and Safety Compliance Officer (CESCO), Safety, Health, Environmental Professional (SHEP), and Construction Site Safety Master (CSSM). Also, she has a M.S in Risk Control from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a B.S in Industrial Engineering from Louisiana State University. In industry, she has provided comprehensive support to companies in all areas of Environmental, Safety, Occupational Health, Engineering, Security and Regulatory Compliance. Currently, as an Associate/Adjunct Professor, she lectures and consults in the areas of environmental systems -air, water, waste and energy management, occupational safety, health, risk management, emergency planning, and logistics.

Risk Management as defined by ISO 31000 is simply defined as the effect of uncertainty on outcomes. In general, outcomes can have negative ramifications to a company's goals/objectives which can be seen with the degradation of a company's economic,environmental,safety and social structure. The risk management framework encompasses the competency of identification, assessment and prioritization. In return these competencies help build world class companies which exhibit strong EHSS (Environmental, Health, Safety and Sustainability) cultures and high returns on investments. The first step in the risk management process is to identify risks throughout the organization. Once the risks are identified, one must determine the severity and likelihood of an occurrence. In most cases, the risks that have the highest probability are handled first in the mitigation process. Furthermore, risk can be broken down into the categories of hazard, operational, financial and strategic. Lastly, techniques are then determined based on exposures in regards to prioritization. Risk Control techniques can be broken down into the following categories -avoidance, loss prevention, loss reduction, separation, duplication and diversification. In this session, we will explore how risk management techniques can be applied to the Environmental Regulatory Framework. Risk Management is only as good as the people researching the possibilities and implementing the solutions. Furthermore, an organization's willingness to act can directly affect employee morale, economic stability and regulatory compliance.


Gary Vegh, ERA Environmental Management Solutions
World-Class EH&S Data Management and Planning: A Material and Facility Modelling Methodology

Gary Vegh is senior toxicologist and co-founder of ERA Environmental Management Solutions. He is a member of the Suppliers Partnership for the Environment and has worked extensively with manufacturers and the EPA to educate and improve environmental reporting in the petrochemical and automotive industries.

All EHS management success hinges on environmental data management practices. Whether you are tasked with managing air emissions, water discharges, waste generation, or all of the above, the key is using Oil & Gas industry best practices for handling data. EHS data is among a business’ most precious resource, and it is often mismanaged, resulting in slower decision making, misinformed planning, and less accurate reports. This presentation from expert toxicologist Gary Vegh will explore best practices that any Oil & Gas business can apply to instantly improve their regulatory reporting and internal EHS management. The presentation puts environmental data under the microscope to explain how to best handle the massive amounts of information in each data stream created by suppliers, emission sources, and processing units. It will cover how all of this data should best be collected, validated, stored, and processed. The goal will be to outline a material and facility modelling methodology that virtually maps through data a business’ processes, products, and byproducts so that reporting and planning can be accomplished more effectively. By tracing the role of EHS data from source, to database, to submitted report and to internal KPI tracking, the presentation will examine where in the data management chain many businesses introduce risks and inaccuracies to their reporting and tracking – and explain how to correct and prevent these data errors. This follows a holistic Material &Facility Modelling (MFM) methodology that will become one of the most powerful tools in the EH&S manager’s toolbox. A central theme will be identifying opportunities to automate data management – automation provides Oil & Gas businesses with multiple benefits including more accurate data, time savings, more frequent analyses of data streams, and standardization of data inputs. Automation allows businesses to focus on continuous environmental improvement planning rather than chasing after data.

The key takeaways from this educational presentation include:

  • How to organize and centralize data to prepare for a regulatory or internal EHS audit.
  • Strategies for automating data collection and validation.
  • Ideal EHS data storage techniques – centralized, digital, searchable.
  • How to process data into more accurate reports and KPIs.
Attendees will come away with greater insight into managing and controlling their EHS data, with techniques and strategies for improving the speed at which data is acquired and the overall quality of data collected. This foundation enables EHS professionals to make greater strides in environmental planning, tracking, and reporting.


Gene Murray, W&M Environmental
Environmental Due Diligence for Oil and Gas Transactions

Mr. Murray is a licensed professional geologist with over 37 years of environmental experience. He is currently the Director of Hydrogeology for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and has conducted environmental site assessments at a variety of industrial and oil & gas facilities. He has served on numerous ASTM standards subcommittees that deal with environmental site assessments, environmental cost analyses and oil & gas investigations. He has a BS degree in geology from the University of South Dakota, an MS degree in geology from the University of Nebraska, and an MS degree in Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. He is currently President of the firm, W&M Environmental, headquartered in Plano, Texas. Acquiring oil field properties and leases can be lucrative business, but the environmental liabilities associated with these properties can have negative impacts on your profit. Similar to a Phase I for real estate transactions, an oilfield environmental due diligence assessment can identify environmental liabilities specific to oil field operations and help you negotiate the true value of a property. Designed to address issues specific to oil and gas properties, this due diligence process can be tailored to provide information that is not captured under traditional transactional due diligence such as, NORM Screening, Compliance and Health and Safety Assessments, Asset Inventory and more.


Keith Bradley, KBA EnviroScience, Ltd.
Environmental Due Diligence for New Oil and Gas Pipelines

Keith Bradley, REP, CWB, is the Principal at KBA EnviroScience, Ltd. in Lewisville, Texas. Mr. Bradley has 39 years of experience performing and managing environmental projects for a variety of clients, including oil and gas E&P and midstream. Mr. Bradley has directed environmental due diligence and permitting for E&P and midstream projects in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. He holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Environmental Science.

Typical issues encountered by new pipelines are Section 404 issues (streams and wetlands), protected species, cultural resources, crossing potentially contaminated property, and crossing properties owned by federal or state governments or Native American Tribes. By understanding the regulatory requirements, most of the ROW can be screened from the desktop - using topographic maps, aerial photographs, National Wetland Inventory Maps, soils surveys, cultural resources inventories and existing surveys, etc - followed by field evaluation of features and locations that have potential to provide regulatory compliance or other liability issues. This type of tiered approach is the most efficient and can result in substantial savings in time and cost, especially for long pipeline ROWs. The presenter, Keith Bradley, presents an example 525-mile pipeline project and provides real experiences and lessons learned.


Richard Fontenot, Spirit Environmental, LLC
Optimizing Environmental Permitting Utilizing Readily Available Datasets

Richard Fontenot is currently the Vice President of Natural Resources and Regulatory Permitting at Spirt Environmental, LLC in Houston, TX. Richard recently joined Spirit Environmental to expand natural resources, land development, and regulatory permitting services. Richard leads a team of regulatory affairs managers and environmental scientists and collaborates with surveying, engineering, and cultural resources professionals to provide interdisciplinary solutions. The majority of Richard's projects are associated with Oil and Gas infrastructure and Gulf Coast development. He is experienced in conducting transportation project route studies, identifying jurisdictional features and associated permit requirements, preparing environmental assessments, conducting federal, state, and local regulatory permitting, performing wetlands and waters delineations, developing and implementing mitigation plans for wetlands and critical habitats, and floodplain development planning. When not working, Richard is an avid skeet shooter and is otherwise busy raising his very active 2-year-old daughter.

As an operator of an oil & gas facility, it is your responsibility to be familiar with, and comply with, all federal and state environmental regulations. With the plethora of environmental agencies in our country, assessing jurisdictional applicability and meeting the terms of all the environmental laws can become cumbersome and economically impracticable. Fortunately, most federal and state agencies have numerous databases and data sets that help decode the jurisdictional enigma. This seminar will introduce you to methods of utilizing these existing datasets and help make environmental planning and compliance efficient and cost-effective. A common oil & gas capital venture is the installation of a new pipeline. There are many factors that go into the decision of where a pipeline is installed, but without taking into account applicable environmental jurisdiction, you may be adding expensive and time-consuming permitting to your project that could have been avoided. This seminar will help you identify the most common triggers of environmental permitting for a pipeline project, expose you to databases related to environmental permitting, and help you analyze the data to fast track your project and avoid unnecessary permitting costs.


Sarah Sajedi, CEO & CTO ,ERA Environmental Management Solutions
Planning for Success: How to Build a Compliance System for Your EHS

Sarah Sajedi is the CEO and co-founder of ERA Environmental Management Solutions. She has worked with the EPA to develop educational training and is an air emissions and EHS compliance expert. She was the 2013 Sara Kirke award winner for leadership in the advanced technology industry, and a two-time finalist for the Women of Influence award.

Environmental planning, both for risk reduction and regulatory compliance are strengthened by having a systemized approach to compliance tasks and compliance deadlines. Setting, tracking, and meeting compliance goals is essential to an environmentally responsible and successful Oil & Gas business. This presentation examines the fundamentals of compliance management from a systems approach: how are compliance tasks created in your operations? Who is accountable for their completion? How is success tracked and how is failure made into a learning tool? How are your compliance goals and needs communicated across the levels of your business? And how can your employees and executives perceive compliance tasks as a shared responsibility and important source of business intelligence? By approaching these questions from a systems perspective, the presenter will outline the fundamentals of building a compliance management system framework that can be used by any size or type of Oil & Gas business. Attendees will explore how compliance goals and tasks can be handled as a business data source: one that should be standardized, centralized, and automated. Any environmental or health & safety project can be broken into tasks and goals: the purpose of a compliance management system is to organize and track the progress of these tasks that increases the efficiency of those employees responsible for completing the work of a task and of those managers assessing and planning with information from that task. This presentation will outline the steps and skills needed to achieve these improvements. Building a compliance management system can be as simple or complex as a business or project requires: this presentation will provide the groundwork so that attendees can use this knowledge to improve compliance task planning and tracking according to their own needs.

Takeaways from the presentation will include:

  • How treating compliance tasks as an EHS information source improves decision making and planning.
  • The fundamentals of a compliance management system: task tracking, assignment, completion, and notifications.
  • Digital best-practices for storing compliance goals and tasks: centralization, standardization, and automation.
Attendees will gain an understanding of how to begin the development of their own EHS compliance management system and what to expect in terms of outcomes and required resources. They will see how compliance tasks are part of modelling all the processes and work of an entire facility, which is an essential part of planning for environmental and business success.


Dr. Wes Scott, National Safety Council
Environmental Leadership and Engagement

Dr. Wes Scott has over 30 years experience in the bio-medical, engineering, environmental and occupational safety and health fields. Dr. Scott is a retired Military Officer and has worked with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency and various medical institutions. Wes currently serves as the Consulting Services Director for the National Safety Council.

Environmental Leadership is a critical element of developing a sustainable and positive corporate safety culture among both employees and contractors. Organizations that are able to consistently practice effective safety and environmental leadership through their senior management teams are more likely to achieve superior environmental performance. This session will discuss recognizing the importance of behavior, communication and employee engagement, with a focus on developing leadership skills.


Land/Endangered Species

Austin Hill, SWCA Environmental Consultants
Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Past, Present, and Future

Mr. Hill graduated with a B.S. degree in Biology from Southwestern University and M.S. in Population and Conservation Biology from Texas State University. Mr. Hill joined SWCA Environmental Consultants Arlington office in July of 2010, where he assists primarily with waters of the U.S. and threatened and endangered species issues for oil and gas transmission projects.

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) affords protections to almost all birds at almost all times, though recent legal decisions and judicial uncertainty have called into question the strict liability of companies whose otherwise lawful commercial activities may impact migratory birds. A history and overview of the MBTA will be presented in addition to best practices and avoidance measures for oil and gas operations, and what the future of the act may look like with the recently announced plan by USFWS to review several pathways that could clarify the responsibilities of commercial operations with the potential to impact migratory birds.


Legal/Regulatory Emerging Issues

Andrew Pawlisz, D.A.B.T., E.R.T. (UK), W.P.I.T., GHD
Characterizing Toxicity and Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Additives
Hydraulic Fracturing Claims of Injury – A Toxicologist's Perspective

Mr. Pawlisz is a board-certified toxicologist with over 20 years of applied experience in performing human and ecological risk assessments, investigating environmental impacts, and providing expert opinions to the regulated community. He is an active member of several professional organizations including the Society of Toxicology, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and the Society for Risk Analysis. He has published, presented, and peer-reviewed numerous articles for various organizations. Mr. Pawlisz currently serves as the associate editor of the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology.

Characterizing Toxicity and Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Additives
The use of hydraulic fracturing (i.e., fracking) to extract gas and oil form tight shale formations has undergone considerable expansion in US and worldwide. Hydraulic fracturing consists of injecting a mixture of water, friction reducers, proppants, biocides, surfactants, thickeners, scale inhibitors, corrosion inhibitors, and acids to promote flow of hydrocarbons otherwise bound in impermeable matrices. The rapid growth in unconventional drilling has led to community, regulator, and health practitioner concerns over the potential effects associated with impacts on groundwater, blowouts, spills, and reduction in air quality. Many of the disclosed ingredients are cited as harmless. However, there are certain chemical groups, such as antimicrobials, that have specific (by design) adverse biological activity. Moreover, some popular media articles suggest that hydraulic fracturing chemicals may have carcinogenic, mutagenic, endocrine disrupting, and organ toxicity characteristics. This presentation provides an overview of the identity, toxicity, and the potential for adverse health effects of the hydraulic fluid additives that may be used in commercial formulations. Popular media claims are discussed in context of the availability of supporting information from peer-reviewed and scientific data. The information on hydraulic fluid chemical identity, application rate, and toxicity is used to estimate hypothetical exposure risks under accidental release scenarios.

Hydraulic Fracturing Claims of Injury – A Toxicologist's Perspective
With the expansion in hydraulic fracturing and the associated media coverage, the public has been exposed to messages that unconventional drilling causes impacts to groundwater and air quality and that the associated chemicals may trigger cancer and endocrine effects. Lawsuits followed claiming health injuries to residents near unconventional drilling operations. This presentation discusses the key risk assessment and toxicology aspects in context of the nature of the claims, court proceedings, and rulings for selected case studies.


Donald K. Shandy, Crowe & Dunlevy
Environmental - Administrative, Civil and Criminal Enforcement

Don Shandy is a director in the firm’s Oklahoma City office. Throughout his career, Shandy’s legal practice has been focused on the environmental and energy areas. Shandy has worked on projects in 41 states and interacted closely with numerous federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 2001, he was nominated by the Western Governors' Association to become assistant administrator for air and radiation at the EPA but ultimately decided to remain in private practice. During the Clinton administration, Shandy worked extensively with White House administrators regarding global climate change. Previously in his career, Shandy served as the deputy general counsel for Tronox, Inc. (formerly Kerr-McGee Chemical Company) and had oversight responsibility for litigation, environmental matters and corporate issues. Involved in a number of public utility commission matters, Shandy served as a lead counsel on behalf of the Natural Gas Intervenors in the Colorado Public Utility Commission “Clean Air/Clean Jobs” docket resulting in a major restructuring of Colorado’s electric generation fleet. As both in-house and outside counsel, Shandy had responsibility for a wide range of legal matters at international manufacturing facilities where he interfaced with regulators and other foreign officials to resolve issues. He also worked on European Union regulatory matters and has experience negotiating trade barrier issues between various countries. In addition, Shandy has represented a number of industry sectors including exploration and production, midstream transmission, refining, pulp and paper, aerospace and cement manufacturing. Recently, Shandy negotiated settlements totaling approximately $70 million on behalf of the City of Blackwell, Oklahoma and Kay County, Oklahoma related to environmental contamination encompassing soil, groundwater and visible smelter issues. Shandy earned his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from the University of Oklahoma. He is licensed by the Oklahoma and Texas Bar Associations and is an American College of Environmental Lawyers Fellow. He frequently writes and lectures throughout the United States on a variety of energy and environmental issues.

The USEPA and various state agencies continue to increase enforcement activities on the Oil and Gas Industry. In fact, one of USEPA's ongoing national enforcement initiatives is focused specifically on "Energy Extraction". What does a state or federal regulatory evaluate when considering initiation of enforcement activity? This presentation will address the authority of a government entity to inspect a facility and associated recordkeeping, as well as initiate a civil or criminal compliance case. Finally, the presentation will overview federal and state enforcement activities including fines and other related penalties.


Jaron Hill, The Williams Companies, Inc
EPA’s Ongoing Enforcement Initiative and the Next Generation Compliance Program

Jaron has a BS in Biology and MS is Environmental Science from Texas Christian University. He started his career as an air inspector with the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality focusing on natural gas compressor stations and electric utilities. After four years with the state agency he began his industry career as an air specialist with Chesapeake Midstream. At Chesapeake Midstream Jaron focused on compliance related activities including new regulation review, greenhouse gas reporting and developing compliance assurance plans for each midstream facility. When Chesapeake Midstream transitioned to Access Midstream, Jaron accepted a new position as manager of the air program overseeing both permitting and compliance activities for the company. Jaron’s current position with The Williams Companies is air programs manager serving in the corporate EHS services group. Jaron participates on the Texas Pipeline Association and Gas Processors Association environmental committees.

EPA is continuing to pursue a National Enforcement Initiative (NEI) for energy extraction activities. The stated goal of this NEI is to address incidences of noncompliance from natural gas extraction and production activities that may cause or contribute to significant harm to public health and/or the environment. EPA plans to also utilize innovative Next Generation technologies and techniques including advanced emissions detection technologies as appropriate to identify potential violations and to address non-compliance. This effort also includes the use of newly proposed regulations for electronic reporting to provide more public and transparent identification of potential items of non-compliance. This presentation will discuss recent efforts by EPA to implement these strategies.


Jay Beckel, ERI Solutions
Asset Integrity - Prevention, not Reaction is the Key to Success

Jay Beckel is currently a Vice President at ERI Solutions. He has been an EHS professional since graduating from Texas A&M University with a Nuclear Engineering degree in 1997. For the last several years, Jay’s focus has been in chemicals manufacturing and processing, with an emphasis on process safety and overall EHS management. Jay holds the professional certifications of American Petroleum Institute (API 653 and API 510) Inspector, Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) along with numerous continuing education hours dedicated to process safety, hazard analysis, non-destructive testing and inspections, and EHS management from organizations such as Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Jay is also a member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

With the ever increasing focus on contamination and spill events throughout all industries, but specifically, the oil and gas industries, it may be a good time to take a good hard look at your asset integrity program. This discussion will not only cover the recommended inspections based on the API documents, but also how you can set up and manage more of a risk based approach that will help you budget and also be more proactive in your methods to prevent any releases and subsequent employee injuries, offsite environmental consequences, or property damage.


Jess A McAngus, Spirit Environmental, LLC
Co-speaker: Joseph F. Guida, Managing Shareholder, Attorney, Guida, Slavich & Flores, P.C.
Texas and EPA Self Audit Privileges

Jess McAngus co-founded Spirit Environmental in 2005 after twenty-five years with Pilko & Associates. Jess started his career at DuPont with assignments in process and project engineering in nylon, polyester, and acrylic intermediates. Since his work with DuPont, Jess has consulted for over 38 years in environmental areas, particularly with environmental auditing, litigation support, and permitting new large industrial facilities. He has established a reputation for his expertise in preparing and negotiating hundreds of New Source Review (NSR) air construction permits, including state construction, PSD and nonattainment permits, and air toxics reviews. He is also an expert in air dispersion modeling, having completed over 100 air quality impact reviews. Jess has been involved in over 80 litigation matters and has been deposed frequently and testified over 30 times. He has been involved in numerous Consent Decree negotiations with EPA and the DOJ on the behalf of oil & gas, refiners, chemical companies, and utilities. He has completed several studies on the effects of major environmental legislation on industry, including a study for Congress analyzing the national economic impacts of alternative NSR policies for ozone nonattainment areas. Jess also worked with several state agencies in the development of air toxic reviews. He testified for the Houston Business Coalition for Clean Air Appeals group regarding the Houston ozone SIP. Jess has a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas and has completed his studies for a M.B.A. from Pepperdine University.

Joe Guida is a founding principal of Guida, Slavich & Flores, P.C. with offices in Dallas and Austin, Texas. He has practiced environmental law since 1979, when he received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He and his firm have a diversified, national environmental law practice covering air and water pollution control, solid and hazardous waste management issues and toxic substances. He and his partners have assisted clients with environmental audits in all media under both state and federal programs. Environmental auditing has been a career-spanning interest of his dating back to his publication of an article entitled “A Practical Look at Environmental Audits” in the Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association in 1982 – that is before, environmental auditing was cool.

The legal portion of the presentation will cover the basics of the Texas Environmental, Health, and Safety Audit Privilege Act and some practical considerations and issues for the regulated community in undertaking an audit pursuant to the Act. The technical portion of presentation will cover the practical side of the audit, including the scope of the audit, how to prepare for the audit, how to perform an audit, what to say in the audit report, and how to effectively work with consul to ensure the audit works. The importance of follow-up and implementing corrective actions promptly will also be discussed.


Michael Goldman, Guida, Slavich & Flores
When the EPA Comes a Knocking
Typical Claims and Key Defenses in Recent Hydraulic Fracturing Litigation

Michael Goldman represents client in complex environmental disputes in both state and federal courts. Michael also assists clients in regulatory compliance matters as well as provides support for real estate transactions involving environmentally impacted properties. In addition to his private practice, Michael also periodically teaches a course on Environmental Oil and Gas Law at the Texas A&M University School of Law.

When the EPA Comes a Knocking
The EPA has issued a National Enforcement Initiative to ensure that energy extraction activities comply with environmental laws. The result of this initiative has been hundreds of inspections of oil and gas operations throughout the country, several of which have resulted in enforcement actions for violations of various environmental laws. This program will provide a survey of several of these enforcement actions with a detailed analysis of the statutory violations at play as well as the resulting penalties associated with the same.

Typical Claims and Key Defenses in Recent Hydraulic Fracturing Litigation
Small energy companies using hydraulic fracturing, along with horizontal drilling, are unlocking vast oil and natural gas deposits trapped in shale all over the United States. Over the past few years, several key technical, economic, and energy policy developments have spurred increased use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas extraction over a wider diversity of geographic regions and geologic formations. However, with the expansion of hydraulic fracturing, there have been increasing concerns voiced by the public about potential impacts on drinking water resources, public health, and the environment. Due to these public concerns, oil and gas companies and service providers have experienced a significant increase in recent litigation. For instance, there have been at least fifty (50) recent lawsuits filed in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia that relate to or stem from hydraulic fracturing operations. Most of the cases involve private landowners asserting tort related claims against the oil and gas industry. However, there have also been lawsuits brought by citizen groups under various federal environmental statutes as well as litigation on whether a municipality can ban hydraulic fracturing within its city limits.


Rob Stevens, HGC Engineering
Noise from Oil & Gas Facilities - “Acoustics 101” and Best Practices for Noise Control

Robert Stevens, MASc, PEng, is Principal of HGC Engineering, a consulting engineering firm specializing exclusively in noise, vibration and acoustics. Over the past 25 years he has conducted acoustical assessments and noise studies for hundreds of industries across North America, and abroad, including developing noise control recommendations to meet local regulatory requirements. Rob has conducted research in various fields of computational and analytical acoustics and measurement methods.

The first half of this presentation will present a concise “Acoustics 101” covering the fundamentals of noise related to oil and gas facilities. The second half will outline best practices for controlling environmental noise impact.


Sarah K. Walls, Cantey Hanger LLP
Water, Water Everywhere EPA and Army Corps Publish New Clean Water Rule

Sarah Walls is a partner with the law firm of Cantey Hanger LLP, with offices in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas. She is head of Cantey Hanger’s environmental law practice. Ms. Walls received her law degree from Harvard Law School, and graduated first in her class at Emory University. Ms. Walls has practiced law with several law firms around the country, and has also served in-house with two different corporations as the officer in charge of all environmental and safety matters. She has been Chair of the Environmental and Safety Committee of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, and on its Executive Committee. She has been Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Tarrant County Bar Association several times, now serving as its Advisor. She currently serves on the EPA’s National Compliance Advisory Panel, as well as the TCEQ’s Compliance Advisory Panel. In 2012, at the request of the National Association of Realtors, she co-authored a white paper report on hydraulic fracturing. Last year, she was appointed to Fort Worth’s Water Utility Task Force by the City Council, and the Board of Directors of the North Texas Commission. Ms. Walls has been featured for many years in “Best Lawyers in America,” and has been named a Texas Superlawyer® for many years. Her awards include the YWCA Tribute to Women in Business, the Fort Worth Business Press “Who’s Who in Business,” “Tarrant County’s Elite 100,” and “Women of Influence Awards.” She speaks frequently at corporate and industry meetings and conferences.

On April 3rd of this year, EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent a draft rule redefining "waters of the U.S." to the Office of Management and Budget. Issuance of the very controversial rule is expected before the Oil and Gas Environmental Conference. When first proposed in March of 2014, the rule caused an outcry among the regulated community. The fear was that the proposed rule would expand vastly the definition of "waters of the U.S.," and thereby expand federal regulatory jurisdiction significantly, leading to additional permitting, water quality, and spill response requirements for industry.

In this presentation, the potential impacts of the final rule on the oil and gas industry will be examined. Any guidance or interpretation published by EPA will be included, as will any enforcement actions or policies resulting from application of the new rule


Susan Jablonski, P.E., Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
Overview of TCEQ Efforts to Evaluate Compliance with Regulatory Requirements Related to Oil & Gas Activities in Texas

Susan Jablonski, P.E. Area Director for Central Texas Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Susan Jablonski is the Area Director for Central Texas at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). She oversees regional activities and the Regional Directors of the Central Texas Area, identifying regional needs and developing plans to address those needs. In this position, Susan meets with regulated entities; local and state elected officials; residents; and with environmental groups and media to ensure resolutions of concerns or issues consistent with Agency policy. Prior to this position, Susan managed Texas’ regulatory programs for various radioactive materials licensing and underground injection control (UIC) permitting and authorizations as the Director of the Radioactive Materials Division for TCEQ. Susan is a professional engineer and a health physicist. She received her undergraduate degree in Radiological Health Engineering administered by the Texas A&M University Nuclear Engineering Department and her graduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Environmental Engineering. Susan has extensive experience working with waste management public policy, environmental and radiological monitoring, environmental engineering, waste characterization, and the management and disposal of waste material. She has also previously served as the Director of Health Physics of the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority until transferring to the TCEQ in 1999. Susan has testified in legal proceedings as an expert witness and has served as a liaison and resource witness to the Texas Legislature and the United States Congress. In 2009, Susan received two national awards: the Elda E. Anderson Award from the Health Physics Society; and the Richard S. Hodde Award in recognition of her work in radiation protection and innovations in waste management.

An overview of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s efforts to evaluate compliance with regulatory requirements related to oil and gas activities in Texas, and enforcement actions taken to address noncompliance. This update will focus on the most common noncompliance issues related to oil and gas activities identified by the TCEQ; TCEQ’s ongoing efforts to address air, water, and waste issues that arise from oil and gas production; and tools available to assist the regulated community’s compliance efforts.


Thomas Vinson, UT Arlington, Zero Waste Network
Reduce Pollution to Boost Profit Margins

Thomas Vinson has worked for over two decades in the environmental field where he has become known for finding the connection between good business practices, and environmental quality management.

Thomas founded the Zero Waste Network, which works closely with a national network of specialists and the EPA to find ways businesses can save money by reducing waste. Over the past two years Thomas has worked on projects that have helped companies identify ways to save over 1.5 million dollars, while reducing nearly 7 million tons of waste, three million gallons of water use, over a million kWh of electricity use and other reductions in pollution.

The fundamental principle behind Thomas’ work with the Zero Waste Network is that pollution is a sign of inefficiency. By identifying the causes of pollution we can have a more prosperous future and a healthy environment. This belief is supported by over 500 case studies on the Zero Waste Network website.

Thomas often works directly with businesses to implement environmental projects that support their core business functions. Working with the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable Mr. Vinson worked on a team in Saudi Arabian oil and gas facilities to implement an environmental management system (EMS). He also worked with a team in the Republic of Korea to initiate Clean Production Programs by attending and preparing recommendations for over 30 facilities of all sizes.

He annually trains over 150 people, and speaks at workshops and trainings throughout the world. Courses on sustainability, environmental management systems, risk management, pollution prevention and lean manufacturing are a few of the topics he uses to help businesses connect environmental performance to their business mission.

This interactive session will introduce participants to ways they can reduce product loss and minimize their impact on the environment. Drawing on the experiences of hundreds of companies, the session will focus on successful practices in the Oil and Gas industry, including proven strategies that have not yet been broadly adopted.

Water, Waste and Remediation

Ben Lee, Refine Innovations, LLC
Advances in Hydrocarbon Remediation Technology and Water Treatment

Ben Lee, Environmental Director for Refine Innovations, LLC has over 16 years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry. His first 8 years were on the production side, and his last 8 years have been on the environmental/remediation side--designing, implementing, and overseeing many large remediation projects for both production and retail sites.

Ben Lee, Environmental Director for Refine Innovations, LLC, will present an overview of new remediation technologies that are now commercially available in the United States. His presentation will include information about the technology behind the processes, potential cost savings, and case studies demonstrating effectiveness in different scenarios. He will also touch on specific applications of these technologies for efficient frac water treatment, recycling, and reuse.


Beth Powell, New Pig Energy
Secondary Containment Regulations and Best Management Practices for Surface Spills

With a major in chemical engineering and an MBA from the Pennsylvania State University, Beth Powell has worked for Tredegar Films, PermaGrain Products, and W.L. Gore and Associates, holding various positions in business development, product management, marketing, engineering, manufacturing and product development. She has been granted six patents. She was the Vice Chair of the Marcellus Shale Coalition Supply Chain Committee and Director-at-Large for the Appalachian Women’s Energy Network. She is currently the Director-at-Large for STEPS (Service, Transmission, Exploration and Production Safety) of Pennsylvania, In 2008, Ms. Powell joined New Pig Corporation, which supplies environmental, health and safety products to over 200,000 sites in over 70 countries, as a business platform leader. That position grew into managing director of the well pad division, which then resulted in New Pig Energy being formed as a subsidiary. New Pig Energy supplies patents-pending secondary containment liner to Marcellus, Utica and Niobrara shale plays. The liners have won 2013, 2012 and 2011 Environmental Protection Awards, and the company has been a finalist for Manufacturer of the Year for the Oil & Gas Awards two years in row.


Geri Blanchard, NORM SOLUTIONS LLC
OIL AND GAS NORM/TENORM: FIELD APPLICATIONS

Geri Blanchard is an internationally recognized NORM/TENORM expert, and the President and Corporate Radiation Safety Officer for NORM SOLUTIONS LLC. Geri possesses a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry, as well as a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management. She is a Certified Safety Professional and a Registered Environmental Manager, and has acted as a Radiation Safety Officer for over ten years. Geri has operated within every capacity of the NORM/TENORM industry, from confirmatory surveys through the disposal process. She has influenced regulation promulgation, licensing procedures, and best management practices. She possesses a strong passion for providing quality training services and customer service in the consulting arena throughout the United States and Canada. Geri has written more state agency-approved NORM/TENORM decontamination license applications within the United States than any other consultant within the past six years. Geri’s firm NORM SOLUTIONS LLC provides real-world, field-oriented training based on current methods, techniques and practices. Other services include OSHA safety training, RSO contracting, site-surveying, radiation protection plan writing, auditing, meter rentals and other field services.

NORM is one of many issues EH&S coordinators are charged with the responsibility of managing at their facilities. NORM is regulated very differently than other environmental and safety issues, and is a combination of oil and gas practices blended with health physics concepts. The NORM industry is driven by litigation and regulations. In order to legally transfer equipment and property among companies and facilities, surveys with scintillators must be performed. Surveying is a critical action when buying, selling, transferring, or moving equipment and material. This presentation will focus on the regulatory framework, legal issues, public perception challenges and solutions, common pitfalls and common issues regarding NORM.


Jeff Bowman, TEEX
Understanding the Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Hazardous Waste Definition Exemption

Jeff Bowman is a Program Manager for the Infrastructure Training and Safety Institute, a division of the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX). He is also an instructor for the Environmental Training Program as well as coordinator for that program. Mr. Bowman coordinates and manages a team of adjunct environmental instructors to provide environmental training courses for industrial, military, governmental and private entities. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Bowman also develops and provides training in hazardous waste management, environmental regulations, transportation of hazardous materials and waste, storm water management, hazard communication and hazardous material emergency response. Mr. Bowman has been in the hazardous materials and waste management industry since 1984. He earned his an MS in Public Health focus on Environmental and Occupational Health from Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health in 2010 and a BA in Botany from Humboldt State University, CA in 1984. He is a: Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM) Certified Environmental Trainer (CET) Certified Technical Trainer (CTT)

The oil and gas exploration and production operations generate many types of wastes. Depending on several factors, the environmental regulation of these wastes ranges from full regulation to relatively little regulation. It is very important for environmental compliance personnel to understand which wastes are considered “hazardous” and which waste are not to avoid costly disposal and compliance issues. Unfortunately, the process of making the waste determination is not particularly intuitive. This presentation will describe the federal hazardous waste classification process and explain the oil and gas hazardous waste exemption located in 40 CFR §261.4 as well as the reasons for EPA’s decision not to regulate these wastes as hazardous. The presentation will include a description of the scope of the exemption, a brief description of the oil and gas exploration and production processes and the wastes associated with these processes. Also included will be a discussion of methods employed to determine which wastes meet the exclusion including the “rule of thumb” to determine which wastes are “uniquely associated” with oil and gas exploration and production. The presentation will conclude with examples of wastes that are excluded in the exemption, and perhaps more importantly, wastes that are not excluded from the hazardous waste definition.


Jeffrey Tyson, Scott Environmental Services, Inc.
Remedy Selection for Solid Drilling Waste

Jeffrey Tyson is a Registered Professional Engineer in Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Utah. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, LA, and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Jeff specializes in Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering and has worked as the Process Controls Engineer for Scott Environmental Services, Inc. since 2013.

According the American Petroleum Institute, for every foot drilled in the United States, 1.21 barrels of drilling waste is generated1. API defines drilling waste as “the rock cuttings and fluids that are produced from drilling a new wellbore into the subsurface”2. In Scott’s experience, approximately 50% of drilling waste, or 0.6 barrels per foot drilled, is Solid Drilling Waste, or more specifically drilled cuttings and associated drilling fluid that is retained on the cuttings (ROC). According to RigData, the U.S. Land footage drilled in 2014 was over 324,000,000 feet. This corresponds to over 392,000,000 bbls of drilling waste generated, of which, over 196,000,000 bbls is expected to have been solid drilling waste. This is enough solid drilling waste generated in 2014 alone to fill Dallas Cowboys Stadium over 10 times3. In order to properly manage such a large volume of waste, it is imperative to fully understand the waste stream and the various treatment techniques that are available. Proper characterization of the waste and clearly defining the remediation goals are crucial elements of reducing costs and liability associated with treatment and disposal. This presentation covers the various practices that are used to manage solid drilling waste and outlines the considerations that should be made when determining the most appropriate treatment technique for each situation. Attendees will leave the presentation with a better understanding of how to properly evaluate and select the most appropriate remedy for solid drilling waste.

1 http://www.api.org/~/media/files/ehs/environmental_performance/icf-waste-survey-of-eandp-wastes-2000.pdf?la=en, accessed 06/25/2015
2 http://www.api.org/~/media/files/ehs/environmental_performance/icf-waste-survey-of-eandp-wastes-2000.pdf?la=en, accessed 06/25/2015
3 http://stadium.dallascowboys.com/assets/pdf/press_release_stadium_design_121206.pdf, accessed 06/25/2015


Misti Johnson, Atkins North America, Inc.
Co-speaker: Julie Morelli, PG, REM, CPESC, CESCO, CESSWI, Atkins North America, Inc.
Best Management Practices (BMPs) to Achieve USACE Regulatory Compliance and Control Stormwater Runoff into Ephemeral Streams of the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas

Misti Johnson is a project manager/senior environmental scientist with Atkins in the San Antonio, Texas office. Born and raised in Texas, she attended Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi where she obtained her Masters of Environmental Science degree. She has seven years of experience in environmental management and regulatory compliance including working for the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). She has been with Atkins for 3 years. Her applied experience includes environmental permitting development; aquatic toxicology assessments; environmental constraint mapping; spatial investigations; biological and ecological surveys; threatened and endangered species assessments; floodplain development permitting; federal, state, and local agency coordination; compensatory mitigation assessments; oil spill sampling; and Best Management Practices (BMPs) design and inspection.

Ephemeral streams (streams which only flow following a rain event) and headwaters make up a significant portion of water resources in the Eagle Ford Basin of South Texas. These streams provide unique environmental challenges for oil and gas development in South Texas including,: land stewardship, agricultural sustainability, and regulatory requirements. As development continues, demand for space is limited, causing encroachment on ephemeral streams, and other regulated waters of the United States. Upstream oil and gas operations are exempt from permitting via the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities. Therefore, these operations are not subject to NPDES-required erosion and sediment control planning. However, Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, enforced by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), regulates the discharge of fill material into waters of the United States, including sedimentation into stream features. Many oil and gas construction activities can be covered under Section 404 Nationwide Permits (NWP) with limited permitting/reporting requirements. In order to comply with these permits, specific stipulations for the permit utilized (including not impeding normal flow within stream features or restoration to pre-construction contours) and general conditions including implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) must be implemented. Pre-construction planning and pro-active construction practices can be used to avoid extensive permitting scenarios and/or compliance issues associated with the ephemeral streams of the Eagle Ford. This talk focuses on lessons learned from oil and gas developments near ephemeral streams in South Texas, including access road, well pad, central facility, and pipeline developments. Within the framework of regulatory compliance, oil and gas operations must be aware of potential jurisdictional waters of the United States and the implications of Section 404 permitting. Erosion controls selected to provide effective soil protection and sediment controls designed to reduce off-site transport of soils are the cornerstone of environmental compliance and land stewardship.


P. Rodger Keller, Scott Environmental Services, Inc.
Enhancing Sustainability in the Construction of Surface Transportation Infrastructure for the Oil and Gas Industry

Rodger Keller is a Design Engineer at Scott Environmental Services, Inc. in Longview, Texas. He currently specializes in Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering. Rodger’s previous experience includes a wide variety of engineering projects such as roads, sewers, storm water facilities, site developments, and Superfund and Brownfield site remediation. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2002. Rodger is currently licensed as a Professional Engineer in 7 states and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Surface transportation infrastructure such as lease roads and well location pads are critical for E&P operations. However, a significant portion of this infrastructure is in very poor condition due to a lack of engineering, poor construction, poor maintenance, and heavy traffic loading from E&P trucks. This situation leads to interruptions and delays in operations, safety issues, increased liability, and environmental impacts. Well location pads and lease roads in poor condition cause unsafe conditions, increased erosion, and increased sediment runoff into streams and ponds. Reconstruction and repair of such areas increases the quantities of virgin construction materials used, the quantities of waste materials requiring disposal, and the volume of traffic from trucks and construction equipment. Reconstruction, maintenance, and detrimental impacts to safety and the environment can be significantly reduced by constructing lease roads and location pads that are properly designed to withstand heavy traffic loading from E&P trucks and adverse weather conditions. Such infrastructure is safer and reduces impacts to the environment from erosion, sediment runoff, quantities of virgin construction materials used, quantities of waste materials requiring disposal, and volume of traffic from trucks and construction equipment. Furthermore, E&P solid waste sources such as drill cuttings can be recycled to construct durable lease roads and location pads, further reducing land impacts, water impacts, quantities of virgin construction materials used, and quantities of waste materials requiring disposal.


Dr. Zacariah Hildenbrand, Inform Environmental, LLC
Advances in Hydrocarbon Remediation Technology and Water Treatment

Dr. Zacariah L. Hildenbrand received his bachelors and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at El Paso and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Dr. Hildenbrand is the founder of Inform Environmental, LLC, an environmental consulting firm tailored to address the environmental concerns associated with oil and gas extraction. He also sits on the scientific advisory board of the Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he has coordinated research studies evaluating groundwater quality throughout the Barnett, Cline and Eagle Ford regions of Texas. Dr. Hildenbrand is determined to provide a further understanding of unconventional drilling and to develop solutions and new technologies for groundwater remediation, the recycling of fluid waste products, and the rapid characterization of groundwater quality.

The extraction of oil and natural gas from shale reserves has brought significant concerns over unconventional drilling and the degradation of groundwater quality. Of particular concern is whether rogue methane is leaching into groundwater through faulty well casings or through interconnectivity between the extraction zone and the overlying aquifer. Previous reconnaissance efforts analyzing dissolved gases across the major shale plays of Texas have revealed methane levels well in exceedance of the 28 mg/L threshold; above which water is flammable and the Department of the Interior and the Office of Surface Mining advises well owners to contact their local health authorities. The current protocols for the testing and monitoring of dissolved methane are extremely expensive and finicky, requiring absolute precision during sample collection to yield reliable data. Here we present novel detection hardware for the quantification of dissolved methane in situ with remote reporting capabilities in real-time. The sensitivity, durability, and accuracy of this technology provide industry entities, municipal well operators and concerned citizens with the opportunity of executing a high-resolution monitoring program for a small fraction of the historical cost.