What does it take to make a ready-mix plant meet and exceed all required codes to make it a “clean and green” producer? Many would answer an eye for beauty, attention to detail, and thorough knowledge of the potential challenges and solutions.
Fortunately for producers in the San Francisco area, there's a women who can measure up. Lisa Ising has been an environmental services consultant to the ready-mix industry, specializing in regulatory-compliance matters.
For several years, Ising has earned the respect of the local community as the regulatory-compliance manager for San Francisco-based Bode Gravel Co. She not only helped the producer create a plant that exceeded compliance levels previously unheard of a few years ago, she continues to help them live up to those promises.
Ising specializes in only regulatory-compliance issues for her clients. “I obtain operating, air quality, stormwater, and hazardous materials permits,” she says. Her responsibilities include knowing all of the rules and regulations to which her clients must conform, and finding the best way for those clients to comply.
She then must find the best ways to comply with each rule by knowing the latest equipment and best operating procedure to help a plant run cleanly and safely. It can be a daunting job, as the codes, technologies, and equipment can change rapidly.
For Bode's San Francisco plant, Ising was the point person to deal with the regulators. She faced several issues. The proposed design had to address stormwater runoff and how to contain and clean potential hazardous spills. The plant had to maintain an annual stormwater discharge permit with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Adhering to standards
Dust control and emission levels were other concerns. Bode's permit from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District required dust collector and throughput readings that must be maintained monthly. The operating permit required that ground storage of material be minimal. Bode's air quality permit was among the most restrictive in the state because the company chose to show its commitment to the community by using the best available technology.
But Ising knew the producer had gone the extra mile when she submitted Bode's Hazardous Material Business Plan to the city's Certified Unified Program Agency, the body which implements environmental programs. This was so successful, Bode was recognized as San Francisco's only city-certified “clean and green” concrete producer.
And that is where Ising's satisfaction lies. “When I can help a client meet and exceed the standards that our government has set, I have done something for my client, as well as for the communities surrounding the ready-mix plant,” she says.
Bode is only one of her clients. She advises Cemex and other ready-mix companies in the Bay area. They all face the same issue: trying to provide a clean environment around their businesses. This can be a challenge. A good regulatory-compliance person guides a company to the best decisions. Ising took all the right steps with Bode and made it a shining example to others.
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