On November 13th, EBI proudly co-sponsored the Mortgage Banker Association of New York's "Generational Real Estate" Panel Discussion. Our own Josh Simon, Senior Account Executive and MBA of NY Program Chair, coordinated the program. The panel featured several exceptional Real Estate Industry leaders, and was graciously hosted by Morgan Stanley and EisnerAmper. To find out more about the event, please visit Real Estate Weekly and read their review of the event.
The ASTM Committee has upheld changes to the Phase 1 Standard, which was released during the first week of November -- the new standard was written to reflect current practices in the industry. Under ASTM rules, the existing version (ASTM E1527-05) was approaching its expiration date and needed to either be discontinued or reissued by December 31st. Though some distinct modifications were made, the latest edition (ASTM E-1527-13) is not a significant departure from existing ESA criteria.
While the EPA has accepted the 2013 entry as satisfying all requirements of AAI, it also noted that the 2005 installment is still valid. However, the ASTM will eventually be retiring the old version, encouraging most to adopt the 2013 revisions much sooner -- legal counsel and consultants would advise against using any outdated standard.
For more information, please download our white paper on the changes!
If you have any questions about these changes or would like to speak with an account executive, please contact EBI!
On October 5 2013, another team of EBI employees volunteered their time on a beautiful fall Saturday to take part in EBI's 2nd Habitat for Humanity Build day.
A team of 13 volunteers again showed their support to the local New England community by assisting Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell with their projects on Rock Street in Lowell, MA. The build site will contain 4 homes (2 duplexes), which will provide 4 families with a place to call home.
Not only was it a great teambuilding event for EBI employees, but it was also a great way for EBI employees to give back to the community and to be a part of the revitalization of this Lowell neighborhood.
For our second build day on Rock Street, EBI team members took part in various building projects, including interior and exterior painting, installing a vapor barrier and sheet rocking.
The event was a great success; everyone agreed it was an afternoon well spent and with EBI teamwork, we made great progress towards completion of the project, which is expected to be in less than a month (dedication ceremony slated for Veterans day).
EBI Consulting would like to thank Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell for all of the work they do to better our community. We are honored to have been a part of building these homes for deserving families.
For more information on Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell, or how you can get involved, please visit their website at http://lowellhabitat.org/
In a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) adopted on September 26, 2013, the FCC has proposed changes to streamline the regulatory process for distributed antenna systems (DAS) and temporary cell installations. DAS installations require the deployment of numerous, low-power antennas across a wide geographic area - a situation that the current FCC NEPA process is not well suited for. Additionally, as DAS systems are often deployed in urban settings, the NPRM seeks to streamline the Section 106 process as well. The FCC NPRM proposes three options to tackle the challenge: (1) create a categorical exclusion, (2) create an alternative program, or (3) not define DAS projects as "Federal undertakings" thereby excluding it from the NEPA/Section 106 process.
The FCC is also seeking to implement changes to the regulatory process for deploying temporary antenna installations. In times when coverage demand exceeds existing wireless infrastructure capabilities on a temporary basis (major sporting events, conventions, parades etc.), or when wireless coverage is unavailable (natural disasters, blackouts, etc.), temporary antenna installations may be deployed. As some of these needs may be unanticipated, it may not always be prudent to follow current registration requirements. CTIA submitted comments and the FCC granted an interim waiver for temporary towers meeting certain conditions; the current NPRM seeks to codify these waivers to more efficiently deploy temporary antenna structures in emergency and non-emergency situations.
Other topics covered in the NPRM include the clarification of the Section 6409(a) of the Spectrum Act, as well as the 2009 Declaratory Ruling's interpreting 47 U.S.C. §332(c)(7). Comments on the NPRM will be due 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register, and replies due 90 days after publication. However, amidst the current government shutdown, the Federal Register is only publishing articles related to national security and imminent threats to human life or personal property. The NPRM will be published once the Federal government resumes normal operations, so be sure to check back for updates at that time.
With President Obama's recently announced Climate Action Plan looming in the background, the EPA kicked off Pollution Prevention (P2) week on Monday September 16. This year, the focus of P2 week is to focus on carbon pollution. The public has been reminded to make purchases with the environment in mind, from energy efficient appliances and fixtures to fuel-efficient vehicles and safer (and less toxic) pesticides and products. Consumer-facing programs such as Watersense, Greener Products, and Fueleconomy.gov are all intended to complement recent changes in federal policy and regulations, such as the Renewable Fuel Standards and updated Clean Air Act standards.
The most recent updates to the Clean Air Act now include proposed carbon-cutting measures applicable to new power plants. The new standards are intended to limit carbon pollution and spur the creation and adoption of new technologies and procedures that will lead to a cleaner and more efficient energy economy. The new limits will break ground as the first restrictions specifically related to carbon emissions. Furthermore, the regulations are expected to benefit citizens by improving public health and helping to mitigate the risks posed by global climate change.
Federal focus on the power generation sector is crucial to US success because power plants represent roughly 30-35% of the country's emissions, the largest direct emission source in the country. Additional public and stakeholder commentary periods are currently underway, with the EPA expecting to formally introduce the new standards on June 1 of next year.
When it comes to energy efficiency it appears that the EPA is playing games. The Agency kicked off its 4th annual Energy Star National Building Competition, which pits commercial buildings against one another to see who can reduce their energy consumption by the highest percentage.
Last year's "Battle of the Buildings" provided a cumulative savings of over $50 Million. The competition this year will will include over 3,200 participants (representing all US States and Territories) hoping to cut energy usage by implementing behavioral change programs, installing new equipment, and monitoring monthly usage data.
The EPA has taken things into the realm of social media as well, with a dedicated Twitter feed for the competition, as well as a photo stream where competitors can add visual documentation of their initiatives. Check out the EPA's interactive map to view participating buildings.
In addition to the building competition, the EPA also launched an Online Green Sports Resource Directory in conjunction with the 3rd annual Green Sports Alliance Summit. The Green Sports Alliance (GSA) is a non-profit group working to reduce the environmental impact of sports teams, venues, and events. The group accomplishes this goal by providing a network of teams that share best practices and tools for improved environmental management. Sports are unique in their high level of social influence and concentrated environmental impacts.
The EPA has been a partner of the GSA since its inception in 2010. Releasing the Green Sports Resource Directory is simply another step toward strengthening this partnership and increasing access to information that will help athletic teams, leagues, and venues reduce waste and energy consumption while also providing an additional communication pathway with the general public.
Here at EBI, our field scientists spend a lot of time on the road travelling to different properties for site visits. This has been one of our bigger challenges as we try to become a more eco-conscious company and encourage our employees to go green.
One of our employees, Darrell Cheng, is based in New York City and travels around the city all the time to perform testing and sampling for hazardous materials, such as asbestos and lead paint. Darrell has found that taking his bike around NYC is actually the easiest, and greenest, way to get to and from work sites! He sent us a photo of his bike all packed up ready for a site visit:
In the most recent issue of Engineering New-Record (ENR), EBI Consulting was listed as #122 in the Top 200 Environmental Firms list! We are thrilled to make this annoucement, and very proud of moving up seven spaces on the list since the previous year. EBI is looking forward to a successful second half to 2013 as we continue to provide the highest quality environmental engineering & due diligence services to our great clients!
To read the full press release, please click here.
For more info on EBI Consulting or to contact us, please visit www.ebiconsulting.com
EBI Consulting has closely followed the evolution of Section 316(b) of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). For existing facilities, or those in operation before 2002, the recently revised Phase II requirements will take effect in November of 2013. We have summarized the critical elements of the 316(b) Phase II requirements in this brief article. Because the implementation of these regulations is complex and necessarily site-specific, we encourage you to contact us for a more detailed evaluation of applicability at your facility.
To read the fuill article, please click here.
EBI Consulting has the expertise and experience to guide you through the new requirements of 316(b).
Please contact James Jolley, P.E. at EBI Consulting at 617-291-4910 with any additional questions.
Do you plan to buy, sell, or lease property in California?
If so, read below to ensure you are in compliance with AB 1103:
As of January 1, 2014, AB 1103 requires the owners of non-residential buildings greater than 5,000 SF to benchmark a building's energy use in the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager in advance of the sale, lease, or financing of a building, and to disclose the results to potential buyers, lessees, and lenders. Note that in the case of a lease, AB 1103 only applies to a full-building lease; a partial lease is exempt.
The program is being phased in according to the following schedule:
- September 1, 2013 for buildings 50,000 SF and larger
- January 1, 2014 for buildings 5,000 SF and larger
Official documentation must be provided by the owner at least 24 hours prior to the execution of a sale or lease contract, or the submission of a loan application. Furthermore, the property's Portfolio Manager page must be established and updated at least 30 days prior to the issuance of the documentation. For more information, refer to www.energy.ca.gov/ab1103/index.html
Ensure that your next transaction goes off without a hitch: Contact EBI's AB 1103 specialist, Spencer Lawrence (firstname.lastname@example.org), for help with AB 1103 compliance.