Includes: environmental inspections.
Van Lewis, Manager (14 years with M&O, manager 4 years), 12 technicians
Craft Shops include Environmental Inspection and CAD Operations.
The Environmental Department is responsible for managing and controlling all of the asbestos containing materials in the District, as well as indoor air quality inspections. The technicians oversee and remedy issues that involve mold, radon, lead-based paint, drinking water, waste water treatment, hazardous materials response, ambient air quality, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance, to name a few. All are critical issues in providing students and faculty with a safe and comfortable learning environment. Established in 1989 when asbestos abatement legislation became effective, APS’ Environmental Department is the only one throughout New Mexico school districts, and one of only a few in the nation. APS has never failed an EPA asbestos inspection audit.
The Department’s two CAD operators produce architectural drawings indicating locations of asbestos as well as update the drawings as work is performed in all schools and as new construction occurs. On July 1, 2010, CAD Operations was relocated to the Facilities Design + Construction Division to better serve the entire District. Their responsibilities expanded over the years to include the frequent updating of architectural drawings used for many purposes.
As a great deal of work is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and OSHA, the Department is PM focused. Approximately 90% of all tasks that can be managed through the PM program currently are.
The staff has over 100 years of combined experience in the environmental field and maintains 20 + specialized environmental certificates and licenses that include Asbestos Contractor Supervisor, Asbestos Inspector, Asbestos Management Planner, and Asbestos Project Designer. Certifications are also required in Hazardous Waste Operations, Water Quality, Waste Water Systems, and Indoor Air Quality. These highly qualified professionals perform work for $26 an hour. The average environmental consultation rate is $70-$150 per hour.
As using in-house inspectors is undoubtedly considerably more cost efficient over hiring contractors, the Department has requested adding an inspector for the last three years. While the Department’s responsibilities have increased in scope, the number of personnel has not, due to ever increasing budge cuts.
“The new software program developed by environmental inspector Kevin McCarron to schedule and monitor asbestos abatement projects is a major accomplishment. Our prior relic paper system was time-consuming and inadequate.”
-- VAN LEWIS, MANAGER, ENVIRONMENTAL
New in-house software developed by inspector Kevin McCarron to schedule and monitor asbestos abatement projects
- Began development in 2009; became fully operational in January 2010.
- Projects are more easily and accurately tracked and organized.
- Provides more detailed information of projects.
- Costs are monitored; easier to budget.
- Generates notification letter to school principals.
- Selects outside contractors and keeps them abreast of scope-of-work.
- Generates reports that can be forwarded automatically to all parties (construction report forms and other forms, correspondence, schedules, scope-of-work, notices).
Closed Polk Middle School and Los Padillas Elementary Schools wastewater systems and diverted wastewater to City of Albuquerque system
- City system more effective.
- Cost of system maintenance and sampling eliminated.
- Saved the $400,000 cost to bring the Los Padillas system into compliance, and saved substantially more than that in not having to construct a new system for Polk Middle School.
- With the closing of the wastewater system at the school, the Environmental Department was challenged to find a new way to fill the pond at Los Padillas Elementary School (previously filled by wastewater) on the sanctuary’s four acres, and was able to tie the pond into an existing irrigation system.
New PM program
- The every three-year asbestos inspections of all District schools moved from a manual paper system to SchoolDude’s automatic PM system saving time and effort.
Status of 2009-10 Fiscal Year Goals
- Develop a District wide CAD and Drawing Shop to provide an official single point source and accurate gate keeping of all floor plans: Done – relocated to Facilities Design + Construction to better serve and expand services to the entire District.
- Plan for future wastewater system needs: Done – Polk Middle School and Los Padillas Elementary School; Corrales Elementary School in progress and pending completion of Corrales wastewater system. The Environmental Department also successfully secured a new five year Groundwater Discharge Permit from the New Mexico Environment Department.
- Work with the Village of Corrales administration in connecting the Corrales Elementary School wastewater system to their wastewater (under construction) when completed in two to three years.
- Redistribute tasks of the inspectors to be more specialized. Currently all inspectors perform all environmental tasks at their assigned schools.
- Moving from school assigned to task assigned.
- Take advantage of inspector expertise (mold, asbestos, lead, air quality, radon, water quality, environmental) in getting jobs done better and faster.
- Move from individual to team work where appropriate.
- Provides mentor system helping less experienced inspectors learn from the more knowledgeable.
- Provides more flexibility to re-assign inspectors to meet summer and unforeseen demands.
- Coordinate solution between landfill operators and New Mexico Environmental Department to enable the disposal of APS non-friable asbestos roofing material waste.
- While disposal of all non-friable asbestos waste in the three local Construction & Demolition (C&D) landfills is legal, all refuse the loads in fear of being (improperly) cited. (Every state surrounding New Mexico allows disposal of non-friable asbestos construction debris in a C&D landfill. And while it is also legal in New Mexico, it is not interrupted as such. The state needs to issue a clarification.)
- Rather than educating the landfill operators, the New Mexico Environmental Department is intimidating them causing a loss of business for the landfills and a costly and timeconsuming disposal problem for APS.
- APS is forced to use the one asbestos landfill in the state located 75 miles from Albuquerque in Mountainair.
- The significantly increased cost curtails the number of roofing projects the District can complete each year. Numerous roofing projects are on hold pending a solution.