Tuesday, August 27, 2013

California Asbestos Consultant and Site Surveillance Technician Certifications

We have received quite a few questions lately about Asbestos Certification in California, specifically on how to become an Asbestos Consultant (CAC), and how that differs from the Site Surveillance Technician (CSST) certification. The following information was digested from Chapter 3.2. CAL/OSHA Article 2.6. Asbestos Consultants and Site Surveillance Technicians in an effort to demystify these certifications.

“Asbestos consultant” means any person who contracts to provide professional health and safety services relating to asbestos- containing construction material as defined in this subsection, which comprises 100 square feet or more of surface area. The activities of an asbestos consultant include building inspection, abatement project design, contract administration, sample collection, preparation of asbestos management plans, clearance monitoring, and supervision of site surveillance technicians as defined in this subsection.

“Site surveillance technician” means any person who acts as an independent on-site representative of an asbestos consultant. The site surveillance technician monitors the asbestos abatement activities of others, provides asbestos air monitoring services for area and personal samples, and performs building surveys and contract administration at the direction of an asbestos consultant.

Application for Examination and Certification: http://www.dir.ca.gov/DOSH/ACRU/ACRU_App_Pkg.pdf

Consultant: Initial App $500, Annual Renewal Fee $325
Site Surveillance Tech: Initial App $400; Annual Renewal $270

The application shall include:
Type of certification desired: Asbestos Consultant or Site Surveillance Technician, full name of applicant, & name under which the individual will be conducting business, Birthdate and Social Security Number, Address (Employment and Home), Telephone Number (Work and Home), 2 copies of 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" current color photograph of applicant (passport type taken within the past 30 days).
The application also must include copies of valid certificates from AHERA training courses & proof of experience/education:

For Asbestos consultant applicants, show certificates from a DOSH-approved trainer for:
*Education/Experience Requirement options (any one of the following) for Asbestos Consultant:
A. One year of asbestos-related experience and a bachelor of science degree in engineering, architecture, industrial hygiene, construction management, or a related biological or physical science;
B. Two years of asbestos-related experience and a bachelor's degree;
C. Three years of asbestos-related experience and an associate of arts degree in engineering, architecture, industrial hygiene, construction management, or a related biological or physical science; or
D. Four years of asbestos-related experience and a high school diploma or its equivalent.

**Asbestos related work experience cannot be credited until after attending your first asbestos certification class**

For Site surveillance technician applicants, show certificates from a DOSH-approved trainer for:
  • inspector
  • abatement contractor/supervisor
  • and all subsequent annual refresher courses if needed 
  • certificates for abatement worker and abatement project designer may be submitted in lieu of the abatement contractor and supervisor certificate.
*Education/Experience requirements for Surveillance Tech:
Six (6) months of asbestos-related experience under the supervision of an asbestos consultant & possession of a high school diploma or equivalent.
**Individuals can request to sit for certification exam after 3 months of work experience, but the remaining 3 months experience must be completed before certification card is awarded.

The exams are closed-book, individuals must score 70% to pass.

View CAC/CSST Exam Details and Schedule

The Division will process application within 15 business days of receipt, and within 45 days they'll let you know if application was accepted/denied, and when/where the exam will be if you did qualify.

Still have questions on Asbestos Consultant and Site Surveillance Technician certification, or looking for a different type of Asbestos Certification in California? Call Zack Academy at 1-800-355-1751.

Monday, August 26, 2013

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: Crosswall Training

Crosswall Training is an EPA Lead RRP Training provider that offers courses nationwide. All of their instructors are certified, successful contractors who have built, worked, and managed companies. They help their students integrate safe work practices into their professional lives and seek to truly educate their students on the hazards they may face. Students do not simply become certified, but also become well informed, effective workers who fully understand the renovations they are performing. Crosswall Training provides hands-on training to give students a real sense of what working with hazards is like and are open to answering any questions students may have about the field.

With more than two decades of experience in the construction and disaster restoration industry, Steve Hoff is intimately familiar with the challenges confronting contractors every day. He has guided his companies through start-up, rapid regional and national expansion and their eventual sale. Steve is known for has real-world, "boots-on-the-ground" teaching, consulting and management style of straight forward, easily implemented solutions that cut through the fear, hype and emotions surrounding starting, growing and managing your business in today's economic climate.

GreenEDU students have given Steve Hoff 100% positive feedback. GreenEDU student Guy L stated, "I appreciated the real world examples that Steve used in his presentation. Also, the material was taught so that I could remember the important aspects of lead paint remodeling." And Jed. P described him as "very informative, and knowlegdable. Steve was able to help with pointers for my application in apartments." James E. stated, "Steve was very informative and made the class very interesting. I was impressed."

Crosswall Training currently has 10 upcoming courses with GreenEDU in several locations. They offer EPA Lead Renovators Certification Initial training.

Anyone who performs renovations, repairs, or painting in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities must be EPA Lead Safe Certified. Individuals and firms that are not certified could face fines of up to $37,500 per day. Crosswall Training offers this course in a variety of locations on multiple dates. They offer EPA Lead Renovators Certification Initial training in:

  • Burlingame, CA
  • Spokane Valley, WA
  • SeaTac, WA
  • Portland, OR
  • Nashville, TN
  • Lakewood, CO

This course is required by the EPA for anyone performing work with lead in pre-1978 homes or facilities. The Lead Renovator Certification Initial course is 8 hours in length and includes both EPA-approved lead safety training and certification. Any contractor performing qualifying work must employ at least one Certified Renovator who has successfully completed this training, in addition to being registered as a Lead Safe Certified Firm with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The course concludes with a 25 question EPA-certification exam.

About Crosswall Training

At Crosswall Training, we are passionate about helping our clients' businesses grow and about providing the best training possible. We offer Lead Renovator training in 8 different states throughout the United States, and all of our instructors are successful contractors who have built and managed successful, multimillion dollar companies. As a company rich with professional expertise, we are confident that no other training organization builds the level of marketing and management mastery into the Lead Renovators class as we do.

To register for a course with Crosswall Training, visit their page http://www.greenedu.com/crosswall-training

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Appeals Court Finds L.A. County Responsible for Stormwater Pollution

Stormwater Drains Into a River (CRWC)
Los Angeles, CA- Earlier this month, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided in favor of the Natural Resources Defense Council, who initiated a lawsuit against Los Angeles County and the County Flood Control District. The lawsuit was filed in 2008 and held L.A. County liable for violations against the Clean Water Act. L.A. County would then have to clean up the pollutants found in stormwater runoff. Mercury, cyanide, lead, and fecal bacteria, among other pollutants, were found in billions of gallons of stormwater runoff.

Stormwater runoff is a huge source of pollution in Los Angeles, and chemicals, dirt, and debris often mix with stormwater, polluting beaches, rivers, and other sources of water. These dangerous materials can cause residents and tourists to become sick.

County officials, however, argue that the county should not be responsible, as the pollution is coming from multiple sources and cities.

In 2012, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the county should be responsible for the pollution. However, this past January, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the verdict. However, the Ninth Circuit still finds the county liable for the high levels of pollution. The case will go back to the federal district court to determine how the county will address the solution.

Steve Fleischli, director of the Natural Resource Defense Council stated, "Today, Los Angeles residents and visitors alike can celebrate a future with cleaner water, knowing that the County is legally obligated to get to work to address its pollution problem, and protect people and water quality. Luckily, we know there are a range of green infrastructure solutions available to ensure this pollution is addressed."

The Natural Resources Defense Council wants Los Angeles County to promote green infrastructure and on-site capture and filtration systems to reduce the pollution problem. Los Angels County has not yet proposed or implemented any green solutions.

Want to learn more about Stormwater and Water Management? Register for a course with GreenEDU!

Green Education Services provides building developers, architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, commercial real estate brokers and other construction industry professionals world-class sustainable design training. Our LEED Certification Seminars, EPA Lead Certification, and Energy Auditor Training give you all the green jobs training, resources, and tools you need to successfully enter the green work force in the shortest possible amount of time. Visit http://www.greenedu.com/ for more information!

Monday, August 19, 2013

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: Positive Energy Environmental

Positive Energy Environmental is a GreenEDU partner based out of Cleveland, Ohio. They provide EPA Lead Renovators Certification and provide EPA and Ohio Department of Health accredited training courses. All of the instructors are also EPA Certified Lead Inspectors, Risk Assessors, and Clearance Technicians. They are dedicated to improving the safety and health of their community and provide quality training. They have additional resources to keep their students well-informed and up to date on current regulations, courses, and health and environmental news. They provide a multitude of services for their clients, including classes for all contracting specialists and landlords, examinations, surveying, contracting, and current information regarding lead work and regulations.

Positive Energy Environmental students provided positive feedback for the instructors. Dallas C. described the course as "detailed and very well structured." Ernest W. commented, "The instructor was well prepared and very knowledgable in the subject."

Positive Energy Environmental has 6 upcoming courses with GreenEDU. They provide EPA Lead Renovators Certification Initial training in Cleveland, Ohio.

Anyone who performs renovations, repairs, or painting in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities must be EPA Lead Safe Certified. Individuals and firms that are not certified could face fines of up to $37,500 per day. Positive Energy Environmental provides this course on multiple days to meet the individual needs of their students. They offer the course once a month so that students who miss the chance to take the course always have another option in the near future.

This course is required by the EPA for anyone performing work with lead in pre-1978 homes or facilities. The Lead Renovator Certification Initial course is 8 hours in length and includes both EPA-approved lead safety training and certification. Any contractor performing qualifying work must employ at least one Certified Renovator who has successfully completed this training, in addition to being registered as a Lead Safe Certified Firm with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The course concludes with a 25 question EPA-certification exam.

About Positive Energy Environmental
At Positive Energy Environmental, we are committed to the health and well being of the children in our community and their families. We specialize in lead clearance examinations for contractors and Metropolitan Housing Authority landlords, lead inspections, risk assessments, and lead renovators training. We are currently offering nationwide US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) RRP (Initial 8 hours, Refresher 4 hours). The 8 hour training will provide the health affects of lead, the Regulations that have been implemented by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the EPA regarding lead, and the steps to take in order to make sure workers are working lead safe.

To view more information or to register for a course with Positive Energy Environmental, please visit http://www.greenedu.com/positive-energy-environmental

Thursday, August 15, 2013

OSHA Fines Walmart For Safety Violations

OSHA Fines Walmart Over Safety Violations
A Walmart store
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Walmart $190,000 after a safety investigation revealed the retailer was putting its workers in danger. In a Rochester, NY Walmart investigation, workers were found to be in danger when using trash compactors and cleaning up chemicals.

Under the settlement between OSHA and Walmart, the retailer has agreed to lock their trash compactors when they are not in use, to have a supervisor present when operating the compactor, and to provide their employees with proper chemical safety training.

According to OSHA, Walmart has endangered its employees by blocking exits, exposing them to amputation hazards, potential electrolyte exposure, and exposure to blood borne pathogens. In the last 5 years, Walmart has had over 100 OSHA violations in its stores.

The settlement will apply to 2,857 Walmart and Sam's Club stores. Additionally, Walmart must hire a monitor to check compliance within the nationwide stores every four months for two years. Walmart representative Randy Hargrove told USA Today that the retailer would go beyond the legal settlement and apply these safety changes in all 4,691 Walmart and Sam's Club locations. The retailer got off somewhat cheaply as it could have paid double the amount due to its several citations.

"This settlement will help to keep thousands of exposed Walmart workers safe and healthy on the job," stated OSHA assistant secretary Dr. David Michaels. "We hope this sends a strong message that the law requires employers to provide safe working conditions, and OSHA will use all the tools at our disposal to ensure that all employers follow the law."

Want to become certified with OSHA? Register for an OSHA course with GreenEDU! 

Green Education Services provides building developers, architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, commercial real estate brokers and other construction industry professionals world-class sustainable design training. Our LEED Certification Seminars, EPA Lead Certification, and Energy Auditor Training give you all the green jobs training, resources, and tools you need to successfully enter the green work force in the shortest possible amount of time.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Federal Railroad Administration Issues Order For Trains With Hazardous Materials

Washington, DC- Earlier this month, the Federal Railroad Administration issued an emergency order to prevent hazardous materials from moving or spilling. The FRA emergency order outlines measures that all trains are expected to take within the next month:
  • No train or vehicles transporting specified hazardous materials can be left unattended on a mainline track or side track outside a yard or terminal, unless specifically authorized.
  • In order to receive authorization to leave a train unattended, railroads must develop and submit to FRA a process for securing unattended trains transporting hazardous materials, including locking the locomotive or otherwise disabling it, and reporting among employees to ensure the correct number of hand brakes are applied.
  • Employees who are responsible for securing trains and vehicles transporting such specified hazardous material must communicate with the train dispatchers the number of hand brakes applied, the tonnage and length of the train or vehicle, the grade and terrain features of the track, any relevant weather conditions, and the type of equipment being secured.
  • Train dispatchers must record the information provided. The dispatcher or other qualified railroad employees must verify that the securement meets the railroad’s requirements.
  • Railroads must implement rules ensuring that any employee involved in securing a train participate in daily job briefings prior to the work being performed.
  • Railroads must develop procedures to ensure a qualified railroad employee inspects all equipment that an emergency responder has been on, under or between before the train can be left unattended.
  • Railroads must provide this EO to all affected employees
Derailed Train in Louisiana Spills Hazardous Materials
Derailed Train in Louisiana (Washington Post)
The FRA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a Safety Advisory, calling for trains transporting hazardous materials to have multiple certified crew members who can act in case of another emergency.

Earlier this August, a derailed Louisiana train spilled highly flammable and toxic materials. The area was evacuated and cleaning crews were called in to remove the hazardous materials. 

"We are taking this action today and we will be looking hard at the current rail operating practices for hazardous materials to ensure the public's safety," stated PHMSA Administrator Cynthia Quarterman.

Green Education Services provides building developers, architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, commercial real estate brokers and other construction industry professionals world-class sustainable design training. Our LEED Certification Seminars, EPA Lead Certification, and Energy Auditor Training give you all the green jobs training, resources, and tools you need to successfully enter the green work force in the shortest possible amount of time. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bank of America Tower in NYC Under Criticism For Energy Usage

Bank of America Tower Under Criticism for LEED Platinum Rating
Bank of America Tower
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Design) is a rating system for the design and construction of green buildings. Created by the U.S. Green Building Council in 1998, LEED is internationally recognized and awards points to buildings based on several categories including water efficiency, indoor air quality, and materials and resources.

New York City's Bank of America Tower became the first skyscraper to achieve LEED Platinum certification, built with rainwater collection systems and a daylight dimming system, along with other green features; however, after the tower opened in 2010, its building performance did not live up to the hype. Despite its sustainable design, it consumes twice as much energy per square foot than the Empire State Building. The Bank of America Tower contains data centers and a financial trading floor, requiring a large amount of energy to power the computers and cool the systems.

While critics are bashing Bank of America for its high energy usage and contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, defenders of the corporation point out that Bank of America, unlike the Empire State Building, has no vacancies and generates 80% of its own energy in a co-generation plant. Its rainwater collection system and waterless urinals save over 10 million gallons of water a year.

Supporters of the bank also emphasize that the controversy is due to flaws with the LEED rating system rather than the bank's headquarters. LEED awards points for several categories, some considered "cheap." Bank of America was awarded "cheap" points for building near public transportation, working with a LEED Accredited Professional, and preserving and restoring Bryant Park.

Douglas Durst, chairman of the Durst Organization, wrote to The Commercial Observer, defending the building: "While there are problems with LEED that are being corrected in the next version, [this] is not one of them. The base building and tenant operations are two distinct issues." LEED is a design tool and not a performance rating system. Additionally, LEED is not energy-specific and only measures overall performance. LEED buildings can obtain points in various ways even if they waste energy. A sustainable building can only go so far if the tenants do not practice sustainability themselves.

Corrections and updates will be made to the LEED rating system this November with the launch of LEED v4. LEED v4 encourages green building and living to the whole building and products. Brendan Owens, the vice president of LEED technical development, described its members as "progressive and willing to move forward," and believes that the new LEED rating system will take LEED to the next level.

Want to learn more? Visit our LEED FAQ page or contact us to ask questions!

Planning on taking the LEED Exam? First, get prepared with an educational LEED Seminar. Register for a course in your area with GreenEDU! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: Northwest Independent Contractors Association

Northwest Independent Contractors Association (NICA) is a Washington-based non-profit organization that provides environmental consulting and training services. They pride themselves as a resource for students and safety service employees and have a team of expert training staff. NICA's top instructors are accredited training specialists and receive praise from their students. They encourage their students to come into class with an open mind and be unafraid to ask questions. NICA's main goal is to keep students up to date and well informed, reducing the overall risk to students and their surroundings. NICA was formed as a pool of resources of contractors to complete tasks and training for companies efficiently and effectively, providing flexible hours and locations and low-cost classes.

Kris Alberti has an extensive construction and instruction background which she has blended to produce informative programs that give practical solutions to contractors. She brings 20 years of experience problem solving and creating compliance tools to her clients. Kris is OSHA 500 Safety, EPA’s Certified Lead Renovator,  OSHA’s Disaster Site Worker, First Aid/CPR and Apprenticeship Instructor.

Dale Yerabek has worked as a General Contractor/Specialty Roofing Contractor for the past 20 years. He brings real-life, relevant experience to his safety courses, and specializes in ladder safety, fall protection, and respiratory protection programs. Dale is an OSHA 500 Safety, EPA’s Certified Lead Renovator,  OSHA’s Disaster Site Worker, First Aid/CPR and Apprenticeship Instructor.

GreenEDU students have given Northwest Independent Contractors Association 100% positive feedback. David R. commented that the instructor was "very informative definitely knew what he was talking about." Michael B. praised the instructor and stated that he "was great at relaying the information."

NICA currently offers EPA Lead Renovators Certification Initial courses with GreenEDU in multiple locations. The full training location list for NICA is:

  • Bellevue
  • Kennewick
  • Spokane Valley
  • Tacoma
  • Vancouver

Anyone who performs renovations, repairs, or painting in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities must be certified in the State of Washington. Individuals and firms that are not certified could face fines of up to $37,500 per day.

The Lead Renovator Certification (Initial) course is 8 hours in length and includes both EPA-approved lead safety training and Washington Department of Commerce training. Any contractor performing qualifying work must employ at least one certified Lead Renovator who has successfully completed this course, in addition to being registered as a Lead Renovation Firm. The course concludes with a 25 question certification exam.

About Northwest Independent Contractors Association
NICA is a non-profit trade organization that provides inexpensive small contractor business consulting and works to pool contractor resources in order to accomplish tasks normally too daunting, time consuming, or expensive for individual companies to do themselves.

To register for a course with NICA, please visit http://www.greenedu.com/northwest-independent-contractors-association-nica

Friday, August 9, 2013

Wind Turbines Could Power European Union 4 Times Over

Deep-Sea Wind Turbines to Power European Union 4 Times Over
Wind Turbines
The European Wind and Energy Association recently released a report showing the need for offshore wind turbines, which would spark economic growth and meet the European Union's energy needs. The EWEA proposes that the European Union invest in these deep-sea turbines, as the energy is clean and efficient, and wind turbines in the North Sea alone could power the European Union 4 times over.

The technology for these turbines is still in early development, and this large-scale commercial project would need to overcome economic challenges and political opposition. The report found that current commercial wind turbines reach a maximum water depth of 40-50 meters. These deep-sea turbines would need to extend past 50 meters. If these challenges can be met, the EWEA predicts that the first deep-sea wind farms could be installed by 2017, and wind could make up a large portion of the European Union's energy.

Deep-sea turbines are shown to provide clean, efficient energy and with the European Union's access to multiple water sources, including the Atlantic Ocean and the North and Baltic Seas, these offshore wind turbines have the potential to power the entire European Union with clean, renewable energy--eliminating the need for nuclear power or coal.

Despite the possibilities that these wind turbines offer, the proposal faces much opposition. The United Kingdom, for example, believes that the European Union should allow each country to decide their green energy goals. The EWEA, however, recommends to act sooner in order to meet 2030 energy goals: "A clear and stable legislative framework post 2020 based on a binding 2030 renewable energy target is needed to drive deep offshore wind development and deployment."

To read the full report from the European Wind and Energy Association, click here.

via CleanTechnica

Want to learn more about energy efficiency and going green? Register for a course with GreenEDU!

Green Education Services provides building developers, architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, commercial real estate brokers and other construction industry professionals world-class sustainable design training. Our LEED Certification Seminars, EPA Lead Certification, and Energy Auditor Training give you all the green jobs training, resources, and tools you need to successfully enter the green work force in the shortest possible amount of time.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

California Builds Nation's First High-Speed Rail

California Begins Construction on New High Speed Rail Line
California Begins High Speed Rail Construction
California is making history this summer by beginning construction on the nation's first high-speed rail line. The rail line is set to start running in 2022 and to run between San Francisco and Los Angeles by 2029, moving at speeds up to 220 miles per hour. The state-wide commute is predicted to only take 2 hours and 40 minutes. The California High-Speed Rail Authority began construction on a 65-mile line between Fresno and Merced in June.

The new rail line is facing much criticism, as environmentalists argue the train will infringe on ecosystems and worsen air quality. Additionally, high-speed trains run on enormous amounts of electricity, and critics question whether the electricity can be sourced cheaply and cleanly. Farmers in Central Valley are also worried that they will lose valuable land in the construction of the new line. 

However, the high-speed rail line is predicted to generate over 100,000 new jobs over the next 5 years. Unemployment rates in Central Valley are high, Fresno at 13% and Merced at 14.9%--almost twice the California unemployment rate of 8.6%. The California High-Speed Rail Authority plans to reserve 30% of the jobs for local residents, hoping to relieve the suffering in the valley. 

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is determined to keep the project carbon-neutral. They plan to offset any carbon emissions by planting trees and plan to have the train run on clean energy only, with 20% solar, 30% wind, 45% geothermal, and 5% biogas.

They have only received $10 billion out of the $68 billion dollars needed to fund the entire project. California Governor Jerry Brown traveled to China in April to ride the newest high speed rail line and to attract investors for the California project. Will they receive the funding they need? And more importantly, will they keep their promise to keep the environment safe and clean while working on construction? 

What Is LEED And How Do You Become Accredited?

What is LEED?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system. Created by the United States Green Building Council, LEED provides a point system for green buildings and their construction, awarding points for 5 main areas: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, and Indoor Environmental Quality. Buildings can then be awarded levels of certification--Silver, Gold, or Platinum. The more points a building gets, the higher their level of certification.

LEED Accreditation

If a person becomes LEED Accredited, then they are an expert on one or more LEED Green Building Rating Systems. A LEED AP (LEED Accredited Professional) must pass a complex series of exams and demonstrates a deep understanding of LEED green building principles. After becoming certified, a LEED AP is capable of managing a LEED project from start to finish and will also be able to get any LEED registered project an automatic 'bonus point' by simply being a part of the LEED project team.

LEED Exams

So how do you get LEED certified? Well, unless you're a building, you can't. But, you can become LEED accredited by passing the LEED Green Associate Exam and a specialized LEED Accredited Professional Exam. The LEED tests are administered through your local Prometric testing center and the application process is handled by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI).

Each exam is 2 hours long and comprised of 100 multiple choice questions. It is scored on a scale of 125 to 200 with 170 being a passing grade.

The LEED Green Associate Exam tests the following categories:

  • Synergistic Opportunities and LEED Application Process
  • Project Site Factors
  • Water Management
  • Project Systems and Energy Impacts
  • Acquisition, Installation, and Management of Project Materials
  • Stakeholder Involvement in Innovation
  • Project Surroundings and Public Outreach

The best way to pass this exam is to take a LEED Green Associate Exam Preparation Course. These instructor-led seminars allow students to ask questions and learn the complex aspects of LEED. GreenEDU offers instructor-led seminars as well as online, anytime webinars that can be taken from the convenience of your home.

Getting Registered for the Exam

There are two entities involved with the LEED Accreditation process: the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI) and Prometric Testing Centers. The LEED Green Associate and LEED AP exams are given on an on-demand basis, meaning when you contact Prometric to schedule your exam, you book your exam date relative to when they have availability on one of their computers. While the scheduling process is extremely flexible, there is a strict limit of three (3) attempts per 1 year exam application period. There are Prometric test centers in almost every major city - the easiest way to determine your closest testing center is to visit maps.google.com and run a search for Prometric with your zip code.

So, how much do these exams cost?

LEED Green Associate Exam


Why Become Accredited? 
Becoming LEED accredited signifies you are a leader in the green building movement and that you have key technical knowledge and experience. Having a LEED Professional credential can open up opportunities for new employment, job stability, and promotion, all while promoting sustainability.

Want to learn more? Visit our LEED FAQ page or contact us to ask questions!

Planning on taking the LEED Exam? First, get prepared with an educational LEED Seminar. Register for a course in your area with GreenEDU! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New NYC Pipeline Comes With Potential Health Risks

New York City, NY- The Spectra Pipeline is a 16 mile-long high-pressure natural gas pipeline that will deliver 800 million cubic feet of hydrofracked gas to New York City a day. The pipeline is predicted to be complete by November of 2013 and has sparked much controversy.

OccupyThePipeline, a grassroots nonprofit organization, produced a video earlier this year about the dangers associated with this new pipeline. They point out the health risks associated with radon exposure and potential explosions. Check out the video here:

Radon is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that has been shown to cause cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe" and is the second most common cause of lung cancer next to smoking cigarettes. Although radon decays quickly, having a half-life of about 3.8 days, Spectra will be bringing natural gas to New York apartments faster, increasing the risk of radon exposure. Activists argue that poor ventilation systems in small New York City apartments may increase the health risk associated with the pipeline.

Supporters of the pipeline, however, argue that the amount of radon present would pose no real health risk to New York City residents. When asked about radon exposure, Spectra stated, "the sample analyses clearly show that the radon levels in the natural gas are low and will cause no significant health risk."

The Spectra Pipeline would enter Manhattan in the West Village
OccupyThePipeline also points out that high-pressure pipelines are liable to explode. Spectra's parent company, Duke Energy, experienced an explosion in an underground facility in Texas in 2004, causing a 1,000-foot high fireball and the evacuation of hundreds of residents within a 3-mile radius. The explosion was caused by a faulty valve and led to another explosion and evacuation.

The Sane Energy Project is working with New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal to pass a bill requiring Con Edison and National Grid to monitor radon levels periodically. This legislation would also require the pipeline to shut down if radon levels get too high. The Sane Energy Product plans to test radon levels in homes in the 5 boroughs this upcoming winter.

Want to keep the public safe from hazardous materials? Get certified with GreenEDU and check out our wide variety of courses at http://www.greenedu.com/hazardous-materials!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mississippi Senator Wants to Ban LEED

Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker has added an amendment to ban federal funding for Housing and Urban Development or Department of Transportation LEED projects. Amendment No. 1777 bans federal funding for projects unless they use the American National Standard Institute system. This system only excludes materials that are scientifically proven to be harmful or wasteful.

Republican Senator Roger Wicker to Ban Funding for LEED
Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker
Senator Wicker seeks to promote the growth of the lumber, plastic, and chemical industry. He points out that the lumber industry is suffering due to competition for greener materials, such as bamboo. Senator Wicker is proposing guidelines put forth by the Green Building Initiative, a nonprofit organization that considers itself an affordable replacement for LEED.

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) argues that banning their LEED certifications would reduce both efficiency and safety for low-income projects. The amendment would hurt the Department of Transportation and potentially put low-income homeowners at risk physically and monetarily. LEED ratings help ensure that buildings are not only cost effective but are also healthy for the environment and public LEED was officially recommended by the General Services Administration this year. The GSA recommended LEED for all GSA buildings as it is the best measure for energy efficiency.

Earlier this year, Senator Wicker supported the ban on LEED in Department of Defense projects. He believed that LEED was incorrect in their view on hardwood.

"As the Department of Defense works to improve energy efficiency, it is important that its building standards be based on sound science and incorporate due process in their development and implementation," Senator Wicker stated. "Standards should take into consideration the full life cycle of wood products, including the environmental benefits provided by our domestic reforestation programs...the Department of Defense should use credible standards that more accurately assess U.S. wood products."

However, is this truly about wood products? Congressional Republicans have shown much resistance to environmental initiatives, including the new EPA chief to Obama's battle on coal. Senator Wicker should support both the public and businesses by working to create healthier living environments with improved technology and infrastructure rather than simply promoting private wood businesses.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Vieste Energy Partners with ESD to Create 100% Clean Energy Data Centers

Vieste Energy and ESD Green Energy Data Center
Illustration of Vieste Energy Green Data Center
Vieste Energy LLC and Environmental Systems Design Inc. are partnering together to create a network of green data centers. Vieste Energy LLC is a renewable energy development and operations firm focused on base load energy production. Environmental Systems Design Inc. is a global consulting-engineering firm that focuses on the delivery of high-performance buildings and seeks to create healthier, more sustainable environments. Several large companies have also joined the green initiative and have begun to use renewable energy resources to power their data centers.

Apple, for example, has a data center in Maiden, North Carolina that sources 60% of its power from a 25 megawatt (MW) solar array and 10 MW fuel cell system. What Apple does not source from solar sources, it gets from nearby facilities. Regardless, all of its power is clean.

Additionally, companies like eBay and Google also make use of clean, renewable sources. One of eBay's data centers located in Utah is powered 100% by fuel cells. Google invested $1.2 billion into the creation of a data center in North Carolina that would be powered 100% by renewable resources.

Vieste Energy LLC has hired Environmental Systems Design Inc. to design a network of green data centers that run entirely on green energy sources. Environmental Systems Design Inc. also designed Allstate's LEED Gold Data Center.

The new data centers will draw their power from gasification based waste-to-energy facilities. These facilities will have environmentally-friendly solid waste management systems, decreasing their total waste and carbon footprint.

"This is one of the most exciting projects within the data center industry today,” said Paul Schlattman, Vice President of Mission Critical Facilities at Environmental Systems Design Inc. "The facilities offer extremely competitive utility rates and a host of other environmental and business benefits."

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: Inspection Training of Arizona

Inspection Training of Arizona provides EPA Lead Certification in Phoenix, Arizona. They provide students with hands-on training and allow students to conduct realistic inspections so that students will feel prepared to perform tasks on-site. Their flexible scheduling allows students to meet safety requirements on their own time, and they strive to provide students with the best, most cost-effective instruction as possible. Their goal is to prepare students to proceed with their professional lives and to keep the public safe while doing so.

GreenEDU students have given Ecosystems Environmental Services, Inc. positive feedback. Kenneth B. gave the instructor 5/5 stars and stated, "Great Instructor, kept the class entertained and covered all the pertainant material in a timely maner!"

Fermin C. also praised in the course, stating, "The instructor was knowledgeable and experienced in the field he taught. His instruction and hands on training served valuable in not only the test but for future reference once we are out in the field and faced with harmful scenarios. I would recommend the class and feel everyone who does will have the knowledge to handle any situation involving lead and keep those around them safe."

Inspection Training of Arizona currently has 5 upcoming courses in Phoenix, Arizona.

They currently offer EPA Lead Renovators Certification Initial training with GreenEDU. Anyone looking to work with lead paint must complete the required training. Inspection Training of Arizona meets both Arizona and U.S. EPA guidelines for training.

The Lead Renovator Certification Initial course is 8 hours in length and includes both EPA-approved lead safety training and certification. Any contractor performing qualifying work must employ at least one Certified Renovator who has successfully completed this training, in addition to being registered as a Lead Safe Certified Firm with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The course concludes with a 25 question EPA-certification exam. Anyone who performs renovations, repairs, or painting in pre-1978 housing or child-occupied facilities must be EPA Lead Safe Certified. Individuals and firms that are not certified could face fines of up to $37,500 per day. This will satisfy the new requirement for individuals to attain EPA lead certification in Lead Paint Safety for Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP). Attendees who pass the certification exam will be certified as renovators to perform lead-safe work.

Inspection Training of Arizona offers their EPA Lead Renovators Certification Initial training on multiple days. To view all available dates and to register, please visit their page.

About Inspection Training of Arizona
Inspection Training of Arizona provides classroom training for Home Inspectors and Licensed Contractors. In addition to EPA Lead Certification training (RRP), they offer initial training for those students that are looking to become a Home Inspector. Their State approved, 90 hour course, is conveniently offered weekdays and weekends (please visit our class calendar for specific course dates). Their class will prepare the student for the National Home Inspectors Exam as well as prepare the student to setup and run a successful home inspection business. ITA provides you with the highest quality "Hands On" education for a successful home inspection career. Their instructors are not simply teaching the courses...they live it!

To register for a course, visit http://www.greenedu.com/inspection-training-of-arizona

Friday, August 2, 2013

New EPA Chief Promises to Tackle Climate Change

McCarthy Tackles Climate Change at Harvard Law School
McCarthy at Harvard Law School
Gina McCarthy gave her first speech as the new Environmental Protection Agency chief at Harvard Law School last week, telling the audience that tackling global warming and climate change will create more jobs and spark economic growth.

McCarthy was confirmed on July 18th after being nominated by President Obama to replace the head of the EPA in early March. She is a Boston native and spent 25 years in public administration, serving as an environmental advisor to Massachusetts governors. She also served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection for 5 years.

In line with Obama's stance on climate change, McCarthy vowed to work with industry leaders to decrease the disastrous effects of carbon emissions and hazardous wastes. Both Obama and the EPA have been criticized by Republicans for being too aggressive in their stance against environmental change. In 2011, the EPA under Obama issued mercury pollution limits on power plants and greenhouse gas regulations.

"Can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs? Please, at least for today," said McCarthy toward these critical Republicans in her speech, receiving a large round of applause from audience members. "We need to embrace cutting-edge technology as a way to spark business innovation." McCarthy posits that creating tighter environmental regulations will call for more innovation and advanced technology, causing an increased demand for labor.

Republicans, however, disagree and fear that stricter carbon emissions will cause coal-plants to shut down, leaving thousands unemployed.

McCarthy, in an interview last week, however, stated, "This is about the abundance of low-cost natural gas. It’s about how utilities are making decisions, company-wide, about how to invest in the future the way they see it right now."

McCarthy sees this as a chance to make an environmental impact and boost the economy. "We need to cut carbon pollution to grow jobs. We need to cut carbon pollution to strengthen the economy…Let’s approach this as an opportunity of a lifetime," she stated, emphasizing that investments in new infrastructure and renewable energy sources would be beneficial in the long run and create jobs now.

Obama and the EPA have repeatedly emphasized the importance of tackling climate change. Obama stated that he had no "patience for anyone who denies that this problem is real." During his speech in Georgetown earlier this summer, Obama vowed to limit carbon emissions from foreign coal sources and halt the production of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, stating that the pipeline would, in reality, not create many jobs. He estimated the construction would create 2,000 temporary jobs at most, and 50-100 jobs for maintenance of the pipeline after construction.

When asked about her stance on the pipeline during a Q&A session, McCarthy answered that the EPA would not make final decisions until receiving a full environmental analysis from the State Department but promised that the impact on the climate would be taken into consideration.

"Climate change will not be resolved overnight," McCarthy told the audience. "But it will be engaged over the next three years. That I can promise you."

The Importance of Surveying and Managing Asbestos

Although it has environmental origins, asbestos is one of the most hazardous materials ever used in commercial building products. It is linked to more than a dozen health conditions – including several life-threatening cancers – and heavily affects workers in the construction industry.

Now heavily regulated, asbestos was once used with virtually no restrictions. Companies used it as an ingredient in thousands of construction materials – and many of those original materials still remain in place today.

If they remain in good condition, the materials are not a health risk. However, because many of these materials were installed several decades ago, they may now be beginning to crack or crumble. Construction workers may then be required to repair or replace the products, further increasing the chance that the fibers enter the air.

Once the asbestos is released from the product, the material is considered friable – or dangerous to human health. If asbestos is present and friable, anybody who inhales or ingests is at risk for serious complications, including pleural malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer. And this risk isn’t a short-term deal; many asbestos-related disease patients become ill more than 40 or 50 years after they last inhaled asbestos.

Asbestos Surveys to Protect Workers’ Health
Many building owners perform regular asbestos management surveys. Federal regulations mandate these surveys for all public schools and most government buildings, as well as all older buildings that are set for demolition or renovation. However, other building owners conduct these surveys voluntarily. Even when the surveys are optional, owners should consider the tests to protect the future health of the building’s occupants.

Asbestos surveys help safeguard against these diseases by identifying all contaminated materials within the building. The surveyors will then determine which ones present an immediate health hazard. Asbestos surveys also provide documentation of non-friable asbestos products that may become a threat in the future.

Once the survey is complete, Asbestos Inspectors will create a remedial action plan for each of the friable products. The recommendations often depend on the type, location and condition of the product, as well as the owner’s preferences for encapsulation or total removal.

Scheduling Asbestos Surveys
Before scheduling an asbestos management survey, building owners should check the credentials of the company they plan to hire. Accredited asbestos management companies should always perform the surveys, and all inspectors should have up-to-date licenses

Owners should evacuate the building during the survey, since inspectors may take samples of the fibers. To provide the most accurate results, surveyors should review the following details before the survey:

·       Site layout
·       Building specifications
·       Future building plans
·       Past asbestos inspection history

Depending on the type of asbestos and its condition, surveyors should inspect an asbestos-contaning building every six to 12 months. If any renovations impact the results of the survey, inspectors should perform another follow-up inspection to ensure the safety of the building’s residents.

Faith Franz is a writer for The Mesothelioma Center. She strives to spread the word about the benefits of alternative medicine.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

GreenEDU Trainer Spotlight: proActive Safety Services

Ohio trainer for environmental safetyProActive Safety Services is an Ohio-based environmental consulting company. They seek to provide students with cost-effective, stress-free instruction so that students can meet all state and federal safety requirements. proActive's experts instruct students on safe building practices and create a strong safety culture that everyone in the company can follow. The company teaches students how to correctly identify and address environmental hazards to keep themselves, their company, and their community safe.

The training company prides themselves on customer service and have a 24/7 Emergency Hotline to address any needs their clients may have. They also offer training on-site or at the company facility, and additionally provide courses in both English and Spanish to meet the unique needs of any employee. Anytime a student has a safety need, proActive Safety Services is there to address it.

Past GreenEDU students have praised proActive Safety Services. Donald E. commented, "[The] class was very informative I feel comfortable doing my lead testing skills." Scott I. stated, "The course met my objective completely. The instructor was very personable and took a very practical approach to the subject matter."

Mark K. described the course as, "Very informative. Learned a lot more than I expected going in to the course. The instructor was very personable and made the course and techniques very easy to understand. I would recommend the course to anyone that needed to be trained in this area of expertise." With 4.9 out of 5 stars from students, proActive Safety Services is an expert leader valued by students and companies seeking quality environmental training.

proActive Safety Services currently offers courses in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have 10 upcoming events with GreenEDU, including:

The company's most frequent course is its OSHA 10-Hour Construction Industry training course. The OSHA 10-Hour Construction Industry Health & Safety course teaches OSHA regulations and standards as they apply to the construction industry. This two-day course covers practices of identifying, reducing, eliminating and reporting on-site hazards. It also teaches safety awareness and assists workers in recognizing and reducing risks in the workplace. This course is intended to provide an entry level construction worker general awareness on recognizing and preventing hazards on a construction site. The training covers a variety of construction safety and health hazards which a worker may encounter on the job. OSHA recommends this training as an orientation to occupational health and safety.

proActive Safety Services offers this course on multiple days throughout the year. For their other classes, check out their page for more information and registration.

About proActive Safety Services
proActive Safety Services is a safety company based out of Cincinnati, OH providing expert consultation and services to businesses seeking to establish or improve their safety program. We are experts in reducing accidents and injuries. Our qualified staff specializes in implementing and sustaining safety cultures in the workplace, and our diverse safety training classes help educate your employees on the hazards they will encounter while carrying out their daily work for your company.

For more information, please visit: http://www.greenedu.com/proactive-safety-services

Myths About Green Building and Product Standards

Transparency Tools for Green Buildings and Products
Transparency is practically mandatory for business--and green buildings and products are no exception. Major green building and product ratings often require transparent disclosure of resources and potential hazards. However, not all transparency tools and product declarations are the same. Heather Gadonniex, in her article "Clearing Up Transparency" in EDC Magazine, explains the differences and debunks several myths surrounding green products.

There are several transparency tools available, but Gadonniex focuses on the the most common ones:
  • Life Cycle Assessment - LCAs are used to measure a product or building's impact on the environment during its life cycle. This includes manufacturing, transportation, construction, and maintenance. They are based on guidelines created by the International Organization of Standards.
  • Environmental Product Declarations - EPDs are a standardized way of quantifying the environmental impact of a product or building. They also follow International Organization of Standards guidelines. 
  • Product Category Rules - PCRs define the requirements for EPDs of a certain product category. They follow International Organization of Standards guidelines. 
  • Declare - Declare is a label that lists in the ingredients and allows transparency between producers and consumers. It was created by the International Living Future Institute. 
  • Health Product Declarations - HPDs are used mostly in North America and are a standard type of disclosure for ingredients and associated hazards. 
Although these tools seem very simple at face-value, there are several myths and misconceptions surrounding them including:
  1. MYTH 1: All of the transparency tools follow the same standards.
    These tools do not follow the same guidelines and standards. LCAs, EPDs, and PCRs, for example, follow International Organization of Standards guidelines and are recognized globally. HPDs, on the other hand, were created by Health Product Declaration Collaborative and are recognized in North America.
  2. MYTH 2: All of the tools tell us the same information.
    EPDS serve to disclose information regarding the environmental impact of a product or building. This includes the carbon footprint, indoor air quality, and impact on the ozone layer, among others.
    HPDs and Declare are used mainly to provide information on building product content and ingredients. They can also disclose information regarding hazards. Declare requires manufacturers to provide a full ingredient list. HPDs can disclose a portion of the ingredients but must report all hazards associated with the product. 
  3. MYTH 3: These transparency tools disclose how green the product is.
    While these tools can certainly tell us how sustainable, environmentally-friendly, or hazardous a product or building is, that is not their main purpose. Companies use these measurements in R&D and strategy decisions to minimize cost, environmental impact, and risk. These measurements give them insight on how to change their production, development, and distribution. These measurements also give consumers important information, allowing them to make smart, informed decisions. These product declarations are not just green marketing tools, but give both producers and consumers transparency, leading them to make better decisions. 
Understanding the differences between these product declarations and transparency tools can clear up confusion and lead businesses to make better decisions to meet project requirements.