Step aside climate change. In the environmental realm, there might not be any hotter topic right now than PFAS, the family of substances that were used in the production of fabric protection products, electronics, cleaners, waxes, household and commercial products, and fire-fighting aqueous film forming foam (AFFF).
So what’s the big deal? The big deal lies in three main characteristics of PFAS. The first problem with PFAS is their non-biodegradeable nature. Simply put, they just don’t break down in the environment through exposure to the natural elements like sunlight and weather. Their chemical stability also means that they don’t react with other chemicals to tear apart their bonds and break them down into other chemicals. And finally, they are bioaccumulative, with the propensity to build up to greater and greater levels in plants and animals, a nightmare for the food chain.
These substances are commonly found in soil, groundwater, and surficial bodies of water in areas where they were previously used for manufacturing, storing or disposal.
The real challenge with PFAS is how to remediate and dispose of them using conventional methodologies. The very chemical properties that make them ideal for use in fire fighting and as a water repellent, also make them challenging to capture and dispose of with common remediation techniques. The solutions have to be effective and economically sustainable.
Furthermore, there is growing concern about how to best dispose of these persistent chemicals. While incineration may be the thought of as the most effective disposal method, controversy does still exist about the temperature needed to destroy these chemicals and the facilities that can reliably do so. Alternatively, there are options to landfill the waste, however, with EPA’s Cradle-to-Grave Hazardous Waste Management Program in force since the mid 1970s, many private sector companies as well as the military, would prefer to mitigate their future risk and avoid putting these PFAS substances into a landfill.
Some in the engineering, consulting and environmental industries believe that PFAS is the next asbestos crisis and that there will be sweeping changes and cleanup projects in the years to come.
Whatever the case might be, Hull’s Environmental Services does work with a variety of professional geologists, hydrogeologists, engineers, environmental consultants and project managers that are managing projects involving PFAS. Our experience with managing a wide range of waste streams , our connections within the TSDF industry for waste disposal and our project history with contaminated site remediation means we can support your next project with PFAS.
On March 19th, 2020 the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released guidance to help state and local jurisdictions and the private sector identify and manage their essential workforce while responding to COVID-19.
As an emergency response contractor for cleanup and remediation of oils, fuels, chemicals and biohazardous substances, Hull’s has been closely monitoring it’s role in these unprecedented times. As expected and based on the service we provide our customers, Hull’s is classified as an essential business by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Per CISA’s website , “the list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers was developed in coordination with Federal agencies and the private sector as a guide to help decision-makers within communities understand how to ensure continuity of essential functions and critical workforce as they consider COVID-related restrictions in certain communities (e.g., shelter-in-place). The list can also inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations, appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance. These critical functions include, but are not limited to, systems that support healthcare personnel (e.g., doctors, nurses, laboratory personnel, etc.), the food industry (e.g., retail groceries and pharmacies), communication providers (e.g., operator, call centers, IT data centers), defense systems support, law enforcement, public works, and other essential operations. Workers who support these critical functions are necessary to keep critical systems and assets working.”
If your business is considering disinfection services related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), contact Hull’s directly through our online Coronavirus information request form or by phone at 866-450-9077.
Hull’s recently took possession of a brand new Guzzler CL. The Guzzler industrial vacuum loader is a bona-fide workhorse when it comes to wet/dry industrial cleaning applications. This machine is incredibly effective in industrial settings for recovering, containing, and carrying solids, dry bulk powders, liquids, slurries and sludges.
Being put right to work upon delivery, our new industrial vacuum loader was engaged in collecting and transporting wood chips from an industrial processing facility. Given the location of the wood chips, the versatility of the hose and boom extension made quick work of an otherwise cumbersome setting that would have required a more tedious, mechanical approach.
The versatility and application of these machines is quite remarkable. With 18 cubic yards of load capacity, up to 5,250 CFM of air flow, baghouse filtration and a positive displacement blower, these units excel in industrial settings such as manufacturing plants and facilities as well as commercial settings like railroads, oil & gas and underground utilities.
The annual Clean Gulf conference and exhibition is always a valued event for emergency response contractors like Hull’s Environmental Services. The confluence of representatives from both industry and government really affords the opportunity to network with peers, prospects, current customers and suppliers.
With a common goal of understanding what’s happening and what’s evolving with respect to planning, preparation and response to oil and hazardous material spills, there are always valuable takeaways when attending.
For Hull’s, this annual event is a welcome break to catch up with old friends, make new friends, negotiate with vendors, engage in casual conversation with clients and have meaningful conversations with prospects looking for an OSRO.
It also never hurts that the event rotates between four lively and dynamic cities in Tampa, New Orleans, San Antonio and occasionally Houston. A great time was had by all who attended this year in New Orleans and we look forward to next year once again!
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