Digital Technologies & Current Uses in Environmental Geology - A Marcellus Shale Example
The Marcellus Shale play has been of significant importance in the development of oil and gas resources and providing regulatory framework for natural resource protection. Pennsylvania has led in updating oil and gas regulations to manage these unconventional resources. The use of digital technologies now underlies effective collection, storage, analysis and reporting of data and information integral to industry operational performance and regulatory compliance.
Regulatory compliance and reporting requirements are creating large data sets which can present information management challenges. GIS-based digital collection tools and principles of centralization, standardization and automation are being used to meet these challenges. Developing a life cycle solution which includes mobile data collection, enterprise data management, accessible web portals, and reporting tools provide means for users to access, mine, query, analyze and report relevant data and information with justifiable confidence.
Pennsylvania’s pre-drill sampling and mechanical well integrity assessment requirements provide two examples of how industry is using digital technologies to improve data collection, management and accessibility; manage asset performance; and meet regulatory reporting requirements that protect Pennsylvania’s natural resources. Consequently, practitioners of environmental geology have embraced these digital technologies and are incorporating them into database intensive activities both for the Marcellus Shale and across the country.
- Disparate data
- Variable data formats
- Managing QA/QC
- Ease of maintenance, querying, and reporting
- Interpretation and decision-making
Current requirements mandate the transition from traditional paper methods to electronic data management
- Spatial software (e.g. ArcGIS)
Water/Sewer: Evolve or Die
GIS at Gainesville (Fla.) Regional Utilities has gone from an outsourced system comprised of infrequently updated paper maps to an in-house, fully digital system that consists of a utility-wide GIS data-viewing application, survey grade GPS equipment, mobile GIS data viewing, inspections and redlining, and an in-house work management system tied to the GIS. “So, yes, we’ve come a long way,” says Steve McElroy, water/ wastewater GIS administrator. Owned by the City of Gainesville, GRU is Florida’s fifth largest...
Run cars on green electricity, not natural gas
With the dramatic increase in oil prices earlier this year translating into higher prices at the gas pump in the United States, concerns over US dependence on foreign oil are once again part of the national discussion on energy security. Combined with the growing understanding that carbon emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels are driving global climate change, the debate is now focused on how to restructure the US transport system to solve these two problems. While the idea of running US vehicles on...
Exploring EHS software solutions
When making a large strategic investment in any information management software package, it is important to consider the big picture. While it may be just your department that has an immediate need for data management software, an enterprise-wide solution that spans multiple divisions, departments and other groups will uncover cost saving trends through data mining and analyses. If you have to start small, one of the most important things to look for in an EHS software system is its ability to expand into areas...
Real-World Vehicle Emissions: A Summary of the Sixteenth Coordinating Research Council On-Road ...
ABSTRACTThe Coordinating Research Council held its 16th workshop in March 2006, with 83 presentations describing the most recent mobile source-related emissions research. In this paper, we summarize the presentations from researchers who are engaged in improving our understanding of the contribution of mobile sources to air quality. Participants in the workshop discussed evaluation of inuse emissions control programs, effects of fuels on emissions, emission models and emission inventories, results from gas- and...
The Business of Brownfields: Managing Risk Using EQuIS and GIS
Untitled Document What is EQuIS? Sample data warehouse (Chemistry and Geology) Tools for checking and loading data from lab and field, enforcing data quality ArcGIS ‘wrapper’ to query and extract data spatially, creating labeled maps Links to many 3rd party tools commonly used by environmental professionals for visualizations and data analysis EQuIS Clients Government EPA Regions 1,2,3,4,5,6,10 States of AR, CA, CO, DE, LA, MS, NE,...
Case Study: Southern California Water Professionals View Perchlorate Data with EQuIS for ArcGIS
Perchlorate contamination is of major concern in many parts of the country and particularly in the Southwestern United States. In a recent event held at California State University, San Bernardino, perchlorate data from a 2 million record EQuIS data set incorporating the data from over 2000 sample points were examined by environmental professionals from utilities, water districts, several cities, the county, and consulting firms from the San Bernardino area. The EQuIS data management system was used to examine...
Using EQuIS and ArcGIS for Environmental Decision Support at a Large Oil Refinery
Untitled Document Abstract Environmental site characterization activities at a large industrial facility can be a complex and costly endeavor. The high volume of data generated from groundwater sampling, soil sampling and other field activities is often difficult to manage. As computer technologies have advanced, new data management and data visualization tools have enabled engineers and geologists to efficiently conduct these site characterization activities. This paper will...
A decision support system for air quality management combining GIS and optimisation techniques
This paper describes a multi-tiered approach to the design of plans and policies for urban environmental management, in particular air quality, as related to the energy and transportation sectors. The approach is based on the iterative combination of sectoral and global optimisation models, including a discrete multi-criteria approach, and spatially distributed air quality models. The approach combines dynamic emission/immission modelling, traffic equilibrium modelling that estimates the traffic loads and therefore...
EQuIS for ArcGIS: State-of-the-Art Environmental Data Management and Analysis
Electronic management and maintenance of subsurface and environmental data continues to become increasingly standard. An integrated data management system provides much more than just the ability to archive data electronically. Companies and government agencies worldwide are reaping the benefits of data management in a relational database integrated with improved analytical tools and enhanced visualization. Benefits include being able to manage data more quickly and accurately which, in turn, contributes to...
Evaluating Cleanup at Hamilton Army Airfield Using EQuIS and ArcGIS
The Sacramento District, US Army Corps of Engineers, is implementing EarthSoft`s EQuIS and ArcGIS for better management, analysis, and response to landfill remedial activities being conducted at the former Hamilton Army Airfield. This former Air Force Base located four miles south of the city of Novato, on San Pablo Bay, in Marin County, California, is undergoing environmental clean-up as it is returned to civilian use. With borehole, water level, and analytical data stored in EQuIS, the ArcGIS interface facilitat...
Managing Environmental Information in the 21st Century: the Environmental Knowledge Management ...
Introduction In this knowledge-driven world of the 21st century, companies are seeking to implement technology solutions for environmental information needs that seem to be continually changing and expanding. This article will identify key needs and outline possible technology solutions, focusing on the information and tools needed by the environmental professional, an important knowledge worker in this new business environment. Consider the example of a U.S.-based manufacturer that has a number of operations...
Visualizing Environmental Data using ArcView and EQuIS
Performing advanced analysis and visualization of environmental and geologic data can be done easily and quickly using the EQuIS ArcView GIS Interface. A consortium comprised of EarthSoft, RockWare, and ESRI has recently developed tools to facilitate better and more efficient use of environmental and geologic data than has heretofore been possible. This solution involves the integration of several industry-standard applications such as ArcView, EVS, GMS, LogPlot, RockWorks, and more to produce a world-class,...
New Jersey Uses GIS, EQuIS to Collect Site Remediation Data
Using GIS To Manage Remediation Data GIS holds great potential as a tool for managing environmental site remediation data. While using GIS to locate Superfund sites is commonplace, GIS has played only a minor role in the review and analysis of chemical data gathered during an investigation or monitoring activity. There are a number of reasons why GIS has not become commonplace in the evaluation of site remediation data. First, remediation projects generate huge volumes of data. Hard-copy Quality Assurance/Quality...
GreenWare`s Greenhouse Gas Performance Software.
In December 1997, member countries of the United Nations reached agreement to reduce their total greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. By 2005, all member countries will have to report on their progress. Such international action reflects the immediate need to tackle the issue of greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on climate change. As the world looks to the new millennium, government agencies are starting to implement guidelines and procedures for business to measure, reduce and report on...
Managing data quality: What does your chemical result mean?
What does your chemical result mean? How does one result relate to another result taken 3 months earlier? Were the analytical methods the same? Were the sampling procedures the same? Are these questions that you can answer?Quality assurance provides a history for every piece of data, enabling validation and traceability of your data. Quality assurance of data should be a prime concern of every data handler; however, cost implications, inadequate data management software and the lack of legislation result in...
State-wide collection of site remediation data in support of environmental quality objectives
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) hold great potential as a tool for managing environmental site remediation data. While noting the location of contaminated sites in GIS is commonplace, GIS has played only a minor role in review and analysis of chemical data gathered during an investigation or monitoring activity. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Site Remediation Branch (NJDEP SRP) has undertaken a project making the use of GIS for this purpose a reality within their organization. Through...
Performance of Some New Materials Based on Wood and Plant Biomass
The activities of the Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry (IWC) embrace: the creation of a scientific background and the development of process for obtaining, production, utilization and recycling of plant biomass derived materials with controlled biodegradability by studying the materials structure and properties; the assesment of quality and other criteria, that characterize the attraction of some newly designed materials. The report reviews the results of programme `New Materials of Wood and Plant...
Environmental Situation in Africa
Abstract Africa The economic and social needs of Africa depends more on its environmental resources but these natural resources are seriously declining and that is really effecting the entire region. Sustainable development in this rapidly changing region has become an imperative, and must take place in the complex context of a diverse and changing ecosystem, political transition and evolution toward market economies. The region is heading towards integrating environmental components into sectors like...
Climate Change Protection: The Tolerable Windows Approach
Introduction Increasing concerns about the potential risks of anthropogenic climate change over the past ten years have led to a series of international conferences intended to combat climate change and its adverse effects. However, the Kyoto Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) and, more so, the conference in Buenos Aires revealed the tremendous complexity of the climate change issue, which makes consensus about necessary mitigation measures almost impossible. Not...
How to Successfully Manage a Compost Facility
When a composting facility is at the edge of the cliff with regard to public acceptance or regulatory approval, it must decide to play or fold. Playing means adapting and moving up the evolutionary ladder. Folding means the perceived cost is too much to bear. When I was manager of the Cedar Grove Compost facility in Seattle, Washington (see preceding article, “Composter Bounces Back From The Brink”), we decided to play. The specific measures taken at our facility are described in that article; in this report,...
Elemental Chlorine-Free (ECF): Pollution Prevention for the Pulp and Paper Industry
Imagine being in charge of a chemical company. One day a fire breaks out, and an employee, designated as a first responder, is killed fighting the blaze. Then OSHA investigators discover that the man died primarily because both his training and his equipment were inadequate. This scenario is why CPL 2-2.59A should put anyone who runs a HAZMAT facility into a state of introspection. These employers need to ask themselves: `When was the last time that our Emergency Response Plan was brought up to date? Do our...
Enlibra: a new Shared Doctrine for Environmental Management
Background During the first half of the 1970s, the nation enacted strong statutes to protect air and water, regulate waste, ensure the safety of drinking water, and protect endangered species. Several years later, the Superfund statute was enacted to speed the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. In each case, a federal program was developed to address immediate and widespread threats to the nation’s natural resources. The nature of pollution problems in that era seemed to justify the passage of strong, command-and-c...
Environmental Profile of the Aerospace Industry
Introduction The EPA`s Office of Compliance has developed a series of profiles or notebooks containing information on selected major industries. These notebooks, which focus on key indicators that holistically present air, water, and land pollutant release data, have been thoroughly reviewed by experts from both inside and outside the EPA. What will you find in this Notebook? The Notebook brings you comprehensive, well-researched details gathered for the first time in a single source and includes: a...
Continuity, Credibility and Comparability: Key challenges for corporate environmental performance ...
Introduction & Background Aim and scope of the report This report, aimed at both individual companies and organisations representing company stakeholders and policy-makers, summarises current trends, problems and developments in the areas of Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs); Environmental Reporting; Environmental Performance Ranking; and their interconnections as a contribution to enhancing the eco-efficiency of companies. There is also a supplementary report focusing on environmental reporting...
Technology Status Report In Situ Flushing
ABSTRACT This technology status report provides a snapshot of the status of the in situ flushing remediation technology. The information provided herein is a reflection of the content of the Ground-Water Remediation Technologies Analysis Center’s (GWRTAC’s) case study database for innovative technologies. GWRTAC’s case study database is not represented as being comprehensive, nor are the case studies included screened to verify their validity, quality, or “success” in remediation. Rather the case study database...
A Stakeholders` View of Environmental Reporting.
The Core Functions of Environmental Reporting The initial goal of much environmental reporting was simply to demonstrate a company`s commitment to the environment. The debate, however, has moved on, and now the central objective of any environmental report has to be able to communicate environmental performance. Further wider ranging objectives may also be attributed to the document, including the acknowledgment of a shared responsibility for the state of the environment, to differentiate the organization from...
Introduction The energy level of some types of radiation is high enough so that when they interact with matter they cause the formation of electrically charged particles or ion-pairs and break molecular bonds. These so-called ionising radiations are by their nature potentially harmful to life; at high doses they can be lethal and at lower doses can cause genetic damage. Ionising radiation occurs naturally, and life on Earth has always been exposed to it. Human activities can, however, enhance exposure, and new...