A quick update from our wonderful team on this International Women's Day.
After challenging times that delayed the experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Stephanie Hall received a passing grade on her Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam. She is in the process of formally registering as an Engineer in Training (EIT) at Puerto Rico's State Department and registering as a certified member of the Puerto Rico College of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (CIAPR, in Spanish). Additionally, she is currently strengthening her knowledge in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by taking an advanced course on the matter. We are very proud of her
g. Carmen Figueroa shared her experiences of becoming and growth in her career (left). We are more than proud of her for this and all other recognitions she has received in the past months.
Ms. Aurimar Rodríguez has broadened her knowledge towards achieving her Navigation License from the Marine Education Division of PR's Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER).
Each member of our renowned team provides support in a very special way. We will continue to promote professional and personal growth to every member of our team and beyond.
[A quick shoutout to Ms. Natalie Giró and Ms. Thaís Encarnación who also recently passed the FE Exam and Water Treatment License Exam correspondingly. They have both had the opportunity to be part of our team formally or informally in past years.]
From and administrative perspective, we will continue to work towards recognition as a Women Owned Business (WOB).
We encourage all to support and motivate teammates and promote purpose throughout your career.
Recently approved changes to Puerto Rico's Joint Permits Regulation extend the acknowledgement of the need to integrate government approvals such as operational permits. Our team has had the opportunity to keep up-to-date with requirements for a diversity of operations such as low and high traffic volume offices, telecommunications facilities, commercial facilities, and industrial facilities such as the first urban micro-distillery in Puerto Rico!
As required by such Regulation, "new or existing building, with non-residential uses, will obtain the Single Permit ("Permiso Único-PU") to start or continue its operations". Such permit would be granted for:
Each activity or operation requires a diversity of approvals, which our team would most gladly assist you in identifying. Alternative optional licenses or certifications now included within this Single Permit (PU) are:
As consultants, we are able to assist you in identifying regulatory requirements for your facility for a compliant beginning or continuation of operations.
The Puerto Rico Department of Labor has required of employers certain strict requirements since last March 2020 as informed of on their website:
Both our firms, CHES Services Corp. and IEMES, PSC, are not only properly registered as required locally with an autocertification but have maintained compliance with the different versions of our internal COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan (ECP) since April 2020.
By adjusting and keeping our employees informed (including but not limited to following statistics published by Puerto Rico's COVID Citizen Task Force) and integrated in decision-making of their involvement in diverse projects, we have been able to stay healthy and occupied with diverse tasks. Our team has assisted several clients in implementing their controls and identifying alternatives for safer coexistence with this biological threat.
Recently, OSHA published further guidelines and recommendations to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace. The published document “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” also outlines existing safety and health standards.
The year 2020 was challenging enough for us all but we are hereby announcing improvements to our team and internal procedures. Our team is excited to build upon that and get started on this promising new year.
In appreciation to our client´s conribution to our firms, here´s a video that summarizes the efforts and views onto 2021.
Team contributions and recognitions in 2020
Our firm's backbone, which is our knowledgeable and respectable staff, has and continued their involvement in different professional organizations. From student chapter leadership to international organization board positions, our team is not only charged with representing professional groups but has also been recognized by some of them.
Eng. Fernando L. Rodríguez Ocasio, PE
2019-2020 Distinguished Colleague ("Colegiado Distinguido") and Dedication of 2020 Assembly of the Environmental Engineers Institute in PR (IIAM, in Spanish)
Eng. Hanna Rodríguez Morales, PE
Voted President of the Environmental Engineers Institute in PR (IIAM, in Spanish) over the 2020-2021 Term
Eng. Carmen M. Figueroa Santiago, PE
Named President of the Risks, Emergency, and Disaster Management Commission at the Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors (CIAPR, in Spanish)
Dedication of 2020 "Décimas" Contest of CIAPR
Ms. Figueroa´s dedication is read at 38:25 and her acceptance speech runs as of the 2:30:30 time mark.
Our team invites you to participate in this event led by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) by expanding your knowledge and sharing information related to Falls in Construction. Visit the following links for additional information, posters, videos, and more on this topic (in Spanish and English):
Our firms, CHES Services Corp. and IEMES, PSC have officially filed their autocertification as is required by the local, Puerto Rico Department of Labor (PRDOL). This is a local requirement to not only develop but to also implement employer-specific and site-specific COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan (ECP).
Our office team, having ample experience with similar plans and programs, has been formalizing internal protocols since the beginning of the island-wide lockdown. We have summarized it for the benefit of our clients and suppliers in the image below.
Additionally, our team continues to support clients in development and implementation of such COVID ECPs providing resilient ideas, alternatives, and putting our professional network to the test for their benefit.
We remind you all to consider disinfectants listed by the US EPA as effective against the COVID-19 virus: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-coronavirus-covid-19
The team will continue to provide services as governmental executive orders provide as well as COVID cases' statistics permit.
La Ing. Carmen Figueroa y la Ing. Hanna Rodríguez, como representates líderes de la Comisión para el Manejo de Riesgos, Emergencias y Desastres (CMRED) del Colegio de Ingenieros y Agrimensores de PR (CIAPR), presentaron a la comunidad en la Feria de Salud del CIAPR. Esta actividad es organizada por el Capítulo de Bayamón y el Club de Esposos y Esposas del CIAPR.
Las ingenieras, líderes también de nuestro equipo de trabajo, dedicaron unos minutos interactivos a reiterar la importancia de la planificación familiar en casos de emergencias incluyendo casos por los cuales hemos pasado en la isla como temporales atmosféricos, terremotos y aumento en preocupación en relación a enfermedades infecciosas como micoplasma, influenza y COVID-19.
On March 15th, 2019, Puerto Rico's Professional College of Chemists celebrated their Annual Spring Conference. A concurrent section dedicated to Solid Waste Management on the island was prepared, where agency representatives as well as representatives from the consulting sector presented their version of Puerto Rico's waste management situation.
Among the speakers, Mr. Fernando L. Rodríguez, PE, President of our company as well as of the SWANA Caribbean-PR Chapter, presented an educated third-party perspective on the Solid Waste Industry. Among other important topics, such as Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR), the session provided the audience well-rounded perspectives on the issues our island is currently facing.
The main focus of Mr. Rodríguez was not only to continue educating and promoting an Integrated Solid Waste Management System-type of decision-making but also to contrast the so-called "waste management crisis" as it stood prior and after the 2017 Hurricane Season.
Conclusions he presented to the audience involved the call to move to truly promoting waste reduction as well as the following actions as part of a post landfill-era. Actions such as:
The IEMES, PSC (CHES) team experienced the rippling effect from the weather systems that developed in the Caribbean Region last year’s hurricane season. Aside from the necessary business shut down with very limited communication with our team and clients for a couple of weeks, the team experienced external logistical frustrations as our clients begun requesting a wide variety of services needed to attend the aftermath of the hurricanes.
At the time, our lead project engineers, Carmen and Hanna, had help from three (3) amazing ladies that exposed their maturity and professional side in the worst of times. Aurimar Rodríguez (as accountant, administrator & part-time field worker), Natalia Marrero and Rebeca Cintrón (both as Environmental Engineering Interns at the time) were essential to starting up and maintain our services after the hardest hit to our island, Hurricane Maria, came through.
The administrative team was able to accomodate amenities for them to begin working as promptly as possible by initially equipping an external facility used as an office and storage, located closer to their residences; and, to the best of our ability, providing meals and other provisions throughout the day and for them to take back home. It was all possible thanks to a strong team effort strengthened by each of the members’ enviable psychological health and strength, as well as good safety culture, sincere trust, and respect.
Some examples of services provided during this period include:
On behalf of the administrative team, we appreciate our client’s patience during this time but most of all, their trust in our presence and quality of services.
Lastly, but not less important, our sincere appreciation to the team members that pulled through during those difficult months, regardless of their personal complications and responsibilities. Our office continues to provide the quality services our clients deserves to this day thanks to your professional contribution.
Fernando L. Rodríguez, PE, SC