Last December 2019 Environmental Engineers Institute, at the time led by Eng. Lorenzo Iglesias, decided to honor our President and Founder, Eng. Fernando L. Rodríguez Ocasio with the Distinguished Colleague Award for the term 2019-2021 for the excellent work at the service of our profession, professionals, the Institute, and other components of CIAPR.
Our team is overly joyed to celebrate this with honor. It is an enormous honor to have him as leader and mentor. We were able to celebrate last Saturday, August 7, 2021 at the Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors (CIAPR, in Spanish).
As we continue to celebrate Eng. Stephanie Hall´s accomplishments (refer to previous post if necessary), our team´s excitement evolve as she has been elected Director on the 2021-2022 Board of the Chemical Engineers Institute (IIQ, in Spanish) at the Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors (CIAPR, in Spanish). As has been experienced by current and past professionals that have been part of our firms´ teams, these recognitions are merely the beginning of challenging but important portion of our professional development and contribution to our island, profession, and professional discipline. The administration at CHESIEMES is excited and has made itself available to support Eng. Hall in this endeavor.
Similarly, we announce the continuation of Eng. Carmen M. Figueroa Santiago´s involvement as Director and Treasurer of the 2021-2022 Board of the Chemical Engineers Institute (IIQ) and the Humacao Chapter of CIAPR. She has worked tirelessly and led, as President, both components for years now and our team continues to honor and praise her commitment. Eng. Figueroa is finalizing her year as President of the Risk, Emergency, and Disaster Management Commission (CMRED) of CIAPR as well and looks forward to continue working on those important topics along with co-worker Eng. Hanna Rodríguez Morales.
Further, Eng. H. Rodríguez was re-elected as President of the 2021-2022 Board of the Environmental Engineers Institute (IIAM, in Spanish) of CIAPR. IIAM´s Board of Directors accomplished important milestones, summarized on an online report accessed via the following link.
Now, as we approach the final portion of the Summer months, we are excited to announce the accomplishments of our student interns, including the upcoming graduation event of Ms. Monserrat González Garro, who has been with our team for almost two (2) years. Her completion of her Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico will put her one step closer to shaping her professional standing in the field. There are several months left before Ms. Estefanía Álvarez Pérez´s graduation but do acknowledge her development within our technical team. She has adjusted from a student intern focused solely focused on improving our Accredited Asbestos School course modules and content to a regular Environmental Engineering Student intern, joining Ms. González, in assisting our team of engineers in diverse tasks.
These accomplishments were met with an exciting DesignThinking-IDEAEngineering Workshop created for our team by SeriouslyCreative. It was a challenging and perspective-changing day for each member of our team. Just in time to welcome several important projects coming up in this second half of 2021. We appreciate the team at SeriouslyCreative for their input and tips; we are excited to put into practice those helpful tools!
Exciting accomplishments that are more than noteworthy from our team; we summarize some in this post.
Adjustments to our workload and protocols have been implemented as Puerto Rico is nearing a phase of the pandemic every territory should strive for: herd immunization (70%+ vaccination of its population). By acknowledging this reduction in risk, the administration at our firm has been able to loosen its protocols and become more comfortable with providing on-site services. The fact that members of our team were involved in massive vaccination events and efforts, led by leaders of components of the Pofessional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors (CIAPR, in Spanish) and VOCES, makes us very proud. Their continuous commitment shows the empathetic side of each member and their respect towards their community.
In other thrilling news, our very own Stephanie Hall Laureano worked hard these past months and was able to accomplish Engineer in Training (EIT) status and become correspondingly registered at the local Professional College of Engineers and Land Surveyors (CIAPR, in Spanish). This is as exciting to us as team leaders as it is for her and her family and look forward to continuing being a part of her professional development. It is an honor to have her on our team and be involved in her growth as a respectable professional. ¡Enhorabuena, Ing. Steph, EIT; pa´lante!
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.
Fernando L. Rodríguez, PE, SC