Think Smarter, Reach Solutions Faster

December 24, 2014
By Brian Schefke

Freer Consulting Co. announces its new White Paper series covering a range of topics of interest to businesses seeking information on industry trends, regulatory developments, international standards, business processes and more that will help you to think smarter and reach solutions faster.

Download our latest White Paper here. Also, please see our Think Tank, where you can find information on topics Freer Consulting will be exploring in the future.…

2014 Year in Review

December 12, 2014
By Brian Schefke

As 2014 ends and 2015 approaches, we find ourselves reflecting on another busy year at Freer Consulting Company. The range and diversity of this year’s accomplishments bring to focus the comprehensive offerings that distinguish Freer Consulting from other firms of its kind. Our flexibility and expertise allow us to tailor our business services to provide the “right fit” for each of our customers.

Freer offers a rare level of “verticality” to its customers. Many companies can assist with a specific part of a project, but Freer can help with the entire project. For example, let’s say you want to install …

Dock and Sea Trial Documentation

November 7, 2014
By Brian Schefke

International standards play a significant role in the maritime construction industry. Whether your company builds vessels, provides parts for vessels, or manages the construction of vessels, such standards likely guide your processes and deliverables, and often serve to meet the minimum requirements of your customers. What do you do when a customer provides technical specifications that require adherence to one or more standards? How do you apply these standards to your specific deliverable?

In a recent project, Freer Consulting assisted a maritime company that was building a fireboat for a major West Coast port. The port required dock and sea …

Documentation and Standards

October 29, 2014
By Brian Schefke

Consistent, clear, and usable process documentation, including a clear chain of responsibility and management of change, is a key aspect of any management system. Documentation allows companies to monitor and audit processes, streamline business practices, and continually improve products and services. When processes change, document revisions clearly communicate and track the change.

International standards, such as ISO 9001 and 2923, require documentation. Many customers require their vendors to be certified in such standards as a condition of doing business. Of the customers that don’t require adherence to a specific standard, many require specific documentation. Documentation is often required for the …

Risk Assessment: API Spec Q1 and Q2, and 6a Standards

September 12, 2014
By Brian Schefke

As we covered in a prior post, incorporating a standard, such as API, into your business practices greatly improves your ability to assess and manage risk. Risk assessment reduces costs, improves customer satisfaction, and opens up new business opportunities. There are a number of standards that may apply to your business and industry.
For example, the American Petroleum Institute (API) publishes standards for businesses in the oil & gas industry. One in particular is API Spec 6a, which recommends best practices for the manufacture of wellhead and Christmas tree equipment. More specifically, Spec 6a covers issues such as:…

Keeping Up With BMPs This Summer

August 15, 2014
By Brian Schefke

The dry season is upon us in the Puget Sound region. If you are a stormwater permittee, you may be tempted to relax your implementation of stormwater best management practices (BMPs). However, it is just as important to keep up with your BMPs during the summer as you would in any other season.

Dry conditions generate and build up sediment. This can lead to elevated turbidity levels in stormwater, as well as other pollutants, such as copper and zinc that often adhere to sediment. These elevated parameter levels tend not to be observed during the summer due to the lack …

Risk Management and ISO 31000

July 17, 2014
By Mairead Roden

Any organization, regardless of industry, size, or sector, deals with risk. Risk can vary in type, severity, and degree of certainty, but when it’s uncontrolled, negative consequences, whether economic, environmental, societal, or other, are likely. It is impossible to eliminate all risk—the world is full of uncertainties—but we can take steps to minimize it. This is where risk management and ISO 31000 come into the picture. ISO 31000 is an international standard of best practice recommendations for risk management. These recommendations help organizations improve management, safety, and security in the workplace, while also improving the quality and consistency of their …

ISGP Renewal: Due July 5

June 25, 2014
By Brian Schefke

A new Industrial Stormwater General Permit (ISGP) is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015. Permit holders, who receive coverage under the ISGP, must reapply for coverage by July 1, 2014. To reapply, complete a new Notice of Intent (NOI) online or download and fill out the NOI form.

The changes to the ISGP include the following:

  • Facilities that require permit coverage
  • Facilities that are excluded from permit coverage
  • Specific Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) requirements
  • Sampling locations, benchmarks, and effluent limitations
  • Corrective actions
  • Reporting and recordkeeping

The draft ISGP is available here for public comment through July …

Stormwater Facility Credit Program

May 16, 2014
By Brian Schefke
Stormwater Facility Credit Program

Businesses in the City of Seattle that have a stormwater treatment facility in place may be eligible for the Stormwater Facility Credit Program (SFCP). This credit allows qualifying businesses to save money on their drainage fees as part of their annual King County taxes.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) developed the SFCP to encourage businesses to take action in managing stormwater flow. Better management of stormwater lessens the impact on the city’s drainage system, the area’s creeks and rivers, and Puget Sound. Examples of stormwater systems that may qualify for the credit include:

  • Permeable pavement
  • Detention vaults
  • Oil-water separators
  • Bioswales
  • Sand

2013 ISGP Annual Reports: Due May 15

April 4, 2014
By Brian Schefke
ISGP Annual Reports

Washington permit holders, who receive coverage under the Industrial Stormwater General Permit (ISGP), are required to submit an annual report to the Department of Ecology. This report is due May 15, 2014.

The annual report includes information about any stormwater events at your facility during 2013 (for example, spills that could have affected stormwater discharge). The report should also include any corrective actions that were triggered or completed during the previous year. This information includes:

  • The conditions that triggered corrective action review.
  • The problems discovered and the dates they were discovered.
  • A summary of each corrective action that was completed