EPA Proposes Rollback of Clean Water Act Regulation

December 18, 2018
By Brian Carmichael

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a change in definition of “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act (CWA). The move represents a long running argument between interested parties and how broad the definition should be. The definition hinges on what “navigable waters” means. A prior rule change in 2015 was intended to widen the definition to include wetlands, smaller streams, and tributaries—even waterways that do not flow year-round—under the premise that all these waterways feed into navigable waters. Under the current proposal, the definition would limit this to waters adjacent to major bodies of water …

API Spec Q1 – Addendum 2: Your Supply Chain is Only as Strong as its Weakest Link

November 14, 2018
By Mairead Roden

Over the summer, the American Petroleum Institute (API) released an update to its Spec Q1 standard. This update, also known as Addendum 2, requires an additional layer of control over critical suppliers. Ultimately, these controls are beneficial, as they close a quality gap that was previously overlooked; however, as is the case with many improvements, your organization will likely experience a period of transition as it adapts to these new requirements.

Addendum 2 brings the addition of two key terms, which have a huge impact on purchasing: Component (a part or element of a larger whole) and Supply Chain (suppliers …

Updates to ISO 22000 and ISO 50001

October 23, 2018
By Brian Schefke

This summer, the International Standards Organization (ISO) released updates to its 22000 and 50001 standards. While there is a 3-year transition period for currently certified organizations, it is important to be aware of these updates and adjust existing management systems to ensure continued compliance. Organizations wishing to gain initial certification in either of these standards, should do so according to the 2018 updates.

ISO 22000:2018

ISO 22000 addresses food safety management. Major changes to this standard include:

• Adoption of the High-Level Structure (HLS) to enable better integration with other management systems, e.g. quality management.
• A shift to …

Reminder: ISGP Annual Reports Due May 15

April 17, 2018
By Brian Schefke

If you’re a business located in Washington state and you have coverage under the Industrial Stormwater General Permit (ISGP), please remember that your annual report for 2017 is due to the Department of Ecology by May 15, 2018.

The annual report should include the following items:

• Permittee information (permittee name, location, and permit number)
• Stormwater problems identified by the permittee
• Stormwater benchmark value exceedances, if any
• Corrective actions completed or to be completed, if any

The report form from Ecology is available here.

Freer Consulting is available to assist you with all aspects of …

Global Virtual Playbook

February 20, 2018
By Mairead Roden

Freer Consulting has the expertise and experience to support our clients as they achieve certification in various quality standards (ISO, AISC, ISM, API, etc.). While most of our clients request support for a single site, or country, we have also successfully guided clients through certification at multiple sites, and in multiple countries. A key component of our global implementations is the use of our Global Virtual Playbook (GVP). In short, the GVP is a virtual hub for project communication, group discussion, and training. Like most of the support offered by Freer Consulting, the GVP is completely customizable and can …

The Benefits of AISC Certification

February 15, 2018
By Mairead Roden

As a leading authority, the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC) sets the standard for quality in the US structural steel industry. When a company works to obtain AISC certification, the benefits are numerous:

• Increased consistency through documented processes.
• Enhanced communication and continual improvement through management reviews, training, and audits.
• Improved customer deliverables through greater purchasing protocols and AWS-compliant welds.
• Access to customers required to work with AISC-certified vendors.

AISC certification is often accompanied by a positive company culture shift, where extra effort is made up front to ensure higher quality, prevent nonconformity escapes, and increase …

Freer VMS and ADP eTIME Integration

February 14, 2018
By Brian Schefke

For any business, keeping track of labor costs is crucial. This can be a challenge when workers are widely dispersed, which is especially true for maritime companies that have employees on vessels anywhere in the world. Freer Consulting’s customizable and scalable Vessel Management System (VMS) software allows for seamless syncing with ADP’s eTIME software. Employees can enter their hours worked into the VMS, managers can review and approve them, and when the vessel is connected to the internet, the approved time can then be automatically synced with eTime, allowing for greater efficiency and accuracy.

If you would like to …