September 2020
THE BLACKSTONE BRIEFING
PHMSA Advisory Bulletin 2019-0087

The U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued Advisory Bulletin 2019-0087 in April of 2019. The advisory bulletin was issued to remind owners and operators of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines that earth movement, particularly in variable, steep, and rugged terrain and with varied geological subsurface conditions, can pose a threat to the integrity of a pipeline if those threats are not mitigated.

Pipeline companies have been in the process of updating and modifying integrity programs to identify, monitor, manage and mitigate potential ground movement and hydrotechnical hazards. Blackstone has assisted companies with updating training programs to help field personnel identify and monitor potential ground movement and hydrotechnical hazards as part of routine patrolling activities. 

Project Profile: Alternate Earthen Final Cover
Providing a Naturally Sustainable,

Blackstone recently completed an annual vegetation survey for an Alternative Earthen Final Cover (AEFC) at a Kansas landfill. The AEFC design includes native grasses, wildflowers (forbs), and trees. The goal of the AEFC is to produce a final cover that provides a more naturally sustainable, ecosystem-based design requiring less maintenance and providing improved structural integrity, water uptake, vegetation health, nutrient recycling, and wildlife/aesthetic characteristics. The AEFC design is intended to encourage/accelerate the re-establishment of a native grassland-woodland community on the landfill after closure of each area. 

Spotlight: Austin Quick, Project Engineer
Austin Quick, EIT, Blackstone project engineer since 2016, provides civil/water resource engineering and environmental permitting services to Blackstone’s growing client base. He works in the Overland Park, Kansas office and has experience in landfill design and construction, streambank stabilization, site development, air permitting and compliance, and odor mitigation. Austin studied atmospheric science and civil engineering at KU.

Austin enjoys playing music on nights and weekends. He is the bassist in the alt/folk-rock band Carswell & Hope and keyboardist in the funk/soul/hip-hop band The Phantastics. His wife, Shannon, is a talented fiddle player, and they met while playing in a cover band in Lawrence in 2012. They enjoy camping trips, playing music, and rooting for the Royals, Chiefs and Jayhawks together.
Blackstone Employee Scoop
Miles for Mark 5K: Kyle Kukuk, Anne Melia, Megan Ostrand, Austin Quick, Branden Rosenthal and Mat Edwards participated in the Miles for Mark 5K, a fundraiser benefiting the American Cancer Society and honoring Mat's father-in-law.
Grill Friday: Blackstone employees took advantage of a beautiful Friday afternoon recently to grill out, whip up a delicious lunch and enjoy the nice weather!
Health, Safety and Wellness: See what Blackstone is doing to keep employees healthy, safe and well. The company provides two programs — one to keep employees safe in the office and the field and up to date on essential training, and the other to support physical and mental health and overall wellbeing through resources, challenges and events.
Member of the Year: Anne Melia, Blackstone senior project manager, was honored as 2019 Member of the Year through the Heartland Chapter of the Alliance of Hazardous Materials Professionals. Congrats!
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