Our quarterly newsletter captures project spotlights, conferences and events attended, and recent staff updates.

ISSUE NO. 26 / April 2019 
Don't Forget About the GHG Self-Certification Process

Since 2007, projects that are reviewed under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and which require an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) are subject to MEPA's Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Policy and Protocol. The GHG Policy leads project proponents to incorporate measures to reduce energy use beyond a base building code case to lower GHG emissions. The Proponent then commits to achieving specific GHG reductions through the means identified in the EIR or by some alternative means developed later in design.

A key element of the GHG Policy is the requirement that upon completion of work, the Proponent is to self-certify to the MEPA Office that the project does indeed achieve the GHG reduction levels that were identified in the EIR. The self-certification process involves providing MEPA with documentation to show that what was built is the same or equivalent to what was specified. This, for example, can involve verifying levels of wall insulation, confirming the installation of high-efficiency equipment, or demonstrating that room occupancy sensors are installed.

Epsilon has assisted numerous clients in developing the documentation needed for successful self-certifications, including the MGM Casino in Springfield and New Balance's Boston Landing development.

Contact us today for help with GHG analysis and self-certifications or if you have any questions about the MEPA process. Epsilon is here to help!
Epsilon Supports the MBTA with Water Quality Monitoring During Construction

Epsilon is providing environmental support to the MBTA for the replacement of the commuter rail drawbridge over the tidal Annisquam River in Gloucester.

Originally built in 1911, the Gloucester Drawbridge is now structurally deficient and is being replaced with two side-by-side, single-track moveable bridges, with an updated east approach trestle and a new control tower.

J.F. White Contracting Company is the prime contractor for the project. Having done similar work with J.F. White on the Fore River Bridge project in Quincy/Weymouth, Epsilon was selected to do the water quality monitoring required as a condition of the project's environmental permits, specifically the Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) issued by MassDEP. In addition, Epsilon prepared the project's construction Noise Control Plan.

Working on the water in all weather conditions, Epsilon's ecological scientists are using a combination of monitoring equipment and laboratory testing to provide the data for monthly reports on the project's impact on total suspended solids, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen. Of particular concern is the project's potential to disrupt winter flounder spawning. Epsilon is proud to play such an important role in protecting the Commonwealth's natural resources while at the same time supporting investment in public infrastructure.
BIDMC New Inpatient Building Receives Key Approvals to Move Forward

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) has proposed a new inpatient building to fulfill its mission to provide highest quality affordable patient care. The new inpatient building on BIDMC's West Campus will be designed to enable BIDMC to adapt to meet the needs of the patients and the surrounding community in a rapidly changing health care environment.
Working with the hospital and its team, Epsilon was responsible for the preparation of the Amendment to the hospital's Institutional Master Plan allowing for this new Inpatient Building. Epsilon also led the Large Project Review process with the Boston Planning & Development Agency and prepared the Environmental Notification Form t hat was submitted to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office. Epsilon's acoustics group managed a sound level measurement and modeling program quantifying changes to sound levels in the community surrounding the hospital resulting from the relocation of their medical helipad. Measurement included a helicopter flyover demonstration, and acoustic modeling using the FAA Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT). We are pleased to be able to support such an important project that will help so many people for years to come!
 EventsWhere We've Been (And Where We're Going)
Exhibiting  - Epsilon exhibited at this year's NECA Renewable Energy Conference. This one-day conference took place on March 7 in Auburndale, Massachusetts and provided attendees with timely updates and insights on developments taking place within the renewable energy sector. Epsilon's Founding Principal Ted Barten, Principal Dale Raczynski, and Senior Consultant Holly Carlson Johnston attended and staffed our booth. 
Presenting -  Principal Steve Slocomb was able to escape the cold New England winter again this year for the EUEC Conference in San Diego, California. His presentation entitled, "The Effect of Arctic Blasts & Global Warming Solutions Act on ISO-NE," covered what the ISO New England fleet did during periods of natural gas shortages during the previous years when the New England region experienced periods of extreme cold. The presentation also evaluated what occurred during the first year of the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Ac t and its effect on state-wide and the New England region's CO2 emissions. For a copy of this presentation, contact us .

(from left to right) Epsilon Principal Mike Howard and MACC Treasurer John Goldrosen
Epsilon had a big presence at this year's MACC Annual Environmental Conference. Principal Mike Howard (and current President of MACC) co-presented on a session focused on climate resiliency, site remediation and salt marsh restoration. He also moderated two other sessions pertaining to the siting and permitting of solar projects. Principal Dwight Dunk co-presented on a session entitled "Reviewing Wetland Mitigation Plans." Associate Marc Bergeron (and current MACC Director) moderated a session led by Eversource Energy and the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program on the topic of protecting resource areas and wildlife habitat along electric transmission line rights-of-way. In addition, several members of our ecological sciences group attended the event where they participated in sessions to learn about current environmental laws and regulations as well as project insights that impact our clients and projects.

Congratulations!  To our client, Vineyard Wind, who won the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) Corporate Leadership Award .  This award will be presented at the EBC Annual Meeting and EBEE Awards Celebration dinner on June 19. As always, this is a very competitive award .  Vineyard Wind is well deserving of the award, presenting a first of its kind, well advanced, offshore wind project. 

Our upcoming events include:

Electric Power Research Institute EAR Workshop | April 29 - 30, 2019 |  More Info
Epsilon speaker: Rob O'Neal

IPPNY Spring Conference | May 7 - 8, 2019 | More Info
Epsilon exhibiting (booth #22)
2019 New England Energy Conference and Exposition | May 14 - 15, 2019 | More Info
Epsilon exhibiting (booth #16)
AWEA WindPower Conference | May 20 - 23, 2019 | More Info
Epsilon exhibiting (booth #3239)
U.S. Offshore Wind Power Conference | June 10 - 11, 2019 | More Info
Epsilon attending

Click here to learn more about these events. 
CompanyWhat's New At Epsilon
Congratulations! Staff Engineer Abbey Nack recently passed the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, making her an Engineer-In-Training. This six-hour long exam covers a broad range of engineering topics and is the first step in the process for becoming a registered Professional Engineer. Abbey has played an important role in supporting a range of projects since joining Epsilon, including the Vineyard Wind project. She has played a key role in assisting with the permitting efforts to progress this offshore wind project.

Welcome! Epsilon is excited to announce the addition of Erin Doherty to our growing historic preservation group. Prior to joining Epsilon, Erin was with the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) for more than 3 years where her primary responsibility was the review and approval of state and federal historic tax credit applications. In that role, Erin developed an intimate familiarity with the program requirements and guided hundreds of projects through the MHC and National Park Service review processes. Erin's experience and insight into the state and federal historic tax credit programs will be invaluable to Epsilon's existing - and future - clients.
In the Community. Senior Consultant William Young served on the national design jury for the 2019 Palladio Awards, which are given annually by Traditional Building magazine.  This was a great honor for William, who was one of three jurors reviewing more than 100 commercial and institutional projects representing new construction, significant additions, or restoration efforts from across the country. The honorees will be recognized at a conference being held in Garrison, New York in July. The event recognizes both individual designers and design teams whose work enhances the beauty and humane qualities of the built environment.

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