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U.S. EPA – Next Generation Enforcement – Already Here With More Coming Soon
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 19:18

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The 2016 budget focus for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“U.S. EPA”) is on continued implementation of its “Next Generation” enforcement initiative, and this could mean big costs for manufacturers who choose to adapt their environmental compliance practices accordingly and big penalties for those who do not. Under this initiative, U.S. EPA intends to make a significant shift toward electronic reporting for most required environmental compliance reports, as well as dramatically increase the quality of this reporting—most significantly through the use of continuous, real-time monitoring for manufacturing and other regulated facilities. This increase in the quantity and quality of electronic data could easily lead to increased enforcement.

In general, U.S. EPA’s Next Generation enforcement initiative intends to boost environmental compliance by requiring, among other things, facilities to report electronically all emissions and discharge data, such as air pollutant emissions and wastewater discharges. The agency is also seeking to require advanced monitoring for these emissions, including the installation of small “fence line” (i.e., property boundary) monitors for air emissions and in-water monitors for wastewater and storm water discharges. These devices would allow U.S. EPA to obtain real-time environmental monitoring of a facility on a continuous or near-continuous basis, exponentially increasing the amount of data available for enforcement purposes and giving U.S. EPA the ability to use “big data” approaches to targeting enforcement efforts. Additional information regarding U.S. EPA’s Next Generation enforcement initiative can be found here.

Significantly, U.S. EPA is implementing the Next Generation enforcement initiative through both rulemaking efforts and enforcement actions and settlements. For example, in recent months the agency has required settling defendants to install fence-line monitoring for air quality to assure continuous compliance with ambient air quality standards. Data from this real-time monitoring was recently used as a basis for a U.S. EPA-Region 5 Notice of Violation. Additional detail regarding U.S. EPA’s use of such Next Generation tools in the settlement context is available here.

Manufacturing facilities need to be cognizant of U.S. EPA’s movement toward Next Generation enforcement and its emphasis on continuous monitoring and continuous compliance. Because both U.S. EPA and state environmental agencies previously required only a periodic demonstration of compliance with applicable environmental standards (e.g., air or water quality standards) for many environmental regulatory programs, regulated facilities need to adapt their auditing and internal compliance programs to assure continuous, and not just periodic, compliance. In addition, more so than ever, environmental monitoring protocols and methods need to be employed that assure the accuracy of reported data.

Facilities also need to watch the potential use of drones by regulators for compliance purposes, as the technology exists but is not yet being deployed. While many legal issues surround the use of drones, initiatives like U.S. EPA’s Next Generation enforcement effort suggest the use of drones for compliance and enforcement may not be far off.

Overall, U.S. EPA’s shift toward advanced reporting and enforcement methods dictates that manufacturing and other regulated facilities react accordingly. Given the proliferation of data that is sure to occur as a result of this shift, regulated facilities will want to ensure that they have taken the necessary steps to not only be in compliance with all applicable environmental laws, but also to provide data to U.S. EPA and state environmental agencies that consistently and accurately documents this compliance.

National Economist Holtz-Eakin To Key Note FCMA 2015 Summit
Thursday, 04 June 2015 15:18
Dr. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, will be the closing keynote speaker for the third annual First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) Summit to be held October 7 – 9 at the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida.

Each year, FCMA gathers various speakers to discuss issues that include topics involving best business practices, lean manufacturing principles, ISO certifications, import/export issues, engaging tomorrow’s workforce, healthcare updates and political activities.

Dr. Holtz-Eakin is a nationally known speaker on the economy. He has a distinguished record as an academic, policy advisor and strategist. He recently served as a Commissioner on the Congressionally-chartered Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He was also the sixth Director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office from 2003 – 2005. And he served as the Director of Domestic and Economic Policy for the John McCain presidential campaign.

“His insights on the country’s economy were so popular when he spoke at the first FCMA Summit in 2013, the association was eager to have him back for an update,” reported Blair Wygle, chairman of the Summit committee.

In addition to the speakers and discussion groups, there will be trade exhibits and networking opportunities. FCMA will hold its annual Excellence In Manufacturing Awards on the first night of the Summit to recognize outstanding manufacturers.

Additional speakers and programs for the two-day event will be announced as they are confirmed. The Summit, which has been called “the meeting of manufacturing minds,” has been a success each year with a sellout anticipated again this year.

For more information on the 2015 Summit, go to

Unconventional Solutions to Climate Change
Thursday, 21 May 2015 16:36

Dennis Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center

USGBC NF May 20.40 Talks

FRIDAY, May 29, 2015; 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM UNF University Center


Climate, Energy, Sea Level Rise – Problem and Solution Spaces

Dennis M. Bushnell will present sea level and climate change models along with their impacts on coastal cities such as Jacksonville. Conventional climate wisdom is represented by the IPCC reports, which have proven to be conservative.   Dennis will discuss a number of different opportunities to address these issues which include renewable energy solutions, energy conservation, geoengineering, and as a last resort, altering ourselves to persevere in whatever climate changes may occur.


Mr. Bushnell has 49 years of experience as a research scientist and is the chief scientist of NASA’s Langley Research Center, which has technical emphasis in the areas of Atmospheric Sciences.  Mr. Bushnell is the author of 252 publications and major presentations, and has been invited to speak at over 350 seminars.

Register Online

Florida TRADE and MAF Center to sponsor women in manufacturing event
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 13:42
The Florida TRADE Consortium and the MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence have joined to promote opportunities for women in manufacturing.

The Manufacturing Experience: A Woman’s Perspective will be held on June 4, at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. Key female executives and leaders in manufacturing in Florida will take part in a talk-show style discussion moderated by Florida State Rep. Kathleen Peters.

“Women are a dominant force in the U.S. labor market, but not in manufacturing,” said Nancy Stephens, MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence. “As manufacturers do more and more business globally, the industry will continue to grow in Florida and the U.S. This presents a tremendous opportunity for women to engage in this vibrant industry with exceptional career opportunities.”

Part of the “Drive to 1,000,” a Florida TRADE Consortium initiative to place 1,000 Florida TRADE students into manufacturing jobs over the next year, the event is part of the Florida TRADE STEM Manufacturing Forum at the Florida Sterling Council Annual Conference.

The Florida TRADE Consortium, a U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College & Career Training (TAACCCT) grantee, provides accelerated technical training that provides students with the skills needed to compete for jobs in advanced manufacturing.

“There are many open job opportunities in manufacturing and we hope to make women aware of these opportunities,” said Dr. Gary Graham, Director of Florida TRADE. “We also plan to tape this event and make it available to students, guidance counselors and women across Florida.”

For more information about the Florida TRADE Consortium, visit  For information about the MAF Center for Advanced Manufacturing Excellence or the Florida TRADE STEM Manufacturing Forum, please visit or

FCMA Member Cindy Hildebrand, president of CF Machine & Tool and FCMA Membership Committee Chair, will be participating in this panel.

FCMA Conducts Golf Tournament To Raise Funds For Scholarships
Wednesday, 20 May 2015 13:22

The First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA) held its 25th annual golf tournament to fund scholarships to the University of North Florida Science Engineering and approved technical institutes that offer advanced manufacturing platforms.

Approximately 144 golfers participated in the event held at the Eagle Landing golf course in Orange Park. Over 50 area companies were represented.

“Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards paying for engineering scholarships each year, in addition to building our college endowment program,” said Lake Ray, FCMA president.

The team from the Weitz Company won the FCMA tournament with Medtronic coming in second and the team from the Haskell Company taking third place.

FCMA is a non-profit trade association serving Northeast Florida. There are over 1,500 manufacturing companies on the First Coast, supplying over 30,000 jobs and generating nearly 15% of the total gross regional product. Additional media information on FCMA is available at

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