CEHA Point Source Newsletter
Summer 2011 Edition
Welcome to this year's summer edition of the CEHA Point Source Newsletter!
You'll notice this newsletter comes in a more streamlined, easier to read
version. We hope you enjoy this new format and find this newsletter interesting
and educational. As always, you can send submissions for future newsletters to Corine@publichealthalliance.org. Happy reading!
In this Issue
Joe Malinowski, CEHA President
Happy holidays to all CEHA members!
This is the time of year when many of us will be spending time with friends and family to celebrate the holidays, close out the past year and the start of a new one. It is also a great time to celebrate, reflect on and learn from our personal and professional accomplishments and challenges of the year.
Your CEHA association is also celebrating the end of successful year and has already begun planning for an exciting and educational filled coming year.
In 2011, CEHA was able keep our membership numbers relatively stable and provide several one day trainings and the annual educational conference (AEC) "We Are the Future of Public Health & Environment ". All in a year when most NEHA affiliates have seen a sharp decline in membership - some to the point where their educational conferences had to be canceled.
CEHA is particularly well positioned for the 2012 AEC planning as this the first year that the location and venue have already been booked. The 2012 CEHA AEC will be held on September 25th – September 28th at the Keystone Resort in beautiful Keystone, Colorado. This advanced planning will give your AEC planning committee more time than ever to find the interesting, timely, and relative presenters and presentations our membership has come to expect. Many of these presentations will be coming directly from your feedback from the recent membership survey. I encourage all CEHA members to also take this opportunity to start thinking about the exciting and innovative work each of you are involved with and consider sharing it with your peers as a formal presentation at that conference.
The mission of CEHA is to “Promote environmental health as a profession which strives for continual improvement in environmental health quality and the growth of individual professionalism”. As your President, I would like to work toward meet this goal over the next year by further building on the successful relationship CEHA has with students in environmental health programs as they are the future of our organization. I would also like to provide additional opportunities for members to advance leadership skills by possibly providing a leadership tract for the AEC and/or one day trainings focused on leadership principals. To that end, CEHA has already begun to collaborate with the Colorado Association of Public Health Educators (COSOPHE) and the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership (RIHEL) for a spring advancing your leadership day - more to come on this in the near future.
I would also like to remind you of the opportunity each you have to recognize a leader who is a peer or industry partner. You can recognize these outstanding individuals through CEHA by nominating them for an Environmental Health Achievement award or even the prestigious Milton M. Miller Award.
In closing, I want to thank each of you for your membership and continued support of CEHA over the last year and wish you all a safe and happy new year!
Great Turnout from Students at the 2011 AEC!
Allie Bamber, CEHA Student Representative, EHSA Professional Development Chair
This year’s Annual Education Conference in Fort Collins witnessed great participation by environmental health students from CSU, who were strongly encouraged to attend the event. Posters and emails were sent out to inform students of all the benefits and experiences that they could gain. Select students even received free day passes to attend a lecture of their choosing. These passes were very beneficial to students because they allowed them to come check it out even if they could not afford a ticket. The student rates for the conference were also a great perk, making it a little easier for those who could not afford it.
At the AEC, students gained valuable knowledge from the field of environmental health. It was a great way to meet current professionals and to get your name out there. This opportunity not only helped students to figure out the things that they like, but also helped students to learn the things they do not like about this profession. This is very important for students to figure out soon, because it will only set them up for success in the future. Not only was networking a plus, the good food and fun dancing were great for students to take a break from the books to be able to relax and enjoy themselves.
Students agree that the highlight of the conference was the mixer held by Tim Petz. On Wednesday night, a small conference room in the hotel held about 20 students and 20 environmental health professionals. Great pizza and an excellent choice in beverages were enjoyed over easy conversation. The room was filled to capacity and many moved into the hallway for more room to chat. This was a casual mixer, which allowed students to come and relax around professionals and simply talk about environmental health.
The close proximity to CSU campus was indeed helpful and allowed many students to attend. Next year, students will be receiving funding through ASCSU to help pay for transportation and hopefully more will be able to participate.
Celebrating National Public Health Week: CEHA Style!
Dan Collins, CEHA Past-President
National Public Health Week (NPHW) has been around since 1995, when the American Public Health Association reserved one week in April to recognize the unsung heroes of public health who advocate life-saving practices ranging from immunizations to helmet safety and everything in between. Ever since then public health organizations nationwide have celebrated this week in a variety of ways.
To take advantage of the event and increase our visibility CEHA has recognized this week over the past few years by networking and mixing with other Colorado Public Health minded organizations. We use the event to not only celebrate who we are and what do but focus on increasing our membership as well.
This year CEHA partnered with COSOPHE (Colorado Society for Public Health Education) and provided three venues (Metro Denver - Toby Keith’s, Loveland – Rock Bottom Brewery, and Montrose - Camp Robber) where we could get together, share our experiences, network with like-minded students and celebrate NPHW. To help us celebrate we invited the member organizations of the Public Health Alliance of Colorado, and students from the Colorado School of Public Health, CSU’s Environmental Health program and the Regional Institute for Health and Environmental Leadership program’s students and graduates.
All three venues were well-attended with members, students and new members. We had a wonderful time enjoying the camaraderie, conversation, deep-fried Twinkies (or other treats that each venue provided), and sharing who we are and what we do with the students. In addition, we were able to increase our memberships and add some new folks to the family working in Public and Environmental Health
Public Health Week for 2012 is over April 2-8, so be looking for the flyers announcing these events and come and join us next year!
OWTS Regulation Revision Schedule
Kurt Dahl, CEHA President-Elect
Drafting of the regulation revisions for Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems is moving forward. The writing teams are slaving over their keyboards! Preliminary drafts of most sections have been submitted. There remains a great deal of work to do before submitting the final draft to the Water Quality Control Commission by the end of January 2012 in order to meet the June 2012 rule-making hearing.
The following is the proposed schedule for that time table. The holidays add a challenge, but the schedule tries to work around them.
IMPORTANT!!! There are two windows of time for all stakeholders to rigorously review and comment on the drafts: November 29 to December 9 and December 22 to January 13. A stakeholder meeting is tentatively scheduled for the morning of January 4.
Schedule for Completion of Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems Regulation Revisions
- November 29: Send Draft to Stakeholders
- November 29 – December 9: OPPORTUNITY FOR STAKEHOLDER REVIEW AND INPUT
- December 9 – Written Comments due to WQCD/Writing Teams
- December 12 – 21: Compile Written Comments and Edit Draft
- December 22: Final Draft to Stakeholders
- December 22 to January 13: ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR STAKEHOLDER INFLUENCE
- Including January 4 - am: Stakeholder Meeting
- Including January 13: Final Written Comments Due To WQCD
- January 13 to 30: Final Editing and Formatting
- January 31: To Water Quality Control Commission
Silent Auction Wrap-up
Shana Fassman, Northeast Representative, Membership Chair, Silent Auction Coordinator
Big thanks to everyone that supported the annual silent auction during the conference. Our members truly make the silent auction a success. Total collected from the silent auction this year was an astounding $3,964.75 from almost 100 items! Remember all of the monies collected during the silent auction go towards our scholarship fund to provide financial assistance to our members for a variety of professional development endeavors.
Fort Collins provided a great location for CEHA to showcase the local businesses. CEHA would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for donating wonderful items to feature during the silent auction:
Bas Blue, The Perennial Gardener, The Cupboard, Wagz, Old Town Spice Shop, Buttercream Cupcakery, Cooper Smiths, Equinox, Otter Box, Vintages, Glo Germ, City of Aspen, Jim Dale, Christine Billings, Vicky Krizan , Whole Foods, Mario Semanara, Dale Yamnik of Yum Foods, Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company, Laura DeGolier, Avogadro’s, Sheila Batson, Jim Dale, National Safety Pool Foundation, The Rocky Mountain Food Safety Committee, Eve Bugarin, Poudre Valley Health Care Systems, Deb Adamson, Kathy Naibauer, NEHA, Terry Osner, Creekside Evergreen Cellars, the Hilton Hotel of Fort Collins, the Keystone Conference Center, Linda Dippold, Pueblo City-County Health Department, Deb McBride, Joe Malinowski, Sarah Robbin and any others that may have been missed.
Wastewater and Membrane Technology: Membrane Bioreactor (MBR)
Tim Petz, CEHA West-slope Representative
Most of us can remember when breathable fabrics came onto the scene in the 1980’s, and garments that had the ability to transmit water vapor and not transmit moisture in the liquid form. Forcing wastewater through a ‘Gortex’ (membrane)-like material is becoming readily proposed and utilized technology throughout Colorado and the United States.
Membranes are placed in the second compartment of a septic tank series, and allow water to pass through while keeping the solids in the septic tank. The sizes of the pores in the membrane are very small (microns) therefore the water molecules can pass, leaving other larger bacteria and solids in the tank.
The membrane unit, as shown in figure 1 is submerged in the septic tank and provides a barrier that retains organic particles and microorganisms. The large, diverse inventory of biological solids provides food for bacteria and promotes good treatment in the septic tank. The membrane also physically blocks organics from passing through to the septic drain field. Therefore – plenty of food and activity in the septic tank – and clean effluent passes through.
The membrane module consists of flat sheet membranes arranged in a cartridge. The effluent is pulled through the membranes with a pump. (Figure 2)
In combination with the membrane we apply another process called ‘activating sludge’. Oxygen is introduced into the wastewater, with a blower, in the same compartment of the membrane, and due to the diverse population of bacteria and food that remains in the septic tank, we ACTIVATE the large population of bacteria. The bacteria are vibrant and clean wastewater. Basically – the bacteria eat the bad stuff.
The membrane bioreactor (MBR) combines the activated sludge (activated sludge is oxygenated sewage produced by blowing air into sewage) treatment process with the solids separation properties of membrane technology. The MBR system is designed to remove BOD, TSS, nitrogen, and Fecal Coliform.
If total nitrogen removal is needed an additional recirculation pump would be added to the tanks and wastewater returned to the anoxic zone for further denitrification.
Membranes produce a very high quality of effluent, and minimize the risk of groundwater contamination.
Membranes dramatically increase the lifespan of a septic drain field. Membranes treat the wastewater so the drain field does not have to, therefore lasting longer.
This technology provides instantly clean effluent. No start up time or ‘feeding’ of system required. Turn it on and treatment is immediate.
Membranes need replacement every 8 to 10 years, having an approximate cost of $2000 to replace for a typical household.
Membranes require energy to run and maintain.
We are the Future of Public and Environmental Health
Mindi Ramig, CEHA Metro Representative, Education Committee co-chair
Thank you to all of you for such an excellent 2011 Annual Education Conference and Exhibition (AEC).
In the words of an attendee, Roy Laws: “What a thrill! Each year I find myself in awe of the great work the annual education committee has done to pull off yet another marvelous conference. This year was no exception. From Dr. Nelson Fabian's keynote speech calling environmental health professionals to be at the right hand of the policy makers so that they can come to know that environmental health is an essential if not a foundation component of a thriving and prosperous community, to the rabies walk through the home of Colorado Environmental Health, the beautiful CSU campus in Fort Collins, to the auction of the real ‘last’ can of Fat Cat Beer (really?), and chock full of great educational presentations. This year's AEC committee has raised the standard of excellence yet again. As the 2010 Milton Miller Award winner would say ‘Good on ya!’”
What better way to kick off the conference for you than with Nelson Fabian’s passionate “Call to Action”! He sparked the energy which was carried throughout the remainder of a resoundingly successful week. The educational sessions were dynamic. They explored emerging issues as you all looked to the future of environmental health. Survey results confirm that CEHA’s goal to provide high caliber speakers and a wealth of knowledge was indeed accomplished.
"I was especially impressed by the Lincoln Park - La Alma land development presentation, showing how a long term public-private partnership delivered meaningful results in developing an existing neighborhood. I planned to attend only the first session but was so interested that I stayed for both." Craig Sanders
The venue couldn’t have been more perfect with easy access for CSU students and staff, the ability to maintain a low cost, and an excellent layout with exhibitors’ right in the center. All of these aspects assisted to bring in strong attendance with 225 of you attending all or part of the conference.
Another round of applause goes out to our award winners announced at the banquet: Ken Nordstrom, Milton M. Miller Award winner; Jannette Whitcomb, Environmental Achievement Award and Bob Wright, NEHA Certificate of Merit. To cap off the awards banquet, ‘That Eighties Band’ rocked our party late into the night.
A whopping $3,800 was raised by you for our scholarship fund through the silent and live auctions. Once again a sincere thank you to all of you - our members, attendees, sponsors, and supporting businesses - for all of your donations for our silent auction and your frequent and high bidding! All items collected were sold. In true form, Dr. Jim Dale conducted the live auction, throwing in some fun and lucrative twists to our traditional event.
Set your sights for Keystone Lodge in 2012, a beautiful setting for the next “most AWESOME CEHA AEC ever!”. Yes, you’ll be heading for the mountains. Save the dates September 26-28, 2012 with pre-conference activities on September 25, 2012.
It’s not too early to start thinking about what you can share with peers next year. We’re starting the planning process and would love to have you share your professional knowledge and experiences. Submit your abstract ideas via the CEHA website.
Public Health AT the Rockies
In July, public and environmental health professionals enjoyed America's favorite passtime together, for Public Health AT the Rockies!
Joe Malinowski, CEHA President
CEHA would like to congratulate our award winners in 2011 and remind members that it is never too early to nominate a peer for their outstanding work in environmental health. CEHA recognizes award winners annual at the Annual Education Conference in September. These prestigious awards include the CEHA Merit Awards (both for a member and a member of industry) and the Milton M. Miller Award.
2011 Award Winners:
Highlight on Industry: Decade Software
Board Member Bio: Lane Drager
I am very happy to be serving CEHA as the new treasurer and look forward to working with the current board and membership. My career working in environmental health began after I graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in environmental engineering. However, before beginning my career I took off to explore the world. A friend and I ventured to Hawaii to explore the north shore and get pummeled by the waves, then on to New Zealand to trek around the south island hiking and enjoying an unbelievable outdoor paradise. I saw rivers so blue I wondered at first glance what was in the water that made a river that blue. I had certainly seen the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patty’s Day, but never a blue river. I quickly realized it was the things that were not in the water unlike too many of our U.S. waters that allowed the natural beauty of the waterways to come through. It certainly has been a part of me throughout my career to always want to protect our natural world and ensure that we are not destroying what we may never get back.
After enjoying many of the wonderful brews of New Zealand as well as its natural beauty we ventured to Australia to back pack around a vast country that is mainly populated along the coasts. Here again seeing many natural wonders (and sampling more great brews) it was further impressed in me the importance of living in harmony with our environment. After more than spending the pot of money I had for the trip, I returned to the US in debt and lived with my grandparents helping on my grandfather’s farm in Missouri until I eventually received a job working in air pollution control for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. After a few years of processing permits, I moved on to work for the Illinois Department of Public Health working in the West Chicago Regional Office for the Regional Engineer. This was a great time to be part of one of the most amazing cities in the US and continue exploring environmental health by working in asbestos, lead, swimming pools, spas, bathing beaches, onsite wastewater, emergency preparedness, and other duties as assigned.
After 8 years in Illinois I made the big move west with my girlfriend who was originally from Colorado. I found a job working for Boulder County as their environmental health planner, which was a new position for them and for me. However, before starting I took the opportunity to take a fantastic trip through the west seeing Bryce and Zion Canyons, The Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and the amazing sites around Page Arizona, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks and some time in Vegas and skiing to round it out. It was another amazing opportunity to explore the natural beauty and wonders of our country and the west which was to be my new home.
Upon starting with Boulder County Public Health, I was focused on their onsite wastewater program and ultimately what became our SepticSmart program. I have since moved into the Consumer Protection Program Coordinator role where I have been for coming up on three years now. Boulder County has been a great venue for personal and professional growth and as I approach my eighth year working for them I find that I am a very lucky person.
My girlfriend and now wife, Misti and I have two children (Brendan, 5 and Brooke, 2) and live in Jefferson County where we plan to stay. I am so lucky to work in such a beautiful state with a charge to protect our population and the environment that we all cherish so much. I again look forward to further serving CEHA and working with such esteemed colleagues around the state doing the same important work that I have spent the last 15+ years doing myself.
Board Member Bio: Michelle Girard
Although new to the field of public health, Michele Girard has always had a strong interest in health and the environment. After retiring from teaching, Michele worked for El Paso County Public Health. Her five year tenure there gave her a broad view of public health including POD training, water and air program support, solid waste and vector environmental health specialist, then a generalist with focus on retail food and onsite wastewater systems. Three years after becoming an environmental health specialist, she earned her Registered Environmental Health Specialist designation. She recently left El Paso county to work as program manager for consumer protection and other added duties with Prowers County Department of Health and Environment.
Michele has held offices of secretary, treasurer, vice president, and president in various other organizations and has been instrumental in the organization and running of several events with national participants. Having been a CEHA member for most of her short environmental health career, she appreciates all the opportunities presented by the organization and wants to take a turn to give back to the organization. Michele became a CEHA member originally to attend the AEC, and has been a member since. She feels CEHA has much to offer and is very excited to be on the board.
Michelle’s entrance into public health was not immediate in her life. Michele Girard was born in a small town on the plains of southeastern Colorado, in the same town her father and 4 of her 5 siblings were born. Both of her parents were medical doctors. Her father was in private practice as a surgeon and her mother was director of public health in Otero county for many years. Michele graduated with a BS in Animal Sciences (Science Concentration) from Colorado State University. After working for the Bureau of Land Management (Wyoming) and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, she went back to CSU and earned a teaching certificate. She taught for 20 years, the last 18 of which were in the Peyton School District. She was a master licensed teacher in science and math and also taught computers for 6 years. Michele organized yearly school (grades 4 through 12) science fairs and was requested by principals to host several league science fairs. Her students regularly placed in league, regional, and state science fairs. One of her students was invited and competed at the International Science and Engineering Fair as a sophomore.
As a teacher, she served on numerous committees, mentored two new teachers, sponsored several classes, choreographed several plays and musicals, sponsored matchwits teams, and cheerleaders. She was the recipient of several grants, and won national recognition for an innovative program from the National Association for the Advancement of Sciences. Michele also served on a national workshop for biology curriculum development. She left teaching after 20 years to pursue a second career and retirement.
Board Member Bio: Heather Healy
Heather Healy is a junior at Colorado State University working towards her degree in environmental health. Heather has always had a passion for environmental health; however, it was not until she got into college that she realized the vast career options. She is involved with the Environmental Health Students Association (EHSA) on the CSU campus. EHSA meets bimonthly to hear from environmental health professionals, recent graduates, and explore environmental health jobs in the surrounding Fort Collins area.
Heather’s passion for environmental health was renewed over the summer of 2011, while she spent a month in Kenya. Heather volunteered teaching 6th grade English in a rural location, while living among the Maasai tribe. Over the course of her trip, Heather was able to see and experience a world where environmental health did not exist. Furthermore, it increased her respect and dedication to the field in which she will one day work.
Heather will graduate from CSU in the spring of 2013 and intends to enter the environmental health field of professionals. Eventually, it is her goal to obtain her Master’s Degree in public health and apply that knowledge globally to countries such as Kenya.
Board Member Bio: Tenzin McClain
Tenzin McClain started in the food industry as many people do, in the dishwashing room. His long strange trip to CHEA included being a private chef for Jerry Garcia and JK Lilly (Lilly Pharmaceuticals). As an Executive Chef, he received recognition in “Bon Appetit”, “Chicago Magazine” and “Rolling Stone”. From hotels (500 covers a night!) to natural foods to fine dining, he was the head chef at Sea Crest Hotel in MA, Suzanne’s Kitchen in NH, Lockstead Manor in MA.
An avid vegetarian at the time, Tenzin wanted to create fine dining vegetarian cuisine at a time when most vegetarian food consisted of broccoli and brown mushy stuff, which was “good for you”. Moving to California and becoming the executive chef at Milly’s in San Rafael, CA gave him that opportunity. Working closely with Eric Tucker, his sous chef, they were at the forefront of creating a new dining experience. At this time Walter Robb came into Milly’s and offered him a job at a new grocery store company that had 10 stores. After considering the benefits of getting home before 2am and having health insurance paid, Tenzin (at the time “Chef Steve”) agreed to work at Whole Foods Market in Mill Valley, CA as their head chef.
Around two years later, he became the Prepared Foods Team Leader, a position he held for 11 years at the Mill Valley, San Rafael and Sacramento stores. In addition he helped open 22 stores around the country and in Canada and also spent a year as a consultant for various stores. During this time he also opened “Eden the Natural Bistro” for Whole Foods Market in Chicago, Illinois. While at Whole Foods he received several accolades including a three Regional all-star awards and a Global all-star award.
Needing a rest and seeking enlightenment, and after getting married in Nepal and changing his name to Tenzin, he took a two year hiatus and became the head chef at the Land of Medicine Buddha in Soquel, CA. In 2006 he and his wife moved to Boulder, CO to settle down. While working at the Pearl St. Whole Foods market in Boulder, Tenzin met Katherine Huffman from the Boulder County Health Department. With her encouragement and mentoring, Tenzin developed a food safety program that has won recognition and awards from the BCHD for setting the example for food safety in Boulder County. Currently, he is continuing to develop the food safety program for Whole Foods Market and seeking enlightenment.
Board Member Bio: Carla Ostberg
Carla Ostberg will be representing the Directors of Environmental Health on the CEHA Board in 2012. Carla graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 1997 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental and Public Health and received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst in 2009. She has been employed with Pitkin County since 1999 and is currently the Environmental Health Program Manager. Carla previously served on the CEHA Board as Western Slope Representative and President from 2003-2009.