September 29th, 2015

Maintaining diesel fuel quality, preventing diesel fuel contamination and assuring cleanliness has never been easy. To give you an idea of how long the industry has been dealing with this issue, a Caterpillar Operators Manual published 90 years ago stated “dirt and water causes 90 percent of all the problems with diesel fuel systems.”

Diesel contam.In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandated the shift from low sulfur to ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD), reducing sulfur in the fuel from 500 parts per million (ppm) to 15 ppm.  After the transition to ULSD people started complaining about higher than normal corrosion in diesel fuel storage tanks, fuel dispensing pumps and related piping configurations.

One of the concerns with ULSD fuel was lack of lubricity. The cheapest way to remove sulfur during refining involves hydrotreating, a process that removes sulfur and cetane by treating it with hydrogen. Unfortunately, hydrogen is highly reactive and also reduces the lubricity, or lubrication properties, of the end-product.

Sulfur serves as a lubricating medium and the reduction of that sulfur (from 500 ppm to 15 ppm) causes a reduction in lubricity.  After numerous complaints, refiners started adding lubricity additives to the process to compensate. Many people who service equipment still complain of evidence of poor lubricity, especially in older engines

Diesel is a perishable commodity

Even if everything else is managed correctly, when you store diesel over time, chemical reactions can compromise the fuel’s quality and cleanliness. There are two main types of chemical reactions. One is oxidation, which occurs when the fuel is exposed to oxygen or oxygen-bearing matter. The second reaction is hydrolysis, which occurs when the fuel is exposed to water.

Both reactions produce chain reactions within the fuel, resulting in a fuel that appears darker in color and more translucent. Contaminates produced under these conditions include varnishes, gums and sludge that separate out of the fuel and settle.

Most all diesel fuel, including ULSD, has a shelf life from three to six months. This can be extended by adding stabilizers, restricting water intake through proper storage, filtration and restricting heat.  But diesel is far more susceptible to water solubility issues than gasoline.

Water + diesel = microbes and sludge

The presence of water in diesel fuel also adds to the problem of microbial growth.  Fungus, mold and other types of bacteria can flourish and use diesel fuel as a food source. The residue and resulting bonding from this bacteria damages fuel quality, clogs filters and can lead to equipment failure.

Diesel sludgeDiesel fuel will always contain a certain level of water content. The objective is to keep this water content within suitable limits, which is well below the saturation point. Since some water is inevitable, one solution is a routine treatment of fuel storage tanks with a biocide treatment program to kill tank bacteria microbes.

Filter to ISO fuel cleanliness specs

Note, however that this fuel may pass through three or more storage tanks where contamination can occur before it reaches your equipment. Because of this scenario, it is absolutely critical that the equipment owner address fuel filtration at the inlet and outlet of any storage tank within their operation. The goal for fuel cleanliness entering and exiting a bulk fuel tank (stationary or mobile) should meet ISO Code 4406 for contamination.

With proper filtration, this spec can be achieved. The recommended ISO values for Code 4406 are 18/16/13. For example: An ISO cleanliness code of 18/16/13 refers to the following: 18 = 4 micron particles, 16 = 6 micron particles, and 13 = 14 micron particles. Adding filtration at the inlet and outlet points just makes sense. It directly impacts fleet reliability and repair costs.

New rules will make fuel quality even more important.

On July 13, 2015, federal regulators formally published their Phase 2 GHG (Green House Gas) Emissions Reduction Proposal that will tighten greenhouse-gas emissions for trucks, improve their fuel economy and regulate trailer efficiency for the first time.

The tougher standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks would not be phased in until 2021 through 2027, but unless there is a drastic re-design of the diesel engine and its fuel injection system, clean fuel will become even more important in trucks than it is today.

Via Equipment World

Learn More about OCCU-TEC Fuel Cababilities


September 24th, 2015

EPA Proposes Rules to Improve Hazardous Waste Management and Better Protect our Waterways
New Rules Also Reduce Regulatory Burden on Businesses

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing two new hazardous waste rules to strengthen environmental protection while reducing regulatory burden on businesses. One of the proposed rules will protect waterways, including drinking and surface water, by preventing the flushing of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and simplify the requirements for healthcare workers. The other rule will provide greater flexibility to industry while requiring new safeguards to protect the public from mismanagement of hazardous waste.

“These rules provide businesses with certainty and the flexibility they need to successfully operate in today’s marketplace,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “The proposals will improve the safety and health of our communities by providing clear, flexible, and protective hazardous waste management standards.”

The proposed hazardous waste pharmaceuticals rule will make our drinking and surface water safer and healthier by reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals entering our waterways. EPA’s proposal is projected to prevent the flushing of more than 6,400 tons of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals annually by banning healthcare facilities from flushing hazardous waste pharmaceuticals down the sink and toilet.

The proposed rule will reduce the burden on healthcare workers and pharmacists working in healthcare facilities by creating a specific set of regulations for these facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and retail stores with pharmacies and reverse distributors that generate hazardous waste.

EPA’s proposed generator rule will enhance the safety of facilities, employees, and the general public by improving labeling of hazardous waste and emergency planning and preparedness. The proposal will also reduce burden by providing greater flexibility in how facilities and employees manage their hazardous waste and make the regulations easier to understand.

EPA solicited public comment on improving hazardous waste management from states, healthcare facilities, retailers, facilities generating hazardous waste, and other key stakeholders. Both proposals directly address the challenges raised by these stakeholders in implementing and complying with hazardous waste regulations.

The Agency will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

Read Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus’ blog “Making Hazardous Waste Regulations Work for Today’s Marketplace” here:

For additional information on these proposed rules, including how to submit comments, visit:

August 10th, 2015


What You Don’t See CAN Hurt You…

“Probably every doctor in the United States is treating mold illness, and they just don’t realize it.” – Dr. Scott McMahon, M.D.

Today, at least 45 million buildings in America harbor unhealthy levels of mold. And some of the most dangerous varieties routinely find their way into our food supply. That means you have about a one-in-three chance of exposure to toxic mold every time you move into a new home, apartment or office. And even greater odds of exposure with your next meal or snack.

Yet unlike other more obvious environmental threats, this growing mold epidemic is mostly invisible. Dramatic photos you may have seen showing full-scale infestations of black mold after floods and hurricanes are the exception, not the rule. Instead, most people only realize they’re living in a moldy home or working in a moldy building after going from doctor to doctor with symptoms they can’t explain… Poisoned by mold spores and toxins trapped invisibly behind paint and drywall, circulating unseen through air conditioning and heating ducts, or hiding in the food on their plates.

Worst of all… Unless you’re lucky enough to find the right doctor, you may end up believing the performance-robbing symptoms of toxic mold exposure are all in your head.

The good news is there IS a way out.

All too often, it takes mold victims years of needless suffering before finally discovering a someone – like Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Scott McMahon, Dr. Bill Rea – willing to tackle this threat head-on.

The mission behind Moldy is to bring all of these world-class experts together to give you and your family their best advice – all in one place. Along with inspiring stories behind the statistics from mold survivors willing to share how they overcame the effects of mold to emerge stronger and healthier than ever.

For more information, and to watch the free online screening of MOLDY, go to

August 7th, 2015

The EPA has issued 2015 New Underground Storage Tank Regulations and the 2015 state program approval regulation. The revisions strengthen the 1988 federal underground storage tank (UST) regulations by increasing emphasis on properly operating and maintaining UST equipment. The revisions will help prevent and detect UST releases, which are a leading source of groundwater contamination. The revisions will also help ensure all USTs in the United States, including those in Indian country, meet the same minimum standards. This is the first major revision to the federal UST regulations since 1988.UST Diagram

The 2015 regulation changes certain portions of the 1988 underground storage tank technical regulation in 40 CFR part 280. The changes establish federal requirements that are similar to key portions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, EPA added new operation and maintenance requirements and addressed UST systems deferred in the 1988 UST regulation. The changes include:

  • Adding secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping
  • Adding operator training requirements
  • Adding periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems
  • Adding requirements to ensure UST system compatibility before storing certain biofuel blends
  • Removing past deferrals for emergency generator tanks, airport hydrant systems, and field-constructed tanks
  • Updating codes of practice
  • Making editorial and technical corrections

Additional information can be found here:

Additionally, of importance,  the publication UST Systems: Inspecting And Maintaining Sumps And Spill Buckets – Practical Help And Checklist can be found here:

This 16-page manual presents underground storage tank (UST) system owners and operators with recommended inspection guidelines and best management practices for their UST system sumps and spill buckets. The manual will: help owners identify and inspect the sumps and spill buckets associated with their UST systems; explain some simple steps owners can take to maintain their sumps and spill buckets and identify potential problems; and provide owners with tips for fixing common problems before they cause a release of petroleum products to the environment. The manual includes safety considerations; a general introduction to the kinds of sumps; basic maintenance procedures for sumps and spill buckets; and a sump and spill bucket inspection checklist.





July 8th, 2015

OSHA adds key hazards for investigators’ focus in healthcare inspections

Emphasis placed on musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens,
workplace violence, tuberculosis and slips, trips and falls

WASHINGTON — Targeting some of the most common causes of workplace injury and illness in the healthcare industry, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the agency is expanding its use of enforcement resources in hospitals and nursing homes to focus on: musculoskeletal disorders related to patient or resident handling; bloodborne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis and slips, trips and falls.
U.S. hospitals recorded nearly 58,000 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2013, amounting to 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees: almost twice as high as the overall rate for private industry.
“Workers who take care of us when we are sick or hurt should not be at such high risk for injuries — that simply is not right. Workers in hospitals, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have work injury and illness rates that are among the highest in the country, and virtually all of these injuries and illnesses are preventable,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “OSHA has provided employers with education, training and resource materials, and it’s time for hospitals and the health care industry to make the changes necessary to protect their workers.”
OSHA has advised its staff through a memorandum that all inspections of hospitals and nursing home facilities, including those prompted by complaints, referrals or severe injury reports, should include the review of potential hazards involving MSD related to patient handling; bloodborne pathogens; workplace violence; tuberculosis; and slips, trips and falls.
“The most recent statistics tell us that almost half of all reported injuries in the healthcare industry were attributed to overexertion and related tasks. Nurses and nursing assistants each accounted for a substantial share of this total,” added Dr. Michaels. “There are feasible solutions for preventing these hazards and now is the time for employers to implement them.”
For more information; to obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint or report amputations, losses of an eye, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public can call OSHA’s toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

For more information, contact:


June 8th, 2015

The largest telecommunication companies in the country, hospitals and data center operators select OCCU-TEC as their vendor of choice for Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG) Installation and Certification.  OCCU-TEC has:

  • Certified personnel
  • Nationwide coverage
  • ATG selection process assistancePneumercator-TMS-3000
  • Designated Operator compliance services
  • Safety and Environmental training for all technician

Leak Detection

Installing or upgrading the right automatic leak detection system is crucial for environmental risk reduction.  Selecting the appropriate equipment, utilizing certified installers, and selecting the right company to partner with are the components of success.

Automatic Tank Gauge Vendors

As the owner or operator of a tank system, make sure your vendor or installer is certified and provides you with the system information and the proper training necessary to guarantee your system works effectively to detect leaks.

If you don’t know how your system works, you may fail inspections and may find yourself with violations and penalty fees. Or even worse, you may find too late that you have had a leak and you may now have to pay for extensive cleanup of a contaminated site and for damages caused to others.

Automatic Tank Gauge Certification

Most states currently require UST system owners to perform periodic testing on their Automatic Tank Gauges (ATG’s). This testing is needed in order to verify that all tank probes and sensors are in proper working order. Additionally, ALL testing records must be readily available, if requested by a regulator or inspector.

Automatic Tank Gauge (ATG) Testing and Repairs

OCCU-TEC field technicians routinely inspect ATG systems and certify that its components are performing at the standards required by your state or local jurisdiction.  Our technicians can test your electronic leak detectors, leak detector sensors, and high level leak alarms assuring accurate configuration, functionality and system continuity.

Our ability troubleshoot and repair potential issues while on your site corrects problems such as failing leak detectors or malfunctioning sensors during our visits , thus eliminating the need for costly return visits or site down-time.


For more information, contact:


May 27th, 2015

In Kansas City mold inspection, testing and remediation services are delivered by OCCU-TEC to Federal, State, Institutional and private clients.  We investigate, remediate, control and prevent the sources of mold growth and other building-related illnesses.  We offer a full range of mold services moldtestingkitranging from locating the causes of mold growth, mold sampling, or complete remediation and protocol design as well as project management.  Additionally, our pro-active services help prevent these liabilities from ever occurring.

Types of Mold

The most common types of  mold that are found indoors include: Cladosporium, Penicillium, Alternaria, and Aspergillus. Stachybotrys chartarum (also known as Stachybotrys atra and sometimes referred to as “black mold”) is a greenish-black mold that can also be found indoors, although it is less common than the other types of mold found.  Stachybotrys grows on surfaces that have high cellulose content, such as wood, fiberboard, gypsum board, paper, dust, and lint.

Toxic Black Mold and Allergies

Like other molds, toxic black mold is allergenic. The spores from toxic black mold cause allergic reactions such as breathing problems, sore eyes, runny nose, itchiness, sneezing and a sore throat.

Different Symptoms

Toxic black mold affects different people in different ways. Some people won’t experience symptoms as severe as what others experience. Children, the elderly and people with weak immune systems are usually the worst affected by toxic black mold.

Mold and Cancer

Some experts suspect that toxic black mold can cause cancer, although there still needs to be more research. Some other toxic molds, like Aspergillus for example, definitely cause cancer though. The aflatoxin mycotoxins which Aspergillus produce are among the most powerful carcinogens.

OCCU-TEC Indoor Air Quality Services

Our comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) assessments bring full spectrum testing, consultation, identification, and remediation design solutions to our clients. OCCU-TEC offers proactive services designed to prevent an occurrence and the potential liability that accompanies mold.  Our affordable Pro-Active IAQ risk management services help to prevent negative health issues, bad publicity and costly law suits by addressing the causes of poor IAQ before it happens.  We perform these services in Kansas City and Nationwide.

Call us today to receive a professional estimate for your project.   816-994-3425

Or for more information, contact:



May 27th, 2015

Via: EPA

Kansas City – The EPA Clean Water Rule Finalized  The rule ensures that waters protected under the Clean Water Act are more precisely defined and predictably determined, making permitting less costly, easier, and faster for businesses and industry.

Clean Water Kansas City

Kansas City Clean Waters

The rule is grounded in law and the latest science, and is shaped by public input. The rule does not create any new permitting requirements for agriculture and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions“For the water in the rivers and lakes in our communities that flow to our drinking water to be clean, the streams and wetlands that feed them need to be clean too,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Protecting our water sources is a critical component of adapting to climate change impacts like drought, sea level rise, stronger storms, and warmer temperatures – which is why EPA and the Army have finalized the Clean Water Rule to protect these important waters, so we can strengthen our economy and provide certainty to American businesses.”

“Today’s rule marks the beginning of a new era in the history of the Clean Water Act,” said Assistant Secretary for the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy. “This is a generational rule and completes another chapter in history of the Clean Water Act. This rule responds to the public’s demand for greater clarity, consistency, and predictability when making jurisdictional determinations. The result will be better public service nationwide.”

A Clean Water Act permit is only needed if a water is going to be polluted or destroyed. The Clean Water Rule only protects the types of waters that have historically been covered under the Clean Water Act. It does not regulate most ditches and does not regulate groundwater, shallow subsurface flows, or tile drains. It does not make changes to current policies on irrigation or water transfers or apply to erosion in a field. The Clean Water Rule addresses the pollution and destruction of waterways – not land use or private property rights.

OCCU-TEC provides Storm Water Polution Prevention Plans (SWPPP); National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and other compliance services in Kansas City and Nationwide

Learn about SWPPPs, NPDES, Clean Water Act, EPA compliance, and other related subjects by contacting us at 816-994-3425.



May 22nd, 2015

Since 1983, OCCU-TEC has been providing clients with asbestos testing in Kansas City; throughout the Midwest; and nationwide. Asbestos is a known carcinogen and exposure to Asbestos-Containing Materials (ACM) is regulated by the EPA, OHSA and local and state agencies.    Federal, state and local regulations mandate how building owners and managers must handle asbestos materials in their facilities.

Asbestos services include:

  • Asbestos Testing
  • Asbestos Air Monitoring
  • Asbestos Inspections/Surveys

    Asbestos Containing Building Materials

    Asbestos Containing Building Materials – Click to Expand

  • Asbestos Data Management
  • Project Management
  • Management Plans
  • Contract Specifications
  • Contract Administration
  • Pre-qualification and Selection of Contractors
  • Abatement Project Design
  • EPA Certified Trainers

OCCU-TEC’s state-of-the-art data management tools provide building managers with an easy way to manage asbestos information, track abatement projects, prepare reports and notifications and ensure full regulatory compliance in one or hundreds of buildings…..all with the click of a mouse from any location at any time.

OCCU-TEC is known throughout the industry as one of the premier environmental and safety design and planning firms. From mold remediation protocol design and asbestos abatement planning to waste management and site assessment plans and much more, OCCU-TEC value engineers each project.

Call us today to receive a professional estimate for your project.   816-994-3425

Or for more information, contact:


January 15th, 2015

OSHA is reminding covered employers to post OSHA’s Form 300A, which summarizes the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during 2014 and were logged on OSHA’s Form 300, the log of work-related injuries and illnesses. The summary must be posted between Feb. 1 and April 30, 2015, and should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted.

Employers with 10 or fewer employees and employers in specific low-hazard industries are normally exempt from federal OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping and posting requirements. Due to changes in OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements that went into effect Jan. 1, 2015, certain previously exempt industries are now covered. Lists of both exempt and newly covered industries are available on OSHA’s website. Visit the Updates to OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rule Web page for more information