Gas and Oil Exploration

Gas and Oil Exploration

An industry that never rests in this great country of ours is the oil and gas exploration industry – which, in short, is the unearthing of fossil fuels which generate the energy needed to fuel myriad applications in everyone’s daily routines.

That said, there’s a lot of moving pieces and parts when it comes to this type of “exploration” and the ensuing extraction of these resources. Many such oil and gas exploration sites are abundant in challenging terrain and environmental variables that could pose distraction and ecosystem maladies if not tackled appropriately. That’s where Global Environmental Solutions comes in. Our suite of products has been confidently utilized for decades, offering the appropriate solutions needed to make sure the potential environmental issues created by the work being done onsite at oil and gas exploration facilities stays onsite.

Environmental issues to consider and act upon that come in to play when we start looking at oil and gas exportation sites:

  • Air quality
  • Land sustainably
  • Fresh water
  • Soil being disturbed at sites
  • Use of toxic chemicals
  • Hazardous wastes
  • Solid wastes and sewage
  • Radioactive wastes
  • Dust and/or sediment from stockpiles at sites
  • Dust from traffic at sites or access roads

There are numerous ways that any of the above can be compromised due to the nature of the work being done:

  • Surveying
  • Blasting
  • Drilling
  • Extraction
  • Associated incoming and outgoing site traffic

So how do we proactively combat these situations and make certain that the sites of oil and gas exploration remain safe for human and environmental life?

Let’s dive into some of the varied uses companies contract GES products for.

Oil & Gas Exploration companies have utilized us for::

To round it up, the Oil and Gas Exploration industry, is subject to myriad that adversely affect the environment if not treated appropriately and proactively combatted correctly. We at GES have been involved in many customized site treatment solutions over the years. If you need help or have questions, we have the answers and the products to keep your worksite safe, your workers safe, and the surrounding ecosystem safe – from the terrain, air, and water (seen and unseen). Let’s work through it together to fuel collaborative success.

GES: For the earth with the earth in mind.

A Veteran Owned Company

A Veteran Owned Company

You’ve likely heard the term “veteran owned business.” It’s not new, nor is it news. Veteran owned businesses are all around us. Statistics show that 1 of every 14 employer businesses throughout the United States is a veteran owed entity. That’s a decent percentage.

What are the benefits of working with a veteran owned business? Well, they’re vast, but in short, veteran owned businesses, by-and-large are trustworthy, customer service driven organizations. Sown from the seeds of hard work, determination, strong whit, and a desire to be better in the industry or market that the company serves, as well as an overarching goal of serving towards the betterment of the country as a whole.

The military has a strong track record of teaching transferable skills to its members which serve them well while they’re under military contract as well as their time navigating life as a civilian business owner once they’re no longer under the guise of active duty. Skills such as:

  • Critical thinking
  • Multitasking
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Integrity
  • Motivation
  • Problem solving tactics
  • And more…

The reason we bring all this up is our founder, Chris Rider, is a US Military Veteran who took charge and started his own business (two in fact!) after his duty to our country came to a close.

A few questions for Mr. Rider:

What’s your military experience? 

I spent one year in the reserve and three years on active duty in the United States Navy – Submarine Service.

What did you learn from your collective enlistment?

There is not much that is more complicated/sophisticated and highly engineered than a submarine. It needs to be this way to function safely. 

What led you to start your own business after you “retired” from the military? 

I’ve always worked for myself.  After the Navy I realized that I didn’t want a boss, I wanted to be my own boss. I saw and experienced strong military leadership while enlisted and took the skills that military leaders showed me and used it in my civilian life.  Initially I was in the automotive business – Porsche repair, importation and sales and then moved on to where we are today with Global Environmental Solutions (GES). (Read more about the Porsche topic here: https://globalenvironmentalsolutions.com/traditional-environmental-techniques-antique-auto/)

Global Environmental Solutions was founded in 2001 (originally as DirtGlue Enterprises, LLC), and, as you may already know, is heavily entrenched in the science of high-technology soil stabilization. We take great pride in developing and providing green soil stabilization solutions to a host of industries for both wind and water erosion control. One of these industries that has served as a lynchpin and serious case study for our company is, in fact, the military. We’re proud to serve the men and women that serve our country so selflessly.

For many, the immediate thought when you think about the military is deserts. Our DirtGlue® and Dustless® soil stabilizer solutions were formulated specifically to keep dust down as our military trains and actively engages with soil that will otherwise wind up in the air if untreated (think about the dust a helicopter throws around as it approaches a landing pad in an area like the desert). As you can imagine, and as this one case suggests, terrain is a vast challenge for our armed services. They spend a lot of time in the desert and get back and forth using a myriad of operative vehicles such as large wheeled cargo units on the ground, and helicopters in the air. In short, a lot of dust is displaced – or can be displaced if untreated.

Let’s not get too far away from the point here… We’re not just another soil stabilization and dust control company. We’re a veteran owned company that started with the vision of providing the best possible eco-friendly products to get the job done right the first time, from inception to completion, and in a timely, cost-efficient, and ecologically compliant manner.

Highly focused on research, development, leadership, and customer service, our goal has always been to provide the best possible results in an industry where ‘good’ just isn’t good enough. We strive for technical and ecological superiority; every product, every project, all the time. Tried, true, and focused on the task at hand – loyal to our customers’ needs while serving the country in a safe, and ecologically friendly manner.

GES: For the earth, with the earth in mind.

 

 

 

 

Creating Safer Mining Environments

Creating Safer Mining Environments

According to the CDC (as of 2017), there are 13,080 active mines throughout the United States. Of those, 541 are registered underground mining operations and 12,539 are registered surface mining operations. This number does not include mines that are sitting dormant.

That’s a lot of mines, and a lot of active mining operations with countless moving pieces and parts that include machinery and human assets. Thirty-nine billion tons of material are extract from the planets crust each year. That is a vast quantity earth that is in play and actively being strewn about in more ways than one. With that poses potential hazardous issues to:

  • People
  • Equipment
  • Environment (from the soil to the air and everything in between)

So the obvious first question is, what are we doing to combat potential hazards as a byproduct of this mining activity? It’s not a common question, but it is if you’re in that line of work. And, quite frankly, the answer isn’t easy. It’s not always easy to know how things will “pan out,” so planning and preparing needs to come from a commodity that things on multiple levels. Enter Global Environmental Solutions…

The long and short of it is this: Not every mine problem can be solved with GES products but tailings dam stabilization, erosion control, stockpile capping, dust and sediment control, and coal bunker sealing can go a long way towards preventing problems.

Why is a proactive approach to “stabilizing” your mining operations inherent to a project’s success? Well, consider the incident that happened in Brazil earlier in the year.

The headline:

“Brazil dam collapse leaves at least seven dead and 200 missing”

The meat of the story:

“A dam that held back mining waste collapsed in Brazil, inundating a nearby community in reddish-brown sludge, killing at least seven people and leaving scores of others missing.

Parts of the city of Brumadinho were evacuated, and firefighters rescued people by helicopter and ground vehicles.

Considered the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history, it left 250,000 people without drinking water and killed thousands of fish. An estimated 60 million cubic meters of waste flooded rivers and eventually flowed into the Atlantic Ocean.

Environmental groups and activists said the latest spill underscored a lack of regulation.”

Another sad fact is that, for Vale (the mining company responsible for the mess), this wasn’t the first time. Following the catastrophe, Vale was saddled with billions of dollars in fines and other associated expenses. All of which could have been largely avoided.

How can we help?

Let’s outline the main (aforementioned) points here…

Tailings dam stabilization – Tailings are the leftover byproducts stemming from mining and extracting resources, such as removing the bitumen from oilsands, or minerals such as copper, silver or gold from ores. Tailings include:

  • Finely ground rock particles, which range in proportions from sand-sized to silt-sized particles.
  • The harmful chemicals that are actively used to extract the valuable mineral or oil.
  • And, quite simply, water.

The underlying issue with this “residue” of sorts is that the rock particles and other potentially intrusive chemicals may undergo post-process chemical reactions during storage that can generate additional byproducts – which, to a large degree, are harmful to the environment – such as acid and other dissolved metals that can easily leach into waterways and destroy fragile ecosystems in the surrounding area (which, in bad cases, can spread further). These reactions happen unusually quickly in tailings because small particles have a very high surface area where reactions can take place, compared to bigger particles.

As we’ve alluded to, many substances found in tailings can be toxic.

Applications are including but not limited to:

  • Surface stabilization with spray applications of polymer
  • Revegetation using CompoMulch and DirtGlue polymer tackifier
  • Geotextile retaining walls
  • Hard surface applications
  • Dust control for pond surfaces once they dry out
  • And much more…

Erosion control

Soil erosion and embankment control is a problem for mining operations when trying to shore up the landscape surrounding the blast site, and the site in general that is subject to runoff from a storm, general rain, or seasonal change. Soil and embankment erosion control challenges are either met at the outset of a site plan, or they’re tackled as issues pops up organically.

Common solutions you’re likely to find at a mining site include:

  • Terraces / walls built of varying materials
  • Geosynthetics such as mats, grids, and cells
  • Pipeline / tunneling
  • Gravel

If you’re looking for a smarter, harder working solution, consider GES products such as our tried and true DirtGlue® polymer, which will penetrate the surface by binding with the soil to form a tough, durable, three-dimensional matrix layer of protection. Combining superior film strength and adhesive properties, DirtGlue® polymer is the ideal solution for dust control in non-traffic areas, stockpile capping and stabilizing slopes and embankments. When applied using DirtGlue® polymer as the tackifier, it will hold even in the toughest conditions, protecting against heavy rain and wind.

Stockpile capping

Uncovered stockpiles that take residence in and around mining sites can create a host of concerns. Without the proper protection, or “capping” they become subject to erosion by wind and water and can contribute to the pollution of surrounding areas as sediment laden run-off spills into roads, waterways, storm drains, or potentially even protected wetlands or other sensitive, protected areas.

Rather than taking the traditional means of capping stockpiles with a tarp, consider DirtGlue® polymer emulsion.

Benefits of DirtGlue® polymer emulsion include:

  • Fast installation/application with less fuss than having to fasten down tarps
  • Much lower cost
  • More effective, complete & seamless seal
  • Not damaged by weather
  • Longer lasting stockpile protection
  • More effective control of dust, sediment and TSS
  • Environmentally friendly solution
    • Meets National Pollution Discharge Elimination System requirements for
      erosion control
    • Meets the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements for reducing
      particulate matter in the air
    • Classed non-hazardous by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration definition

Our unique formula will penetrate, saturate, and bond soil particles, creating a hard, dust-free, and water-resistant crust for lasting protection. DirtGlue® polymer is non-hazardous, water-based, contains no VOCs, and is non-corrosive, providing a solution to capping stockpiles that is highly effective and environmentally friendly.

Dust and sediment control

It’s no secret that dust and sediment run rampant in mining facilities. It’s “the nature of the beast,” to put it bluntly.

At the core of the issue, the idea is to keep the earth in place and not give it too much of a chance to whip around and wind up stuck in filters, lungs, and as a pesky top sheet to everything in its general radius. Outside of that, there are other materials that can be picked up and distributed through these wisps of dust that can compromise the wellbeing of the environment and health of life that is exposed to it.

Dust from a mining site can contain materials such as:

  • Heavy metals
  • Silica
  • Asbestos
  • Mold
  • Bacteria
  • Pollen

Common means of tackling dust include:

  • Watering the area
  • Using dust retardant products
  • Spreading gravel, hay, mulch, or grass to act as a barrier
  • Restricting movement in affected area

The best option would be to employ the benefits of one of our award winning DirtGlue® solutions to combat the issue and, for all intents and purposes, remediate the problem long-term. For extreme cases like a working mining operation, we’ve got our DustLess® solution that will take complete control.

DustLess® is an organic fluid typically used in high-traffic areas as a solution for extreme dust. It is an environmentally safe dust suppressant that eliminates the need to water, and does not dry out. Clear and odorless, DustLess® is highly refined, and proven to be non-toxic to humans, animals, marine life and plants.

Coal bunker sealing

DirtGlue polymer stockpile capping and sealing is the antidote to the oxidation and moisture that leads to spontaneous combustion in coal bunkers. Keeping coal bunkers sealed mandates an effective, reliable air-blocking system. Sealing coal bunkers is, of course, more necessity than choice. Air circulating through the coal bunkers is a precursor to spontaneous combustion, a serious danger to a power plant, its employees, and the value of the stored coal itself. The spraying of DirtGlue polymer on stockpiles or bunkers causes the formation of a thin crust much like a spray-on tarp to act as a seal against water and air. This protective seal helps prevent fire, dust, erosion and loss of BTU’s.

Benefits:

  • Eliminate air and water penetration
  • Control dust through encapsulation
  • Minimize oxidation to prevent spontaneous combustion
  • Prevent costly coal bunker fires
  • Slow coal deterioration and water absorption that can reduce BTU value
  • Get the desired results without the higher cost of nitrogen injections

Further, when it comes to the transport of mined coal we can help with transportation efforts of the resource, as statistics show that a typical 3-5% loss of coal is experienced during transport from the mine. This can be avoided by “capping” the train or truck hopper hauling the load with one of our environmentally friendly spray-on solutions.

Are you in the mining industry and looking for ways to maximize safety, minimize environmental impact, all while simultaneously increasing profits on an extracted haul? Contact us today and let’s work together to come up with the customized solution to best fit your unique situation.

 

Putting the Terrain Back Together in the Aftermath of a Forest Fire

Putting the Terrain Back Together in the Aftermath of a Forest Fire

Forest fires are a shocking, newsworthy event. There’s no real telling when and where they’ll happen, but when they do, news teams will be there, and eyes will be on the goings on from the start of the fight to put the blaze at bay until the bitter end. The images will show up on screens and in print in homes nationwide (and – if big enough) worldwide.

Here’s the thing though, what happens after the fire is out? We never really hear about that, right? The truth of the matter is, just because the fire is out, doesn’t mean things are “back to normal” and remediation efforts have ceased.

Forest fires create serious risks to the environment. So, the next wave of work after the actual flames have subsided is working to protect the ecological environment that surrounds the area.

Where are we going with this? We’re glad you asked…

What are we/you doing to prevent erosion after a forest fire has ripped through?

Well, the first question that might stem from that question is, ‘what happens when rains create erosion after a fire has reaped havoc on an unsuspecting plot of land?’

Following a forest fire catastrophe, the loss of undergrowth, leaf litter, forest floor hummus (organic matter), ground cover, is brined away leaving the forest floor stripped of all of its natural protection and very susceptible to erosion via such forces as:

  • Dramatic physical soil characteristics
  • Rain / running water
  • Wind
  • Gravity

Surface erosion begins as the fire is actually burning due to flammable substrate that, in short, goes up in a cloud of smoke… It continues from there when the terrain experiences its first bout of rain following the fire. Runoff from rain and/or any source of surrounding running water will result in increased runoff due to the very bare nature of the environment that has lost its natural “covering” as a result of a fire. The loss of surrounding vegetation which would generally intercept rainfall naturally, is a cause for erosion concern as is the very nature of the restricted charred soil that lends itself to a change in soil porosity which would have normally given water a place to find its way into. Thus, with no vegetation and little or no absorption of water flow, the runoff causes erosive action along the way. Additionally, all of the ash that is left after the fire passes also gets carried downhill to the low points where the wetlands, streams and rivers are. The ash and sediment in the runoff damage the aquatic ecosystem.

What does this all mean?

The soil / terrain of land that has been compromised needs to be addressed to ensure that erosion is kept to a minimum. The achieve this you must first check the soil for hydrophobicity – which occurs when vegetative materials combust, creating a gas that penetrates the soil, and, as it cools, said gas condenses and forms a waxy coating, which causes the soil to repel the water, making for greater and stronger erosive runoff. Hydrophobicity also reduces the rate of germination in reseeded areas which makes it difficult to not only create new plant life, but jeopardizes existing root colonies the ability to retain moisture and regenerate.

Where do we go from here?

After testing for hydrophobicity (which is essential to experience the successful seed germination required in cultivating new vegetation life), Global Environmental Solutions is your call to “put the place back together.” Our products have been employed to bring forests and other fire damaged properties back to life and prevent further erosive damages.

With the use of our CompoMulch™ product – a custom blended hydro-mulch that contains 25% sterilized compost mixed with special blend of vegetable fiber – you’ve armed yourself with a forward thinking solution that will “surround” terrain and soil preparation as it pertains to hydroseeding and planting needs. While similar products exist in the market, our dutifully prepared “solution” combines two critical preparation standards in vegetation development. When applied using DirtGlue® polymer as the tackifier, it will hold even in the toughest conditions, protecting against heavy rain and wind.

Benefits of using CompoMulch™ and DirtGlue polymer as a hydroseed/hydromulch system:

  • Reduces water usage and helps retain available moisture
  • Reduces erosion and the effects of erosion
  • Improved plant growth
  • Binds soil, seed and mulch mediums
  • Fully biodegradable (organic in fact…)
  • Prevents washouts even in the severest weather

Smokey the Bear may not be entirely accurate when he says, “only you can prevent forest fires,” but, what is a guarantee is you can take the right (best) step in putting the pieces back together in the event of an accident. We can help. And, we’re more than happy to.

GES: For the earth, with the earth in mind.

Safe? Striking out dust on the ball field

Safe? Striking out dust on the ball field

We’re in the thick of baseball season. Parents are spending all their “free” weekend time at the ballfield, or carting their kids and their friends off to the next ballfield. It’s one of the traditions Americans have come to love as spring turns to summer and the sun shines down upon the diamond in all its glory.

While you’re sitting there in the stands cheering your excitable player on, have you ever wondered why they’re outfitted for a facemask to protect them from the ball but not a facemask (respirator) that protects them dust that gets kicked up with every fleeting step?

That may seem like a joke, but be assured, we’re not joking at all…

Fact is, the soil on the ballfield and the dust it emits can be likened to the dust that floats around on a construction site. Guess what they’re wearing? Yep. Masks.

“What?!”

It’s true.

That dust little Bobby is breathing into his lungs after sliding into second base is full of crystalline silica. And while Bobby stole the base safely, that kicked up dust is unsafe and sneakily stealing Bobby’s health one microbe at a time.

What is Crystalline silica?

Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen. Additionally, breathing crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis, which in severe cases can be disabling, or even fatal. The respirable silica dust enters the lungs and causes the formation of scar tissue, thus reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen.

Further: Pm2.5 and pm10 sized crystalline silica particles lodge deep into lung tissue and stay embedded in your lungs for your entire life… Those numbers may not mean anything to you. In short, they’re quite smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Basically microscopic. When kicked up on the field, these particles can remain airborne for a solid 24-hours.

 

Don’t just take our word for it.

This is a studied matter. In fact, major organizations that have confirmed the warning of hazardous crystalline silica dangers include:

 

  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • American Lung Association (ALA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

 

So, if it’s known, why isn’t being addressed?

In short. Change is hard. It takes an investment – of money, and time. That said, isn’t your child’s health reason enough to ask the organization your affiliated with some questions? It’s not an easy subject. By-and-large, dust is ignored and “just there.” That said, remember in the 60s and 70s when you could smoke on a plane? Or up until even more recently, in a restaurant? Remember when asbestos and lead paint were used in ALL the houses constructed across the country at that time?

 

Here’s the skinny:

The dust and health deterring particles your young player inhales can be easily prevented. In fact, it’s 100% preventable.

A common way some groundcrews keep dust at bay is by watering the soil of the diamond (STRIKE one). The problem is, watering only lasts so long before the sun dries it out – oftentimes before a game culminates, thus knocking us right back to square one (STRIKE two). The flipside of that coin is that, if you use too much water, you’re bound to start creating mud, which will inevitably lead to tracking, clumping, caking, and other issues that can spread throughout the ballpark (STRIKE three).

Enter Global Environmental Solutions. We’ve spent a great deal of time creating better, smarter, and safer ballfields for our kids, friends, and families across the nation. How do we do it? That would come in the form of our Dustless® product, which we rolled out back in 2002. Dustless® is a long lasting non-toxic, non-hazardous liquid that absorbs into particles and prevents them from becoming airborne. Sun does not dry it out and rain cannot wash it from the dirt. The only reason Dustless® needs to be re­applied is if it is covered over with new material or buried deep by due to the tilling of the terrain. The lifespan of Dustless® can last as long as several seasons with a single application depending on environmental variables (of which, we be quite happy to discuss).

 

What have we learned?

Dust is not just dust. As it applies to the baseball diamond, dust is a real health hazard that is preventable if we choose to recognize it for what it really is. It’s not up to the players to control it, it’s up to the towns, leagues, parents, coaches and umpires to protect the players and ensure the fields are free from hazards before, during, and after play. It’s not hard to get control, and it’s even easier to keep control once you’ve established it. Baseball and all it represents is supposed to be fun. It’s “America’s favorite pastime.” Let’s keep on enjoying its rich tradition, and expand upon the safety of our baseball facilities. Together we can create lasting memories while bringing safer facilities to fruition. We can achieve this. All it takes is a single swing and we can knock it out of the park. Give GES a shout today, and take us out to the ballgame. We’ll root for the home team and quickly get to the root of dusty field conditions…