Dr. Rhoda Zione Alale, PhD, DHP, President of The Environmental Health Global
It all began…
Environmental Health Global emerged out of the HOPE of a Registered Nurse who unknowingly purchased a home that was very toxic. She developed breast cancer and a stroke. Her son developed a brain injury. With the support of other healthcare professionals and engineers, she discovered that her region was under an EPA ALERT for a high level of toxins that could cause cancer and brain injury. She began to research to try to find solutions. She engaged the CALL of the Office of the Surgeon General to become a “Change Agent” for researching answers and developing evidence based solutions to make indoor home and work spaces safer.
We Have Identified A Problem…
Environmental Health Global experts are Change Agents for cities, farms, and families that are plagued with illnesses caused by air and radiation toxins in the environments. Because of this problem, America is under a NATIONAL ADVISORY ALERT by many Federal Agencies. In some communities, everyone on the “Street” has cancer or asthma, diabetes, seizures and other diseases.
We believe environmental diseases CAN BEeradicatedand health regained! We are working to find ways to build capacity for reducing exposure to indoor toxins and creating healthy indoors. We support initiatives of the:
The FIRST Medical-ECO Engineering “ECO 180 Healthy SMART Home Model
Dr. Rhoda Zione Alale’s team of volunteer professionals has successfully directed the FIRST Medical-ECO Engineering “ECO 180 Healthy SMART Home Model.”The Model guides physicians in prescriptive management of environmental adaptation for patient and animal health. This MODEL educates consumers in the process of reducing sustained exposure to indoor air & radiation toxins. The Curriculum for this Model is a collaboration of medical doctors, nurses, engineers and consumers. The NANO Technologies used in home and barn remediation training have been tested and certified to reduce toxins and save energy costs.
This Model empowers consumers to engage research for “self-study” of the toxins in their homes for both their health and the health of their pet also.
Through the international network of engineering and construction service companies, Environmental Health Global has been successful in supporting the implementation of the “ECO 180 Healthy SMART Home Model” in farms, barns, homes, luxury apartments, schools, clinics, offices, recording studios, baseball schools, and Houses of Worship. It has also saved consumers an average of 10 – 25% on their electric bills. Consumers report relief from migraine headaches, tremors, seizures, insomnia, asthma, infertility, blindness, depression, rapid heart rate and more after their homes were transformed to reduce exposure to toxins.
Environmental Health Global accepts partnerships with universities and college for nursing students who are defending Master Degrees in Environmental Health or Public Health. Call (800) 615 – 0456, ext 102 for further information.
Lilia A. Abron, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE Founder, President and CEO
Dr. Lilia A. Abron, the CEO/President and Founder of PEER Consultants, P.C. (PEER) is a trailblazer, a History Maker™, an entrepreneur. She is the first African-American woman in the nation to earn a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and the first African-American to start an engineering consulting firm focused on the environment and its environmental issues. She was also one of the first professionals in the field to suggest and demonstrate that sustainability initiatives can rapidly advance the condition of the impoverished sector worldwide. Remarkable achievements all on their own, they have collectively shaped the unique company PEER is today — a steward of the environment that continually promotes collaboration, builds a sense of community through its work and strives to create a better planet for present and future generations.
Since 1978, we’ve focused on delivering transformative, sustainable, and appropriate solutions to today’s challenging environmental problems — using a personalized approach each and every time. Every day we are realizing our vision as a prosperous and productive environmental company that exceeds the expectations of our clients and employees, while delivering high-quality services that enhance the natural and built environments.
PEER, a full-service environmental engineering consulting firm, provides personalized service to our valuable clients, fosters and maintains long-term partnerships, and hires passionate and diverse team members. We remain true to who we are—environmental stewards—always looking out for the best interest of both the natural and built environments.
As PEER celebrates its 39th year in business, we are proud of how much we have grown and matured, starting with just 3 employees in 1978, growing to more than 100 engineers, scientists, planners, technicians and administrative professionals in 6 offices nationwide and 2 international offices in South Africa today.
To learn more, download a copy of the PEER Consultants brochure by clicking on the following link: PEER Consultants Brochure.
When SCANA won its long-sought federal license for a massive nuclear expansion project in Fairfield County, it could have had the form mailed to the company’s Cayce headquarters.
Instead, SCANA leaders celebrated the March 2012 issuance of the license by piling into two company planes and flying to retrieve it in person from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Maryland, state regulators told The State this week.
The company listed the $14,000 cost of that trip among its operating expenses for the now-abandoned nuclear project, claiming the expense as justification to raise the electricity rates of its customers.
The trip was one of more than 40 SCANA expenditures – worth nearly $213,100 – the S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff disallowed, deeming them excessive or inappropriate to be charged to the company’s customers.
While the agency struck the charges from SCANA’s rate-hike requests, short-staffed regulators acknowledge they could have missed other inappropriate receipts or invoices that were not reviewed during their random audits.
The agency’s largest catch was $198,000, which SCANA paid for consulting services and listed on its 2016 rate-hike request. Auditors disallowed the expense because they say SCANA was unable to provide documents showing what work the unnamed consultant had done.
SCANA said Wednesday that consultant was the utility’s former chief executive officer, Bill Timmerman. “After discussion with the ORS, we agreed not to seek recovery of that amount,” a utility spokesman said.
Among other SCANA expenditures that Regulatory Staff ruled out:
▪ $1,727 for a limousine service that ferried SCANA employees from an airport to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for hearings. It wasn’t the dollar amounts that caught auditors’ attention, but the limo company’s name, which hinted at luxury: “British Jaguar Sedan Service.”
▪ At least $455 in alcohol, mostly for employees’ meals
▪ $343.75 in gift cards SCANA used to reward good work. (Regulators took the position that those employees already were being paid a salary to perform well.)
▪ A $57.19 outing to a Bailey’s Sports Grille to celebrate an employee’s retirement
▪ And a $23.91 trip to Hooters.
“They were unable to provide a business purpose for why they were at Hooters,” said Kelvin Major, an audit manager in Regulatory Staff’s nuclear division.
SCANA is “100 percent in agreement with the ORS’ decision to disallow the expenses,” a spokesman said Wednesday, adding almost all the disallowed expenses occurred before 2013.
“That’s noteworthy because, in late 2012, we identified a need to provide better training to employees regarding the proper coding of expenses to ensure customers are charged only for costs that are directly related to providing them with safe, reliable service,” the spokesman said. “Whenever an improperly coded expense is identified … we follow up with corrective actions regarding the specific expense and the individual employee(s) involved.”
The utility’s expenses disappoint state Rep. Russell Ott, D-Calhoun, vice chair of the S.C. House committee investigating the failed nuclear project.
“It’s the principle of it,” Ott said. “It’s just a small snapshot into the mentality of some of the decision-makers and leaders within the organization.”
The charges were included in SCANA’s justification for its rising nuclear construction costs. The utility sought and received nine rate hikes from state regulators – worth $1.7 billion so far – to finance those construction costs.
In response to concerns about the plane trip by Regulatory Staff auditors, SCANA wrote that corporate planes are more efficient than commercial flights.
“For example, many of the airports accessible to a corporate aircraft are in locations that will not accommodate a commercial aircraft and are generally closer to the location of the actual business being conducted,” the company wrote to Regulatory Staff.
Companies that complete the grueling, years-long nuclear licensing process commonly send a contingent to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Maryland office to pick it up, an NRC spokesman said Wednesday.
The questionable nuclear expenditures were not SCANA’s first expenses to fall victim to routine audits.
While sorting through piles of nuclear invoices and receipts, Regulatory Staff staffers check that each expense has a valid business purpose and was filed correctly.
The auditors flag large dollar amounts and search for any evidence customers are being made to pay for lobbying expenses, charitable donations, penalties and fines, alcohol, employee club memberships, or lavish or extravagant expenses.
In 2012, Regulatory Staff struck the $27.50 that one SCANA employee had spent on a flight upgrade – meant to save the employee at least three hours of travel time.
It also docked from SCANA’s construction costs the 34 percent tip an employee left for a meal and the $79 that an employee spent to attend a Midlands Technical College seminar with no relevance to the nuclear project.
The agency also eliminated promotional costs.
In 2012, regulators targeted the $1,600 that SCANA had spent to host a media photo tour of the V.C. Summer construction site, records show.
And, in 2015, the agency struck the nearly $470 that SCANA had spent on two picture frames that housed large photos of the Fairfield County site. The photos were meant to illustrate progress on the construction of two new nuclear reactors. Today, they have been abandoned as too costly.
(CN) – After several years of strong growth, the renewable energy market is showing signs of slowing down, as the United States revels in cheaper electricity from natural gas. And the slowdown is causing ripples of change across the nation, with some state utility commissions drastically cutting the contract lengths of green energy companies.
The Montana Public Service Commission slashed the price paid to renewable energy providers from $66 per megawatt hour to $31 and cut the contract length between renewable energy suppliers and the state’s main utility, Northwestern Energy, from 25 years to 15 years.
Idaho has cut its contract lengths from 20 years to just 2 years.
The Montana Public Service Commission’s decision resulted in a lawsuit filed late December by the Montana Environmental Education Center, Cypress Creek Renewables and Vote Solar against the commission and Northwestern Energy. The suit claims the commission and Northwestern Energy violated federal regulations and Montana law, which requires the commission to establish long-term contract rates that are sufficient to enhance the economic feasibility of third-party power facilities.
The commission defends its position by saying that shorter-term energy contracts are better for the Montana consumer, who should not foot the bill for green energy.
“Out-of-state developers were perched at Montana’s borders, ready to rush in and take advantage of these inflated rates, reaping windfall profits at consumers’ expense,” Montana Public Service Commissioner Roger Koopman said in a statement.
Koopman said shorter contracts can be periodically adjusted to the market, rather “than be locked into 25-year contracts based on sheer guesswork and the silly assumption that markets never change.”
A 1978 federal law to increase U.S. renewable energy development is at the heart of the change that the energy sector is undergoing. Congress passed the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) in 1978 as part of the National Energy Act. PURPA was meant to diversify the U.S. fossil fuel energy portfolio with renewable energy, increase clean power development, and to promote energy conservation during a time when there was a genuine energy shortage.
Brian Fadie, clean energy program director for plaintiff Montana Environmental Information Center, said monopoly utilities see third-party energy developers “as threats to their monopolies and profit margins, so they have been fighting against the PURPA law in states across the country,” notably in North Carolina and Idaho, where renewables have taken a strong hold in those states’ power portfolio.
PURPA is left mainly to state energy commissions to regulate the individual states’ power industries, which are often ruled by a single power monopoly. The state commissions also set rates for power purchased through the monopoly or through a qualifying facility such as a wind or solar farm.
But after decades of growth in energy production, including electricity from natural gas harvested through fracking and rampant growth in renewable energy, the United States is awash in power.
Prices for electricity from renewable energy sources have fallen dramatically in the last two years, as solar and wind projects have advanced technologically, allowing more energy to be produced for the same or less cost, Fadie said.
Wind turbines are larger and solar panels have become more efficient at converting energy from the sun into electricity, Fadie said. Demand for solar and wind power has also increased, which brings more companies into the manufacturing side of the business. All of these factors bring down costs to produce the equipment used to make renewable energy.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the development costs for wind projects since 2008 have decreased 41 percent, costs for large-scale solar projects have decreased 64 percent, and battery costs have fallen 73 percent.
Meanwhile, wind and solar power accounted for over two-thirds of all new electricity generating capacity installed in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Department of Energy, and land-based wind power accounted for 41 percent of all new capacity brought online in the United States in 2015. Plus, utility-scale solar power generated enough electricity in 2015 to power more than 2 million homes and solar power represented 15 percent of all newly installed electricity generation capacity in 2015, according to the Department of Energy.
Between 1976 and 2014, the department invested $2.4 billion in research for wind power. Now, new renewable energy projects are in decline.
Installation of solar-energy power has fallen to its lowest level since 2015, according to a Solar Energy Industries Association’s report. In the third quarter of 2017, 2,031 megawatts of solar array panels were installed in the U.S., resulting in a 51 percent decrease from the previous year’s quarter, the market’s smallest quarter in two years.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in the first three quarters of 2017, solar energy represented 25 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought on-line in the nation – ranking second to natural gas.
Some state’s energy contracts are being tweaked to the benefit of some renewable-energy projects.
Michigan’s public service commission completed the state’s first update in 25 years of the way utilities compensate clean energy facilities.
“The commission correctly recognized the significant long-term value of solar to Michigan, and the need to update old rules to capture that value,” Rick Umoff, director of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, said. “Solar companies can now ratchet up investment in Michigan’s economy, creating well-paying jobs and providing clean reliable energy to the state.”
Michigan’s approach to clean-energy development “will launch a new wave of solar development in Michigan,” Becky Stanfield, senior director of western states at Vote Solar, said. “Michigan’s leadership demonstrates to regulators and lawmakers across the country how to attract private investments, build a clean energy economy, and create local jobs that can’t be outsourced.”
Montana commissioners don’t see it that way – at least for the near term.
“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a gas plant owned by the utility, or a wind farm developed by an independent power producer, in today’s environment of surplus electricity, the commission is questioning the wisdom of locking consumers into excessively long supply arrangements across the board,” Montana PSC Chairman Brad Johnson said in a statement.
The uncertainty that the federal PURPA regulations and state utility commissions create often hinders green power development, according to Dave Renne, president of the International Solar Energy Society.
“Fortunately, many states have stronger and more reliable policies than the federal government,” Renne said. “The current administration is particularly hostile to renewable energy development and is rapidly undoing virtually all favorable policies in favor of fossil energy development.”
Meanwhile, the federal government on Wednesday announced the release of a draft environmental impact statement for a Montana coal mine’s 6,000-acre expansion and to extend the life of the Rosebud coal mine out to 19 years.
The Rosebud coal mine annually supplies 7.7 million to 9.95 million tons of low-sulfur coal to the adjacent Colstrip Power Plant, plus another 300,000 tons annually to the Rosebud Power Plant. The plants burn coal to create steam and run turbines that generate electricity.
Family has always been at the heart of Eckerd Connects. When we were founded in 1968 by Jack and Ruth Eckerd, the legendary power couple was often asked what motivated them to start a non-profit in rural Florida. Their answer was always the same.
“It’s the kids.”
Today those words still hold true – but much like other families, ours has grown. Nearly five decades later with a presence in 20 states, our family of services has expanded to include foster care, adoption, workforce development, aid for the homeless, transitional services for troubled youth, and so much more.
Eckerd Connects’ Workforce Development’s Adult Program helps individuals who are currently receiving government support to achieve self-sufficiency by returning to the workforce. Through a strong network of community services, eligible adults are taught the skills needed to obtain jobs in today’s competitive labor market. The program is focused on leading participants to careers that provide sustainable living wages, so participants can in turn provide for themselves and their families. This program fully aligns with the 2015 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).
Support services may include the following:
Job readiness training
GED and high school diploma assistance
Paid work experience (available in most locations)
Soft skills training
Diversion services for families
Subsidized child care referrals
Domestic violence prevention services
Substance and mental health treatment referrals
Adults ages 18 and older
Those who receive government support through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Welfare, or other government subsidized program
** Other requirements and program specifics may vary by locations.
Workforce Development’s Adult Program is offered in many states across the country. If you are 18 years old or older and believe you might qualify for our free services, please complete our Online Application.
Eckerd Connects’ Workforce Development’s Youth Program helps prepare young adults—ages 16 to 24—for college or a career. This program provides career pathways, credential attainment, and supportive services to young adults who may face barriers to employment. Through local partnerships, participants gain hands-on work experience. They also develop academic, career, and life skills that lead to lifelong success. Topics include vocational skills, financial self-sufficiency, and self-esteem.
Workforce Development is a national program that aligns with the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and its 14 Key Elements. Program participants are comprehensively assessed to identify their individual skills, abilities, interests, and employment goals. Each participant is exposed to educational services and training that will increase their skill sets for today’s competitive labor market.
Job readiness training
GED and high school diploma assistance
Paid work experience (available in most locations)
Leadership and soft skills training
This program is designed for youth ages 16 to 24, with age requirements varying by location. Preference will be given to youth not attending school. Youth must also be able to identify with one of the following barriers to employment:
Deficient literacy skills
No high school diploma or GED
Homeless, runaway, or foster child
Pregnant or parenting young adult
Involvement with the Juvenile Justice System
Have a disability
Lack necessary work readiness skills
Eckerd Connects Workforce Development
874 Vocational Lane
Camden, SC 29020
Phone Number: (843) 513-0454
OPC Closely Analyzing New $66 Million Pepco Rate Hike, People’s Counsel Will Press Utility to Justify Every Dollar of Request
Washington, D.C. – In a rate case filed today with the DC Public Service Commission (DCPSC), Pepco has requested a $66.2 million rate increase for its customers in the District of Columbia. Should the Commission approve this request as filed, the average monthly residential bill would increase by $7.54.
“As we do with every single rate case, the Office of the People’s
Counsel will aggressively advocate on behalf of District
consumers to ensure that any rate increase is based only on the
expenses necessary for Pepco to deliver safe and reliable
electric service and not boosted by unjustified company
spending,” said People’s Counsel Sandra Mattavous-Frye.
One year ago, Pepco requested an $85.5 million increase in
distribution rates, its largest rate case in about 10 years. OPC’s
thorough analysis revealed Pepco was seeking to recover
operating expenses, including excessive perks for Pepco
executives that should not have been proposed for ratepayers to
shoulder. The 2016 request subsequently was reduced to $77.5
million, and based upon many of OPC’s recommendations the
DCPSC ultimately approved a $36.9 million increase in a July 24,
2017 order. Since 2008, the Commission has approved five
Pepco rate increases totaling almost $133 million.
“In these uncertain economic times, OPC will be especially vigilant
in protecting consumers in all eight wards of the District from unjust
rate increases,” said People’s Counsel Mattavous-Frye.
During the Pepco Holdings-Exelon merger proceedings, OPC
successfully fought for residential rates to be offset by a bill credit.
As a result, the distribution portion of DC residents’ electric bills
has not increased since April 2014. That could change however,
depending on a Commission ruling on today’s application
expected sometime toward the end of 2018. OPC will keep
consumers up-to-date through the proceedings as we vigorously
advocate on their behalf.
Public Information Officer