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Recorded Environmental Training Sessions Initiate Smooth Operations

Recorded Environmental Training Sessions Initiate Smooth Operations, Sean Daly

Federal, state and local permitting agencies; siting boards; public utilities commissions; stakeholders — you name it — numerous organizations and regulations dictate the actions and commitments required for approval of a project. In states like California, for example, there could be hundreds of pages and binders full of mandatory mitigation measures alone, and each must meet compliance requirements.

All that information then has to be succinctly packaged and clearly delivered to the on-site construction crew for proper execution. In some cases, depending on the project and permit requirements, environmental awareness training is required. As these critical training sessions are traditionally conducted in-person, environmental monitors have had to get creative in their training tactics to move projects forward.

Though not a novel idea, online recorded training sessions are keeping up the momentum, utilizing existing software like Microsoft PowerPoint and Teams to efficiently deliver a consistent message and meet compliance requirements. Taking the training online allows for a more flexible format as well, where edits can easily be made to each slide, as well as the audio, if, say, a permit or site condition changes. Rather than starting from scratch — or having to schedule follow-up visits or communications — the slide deck and audio can be quickly updated and sent back out.

Prepared in the same way as an in-person presentation, these high-level training sessions call attention to specific ways each project will comply with laws, documents and commitments as well as highlight issues that are commonly overlooked or neglected during construction. Because some of the training sessions can last close to an hour, it’s important to put thought into the narrative to break up the monotony of a talking head, or voice, for the benefit of those participating in the training. By providing environmental guidance — in an easy-to-follow format — on-site construction contractors will get the same information regarding their work and know when to stop and ask questions.

Invenergy, a global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, kept its Missouri wind farm project moving forward by conducting its required environmental training remotely. This project-specific presentation covered the company’s commitments to stakeholders and directives from agencies, including restrictions working in and around wetlands as well as spill-reporting procedures. In fact, a recorded training session will be presented remotely on upcoming wind farm projects in Iowa and South Dakota.

These recorded environmental training sessions not only serve as a solution during the current COVID-19 crisis, when entire project teams can’t be on-site, but also act as a valuable resource as projects advance from the preconstruction to construction phase. Once recorded, they can be presented anytime, anywhere, offering a creative solution that maintains the overall project delivery schedule.

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Sean Daly
Written by Sean Daly
Sean Daly is a senior environmental scientist at Burns & McDonnell, focusing on permitting and compliance-related aspects of linear and nonlinear projects of all sizes within the U.S. and Canada. His knowledge of the pre-construction permitting and design phase, as well as transitioning projects into construction, offers innovative solutions to preserve project schedules and budgets.

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