Terra-Petra Inspectors oversee installation of subslab for Phillips 66 Los Angeles Refinery methane mitigation system
Terra-Petra Inspectors oversee the installation of the subslab methane vent piping at the new operations building B-654 at the Phillips 66 Los Angeles Refinery in Carson, California. The Los Angeles Refinery is composed of two linked facilities located roughly five miles apart in Carson and Wilmington, California, about 15 miles southeast of Los Angeles International Airport. Carson serves as the front end of the refinery by processing crude oil, and Wilmington serves as the back-end by upgrading the intermediate products to finished products. The Carson refinery is within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Los Angeles County Environmental Programs Division (EPD). The EPD is responsible for reviewing and approving methane mitigation system designs for structures built over or adjacent to any sites impacted by methane soil gas such as oil wells or landfills. Terra-Petra was contracted to design the methane mitigation system for this operations building and is now in the process of Quality Assurance/Quality Control inspections of the system as is required by the EPD.
Gergen Construction is the contractor installing the methane system for this project. In the images below you can see the process from the Terra-Petra project details of the methane subslab vent piping system to the real field installations. The installation process starts out by digging the trench with the specified dimensions per the detail. An 8oz non-woven geotextile wrap is then installed in the trench. Once they have the material in the ground they will fill the trench with a layer of gravel about 4”-6” in depth, then the perforated pipe will rest on top of that layer of gravel. As soon as the piping is installed another layer of gravel will fill the rest of the trench and it can finally be wrapped and completed. The installation of the subslab sand and impermeable Liquid Boot Plus Membrane System are to follow. Follow the “photo journal” of the installation below (more to come).
by Eduardo Rangel, Terra-Petra – Inspector
Last week I worked with Gergen on the Douglas Park Building 7 project in Long Beach, CA. They sprayed Cetco’s Liquid Boot around all the footings sealing the membrane to the concrete walls. They also installed VI-20 according to plans, and then began to spray the Liquid Boot.
During day three, of the spraying Gergen’s Liquid Boot Applicator, Francisco ran into some trouble with a spray wand that was malfunctioning.
To the seasoned applicator it was not a problem. He ran to a local hardware store and got replacement parts. Francisco, along with Fonseca, conducted a field expedient fix and continued to spray the membrane.
Justin Conaway VP|GM of Terra-Petra was recently interviewed by Cal Poly Pomona engineering students on issues of ethics in the engineering world. Andrew Alvarran, a Civil Engineering senior with an emphasis in environmental engineering, was part of a group of three upper-division engineering students assigned with interviewing someone working in the private industry in a supervisory, managerial or executive capacity. Andrew has assisted Terra-Petra since November of 2012 and recognized Justin as a perfect candidate for such an interview. The assignment was part of the curriculum for Cal Poly’s Spring 2013 EGR 402 Class – Ethical Considerations in Technology and Applied Science, instructed by Professor Prof. W. Dixon Davis, PE, CMfgE. Along with Andrew the interviewers included David Zimmerman, a senior Mechanical Engineering Major, and Anthony Spinelli, a senior Industrial Engineering Major.
Specifically, the assignment entailed choosing from a list of questions about ethical and moral issues within an engineering workplace and having a twenty to thirty minute face-to-face interview with an experienced professional meeting the previously mentioned requirements. After the interview, the students were to summarize information that was both new and valuable to the group in a two-page paper. Justin readily provided such information and responses to the questions asked.
A specific question presented to Justin was: “Do you think that your company has a certain value they place on human life when they are making decisions about safety?” In short, his response can be concluded as “absolutely.” Justin placed special emphasis on the value of the safety of Terra-Petra’s inspectors, who often encounter hazardous situations in construction environments. Justin made it clear that if an inspector should feel unsafe or uncomfortable in the field, Terra-Petra fully supports the decision of the inspector to discontinue working until the hazardous situation has been resolved. Justin stated that if inspectors, and in some cases even installers, find themselves lacking any safety equipment, Terra-Petra would be ready to supply the equipment necessary to complete a project safely. Clearly, the value of a human life, even of those not so closely affiliated with Terra-Petra, is not something the company is willing to jeopardize. The engineering students found this to be one of the most important ethical lessons learned during the interview.
“Should individuals within a corporate structure be held criminally liable for safety related catastrophes they are partly responsible for?”
This was also one of the questions the group from Cal Poly decided to ask Justin. Thankfully, Terra-Petra has yet to be involved in a catastrophe. Nonetheless Justin did provide some valuable insight. He explained that the level to which someone should be held liable should correspond to their level of responsibility. In some cases it may be a lack of coordination, which can be prevented with a system of checks and balances to make sure that guidelines and requirements are being met. Justin went on to say that if legal action is required, the accused individual should be sought after in a civil, and not in a criminal suit. Pursuing a civil action would require that the person suffer only as much as is required to fix the wrongdoing, rather than actually being punished. The level of action required by the law depends on the extent of involvement of an individual as well as the intent of the individual. Justin further stated that Terra-Petra has faith in the intentions and responsibilities of others when working with all of its clients.
Overall, the three engineering students from Cal Poly gathered valuable information from the interview which can surely be applied elsewhere besides the assignment they were issued. Terra-Petra believes that working with moral standards and within the law will ensure the company’s longevity. It is safe to say that clients working with Terra-Petra will always be good hands—under ethically and morally responsible management.
We are a very proud to sponsor of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles!
IVCLA played a big part in our introduction to our newest clients in China.