Author: Tom Speight

Why is Chlorine in My Waste Oil?

The world wouldn’t be where it is now without machine shops.  Manufacturing operations such as tool and die plants, aerospace parts manufacturers, surgical fitting fabricators, firearms manufacturing, and other metalworking industries (particularly precision work) have had a long history in Massachusetts, from the founding of the Springfield Armory in 1777 through the present day. As […]

The Engineering of Bowling

Some of the OTO crew participated in the Joseph Freedman Company’s seventh annual charitable Bowl-A-Thon on November 10, 2018. This is a fun annual benefit for Camphill Village, held at AMF Lanes in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Bowling is a great sport for engineers, since it’s a community activity (that gets us away from our labs, offices […]

Industrial Archaeology

I recently had the great pleasure of attending the Society for Industrial Archaeology’s annual conference, held in Richmond, Virginia. The SIA is an interdisciplinary professional organization dedicated to the understanding and preservation of industrial history and artifacts. While there, I gave a presentation about my recent research topic, the historic manufactured gas industry of Massachusetts, […]

Manifest Destiny –

Tom Speight, CHMM, and Paul Tanner, PG, LEP For a one-page document, EPA’s humble Form 8700-22, commonly known as the Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest, carries a lot of very important information, is used for a number of different purposes, and is generally one of the most important routine pieces of paper in the environmental industry. […]

An Ounce of Prevention

A lot of what OTO does involves helping clients manage risks. Sometimes we do this in a reactive mode– digging up leaking gasoline tanks, capping abandoned landfills, and otherwise resolving problems that already exist. The proactive side is less obvious and dramatic (ok, and maybe a little less fun), and consists mostly of identifying potential […]

Changes to the RCRA Generator Requirements

With all the hubbub in Washington DC lately, it’s been largely overlooked that some of the regulatory changes that started under the previous administration are only now coming to fruition. For example, the Hazardous Waste Generator Improvement Rule went into effect on the federal level on May 30, 2017 by amending parts of the regulations […]

Safety Training has Come a Long Way

This picture is of a coal mine in West Virginia; the publication it was in was dated 1946, where it was presented as an example of ‘the bad old days.’ I found it in an old copy of the quarterly employee magazine of Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates, a holding company which used to have […]