Health & Safety Program Professional Affilations
Developing effective working relationships with organizations outside of NBC is another important aspect of NBC’s EH&S Program.
Regular interaction with these professional affiliations helps the Program maintain effective training and safety awareness for all employees, therefore contributing to the overall effectiveness of the EH&S Program.
New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) Safety Committee
Established in 1929, the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) is a non-profit organization whose objective is the advancement of fundamental knowledge and technology of design, construction, operation and management of wastewater treatment works and other water pollution control activities and dedication to the preservation of water quality and water resources.
Comprised of the six New England states, NEWEA serves over 2,600 members and is a member association of the Water Environment Federation, an internationally renowned organization.
NBC’s EH&S Program has on staff a nominated employee who actively serves on the NEWEA Safety Committee. The Safety Committee reviews technical practices and disseminates information to the membership on the safe operation of wastewater treatment plants and collection systems. The Committee actively promotes safe practices and safety awareness for operations personnel and all involved in the wastewater field.
Rhode Island Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (RIWARN)
RIWARN is a Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) that allows water and wastewater systems in Rhode Island to receive rapid mutual aid and assistance from other systems in RI to restore facilities damaged by natural or man-made incidents. Utilities sign the RIWARN standard agreement, which then allows them to share resources with any other system in RI that has also signed the standard agreement. NBC signed onto the RIWARN Agreement in 2007 and is proud of its partnership with other RIWARN member utilities.
RI WARN is available to all public and private water and wastewater systems in RI. Participation is voluntary, and is not mandated by any local, state, or federal regulation. In RI, there is no fee to participate in the program. All 50 states in the U.S. currently have WARN agreements in place.
During an emergency, the process and procedures to give and receive mutual aid and assistance are governed by the articles in the RIWARN agreement. The agreement covers issues such as requesting assistance, giving assistance, reimbursement, worker's compensation, insurance, liability, and dispute resolution.
Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) #2 – Providence
LEPC 2 was established in 1987 and covers the entire city of Providence. The LEPC, lead by the Providence Fire Department, has established several goals: First, enhance the protection of the community and the environment from hazardous materials incidents through planning, preparation, and communication between citizens, business, and government. Second, inform and educate the public about chemical facilities in the community and actions that can be taken in the event of an accidental chemical spill or release into the environment. Lastly, work to assist governmental and emergency response agencies in being well prepared to respond to and handle any and all emergencies, associated with chemical spills or releases that may occur.
The LEPC membership includes, local officials including police, fire, public health, transportation, and environmental professionals, as well as representatives of facilities subject to emergency planning requirements, community groups, and the media.
NBC’s EH&S Program works closely with LEPC officials to ensure that its employees remain up-to-date on known or suspected hazards at facilities within the City of Providence and the Port of Providence. These hazards can include, but are not limited to, acts of terrorism, chemical spills/releases and adverse weather situations. The EH&S Program further ensures compliance with LEPC participation requirements by tracking and submitting an annual inventory of all hazardous chemicals stored at both wastewater treatment facilities. This “Tier II Hazardous Chemical Inventory Reporting” requirement is enforced by the EPA under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, and also by the RI Department of Labor and Training.
Safety Association of Rhode Island (SARI)
The Safety Association of RI, Inc. (also known as SARI) is organized to bring to its members national viewpoints and local expertise in the fields of safety, occupational health, and environmental management.
SARI membership is comprised of members from Rhode Island and nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut, and includes a diverse group of safety, health and environmental professionals who share their insights and experiences with fellow members. NBC’s EH&S Program has been an active member of and contributor to SARI since 2009.
The exchange of information and ideas between members provides a unique opportunity to work together to address and solve the safety challenges facing business and industry today.
Quarterly meetings are held where guest speakers present information on a variety of safety-related topics. Each meeting offers the opportunity for members and guests to network and share interests with other safety professionals. Also, plant tours offer members the opportunity to visit and experience the inner workings, policies, and procedures of different types of facilities.