What is cooperative purchasing and how does it work?
What is one hurdle every company must jump when selling to a governmental agency? Price. You could have the best bid package and offer the best service or product but there is always concerns on the side of the purchasing agent. That is where cooperative (co-op) purchasing agreements help ease deal. Co-op purchasing helps public agencies to have a little more flexibility in procuring goods and services, and greatly reduces administrative time and expenses. Essentially, it’s a bridge for the member agency to get the best price or value and delivery from a pre-bid vendor. Co-op purchasing vehicles also provide a vetting process of the vendor and compliance to give an extra layer of trust for the procuring agency. Think of it as a pre-bid or piggybacking contract rather than no bid contract. Cooperative purchasing offers the ability to save time, money, and frustration by the sharing of contract resources within the co-op member base.
The benefits of using cooperative purchasing
Cooperative purchasing eliminates the need to write bids over and over. This saves time by removing the request for proposal process, which can normally be a lengthy process. Sometimes 60-90 days! It reduces the paper work and layers of review that can take months to complete. This will have a direct positive effect on cost savings for the procuring agency. A co-op removes the stress of the job being completed in a timely manner while guaranteeing it’s done by a capable and trustworthy approved vendor. This provides greater efficiency for acquiring services. If there is an immediate indoor air quality (IAQ) issue, for example, it can be addressed without the need to go through an arduous bid and review process.
Another benefit is that there is no or little cost to participating members, depending on the specific cooperative agency. A co-op also enables members to use the professional service that is highly specific or proprietary to their needs. Pure Air Control Services offers PURE-Steam coil cleaning, and HVAC New Life Restoration which are state-of-the-art IAQ and energy saving services that are readily available to those agency members in the cooperative purchasing group.
Cooperative Contracts with Pure Air Control Services Inc.
Higher Education and K-12
Pure Air Control Services has teamed up with Educational & Institutional Cooperative Purchasing (E&I) Contract no. CNR01446
Educational & Institutional Cooperative Services (E&I) is a not-for-profit buying cooperative established by members of the National Association of Educational Procurement (NAEP). The cooperative is owned by its membership of more than 1,800 colleges, universities, and K-12 educational institutions throughout the United States.
Panhandle Area Education Consortium (PAEC) and their Florida Buy Program contract no. 18-05
PAEC partners with the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA) to leverage the purchasing power of schools in more than half the country ease the procurement of our IAQ testing and remediation services. This agency features contracts that are available to all Florida schools, municipalities, country government, colleges, and universities, and non-profit organizations.
City, County and State Governments
The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS) contract no. 170602 and 170702
The Interlocal Purchasing System (TIPS) contracts simplify the purchasing process for governmental agencies to procure our IAQ Consultation and remediation services. TIPS has over a decade of experience providing effective and economical purchasing activity for any government entities.
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. can provide IAQ services through our contracts with these agencies to assist city, county, state and federal governments, along with schools and universities with identifying baseline IAQ/Energy conditions and providing specific, definitive remedial recommendations to improve building health and efficiency.
Article Original Source: http://pureaircontrols.com/cooperative-purchasing-indoor-air-quality-services-immediately/
The Fiji National Provident Fund advises that asbestos-containing material has been identified at the Kwong Tiy Plaza building in Marks Street, Suva.
The asbestos-containing material was found in the fascia board and roofing insulation by the National Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Service of the Ministry of Employment.
The asbestos identified in the Plaza is well-contained in the building and does not pose any threat to the health and safety of occupants, surrounding stakeholders and the general public.
The Fund acquired the Kwong Tiy Plaza Building in 1994. Built in the early 1980’s, it was common for asbestos to be used in most buildings constructed or renovated at that time.
FNPF acknowledges its obligations as the property owner and is working closely with nominated consultants, asbestos removal contractor and the Ministry of Employment, in line with the Code of Practice for the Safe Removal of Asbestos and international best practices to safely remove the asbestos-containing material.
Air monitoring will be conducted regularly throughout the removal process to ensure that there are no airborne threats to the general public, workplace and the surrounding environment.
The FNPF sees its role as vital in dealing with the matter responsibly and requests the understanding and cooperation of our stakeholders in regards to this matter.
Source: Fiji National Provident Fund
As students, parents and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools prepare for summer break, discussions continue about the indoor air quality of an East Winston elementary school.
District administrators and a handful of Board of Education members sat down Monday with parents at Ashley Academy for Cultural and Global Studies to discuss air-quality concerns and what school officials plan to do about them.
Steps have been taken by the board to help improve the school building’s air quality before the new school year, but some in the community have publicly called for further action in the form of a new school building they feel is overdue.
The purpose of Monday’s meetings was to sit down with parents and answer any questions or address concerns they had about the subject.
“They have a plan in place I think that will bring the school up to where it needs to be come August,” said Renee Hairston, who has a grandson at Ashley.
Earlier this semester, concerns about the indoor air quality at the school were expressed to administration and the board.
Two air-quality reports prior to that showed low levels of indoor mold spores.
But a new report released in April showed evidence of mold growth in some HVAC units, and recommended replacing or cleaning the units.
According to the Center for Disease Control’s website, mold can cause allergy and respiratory infections, and worsen conditions such as asthma, for those sensitive to it.
The board voted in early May to go ahead with replacing units during the summer months at a total cost of $1.585 million.
School board member Elisabeth Motsinger said the meeting Monday was positive. “I think it was good to hear directly from parents what their concerns were and to be able to answer their questions with reliable, good and accurate information,” she said.
Hairston said that if she didn’t think the school and the district were taking the right steps, she would not have her grandson return to Ashley next fall.
“But I think they’re taking the right steps,” she said. “They’re doing as much as they can until they get the funds on the referendum to replace the school. So I think they’re doing OK.”
At the May 22 board meeting, a group of concerned citizens under the name #Action4Ashley had a large presence and spoke during public comment, saying they felt not enough attention has been given to Ashley and the air quality. Many asked that funds be moved around in the 2016 bond to speed up the process of designing and building a new Ashley school building.
Article Source: https://www.journalnow.com/news/local/ashley-parents-meet-with-district-elected-officials-for-information-on/article_56f1b024-0ab0-52d7-8863-3401e79a10b7.html
The Oregon Occupational and Safety and Health Division has fined OnTrack $19,350 after employees of the drug addiction recovery organization improperly handled asbestos at an apartment in west Medford.
OSHA inspected the building at 514 Hamilton St. on various dates in May and determined that OnTrack failed to follow proper procedures, provide protective equipment and communicate about the proper handling of asbestos with employees.
The 10 citations issued June 1 resulted from scraping acoustic ceiling without wetting it first and workers not wearing protective gear or disposing of the asbestos properly, including not placing it in air-tight containers.
“While OnTrack workers were renovating a property on Hamilton Street recently, part of the ceiling was mistakenly scraped, which contained asbestos materials,” said Eddie Wallace, OnTrack’s communications director, who responded by email to a request for comment from the Mail Tribune. “OnTrack immediately reported this episode to the DEQ (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality) and engaged in the cleaning and repair of the area according to strict DEQ guidelines.”
Wallace said OnTrack followed all the rules set by DEQ, though he didn’t address questions raised by the OSHA citations.
He said OnTrack employees have received updated training.
Wallace said the email statement would be the only response from his organization related to the OSHA citations.
According to OSHA documents, OnTrack employee Andy Scott filed the complaint, which led to the investigation and four different inspections May 8, May 9, May 11 and May 18.
Scott, a maintenance worker who started working for OnTrack last year, said his supervisors were dismissive when he questioned whether there might be asbestos in the “popcorn” ceiling that was being scraped off by other workers.
“I knew there was a risk there,” said Scott, who said he is seeking whistleblower protection from the Bureau of Labor and Industries. “They were minimizing that there are known carcinogens in there.”
He said he saw two piles of material on the ground, and a section of the ceiling had been scraped off. At this point, Scott said, he didn’t want to go into the apartment because the dust would likely have asbestos in it.
After being dismissed on other occasions, Scott said he contacted OSHA.
Analysis of debris from the apartment showed it contained up to 10 percent chrysotile asbestos.
The apartment on Hamilton was undergoing renovation, though it was locked up Friday and the interior was empty.
In the same building is another apartment, with an OnTrack family living inside.
The OSHA documents describe employees working in the apartment without whole-body clothing, head coverings or gloves. Protective clothing wasn’t required by OnTrack for the employees.
Once a common building material, asbestos was phased out in the 1970s and 1980s after health officials determined the fibers can cause serious and fatal illnesses, such as lung cancer and other diseases.
Article Source: http://mailtribune.com/news/top-stories/ontrack-fined-after-employees-exposed-to-asbestos
Hurricane Irma ripped across the Florida peninsula causing widespread damage and power outages. The Department of Homeland Security estimated that immediately after the storm over 15 million Floridian were without electricity. That is 3 out of 4 state residents were dark! Businesses, hospitals and schools have been closed due to a lack of power. In fact, over 35 hospitals across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina were either forced evacuate or shut down. But the final statistics are far from tallied as it could be weeks until electricity is restored and the areas affected are properly assessed for post hurricane health dangers.
One thing is certain, post hurricane health dangers from building damage with water intrusion, flooding, and lack of operational HVAC, including temperature/humidity control poses health risks to building occupants when they return.
As interior dampness and humidity rise there are several environmental factors that can affect building heath. Even after a building structure has been physically recovered from water damage, occupant health issues can still linger. Though everything may appear visually restored, the interstitial side of a building’s structure might yet be teeming with chemical residue and/or microbial growth. Musty odors or discoloration of interior walls and other places are a primary indicator that microbial remediation is needed. If the discoloration is in multiple places, it is of even more concern as the interstitial sides could be 100 times greater than what is visibly seen.
Even if the building sustained no damage but was without power for an extended period, post hurricane health dangers can still be ongoing. If the building’s HVAC system is down for time then temperature and humidity levels sharply rise creating an ideal ecosystem for mold growth. Once electricity is restored and the HVAC system is brought back online that mold, other hazardous microbes, and volatile organic compounds, as well as degraded fiberglass insulation can be distributed throughout the ductwork to the entire building. There is medical and scientific consensus that this situation poses a health risk to occupants.
Post hurricane health dangers hidden from visual detection can include:
• Fungal/Mold Growth
• Bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Legionella, etc.
• Volatile Organic Compounds
Professional evaluation, testing, and laboratory analysis is often needed to better identify the extent of water related damage, ongoing environmental conditions, HVAC cleanliness and other post hurricane health dangers that might be hiding in an affected building. Environmental air, bulk, liquid, and surface samples should be collected from the affected areas for bacterial, chemical, and mold laboratory analysis. The environmental test results are critical to determine the microbial/chemical propagation, as well as to facilitate remedial action or justify decision making for any remedial measures.
Hiring an Indoor Environmental Testing Firm to evaluate the ambient conditions of the structure, the HVAC system, interstitial wall cavities, the building’s envelope and more data points can determine the cause(s) of specific health concerns and provide the groundwork for remedial action.
Another option to get started finding post hurricane health dangers in a building is economical DIY test kits. There are different types of kits available, such as the evalu-aire kit, that can be used to collect environmental samples for laboratory analysis. Microbial samples can be tested by using culture or non-culture based methods. If elevated levels microbes or VOCs are reported, then it is best to consult with an indoor environmental professional for a more comprehensive evaluation, analysis and remedial recommendations.
The Department of Homeland 0Security and FEMA issued a Major Disaster Declarationon September 10, 2017 for the state of Florida. DHS acting director Elaine Duke stated nearly 22,000 federal personnel are in Florida to assist in the recovery.
“A storm of this magnitude needs a team effort” Ms. Duke said, “to handle the long and challenging road ahead”.
Pure Air Control Services can provide disaster recovery assistance through its federal General Services Administration (GSA) contract (#GS10-F-0488R) to assist city, county, state and federal governments (including schools) by identifying baseline mold/IAQ conditions and providing specific, definitive remedial recommendations.
Alan Wozniak, President and CEO of Pure Air Control Services said “Normally, our federal contracts are limited to federal agencies. However, since President Trump has declared Texas a disaster area, Pure Air’s federal contract can now be used by city, county and state agencies since under this declaration, federal aid is available to such entities.”
Pure Air Control Services, Inc., can also be easily utilized for emergency IEQ testing and response services with TIPS Interlocal Purchasing System sourcing and Panhandle Area Education Consortium, Florida Buy program for governmental agencies. Building Health Check, LLC, products, such as the evalu-aire DIY test kit, can also be procured using the TIPS vehicle.
You can contact the Building Scientists at Pure Air Control Services for a professional evaluation of your building or home at 1-800-422-7873 ext. 802 or for the DIY evalu-aire contact 1-800-422-7873 ext. 404 or visit IndoorAirTest.com.
About Pure Air Control Services
Pure Air Control Services, Inc. was established in 1984 as a small, mechanical, contracting firm and has since set the industry standard for indoor environmental quality diagnosis, environmental laboratory and remediation. Pure Air Control Services has serviced more than 600 million square feet of indoor environments in over 10,000 facilities. Pure Air’s nationally performed services include: Building Sciences Evaluation; Building Health Check; a CDC ELITE Environmental Microbiology Laboratory; Environmental Project Management; HVAC New Life Restoration and PURE-Steam Coil Cleaning/Mold Remediation Services, among other indoor environmental services. Article Source: http://pureaircontrols.com/post-hurricane-health-dangers-lurking/