Profound Technologies Receives Final Approval

Profound Technologies Receives Final Approval

Profound Technologies received final approval from the Upper Uwchlan Township Board of Supervisors to construct a 6,160 S.F. building addition. D.L. Howell had the pleasure of working with Kevin Busza, who is one of the partners of Profound Technologies. They are located near the intersection of Route 100 and Little Conestoga Road and have been in this location since 2017. Profound is an “IT” company that specializes in audio video and control system solutions for commercial, residential, government and education applications. D.L. Howell assisted Kevin through the Land Development process to obtain all the required approvals to expand his business with the help of Riley Riper Hollin & Colagreco, and Orsatti & Stuart Associates, Inc. Designing the site layout with the building addition and additional parking spaces brought along many challenges since this property was already developed with the existing building essentially in the center of the relatively small property. The required approvals from the Township included a Zoning Variance, Conditional Use, and Land Development. A Highway Occupancy Permit was also obtained from PENNDOT. Construction is slated to begin this spring and is expected to be completed by fall of this year. DL Howell is very appreciative to have had the opportunity to assist Profound Technologies in expanding their business.

Earth’s Magnetic North Pole is Moving!

Earth’s Magnetic North Pole is Moving!

(Excerpted from an article by Marcia Wendorf)

Did you know that the Earth has two magnetic poles?  They are the North and South Magnetic Poles.

Previously, between the years of 1590 and 1990, the North Magnetic Pole hung around northern Canada in an area covering about 1,400 square miles.  Just 20 years ago it was moving at a rate of 6.2 miles per year. Currently, the North Magnetic Pole is moving at a rate of 31 miles (50 km) per year.    It continues to accelerate as it moves away from Canada and toward Siberia.

What is causing the pole to move?

Earth’s magnetic field extends from its interior out into space.  Once in space, the field interacts with the solar wind, which is a stream of charged particles emanating from the Sun.  If we didn’t have this magnetic field, the solar wind and cosmic rays would strip away the Earth’s ozone layer, which protects us from the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Earth’s magnetic field is created by the movement of liquid iron and nickel about 1,800 miles below the Earth’s surface.  Since the liquid is extremely hot (over 5,400 degrees Fahrenheit) it moves very easily.  This movement is known as “The Dynamo Effect”.

How does this affect me?

Those most affected by the shift in the North Magnetic Pole are airports and people who like to explore the outdoors with a map and compass.

Airports designate their runways based upon their relationship to Magnetic North.  They do this so that pilots may use the magnetic compass in their planes to orient themselves properly to the runway.  For example, if a runway is oriented at an azimuth of 90°, it would be given a designation of 9.  Coming from the other direction on the same runway (180° different) that runway is given a designation of 27 because it has an azimuth of 270°.  (Runways are rounded to the nearest 10 degrees).  As the North Magnetic Pole moves, these airports will have to change the designations of their runways to keep up with the shift.

The magnetic poles are weakening and may reverse.

In addition to moving, the Earth’s magnetic field is weakening at a rate of 5% every 100 years.  If it weakens too much, Earth will become vulnerable to cosmic and solar radiation.  This would have a catastrophic affect to life on Earth.

Sometimes, the North and South Magnetic Poles will switch places.  This happens, on average, about every 500,000 years.  The last time the poles reversed was 780,000 years ago, so we’re overdue for this phenomenon.

Fear not!  If this happens anytime soon, we at DL Howell and Howell Kline Surveying will be here to assist you in your time of need … and perhaps Denny will let us close the office at 5:00 p.m. that day.

Christmas Reflection

Christmas Reflection

On Monday of this week, I received some dreaded news!!! It was my turn to write the Newsletter….UGH, it always seems to come along during the busiest week when everything is crazy, and a million things are going on. Usually, I have an idea of what I am going to write about, which always seems to be me complaining about college graduates or some new regulation that is raising my blood pressure. This week I was at a loss. I know everyone needs a break from my complaining or drone videos of our newest project, so I decided to take a step back. With Christmas coming (or whatever holiday you chose to celebrate this time of year), it is always a good time to step back and reflect. This past May, we celebrated our 20th year in business, and I want to take a moment and reflect on all that I am truly thankful for these past 20+ years. For those that don’t know, I grew up in East Fallowfield outside of Coatesville. I graduated High School in 1988, and after my first year at Drexel, I went into the Yellow Pages and called Hunt Engineering in Malvern and was hired for the Summer as a surveyor. While I enjoyed working there, unfortunately for them, I delivered plans to a firm in Exton called Edward B. Walsh and Associates, Inc. and knew right away I wanted to work there. After significant harassing of Barry Walsh, I convinced him to hire me for Christmas break and luckily was brought back for all of my Drexel Co-ops and ultimately full time! And so, first and foremost, I am very thankful for Barry Walsh, PE, and especially Ted Gacomis, PE, for giving me my first opportunity in this business and for the countless hours of teaching I received from Ted. Every single time I walked into Ted’s office, no matter how busy he was, he stopped what he was doing, sat back, let me lay my plan on his desk and answered my questions, and taught me more and more about engineering, what a great environment to work and learn in! And if that wasn’t enough, I got to work on projects for and alongside Jack Loew, Eli Kahn, Tim Townes, and Craig Hough. I felt like I was a celebrity. Being in my early 20’s and learning from these guys was so great. Now I was learning not only civil engineering but also about site layout, construction costs, value engineering as well as architecture. My first client to have on my own to work with was John Drury, who became my father in law and one of my biggest supporters. Working with him and John E. Good, Esq on projects all over West Chester, I now found myself handling Township meetings myself and learning from one of the smoothest and most savvy attorneys I have ever known, not to mention 2 of the most fun people I have ever worked with. The John and John show as I liked to refer to them taught me so much, and looking back, I was still just a kid. So thankful for the faith they had in me at 24 years old. These eight people shaped a huge part of my early career, and no question started me down a path that led to having my own firm today. The year was 1995 (out of college for two years), and along comes one of my longest and best clients of all time Tom Bentley. When I left engineering to work for Bentley Homes, my experience and learning went into high gear! Tom gave me an amazing opportunity to learn and grow, and I was only 25 years old and learning residential real estate development. Few can say they have been given such amazing opportunities to learn in this business, and for all of this, I am so grateful. Alright, lets fast forward to 1999 when DL Howell was started. There are hundreds of people that I am thankful for getting us through these last 20 years, but I want to especially recognize several in particular.

First, our clients:

Thank you, Tom Bentley, and all of your crew for placing trust in me for so long and teaching so much about residential community design.
Thank you to Eli Kahn for so many years of so many creative, cutting edge projects that you entrusted with us and being a friend for all of these years.
Thank you to all of NV Homes and for giving us the opportunity to be a part of such large impactful communities in Chester County.
Thank you to John Lynch for keeping us on our toes and teaching us that we CAN find another high gear when needed.
Thank you to Mark Bedwell and the Bedwell Companies for always thinking of us and giving us opportunities.

Thank you to all of our clients who so loyally work with us and entrust us with your projects.

Thank you to all of the site contractors who get to implement and interpret our plans, including Lyons and Hohl, Brubacher, Schlouch, Kreider, and B and J Excavating. You all make us look good, and we appreciate not only working together but also you catching our mistakes before pipe goes in the ground or asphalt goes down!!

Thank you to ALL of the attorneys we work with and for including Brian Nagle, Kristin Camp, Patrick Mckenna, Sigmund Fleck, Ross Unruh, Alyson Zarro, Jon Jordan, Mike Shiring, Debbie Shulski and Lindsey Dunn. A special thank you to John Jaros, Lou Colagreco, and Mark Kaplin.

Thank you to all of my engineering colleagues and Township Engineers we work with. I realize we are usually at each other’s throats all year long, but I still enjoy it.

Thank you to Chris Godshall at Meridian Bank and everyone at Meridian Bank. Please remember this Newsletter when the next recession hits.

Thank you to all of my best broker friends including Chuck Swope, Jim Lees, Jeff Duffy, John Lieberman and, of course, Phil “Mr. Drexel” Earley.

Thank you to Orsatti-Stuart…..Joe and Patrick, you are two of my favorite people to work with.

Thank you to Ed Theurkauf for reading every single newsletter we send out AND commenting on it.

And lastly, thank you to the entire team at DL HOWELL and HOWELL KLINE…. We are only as strong as our team!!!

I think we unintentionally take for granted all of the great people we work with every day. In many ways, they are like family and it sure seems like we spend more time with them then we do our real families, especially when we are out until 11 pm at a Planning Commission Meeting. I often stop and look around at all of the holiday parties this time of year to take in all of these great people and am glad I have this chance to thank as many as I can remember at 11:27 pm on a Thursday night. Have a great Holiday and New Year and see you in 2020.

Denny L. Howell, II PE

NPDES Reissuance – How Does It Affect You?

NPDES Reissuance – How Does It Affect You?

Recently, many of you received a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) regarding the reissuance of the PAG-02 NPDES General Permit.  This letter has prompted many phone calls to our office from clients asking- What does this mean?, Do I need to do anything?, Why did I receive this letter?  As of December 8, 2019, the terms and conditions of your NPDES Permit coverage have changed.  Here are the major focus points you need to be aware of:

You received this letter because you currently have coverage under the PAG-02 General NPDES Permit

NPDES Renewals/New Applications

    • still have to submit for a renewal 180 days prior to permit expiration
    • permits will only be renewed until 12/7/2024
    • new permits will only be valid until 12/7/2024
    • there will be new renewal process after that
    • all new permits will be subject to the new guidance
    • if in an Impaired Watershed
        • ABACT BMP’s will need to be implemented if any additional earth disturbance is proposed throughout the life of the project
        • For TMDL streams option for non-discharge alternative OR ABACT
  • Site Inspection Report Form will need to be used when doing site inspections (for Engineers or qualified professionals)
  • Instrument Filing is needed at time of NOT and also at time of Permit Transfer (if applicable)
  • “Modules” will need to be completed and included with NOI submission
  • NOI for General NPDES and a different NOI for Individual NPDES
  • New County and Municipal Land Use notifications forms have been created

If current permittees are unable to comply with the terms of the new 2019 General Permit they are to submit an Individual NPDES Permit application by March 9, 2020.  This is determined based on the Acknowledgement form, which is to be completed and returned to DEP (or completed online) by March 9, 2020.

We encourage you to contact your regional PA DEP office, local Conservation District, or civil engineering firm to help aid in answering specific questions and concerns you may have.

Helpful Links:
NPDES Acknowledgement Form
PAG-02 General Permit Forms
FAQ Document

DLH Gift Ideas!

DLH Gift Ideas!

It’s the wonderful time of year again when the traffic gets heavier and the weather gets colder.  It’s Christmas time!  It’s that time where everyone loves to give presents to make everyone happy and if you have a special someone who is an engineer that you would like to treat, here are a few gift ideas for them.

Novelty Gifts

Who doesn’t love a good novelty gift?  A t-shirt that says “World’s Best Engineer” or a coffee mug that has some sort of equation on it.  You could even a get shot glass with E=mc² for those long days working in the office.

Desk Decor

Anything personalized for the desk is always a good idea.  A nice name plate stand with a pencil holder attached or a vintage looking lamp.  You could even get a little creative and get a replica bobblehead made for that person.

Wall Art

There are many different ideas regarding what can be hung up on the wall.  To start, you can look at getting some sort of clock for the office.  It can be someone’s favorite sports team themed or just a plain old white and black clock.  Another idea is to get a motivational quote framed from one of the great engineers.  One out of the box ideas would be to find an original plan from where your engineer grew up at and get it framed for them.

Grilling Gear

Let’s be honest, almost everyone loves to grill and why not get them an engineered themed grill set.  Along with that you can get a cooking apron that says, “Trust me, I’m an engineer”.  There are all sorts of things out there like engineering cutting boards or burger molds for shaping the meat into bolts and such.

So, while you’re spreading holiday cheer to everyone, don’t forget to spoil your favorite engineer with one of these gifts!  Happy Holidays from everyone here at DL Howell & Associates!

Fist Bumps, Not Handshakes

Fist Bumps, Not Handshakes

I know you were all looking forward to another newsletter with an update on a project that you have already read about three times or maybe you were looking forward to reading about the infamous leaking locks on the Panama Canal (D.L. Howell Blog, J. Brewer, August 2015), or how about another newsletter about drones! For this week’s newsletter, I am going to go with something a little different and hopefully useful to all of our fellow professionals working in an office environment. 

It’s that time of year again when there is that one person in the office that we will call ‘Patient Zero’ or ‘RBV.’ He comes into the office and is obviously sick, well, obvious to everyone but himself. To him, it’s ‘just allergies’ or a ‘tickle in my throat,’ but to the rest of us, it’s a contagious common cold. 

I am not a doctor, but with a little research or Googling, I offer you the following tips to help prevent you from getting sick or spreading your ‘allergies’ to the rest of us: 

Person cleaning hand with anti-bacterial hand disinfectant sanitizer dispenser in public mall in Japan

  • Don’t try and be a hero and come to work when you ‘feel like you got hit by a truck.’ Do us all a favor and stay home, rest, and recover. 
  • If you still want to be a hero and try to impress with your dedication to the job. Go into your office and put yourself into isolation. And don’t come out at lunchtime and ask if anyone wants to go to lunch. 
  • Hand Sanitizer and lots of it! Here at D.L. Howell, we have hand sanitizer in every room you go in. Some of us use more than others, and some like to bathe in it. 
  • Fist bumps instead of handshakes (or hugs).  
  • Cover your mouth with your inner arm, not your hands. This will ensure sanitary fist bumps. 
  • Wipe down your work area. It’s incredible what you wipe off your mouse, keyboard, and phone. 

Hopefully, we can all follow these steps and keep everyone healthy and working hard through the cold and flu season. And don’t worry next week we will provide you with an ‘engineering’ newsletter that you have all come to enjoy!