Tag Archive for: Remediation

When looking for a GHG reporting program, there is one element that is typically overlooked. This short video gives us more insight.

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In this short video Africa Espina, Manager of Environmental Services, discusses Locus Technologies’ expertise in site investigation and characterization services. Locus utilizes cutting-edge tools and techniques to conduct thorough site investigations. This includes site reconnaissance, sampling, and monitoring to assess soil, groundwater, surface water, and air quality.

By employing both traditional and innovative sampling methods, such as direct push technology and high-resolution site characterization, Locus ensures accurate and representative data collection.

Watch the video to learn more.

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    Locus Platform

    Locus Platform is the preeminent on-demand application development platform for EHS, ESG, and beyond, supporting many organizations and government institutions. Individual enterprises and governmental organizations trust Locus’s SaaS Platform to deliver robust, reliable, Internet-scale applications. The foundation of Locus Platform (LP) is a metadata-driven software architecture that enables multitenant applications. This unique technology, a significant differentiator between Locus and its competitors, makes the Locus Platform fast, scalable, and secure for any application. What do we mean by metadata-driven? If you look up metadata-driven development on the web, you find the following:  

    “The metadata-driven model for building applications allows an Enterprise to deploy multiple applications on the same hosting infrastructure easily. Since multiple applications share the same Designer and Rendering Engine, the only difference is the metadata created uniquely for each application.” 

    Why Multitenancy is Better than Single

    The Triumph of the Multitenant SaaS model, which Locus brings to the EHS/ESG industry.

    In the case of LP, it is the Designer and Rendering Engine cited in this definition. All LP customers share this engine and use it to create their custom applications. These applications may consist of dashboards, forms to enter data, plots, reports, and so forth, all designed to meet a set of requirements. Instructions (metadata) stored in a database tell the engine how to build these entities, the total of which form a client-designed application.  

    Locus Platform Evolution

    Locus Platform’s evolution to the leading EHS and ESG Platform.

    History has shown that every so often, incremental advances in technology and changes in business models create significant paradigm shifts in the way software applications are designed, built, and delivered to end-users. The invention of personal computers (PCs), computer networking, and graphical user interfaces (UIs) gave rise to the adoption of client/server applications over expensive, inflexible, character-mode mainframe applications. And today, reliable broadband Internet access, service-oriented architectures (SOAs), and the cost inefficiencies of managing dedicated on-premises applications are driving a transition toward the delivery of decomposable, collected, shared, Web-based services called software as a service (SaaS). 

    With every paradigm shift comes a new set of technical challenges, and SaaS is no different. Existing application frameworks are not designed to address the unique needs of SaaS. This void has given rise to another new paradigm shift, namely platform as a service (PaaS). Hosted application platforms are managed environments specifically designed to meet the unique challenges of building SaaS applications and deliver them more cost-efficiently. 

    The focus of Locus Platform is multitenancy, a fundamental design approach that dramatically improves the manageability of EHS and ESG SaaS applications.  Locus Platform is the world’s first PaaS built from scratch to take advantage of the latest software developments for building EHS, ESG, sustainability, and other applications. Locus Platform delivers turnkey multitenancy for Internet-scale applications.  

    Locus Multitenancy

    The Benefits of Multitenancy

    A single shared software and hardware stack across all customers.

    The same applies to many different sets of users; all Locus’ LP applications are multitenant rather than single-tenant. Whereas a traditional single-tenant application requires a dedicated group of resources to fulfill the needs of just one organization, a multitenant application can satisfy the needs of multiple tenants (companies or departments within a company, etc.) using the hardware resources and staff needed to manage just a single software instance. A multitenant application cost-efficiently shares a single stack of resources to satisfy the needs of multiple organizations. 

    Single Tenancy

    Single-tenant apps are expensive for the vendor and the customer.

    Tenants using a multitenant service operate in virtual isolation: Organizations can use and customize an application as though they each have a separate instance. Yet, their data and customizations remain secure and insulated from the activity of all other tenants. The single application instance effectively morphs at runtime for any particular tenant at any given time. 

    The Waste of Single Tenancy

    Single-tenant apps create waste

    Multitenancy is an architectural approach that pays dividends to application providers (Locus) and users (Locus customers). Operating just one application instance for multiple organizations yields tremendous economy of scale for the provider. Only one set of hardware resources is necessary to meet the needs of all users, a relatively small, experienced administrative staff can efficiently manage only one stack of software and hardware, and developers can build and support a single code base on just one platform (operating system, database, etc.) rather than many. The economics afforded by multitenancy allows the application provider to, in turn, offer the service at a lower cost to customers—everyone involved wins. 

    Some attractive side benefits of multitenancy are improved quality, user satisfaction, and customer retention. Unlike single-tenant applications, which are isolated silos deployed outside the reach of the application provider, a multitenant application is one large community that the provider itself hosts. This design shift lets the provider gather operational information from the collective user population (which queries respond slowly, what errors happen, etc.) and make frequent, incremental improvements to the service that benefits the entire user community at once. 

    Two additional benefits of a multitenant platform-based approach are collaboration and integration. Because all users run all applications in one space, it is easy to allow any user of any application varied access to specific data sets. This capability simplifies the effort necessary to integrate related applications and the data they manage.  

    Gartner Chart Showing Locus Technologies

    Gartner recognized the power of the Locus Platform in their early research.

     


    This is the third post highlighting the evolution of Locus Technologies over the past 25 years. The first two can be found here and here. This series continues with Locus at 25 Years: How did we fund Locus?

    Locus EIM

    How did Locus succeed in deploying Internet-based products and services in the environmental data sector? After several years of building and testing its first web-based systems (EIM) in the late 1990s, Locus began to market its product to organizations seeking to replace their home-grown and silo systems with a more centralized, user-friendly approach. Such companies were typically looking for strategies that eliminated their need to deploy hated and costly version updates while at the same time improving data access and delivering significant savings.

    Several companies immediately saw the benefit of EIM and became early adopters of Locus’s innovative technology. Most of these companies still use EIM and are close to their 20th anniversary as a Locus client. For many years after these early adoptions, Locus enjoyed steady but not explosive growth in EIM usage.

    Triumph of the SaaS Model

    E. M. Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) Theory has much to offer in explaining the pattern of growth in EIM’s adoption. In the early years of innovative and disruptive technology, a few companies are what he labels innovators and early adopters. These are ones, small in number, that are willing to take a risk, that is aware of the need to make a change, and that are comfortable in adopting innovative ideas. The vast majority, according to Rogers, do not fall into one of these categories. Instead, they fall into one of the following groups: early majority, late majority, and laggards. As the adoption rate grows, there is a point at which innovation reaches critical mass. In his 1991 book “Crossing the Chasm,” Geoffrey Moore theorizes that this point lies at the boundary between the early adopters and the early majority. This tipping point between niche appeal and mass (self-sustained) adoption is simply known as “the chasm.”

    Rogers identifies the following factors that influence the adoption of an innovation:

    1. Relative Advantage – The degree to which an innovation is seen as better than the idea, program, or product it replaces.
    2. Compatibility – How consistent the innovation is with the potential adopters’ values, experiences, and needs.
    3. Complexity – How difficult innovation is to understand and use.
    4. Trialability –  The extent to which the innovation can be tested or experimented with before a commitment to adoption.
    5. Observability – The extent to which the innovation provides tangible results.

    In its early years of marketing EIM, some of these factors probably considered whether EIM was accepted or not by potential clients. Our early adopters were fed up with their data stored in various incompatible silo systems to which only a few had access. They appreciated EIM’s organization, the lack of need to manage updates, and the ability to test the design on the web using a demonstration database that Locus had set up. When no sale could be made, other factors not listed by Rogers or Moore were often involved. In several cases, organizations looking to replace their environmental software had budgets for the initial purchase or licensing of a system but had insufficient monies allocated for recurring costs, as with Locus’s subscription model. One such client was so enamored with EIM that it asked if it could have the system for free after the first year. Another hurdle that Locus came up against was the unwillingness of clients at the user level to adopt an approach that could eliminate their co-workers’ jobs in their IT departments. But the most significant barriers that Locus came up against revolved around organizations’ security concerns regarding the placement of their data in the cloud.

    LocusFocus

    One of the earliest versions of EIM

    Oh, how so much has changed in the intervening years! The RFPs that Locus receives these days explicitly call out for a web-based system or, much less often, express no preference for a web-based or client-server system. We believe this change in attitudes toward SaaS applications has many root causes. Individuals now routinely do their banking over the web. They store their files in Dropbox and their photos on sites like Google Photos or Apple and Amazon Clouds. They freely allow vendors to store their credit card information in the cloud to avoid entering this information anew every time they visit a site. No one who keeps track of developments in the IT world can be oblivious to the explosive growth of Amazon Web Services (AWS), Salesforce, and Microsoft’s Azure. We believe most people now have more faith in the storage and backup of their files on the web than if they were to assume these tasks independently.

    Locus EIM

    An early update to EIM software

    Changes have also occurred in the attitudes of IT departments. The adoption of SaaS applications removes the need to perform system updates or the installation of new versions on local computers. Instead, for systems like EIM, updates only need to be completed by the vendor, and these take place at off-hours or at announced times. This saves money and eliminates headaches. A particularly nasty aspect of local, client-server systems is the often experienced nightmare when installing an updated version of one application causes failures in others that are called by this application. None of these problems typically occur with SaaS applications. In the case of EIM, all third-party applications used by it run in the cloud and are well tested by Locus before these updates go live.

    Locus EIM

    Locus EIM continues to become more streamlined and user friendly over the years.

    Yet another factor has driven potential clients in the direction of SaaS applications, namely, search. Initially, Locus was primarily focused on developing software tools for environmental cleanups, monitoring, and mitigation efforts. Such efforts typically involved (1) tracking vast amounts of data to demonstrate progress in the cleanup of dangerous substances at a site and (2) the increased automation of data checking and reporting to regulatory agencies.

    Locus EIM

    Locus EIM handles all types of environmental data.

    Before systems like EIM were introduced, most data tracking relied on inefficient spreadsheets and other manual processes. Once a mitigation project was completed, the data collected by the investigative and remediation firms remained scattered and stored in their files, spreadsheets, or local databases. In essence, the data was buried away and was not used or available to assess the impacts of future mitigation efforts and activities or to reduce ongoing operational costs. Potential opportunities to avoid additional sampling and collection of similar data were likely hidden amongst these early data “storehouses,” yet few were aware of this. The result was that no data mining was taking place or possible.

    Locus EIM in 2022

    Locus EIM in 2022

    The early development of EIM took place while searches on Google were relatively infrequent (see years 1999-2003 below). Currently, Google processes 3.5 billion searches a day and 1.2 trillion searches per year. Before web-based searches became possible, companies that hired consulting firms to manage their environmental data had to submit a request such as “Tell me the historical concentrations of Benzene from 1990 to the most recent sampling date in Wells MW-1 through MW-10.” An employee at the firm would then have to locate and review a report or spreadsheet or perform a search for the requested data if the firm had its database. The results would then be transmitted to the company in some manner. Such a request need not necessarily come from the company but perhaps from another consulting firm with unique expertise. These search and retrieval activities translated into prohibitive costs and delays for the company that owned the site.

    Google Search Growth

    Google Searches by Year

    Over the last few decades, everyone has become dependent on and addicted to web searching. Site managers expect to be able to perform their searches, but honestly, these are less frequent than we would have expected. What has changed are managers’ expectations. They hope to get responses to requests like those we have imagined above in a matter of minutes or hours, not days. They may not even expect a bill for such work. The bottom line is that the power of search on the web predisposes many companies to prefer to store their data in the cloud rather than on a spreadsheet or in their consultant’s local, inaccessible system.

    The world has changed since EIM was first deployed, and as such, many more applications are now on the path, that Locus embarked on some 20 years ago. Today, Locus is the world leader in managing on-demand environmental information. Few potential customers question the merits of Locus’s approach and its built systems. In short, the software world has caught up with Locus. EIM and LP have revolutionized how environmental data is stored, accessed, managed, and reported. Locus’ SaaS applications have long been ahead of the curve in helping private, and public organizations manage their environmental data and turn their environmental data management into a competitive advantage in their operating models.

    We refer to the competitive advantages of improved data quality and flow and lower operating costs. EIM’s Electronic Data Deliverable (EDD) module allows for the upload of thousands of laboratory results in a few minutes. Over 60 automated checks are performed on each reported result. Comprehensive studies conducted by two of our larger clients show savings in the millions gained from the adoption of EIM’s electronic data verification and validation modules and the ability of labs to load their EDDs directly into a staging area in the system. The use of such tools reduces much of the tedium of manual data checking and, at the same time, results both in the elimination of manually introduced errors and the reduction of throughput times (from sampling to data reporting and analysis). In short, the adoption of our systems has become a win-win for companies and their data managers alike.


    This is the second post highlighting the evolution of Locus Technologies over the past 25 years. The first can be found here. This series continues with Locus at 25 Years: Locus Platform, Multitenant Architecture, the Secret of our Success.

    The Vapor Intrusion tools in Locus’ Environmental Information Management (EIM) software solve the problem of time-consuming monitoring, reporting, and mitigation by automating data assembly, calculations, and reporting.

    Locus Vapor Intrusion Solutions

    Quickly and easily generate validated reports in approved formats, with all of the calculations completed according to your specific regulatory requirements. Companies can set up EIM for its investigation sites and realize immediate cost and time savings during each reporting period.

    Locus EIM Devices

    Contact us to see the Vapor Intrusion tool in action

    Send us your contact information and a Locus representative will be in touch to discuss your organization’s environmental data management needs and provide an estimate, or set up a free demo of our enterprise environmental software solutions.

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      Tag Archive for: Remediation

      Locus EHS/ESG Cloud will streamline Foster Farms EHS Compliance, ESG Reporting, and Water Quality Management.

      MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 2, 2023Locus Technologies, the leading EHS Compliance and ESG software provider, today announced that Foster Farms, a top US provider of fresh, frozen, and prepared poultry products and the leading brand of fresh chicken in the Western U.S., selected Locus’s award-winning enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) to organize and manage their EHS compliance and ESG reporting.

      Foster Farm subscribed to an integrated set of apps offered in the Locus Cloud Platform. Some apps include EHS Compliance Management, ESG and Sustainability, GHG Emission Factor and Calculation Management, Inspections, Configuration Workbench, Air Emissions Management, Storm Water, Wastewater, and well data management and reporting.

      Locus Cloud is the first fully integrated multitenant platform created from the ground up to allow organizations to manage their environmental, energy, water, waste, carbon, air, health and safety, remediation, water quality, and compliance information in one place. The Locus Platform allows companies to configure their own management, tracking, visualization, and reporting through a graphically driven user interface. This feature enables organizations to configure the software to their needs without worrying about the expensive programming outlays usually associated with customization and single-tenant deployments.

      When designing integrated EHS/ESG SaaS, Locus sought to make the complicated workflow and management of environmental data as simple as possible and to make it manageable from a single platform with shared components. The resulting platform offers immense flexibility and endless capabilities with minimal training thanks to the new, intuitive, user-friendly interface design.

      “The accurate tracking and reporting of critical environmental resource usage is a necessary part of our compliance responsibilities, and a major component of our efforts to ensure that we are a sustainable producer. The Locus application software will make a significant contribution to our resource management capabilities,” said Don Hill, Foster Farms Director of Environmental Affairs.

      “We are delighted that Foster Farms recognized the power of the Locus Cloud platform. Businesses do not want to shop for point solutions from different vendors only to be left with the nightmare of integration, security, synchronization, and vendor management. They want one-stop shops and to avoid having to deal with vendors that don’t integrate well with one another or have spotty service and limited support. Locus will provide Foster Farms single platform through which they can accomplish all their environmental and compliance management needs on a single, fully customer-configurable platform,” said Neno Duplan, President, and CEO of Locus. “Keeping the end user’s perspective in mind, we’ve packed the same 26-plus years of domain expertise that Locus has been offering all along into a highly configurable and scalable software platform built from the ground up on the latest web technologies,” remarked Duplan.

      ABOUT FOSTER FARMS

      Foster Farms is dedicated to providing families across America with great food. From ready to cook chicken and turkey, to chicken nuggets and corndogs, Foster Farms portfolio of fresh, frozen, and prepared foods, are always welcome whether it’s dinner time or snack time. Since its founding in 1939 Foster Farms has gone on to become one of the largest quality poultry producers in the United States. Headquartered in Livingston, Ca with facilities in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana, the company has nearly 12,000 Team Members, and is committed to building a “culture that nobody wants to walk aways from.”

      Joint Press Release with N3B Los Alamos

      MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA and LOS ALAMOS, N.M., 21 April 2022 —

      A significant software improvement is driving enhanced decision-making on N3B Los Alamos’ environmental cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL).

      Samples collected of soil, sediment, water and other parts of the environment potentially contaminated by historical LANL operations now receive faster and more comprehensive validation due to software tool improvements made by N3B and leading environmental software provider Locus Technologies.

      The improved software functionality is part of a database containing all data associated with environmental cleanup at LANL. N3B implements the legacy portion of that cleanup on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Environmental Management Los Alamos Field Office. Legacy cleanup involves the remediation of contamination from Manhattan Project and Cold War era weapons development and government-sponsored nuclear research.

      The software improvement ensures more thorough validation of results from third-party analytical laboratories that analyze collected samples for various contaminants, which may include metals, radionuclides, high explosives, and human-made chemicals used in industrial solvents, known as volatile organic compounds.

      The types of contaminants potentially found in these samples, along with levels of contamination, guide N3B’s cleanup.

      “Decisions on legacy environmental cleanup are based on the validity and quality of this analytical data, including the nature and extent of contamination, how much we clean up, and how well the interim remediation measure is working to mitigate migration of the hexavalent chromium groundwater plume,” said Sean Sandborgh, sample and data management director at N3B. “If you have lapses in the quality of analytical data, that could have negative effects on our program’s decision-making capacity.”

      Once N3B personnel collect samples from potentially contaminated sites, they send them to a third-party laboratory for analysis. When N3B receives the results of those samples, they perform a validation process to demonstrate data is sufficient in quality and supports defensible decision-making.

      “Validation consists of determining the data quality and the extent to which external analytical laboratories accurately and completely reported all sample and quality control results,” Sandborgh said.

      The process can catch data quality issues that may result from incorrect calibration of equipment in a laboratory or issues inherent in the samples, such as improper preservation or temperature control, that mask detection of contaminants.

      With the improved functionality, more of the validation process is automated, instead of manually conducted, which means a lower likelihood of errors.

      Another crucial improvement is the ability to evaluate sample results containing radioactive material at lower activity concentrations, which provides quick information on the potential for low levels of radionuclide activity.

      The improved functionality is also being used by LANL’s management and operating contractor, Triad, and will soon be used by the New Mexico Environment Department Oversight Bureau.

      The software improvement saved N3B 265 hours of labor and more than $25,000 in taxpayer dollars since its launch nearly one year ago.

      “As we’ve done for the past 25 years, Locus is committed to continually improving our solutions for the often costly and complex data review process,” said Locus Technologies President Wes Hawthorne. “We are proud to enable a data-forward approach with a focus on accuracy that results in confident and correct decisions.”

      “The quality and defensibility of environmental data generated from sampling activities is a key component of an effective remediation process,” said Sandborgh. “When the automated data review is used in conjunction with manual examination of sample data packages, we meet and exceed our data quality requirements.”

       

      ABOUT N3B Los Alamos
      N3B manages the 10-year, $1.4 billion Los Alamos Legacy Cleanup Contract for the U.S. Department of Energy Environmental Management’s Los Alamos Field Office. N3B is responsible for cleaning up contamination that resulted from LANL operations before 1999. N3B personnel also package and ship radioactive and hazardous waste off-site for permanent disposal.