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Archive for January, 2015

3 Reasons Stoel Rives LLP is Proud to Sponsor the Environmental Initiative Awards

January 21st, 2015

The month of January is a time when we all earn the right to be called Minnesotans. Brrr. It’s also a time to start thinking about nominations for the annual Environmental Initiative Awards. That’s right, the nomination period starts on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. See here for details.

Stoel Rives LLP became a proud supporter of the Environmental Initiative Awards soon after we established a presence in the Twin Cities, and we are pleased to provide sponsorship support again this year. We support these awards because we strongly identify with the core values the Awards help promote. Here are three of those Stoel Rives Logovalues we particularly identify with:

  • Partnership: The Environmental Initiative Awards are designed to recognize projects involving strong partnerships designed to improve the environment. As a leading environmental law firm – legal publisher Law360 recently ranked us among the Top 10 largest environmental law practices in the United States – we strongly believe in the importance of teamwork and partnership to achieve the best outcomes for clients as well as the environment.
  • Results: Environmental Initiative Award winners are selected based on the quality of results and environmental outcomes achieved. As lawyers, we know that our clients depend on us to provide them with quality legal advice in order for them to achieve their objectives.
  • Innovation: Project innovation, uniqueness and groundbreaking action is another judging criteria for the Environmental Initiative Awards. We also recognize the importance of innovation in our legal service delivery, and we have made important strides in this area through innovative case management, e-discovery, extranet, budgeting and fee structuring solutions.

You can learn more about what we do by visiting our website, along with our profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn and our award-winning Twitter feed. Thanks – stay warm – and please put your thinking cap on and get those Environmental Initiative Awards nominations drafted and submitted – the deadline is Friday, February 27th.

Kevin Johnson


Attorney and Partner, Stoel Rives LLP

Accelerating Air Quality Improvements in Minnesota

January 15th, 2015

Minnesota’s air quality is good, compared to many areas in the United States and around the world.  Our air is cleaner thanks to many factors, including Clean Air Act requirements, voluntary initiatives to reduce pollution, and even our geography and weather.  However, federal air quality standards continue to tighten and our current air quality may not meet future standards, as recently described by Environmental Initiative’s Bill Droessler.

If our air quality does not meet federal standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will designate areas of the state to be in “non-attainment” with those standards.  A non-attainment designation brings new rules, requirements, and restrictions. Many Minnesota drivers remember vehicle emissions testing; that program was driven by successful efforts to meet federal air standards. Future air quality requirements will likely focus on sources of soot, chemical usage, and fuel burning.

As a global manufacturer of products across many sectors of the economy, 3M has direct experience in many non-attainment areas in the United States. We often see tighter requirements on emissions from fuel burning, bans or restrictions on products, and more regulations for industrial processes. In California, we even needed to get a permit for a site cafeteria’s hamburger grill. (more…)

Chris Nelson


Environmental Permitting Manager, 3M Environmental Operations

Upcoming Events: Industrial Painting for Cleaner Air

January 13th, 2015

Mark your calendars for the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program’s upcoming Industrial Paint Webinar Series. Industrial painting can result in hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) and volatile organic compound emissions that may affect shop employees and Minnesota’s air quality.

This January and February, painting industry practitioners and suppliers will present large and small changes you can make to voluntarily improve your painting process. The webinars provide a forum for you to ask questions about how the changes worked, what was required, and how changes might apply at your facility. View speakers or register here »

Businesses who implement changes to reduce VOC emissions could help Minnesota avoid violating new ground level ozone regulations that are on the horizon.

In addition to the webinars, MnTAP is collaborating with St. Cloud Technical and Community College to host two four-hour spray painting technique training sessions for area industrial painting operations using virtual application technology.

More information about the upcoming sessions is below: (more…)

Linda Maleitzke


Communications Specialist/Intern Program Administrator - Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

2014 Ended With a Bang. What Will 2015 Bring?!

January 8th, 2015

From everyone here at Environmental Initiative, I would like to take a moment to say, THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who invested in Environmental Initiative in 2014 and made us the successful organization that we are.

We had a year-end goal of raising $10,000 from individual donors between November 10 – December 31, which would unlock an additional $10,000 in matching funds from our current and past Board of Directors. Thanks to you, we blew our goal out of the water — including the $10,000 match, over $22,000 was raised!

We are so humbled by everyone’s support and this shows we truly are better together. Thank you again to all the individual investments that helped us surpass our goal:

Sacha Seymour-Anderson


Development Director

Member of the Month: Wenck Associates, Inc.

January 2nd, 2015

At Wenck Associates, Inc., we are honored to be the Environmental Initiative’s featured member this month — in fact, the timing could not be better. As of January 1st, we entered our company’s 30th year, and today we can announce some exciting news related to the celebration of that anniversary.

First, let me share a bit of our history. Wenck Associates was founded by Norm Wenck in May of 1985. From the beginning, the company’s philosophy was in line with the Environmental Initiative’s mission of developing “collaborative solutions to Minnesota’s environmental problems.” At that time, the firm was engaged in two main activities: water services, including watershed district clean water projects, and hazardous waste.

Today, Wenck has diversified into dozens of core services, many of which have branched like a tree off those two initial areas. Our growth happened organically: As customers came to us with additional needs, we expanded our offerings to meet them. Over the years this has meant adding additional services including engineering design, environmental permitting and compliance, real estate and development, waste management, and emergency response. All our growth has led us to expand to over 250 employees in four operating companies located in six different states.

To celebrate our 30 years in business, we spent the better part of the past year looking at exactly what got us here. We Wenck Associates Logorewrote our business philosophy, not because it had changed, but because three decades of perspective helped us pinpoint exactly what made us different. We then used that greater understanding to completely redesign our brand image.

You can see the result of that effort alongside this article — our new logo. The two blue triangles of the logo represent two separate parties; the chevron in the center represents the process of coming together; and the upward-facing green triangle signifies the product of that collaboration — an outstanding final outcome. Together, they embody the way Wenck conducts business, which is best summed up by our new tagline: “Responsive partner. Exceptional outcomes.”

After examining what has made this company successful over the years, it really came down to those four words. At Wenck, we partner with our clients because your success is our success. We understand that to build our business, we must first help you build yours. And as an employee-owned company, each member of our team has a stake in every project we take on.

To better communicate all the services we provide, we have also re-branded our four operating companies as Wenck Associates, Wenck Construction, Wenck Real Estate, and Wenck Response. If you aren’t familiar with any of these members of the Wenck family, I’d love to share more about the ways we are serving our customers.

As we say in our new business philosophy: If you think this is a typical engineering consulting firm, you’ll quickly find we are different. Contact us today to find out how partnering with Wenck can benefit your organization.


A note from Environmental Initiative:
Each month, we feature information about one of our members on the Initiative blog and on our website. Contact Sacha Seymour-Anderson anytime at 612-334-3388 ext. 101 to learn more about this membership benefit.

Bill Brown


Vice President, Wenck
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