The high-level geomembrane installation at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (2009 – 2013) has been well documented, particularly for its “Zero Leaks” approach. Glen Toepfer of CQA Solutions, Ltd. was instrumental on the CQA side of meeting that enormous goal. His company has now announced the addition of Mr. Shabbir Pittalwala as a consulting partner. Pittalwala was also closely involved with the Palo Verde project.
Pittalwala is a veteran of large-scale (200+ acre) geosynthetic installations. His management acumen and close involvement earned him a strong reputation during his long career in the energy sector. The 493-acre Palo Verde installation was a crowning achievement for him. He was responsible for giving Glen Toepfer and CQA Solutions the support needed to make the zero leak philosophy work across the giant installation.
Now, as Pittalwala retires from the energy market, he will reteam with CQAS on specific consulting projects, including installations beyond the energy field.
“Shabbir’s knowledge and insight is a valuable asset to owners and managers, not only within the energy sector, but to projects in every market sector,” said Toepfer. “The Zero Leak project did not happen by accident. Shabbir was the driving force behind the vision and who gave the project team his expectations and accountability”.
Toepfer has struck a welcomed note in recent conference presentations and articles by asking facility owners to view containment installations as an asset; and with the addition of Pittalwala on a consulting basis Toepfer has made it clear: It was Pittalwala, working on behalf of the energy industry at the time, who brought that asset perspective into the project dialogue.
“The insight Shabbir brings to the table is truly remarkable,” Toepfer says. “Early in his career, Shabbir admittedly was skeptical of the value of CQA when compared to the cost. However, over the course of his career, he realized the importance of getting the project done right the first time, and that CQA – good, proactive CQA, was an important part of the equation. By getting the job done right the first time, through proper planning, design, contracting, project management, and accountability, long-term costs were reduced and the projects yielded a significant Return-On-Investment (ROI).”
The timing of bringing this team back together may be ideal. Regulatory changes to the storage of coal ash in the United States, for example, will precipitate a wave of environmentally sensitive site closures and new facility construction. Experience with large-scale geomembrane installation CQA will be needed. CQA Solutions and Pittalwala will certainly qualify here.0