Betsy Taber is a Senior Environmental Engineer with Sekisui Specialty Chemicals at our Calvert City Plant. She went to Georgetown College, and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry. She also has a Master of Science degree in Management of Technology from Murray State University.
Q: What do you do?
A: My official title is Senior Environmental Engineer. Basically I ensure our Calvert City and Pasadena plants are compliant with state, federal, and corporate environmental regulations and rules pertaining to product stewardship. Any business, especially manufacturing companies, have to operate within certain parameters of acceptable water, air, and waste emissions. In addition, we have to ensure that we are meeting product stewardship rules around the world.
Q: Do you have any exciting regulations coming up?
A: Not any state or federal environmental regulations, but Sekisui Chemical Corporate just announced a Zero Landfill 2018 initiative that we have just started working towards. Every Sekisui business should be aiming to recycle as much waste as possible, and ensure the remainder is sent to a waste to energy facility. These facilities can turn our plant’s waste into usable electricity! I think it’s a great initiative, and I am glad I get to organize its execution. Regulations regarding our product stewardship are changing quickly, and we are currently working towards compliance with Canada’s national workplace hazard communicant standard.
Q: What were you doing before you joined Sekisui Specialty Chemicals?
A: I was actually on the government side of the same field. I was the Environmental Control Supervisor at the Division for Air Quality (DAQ), part of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. It took me a while to decide to join Sekisui. I had regular contact with various people from a regulatory perspective. In addition, I played in the same soccer league as the Calvert City Site Process Engineer and Site Leader prior to joining Sekisui. I finally applied and signed on with Sekisui in 2013, and it was a great decision.
The best part of my job here is using the passion for environmental awareness I developed during my time at DAQ to affect real change in industry here at Sekisui. It’s not theory or rhetoric- I’m actually getting to make it happen. Working with other dedicated individuals here at the Calvert City Plant as well as the Pasadena Plant has been a real pleasure. I love that the attitude here is ‘give everything you’ve got until the job’s done’.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: It is probably adjusting to operating changes at the facilities. It’s not that there are state, federal, or corporate initiatives constantly being issued; it’s about how quickly SSC wants to change internally. When we look at commercializing a new product, we have to evaluate how much it will cost to produce this product, and how it will affect the product stewardship and environmental programs. Part of this cost calculation is the cost and efforts connected to producing this product safely, in accordance with environmental and product stewardship regulations . Sekisui comes up with new ideas all the time; we have a whole department dedicated to it. Sometimes we have fairly large changes that need to occur in short periods of time. You really have to be on your toes and prepared constantly.
Q: Is there anything interesting or unique about working with Selvol from an environmental perspective?
A: It’s a great product to work with! From an environmental standpoint, Selvol is a non-hazardous end product. It makes it really easy to work with and stand behind.