This project included the biological decontamination (including research and feasibility study) of invasive sonography equipment for a national medical supply organization. Etiological decontamination procedures for infectious fluid contamination of intricate sonography equipment was performed, including research and development (in conjunction with public health and CDC guidelines and university personnel) of an appropriate decontamination procedure and sampling protocol to ensure decontamination of equipment in various east coast locations; and legal testimony.
Zika Virus Prevention Exercise
Under an award from the PA DOH in 2017, our Emergency and Risk Management division designed and facilitated a tabletop exercise for a multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary audience, with a goal of evaluating the current response strategy and efficacy of coordinated response plans. The exercise design incorporated stakeholder input and tested integration of local, state, and federal response efforts to nationally-recognized standards, guidelines, and best practices. The tabletop exercise was part of a series of events that escalated the complexity of the response required to provide public health to the impacted area, inclusive of risk assessment, outreach and communication, vector control and mitigation, and overall resource coordination.
Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
This project included the development and management in regional and county-wide emergency response tabletop, functional full-scale exercises, and drills. In addition, seminars, workshops, and tabletop exercises were conducted with multiple Counter-Terrorism Task Forces. Exercises were multidisciplinary (EMS, Fire HazMat, Government, etc.) and included evaluation after-action reports and best practices identified in compliance with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).
Process Safety Management (PSM)/Risk Management Plan (RMP)
This project included the development of written programs for petroleum distribution and chemical facilities throughout the U.S. in accordance with OSHA’s PSM for Highly Hazardous Chemicals and the EPA’s RMP regulations. Responsibilities include facilitating and compiling/documenting (via specific software) Process Hazard Analysis (PHA) studies, developing element programs and providing applicable operator training. This project also required the expertise of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Toxic Catastrophe Protection Act. Our team facilitated more than 100 PHA studies, via methodologies including HAZID, HAZOP, modified FMEA, and “What If”/NFPA Checklists.
PA Dept of Agriculture: Rapid Response Team
Food and Feed Safety: Since 2013, this project involves the management of multiple U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) grants awarded to a state agency, under-preparedness, and regulatory compliance programs. The Animal Feed Regulatory Program Standard (AFRPS) project’s primary role is to coordinate the assessment and/or development of policies and procedures in areas of inspection, enforcement, emergency response, training, auditing, and outreach. Areas of primary focus include regulatory compliance, FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), Inspector Safety, Stakeholder Engagement, Multi-Agency Coordination, and Public Health. A separate grant awarded to the PDA’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Service is designed to coordinate the development and sustainment of a Rapid Response Team (RRT). The RRT is charged with providing a multi-disciplinary response to food or feed-related incidents across the Commonwealth.
Remediation of Toxic Materials (Arsenic)
This project included the investigation, sampling, and analysis, design and supervision of oversight for remedial activities at a large museum collection preserved with arsenical materials. Employee and public exposure characterizations were performed, and protective measures initiated. Final clearance sampling was provided as well as management of toxic waste disposal.
Development/Management of Lead Paint Poison Prevention Training Academy
Through a US EPA grant, this project required us to serve as the program manager for the Lead Paint Poison Prevention Training Academy. This training program included a provision of courses for individual certification as Lead Abatement and Evaluation Professionals in accordance with the US EPA Model Accreditation Plan. Program elements include management of the program contract, including scheduling and outreach; development of training curriculum; and, course instructor. Over the first eight years of the contract, over 150 courses were held and over 800 students credentialed in the US EPA Lead work categories.
University Environmental Health and Safety Program Management
This project required us to manage the Environmental Health and Safety Program for multiple college/university campuses. Management elements include program compliance reviews and corresponding implementation of corrective measures. Examples of initiatives include: Establishment and maintenance of recordkeeping systems; Directing and advising campus Workplace Safety Committees; Developing and implementing various EH&S Programs, such as Occupational Safety (Exposure Control Plan, Lockout/Tagout, Fall Protection), Laboratory Safety Programs (Chemical Hygiene, Biosafety, Laser Safety, Radiation safety), Emergency Planning, among others; Targeted Life Safety Inspections. Additionally, our team acted as a liaison for each institution with governmental agencies as applicable.
Chemical and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Initiative
This project included the evaluation of governmental and industrial needs subsequent to September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Work included the development of vulnerability study mechanisms and reports with recommendations to clients identifying recommended actions. Programs were implemented through training and education. A study of the spread of bioterroristic disease-causing agents through client populations was performed. In addition to consulting services, Cocciardi staffed and currently maintains Terrorism Incident Response Teams, capable of the identification of agents in the field and management of client emergencies. The teams have been deployed to multiple incidents. Assistance during criminal investigation processes has been provided to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and crisis managers.