18 Aug The Tully Consulting Group in California invests in staff training to “empower employees” and develop a successful, full-service Stormwater company
John here at dirttime.tv recently interviewed Kaeli Tully, QSP at Tully Consulting Group (TCG).
1. Tell me a bit about your company? How long have you been in business and how many employees do you currently have?
We are a Stormwater Management and Civil Engineering firm located out of Dixon, California. Robin Tully, PE, QSD, and President of Tully Consulting Group (TCG), founded our company in 2005. She initially provided traditional Civil Engineering services, but when the new California Stormwater Construction General Permit was released, she dove into the Stormwater field and really loved the combination of environmental and civil engineering work.
Stormwater Management has since become our main focus. Our company provides comprehensive SWPPP Inspection, Monitoring, and other Stormwater Management services to a wide variety of clients, both public and private. Typically, we’re hired as a subcontractor by the prime contractor on a project to provide SWPPP services and/or to satisfy a DBE, WBE, or SBE requirement. Tully Group Stormwater Inspectors, QSPs, QISPs, QSDs, and Civil Engineers work to implement the Stormwater Construction General Permit and Industrial General Permits to keep our clients compliant.
TCG Civil Engineers and QSDs develop the SWPPPs and Environmental Plans needed while the Inspectors and QSPs implement the plan on-site. We assist our clients with the permitting process; writing the WPCP, SWPPP, Creek Diversion, Dust Control, ESCAPE, Erosion Control Plan, or other Plans as needed; perform the Weekly, Quarterly, Annual, Pre, Post, and During Storm Inspections with the corresponding Sampling Reports; prepare the Annual Report; draft Winterization Plans; perform SMARTS Data Entry; sample and monitor for 401/404 In-Water work; communicate with regulators; assist with closing out the permit, and practically anything else you will need to manage stormwater on-site.
Our team has grown to over 30 employees over the last 15 years. We have worked on various Caltrans projects, wetland restorations, creek diversions, bridge replacements, etc. This year we calculated how many projects we’ve been involved with and were surprised to see that we’ve served as the Water Pollution Control Manager and/or assisted with Stormwater Management on over 600 projects. It’s an incredible feeling.
2. What services do you provide? Give me an “snap shot” at what a typical working day might be like for your staff.
On a typical project- we prepare the SWPPP or WPCP, serve as the Water Pollution Control Manager/QSP/QSD, provide weekly inspections, perform the rain event inspections (Pre-, During-, and Post-Storm), prepare Rain Event Action Plans (REAPS), take stormwater samples, provide the quarterly and annual inspections, amend the SWPPP/WPCP throughout the course of construction, assist with the NOI and NOT process, input data into SMARTS, and perform the Annual Report.
On many of our projects that work in or near a water body, we assist our clients with the applicable 401/404 permits, perform the Water Quality Monitoring as needed, and provide any Diversion and Dewatering Plans as well.
A typical day for a Stormwater Inspector involves getting up pretty early to get out to their sites, they check the weather and calibrate equipment, and once they get to their sites they perform a Stormwater Inspection to check for BMPs and erosion control. They then contact the contractors to keep them updated throughout the course of construction. Once the inspector gets back to the office they prepare their reports, add in any sampling data, and send it to the contractor.Upon arrival at the Jobsite, an inspector will walk the project, note potential sources of pollution, check for areas needing erosion control, and take samples of flowing stormwater. They run the stormwater samples through a series of tests, such as Turbidity and pH testing. It’s our goal to work with our clients to provide both formal and informal training to explain the importance of proper stormwater management and erosion control and to work with our clients to work towards a common goal of preventing pollution. We have a lot of fun collaborating on solutions that balance budget, scheduling, and effectiveness to mitigate any situations. It’s really important to us, though, to emphasize preventing a problem before it happens.
3. The Tully Consulting Group has sent several staff to our BMP SUMMITS at Shasta College. Tell me a bit about your Company’s policy of Continuing Education for your staff. Has that policy paid off in your experience?
It’s extremely important to us that we properly train our team. We want to provide high-quality Stormwater Management services and hire a select crew of candidates. Effective training is needed to be able to give quality advice. From the start, when someone is hired at Tully Consulting Group, they go through some pretty rigorous training, and throughout their employment, we provide weekly team training as well as attend various workshops, CISEC courses, QSP/QSD training, and more. We’ve actually prepared our own Tully University for internal training uses to keep things consistent. It’s a program we are developing and working on weekly, and it already has so much good information in there. It’s nice to have that online training ready to go for our team.
We want our team to learn from various reputable professionals in the industry to expand their wealth of knowledge. In particular, the Dirt Time BMP Summit has been a TCG favorite. Our most experienced Inspectors have said that they learned something new and valuable. It offers another perspective and gets you thinking outside of your box. We’re grateful to have a team of individuals who crave and seek new training, they really appreciated this course.
4. Does the Tully Group provide training itself?
We work hard to provide consistent training for our team. It’s a weekly investment for us, at the least. Every week we prepare training on a topic and create corresponding videos as well.
6. Anything else you’d like the dirttime.tv folks to know about the Tully Consulting Group?
We’re incredibly thankful to be where we are at. We have an awesome group of people who have chosen to work for Tully Consulting Group. They are passionate, hard-working, and enjoy what they do. Our clients are becoming increasingly aware of stormwater pollution and are doing a great job of improving their practices and preventing pollution. We are getting more involved with our community to do our part to educate the public about preventing stormwater pollution. It’s fulfilling to be involved with a company that’s working towards protecting and preserving water quality, we feel very lucky.