35th Environmental, Health and Safety Conference

Palmer House
October 3 – 5, 2023


For 35 years, the AFS Environmental Health and Safety Conference has combined current must-know content with up-and-coming information for foundry EHS personnel.

Hosted by the AFS EHS Division, the conference's knowledgeable speakers provide tremendous value for everyone with an interest in EHS. This year’s conference at the Palmer House in Chicago spans three days: Day One is devoted to environmental content and Day Three is all health and safety.  Day Two is for everyone, with content covering all EHS topics of the highest interest; updates from Washington, D.C.; division awards; and an annual reception with exhibitors. Come for two days or all three … you'll leave with great information and great networking experiences.

Exhibits and Sponsorships

Click here for floorplan.

For information about exhibiting at the event, please contact Kim Farrugia at kfarrugia@afsinc.org or click here.

For information about sponsorship opportunities at the event, please contact Kim Farrugia at kfarrugia@afsinc.org or click here.



Palmer House
  • Palmer House
  • Chicago, IL
  • October 3 – 5, 2023
Get Directions

Hotel Information

  • Palmer House
  • Chicago, IL
  • $269.00

Standard room rate of $269.00/night + tax. Attendees can also reserve directly with the hotel room reservation department by calling (312) 726-7500 and request the AFS room block. The hotel’s check-in time is 3 p.m. Check-in prior to the hotel’s published check-in times are subject to availability. Check-out time is 11 a.m. Room block closes 9/8/23.

Conference Agenda

Tuesday, October 3, 2023
7:00 a.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Conference Registration
8:00 - 8:15 a.m.

Craig Schmeisser, AFS EHS Division Chair

8:00 - 8:15 a.m.

Conference Chair: Ryan Burke, OSCO Industries, Portsmouth, OH

8:15 - 9:00 a.m.
Rooted in Progress: Ecological Solutions Bridging Industries with Communitites

Daniel Goldfarb

Daniel Goldfarb, Wildlife Habitat Council, Valparaiso, IN

  • Facilitating relations between industry, community, and Environmental NGOs
  • Demonstrating community forestry to increase community and employee engagement 
  • Share heavy industry pollution and Conservation/Biodeversity improvement projects
9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Casting a Greener Path: Metalcasters' Journey with DOE's Better Plants and Better Climate Programs

Chris Price

Chris Price, DOE, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN

Dan Plant

Dan Plant, 
Metal Technologies, Better Climate Program, Auburn, IN

Rollis Reisner, McWane Inc., Birmingham, AL

Bryant Esch

Bryant Esch, Waupaca Foundry Inc., Waupaca, WI

  • Industry and DOE partner to reduce energy intensity by 25% over 10-year period
  • Industry partners receive DOE technical assistance, tools, resources, and national recognition
  • Introduction to the new DOE Energy Intensive Industries pilot program
  • Panel: Real foundry perspective on the benefits of partnering with DOE
10:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Refreshment Break
10:15 - 11:00 a.m.
Clearing the Air: Environmental Justice and Air Permitting in the United States

Brian Holland

Brian Holland, 
Trinity Consultants, Dallas, TX

  • Assessing risk in disproportionately impacted areas in the US
  • Tools available for evaluating risk in EJ areas
  • Case studies applying these tools to EJ issues and air permitting 
11:00 - 11:45 a.m.
Environmental Justice (EJ) - Current and Future Impacts on Foundries

Bob Ribbing, Amsted Rail, Granite City, IL

Jeet Radia

Jeet Radia, McWane Inc., Birmingham, AL

Jenny Pappalardo

Jenny Pappalardo, Charlotte Pipe, Charlotte, NC

  • Current federal and state EJ drivers
  • Range of current impacts (case studies)
  • Future outlook
  • What should foundries be doing
11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
12:45 - 1:30 p.m.
Innovative Technologies with an Environmental Bend

Mike Lenahan

Moderator: Mike Lenahan, Badger Mining Corp., Berlin, WI

Zach Pine

Zach Pine, 
Roberts Sinto Corp., Grand Ledge, MI

Tom Cobett

Tom Cobett, LightSpeed Concepts Inc., Strongsville, OH

Panel presentation highlighting two different technological advancements for the foundry industry.  Hear Learn about these novel technologies and the problems they are solving, and how they are benefiting both process and EHS performance.  Taking a unique approach to problem solving land unique and novel technologies! 

1:30 - 2:15 p.m.
Sustainability ROI - Finding the Value in ESG

Todd Fein

Todd Fein, Green Diamond Solutions, Chicago, IL

  • Leverage current and future activities to increase rather than diminish your bottom
  • Next generation financial modeling to properly allocate non-financial ESG factors into decision-making
  • Methods to incorporate "soft" risk reduction benefits such as the following CapEx Justifications
    • Environmental justice, public perception, decarbonization, employee retention
2:15 - 2:30 p.m.
Refreshment Break
2:30 - 3:15 p.m.
GHG Accounting - Foundry Approaches to Scope 3 Emissions Calculations

Wesley Fleming

Nicholas McCreary

Wesley Fleming & Nicholas McCreary 
Keramida Inc., Indianapolis, IN

  • Calculating Scope 1 (direct) & Scope 2 (indirect) greenhouse gas emissions is typically achieved through basic calculations using commodity and utility invoices
  • Scope 3 emissions are emissions associated with a company's value chain. Accounting for emissions from all aspects of the value chain can be extremely challenging, often requiring detailed information from your suppliers and customers
  • This talk will cover various approaches to estimating Scope 3 emissions, including high-level screenings and in-depth assessments. KERAMIDA will provide real examples of Scope 3 emission calculations from the foundry industry
3:15 - 4:00 p.m.
Effective Partner Strategies with EPA - Engagement with Projects

Paul Reusch

Paul Reusch, EPA, Chicago, IL

3:45 - 4:00 p.m.
Refreshment Break
4:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Environmental Session for "Metalcasters Only" - Topic

Ryan Burke, OSCO Industries, Portsmouth, OH

Environmental Speakers from metalcasting companies: Rod Reisner, Bryant Esch, Dan Plant, Bob Ribbing, Jenny Pappalardo

This session is for metalcasters only!  Are you a regulator, supplier, customer, or a consultant?  We appreciate you, but you are not welcome for this session!  You know what they say, “there are no dumb questions, only questions you shouldn’t ask in front of certain people!!”  This session is for foundry people to ask tough questions about anything Environmental on day 1 and anything Health and Safety on Day 2.  Make sure you fully understand the changing rules and reg’s or share some foundry best practices – anything EHS.  During this session you can feel at ease knowing what gets said here stays here!

Wednesday, October 4, 2023
7:00 - 8:00 a.m.
Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:00 - 8:15 a.m.

Craig Schmeisser, AFS EHS Division Chair

8:00 - 8:15 a.m.
  • AFS EHS Committee Overview
  • Recognition of AFS EHS Division Members in Attendance
8:15 - 8:45 a.m.
Case Study Review of Industry 4.0 in EHS at Mercury Marine

Tomas Carey

Thomas Carey, 
Mercury Marine, Fon Du Lac, WI

Industry 4.0 concepts are generating much interest in manufacturing operations for predictive maintenance, assessment of process control, assistance in non-destructive evaluation of quality, and ultimately to make predictions about part quality.  EHS departments are also concerned with process control, systems maintenance, and reporting both internally and to regulatory bodies.  Thus, the same building blocks of data collection, organization and storage, visualization, analysis, and communication apply to EHS systems.  In this presentation, four case studies are presented.  Two are environmentally focused and impact Mercury Marine’s in-house smelting operation and die-casting operation.  The other two case studies are safety focused: an in-house 5S mobile application and in-plant ambient environment monitoring.

8:45 - 9:10 a.m.
Utilizing Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to Improve and Monitor EHS Metrics

Carsten Nielsen, Norican Group, Taastrup, Denmark

With the rise of sustainability objectives, new regulations, and a labor shortage, EHS departments are pressed to achieve objectives with minimal tools. New technologies are improving and monitoring EHS Metrics in foundries. Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) can generate reports, notify departments when equipment needs to be addressed, and display information in user-friendly dashboards—all improve the effectiveness of an EHS department. Learn how foundries are using this technology towards sustainability, reducing energy consumption, tracking carbon emissions, monitoring baghouses, and more all from their IIoT. Work smarter and faster with the right tools.

9:10 - 10:00 a.m.
Anatomy of an Enforcement Action

Cris Proctor, Free Flow Technologies, Loves Park, IL
Brett Heinrich, Vedder Price, Chicago, IL

Anatomy of an Enforcement Action” will cover how the Federal Government (EPA and OSHA) as well as state governments determine and evaluate potential targets for enforcement. Our speakers will walk the audience through this process which is rarely discussed. Next, our speakers will inform the audience on how to best prepare for an inspection and how best to respond to a Violation Notice or Enforcement Action. Lastly, our speakers will take the audience through the settlement process with the Agencies as well as a discussion of the most effective strategies to best control the outcome.

10:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Refreshment Break
10:15 - 11:00 a.m.
Workplace Violence and Active Threat Preparedness: A Non-Linear, Tested Approach

Vaughn Baker

Vaughn Baker, 
Co-Founder and President of Strategos International, Kansas City, MO

Gain new insight and guidance on prevention and response strategies your organization can use to prepare for workplace violence and active threat response. Learn the importance of using a non-linear response model rather than a traditional linear model and gain insight on how it can help you respond as these types of incidents increase in frequency and evolve in how they are perpetrated.

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
EHS Hot Topics

Jeet Radia

Air Quality - Jeet Radia, McWane Inc., Birmingham, AL

Bryant Esch

Water & Waste - Bryant Esch, Waupaca Foundry Inc., Waupaca, WI

Brent Charlton

Health & Safety - Brent Charlton, Metal Technologies of Indiana LLC, Auburn, IN

12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
Lunch with EHS Award Presentations
  • AFS Division Individual Awards
  • AFS Metalcasting Safe Year Awards
  • Green Foundry Awards
  • Innovation & Insight Awards
  • Millionaires Safety

Check out exhibitors before next sessions

1:15 - 1:45 p.m.
Washington EPA Update

Jeff Hannapel

Jeff Hannapel, 
The Policy Group, Rockville, MD

Environmental issues continue to make headlines and pose challenges that can impact metalcasting facilities.  Hear from the AFS Washington office how the latest developments on environmental issues could shape the political and regulatory landscape and impact your operations.

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
Washington OSHA Update

Stephanie Salmon

Stephanie Salmon, 
AFS Washington Office, Washington DC

As we wrap-up fiscal year 2023, it’s time to look back and take stock of what we learned from and about OSHA during this eventful year particularly related to current enforcement tactics and trends, and special initiatives.  We will also examine what to expect on new rulemakings going into 2024.

2:15 - 2:45 p.m.
Refreshment Break with Exhibitors
2:45 - 3:30 p.m.
Skit: Difficult Neighbors, Budding vs. Experienced EHS Practitioner

Mike Lenahan

Mike Lenahan, Badger Mining, Berlin, WI

3:30 - 4:15 p.m.
Anatomy of a Sustainability Report

Karen Lutz

Karen A. Lutz, 
TRC, Ann Arbor, MI

The ever-expanding universe of ESG/Sustainability information requests from investors, regulators and customers requires companies to implement rigorous reporting processes to keep pace. External disclosures based on decision-useful information with strong data lineage and governance systems build trust and confidence and align external reporting with internal benefits.  Choosing the appropriate standards and frameworks so that your external reporting meets the needs of your stakeholders is just the tip of the iceberg.  We will also cover effective processes to ensure a transparent and traceable, comparable but differentiating, ambitious but credible Sustainability report that creates value for your organization.

4:15 - 5:00 p.m.
Safety & Health Session for "Metalcasters Only" - Topic

Safety & health speakers from metalcasting companies: Brent Charlton, Mickey Hannum, Mary Kay Crowley, Andrew Kress

5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Annual Reception with Exhibitors

Networking, time with exhibitors, Hors D'Oeuvres, and refreshments for all

Thursday, October 5, 2023
7:00 - 8:00 a.m.
Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:00 - 8:45 a.m.
"Operational Learning" - Lessons from Practical Application

Brent Charlton

Brent Charlton, Metal Technologies Inc., Auburn, IN

Mickey Hannum

Mickey Hannum, 
McWane Inc., Birmingham, AL

  • A review of human and organizational performance principles
  • What does "accountability" really mean? Hint: It's not disciplinary action!
  • Context as a factor in incident learning - does discipline solve the problem? 
  • It's not just about safety and it's not just about hourly employees. We all create context for others
8:45 - 9:30 a.m.
Robotic Safety

Jeff Rasmussen, M&H Valve, Anniston, AL

Jeff Heishman

Jeff Heishman, Clow Valve, Oskaloosa, IA

Calvin Wildeboer, John Deere, Waterloo, IA

  • Robotic applications implemented at Clow Valve and John Deere Foundry
  • OSHA does not have specific robotic safety standards
  • Learn the specific robotic safety requirements when installing robots
9:30 - 9:45 a.m.
Refreshment Break
9:45 - 10:30 a.m.
OSHA and the Foundry Industry: Update from Region V

William Donovan, OSHA Regional Administrator, Region V, Chicago, IL

Gary Lescallet, OSHA Deputy Regional Administrator, Region V, Chicago, IL

  • OSHA's compliance strategy and enforcement initiatives, including indoor heat stress
  • Health and safety management systems and how the agency views them
  • Alliance programs to benefit both OSHA and industry
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Inclusive Personal Protective Equipment - PPE for Everybody

Abby Ferri

Abby Ferri, CSP, ARM, Insurate, Inc., Minneapolis, MN

Kelly Franko

Kelly Franko, Seraphina Safety Apparel, Cortland, OH 

This session is for any stage of the inclusive PPE journey, learn more about the past and present of PPE fit, and identify strategies to impact the future. After this session, you’ll be able to:

  • Understanding the challenge of fit through anthropometric data
  • Identifying strategies for communication with the workforce, procurement, suppliers, and distributors with a focus on impacting limited awareness, access, and affordability
  • Describe the impact of inclusive PPE on worker retention and becoming the employer of choice for emerging workers
  • Identify innovative solutions in inclusive PPE and your next steps
11;30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
OSHA Law 2023: Managing OSHA Inspections and Limiting Liabilities

Mark Lies

Mark A. Lies, 
Labor and Employment Lawyer and Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Chicago, IL

Adam R. Young, Labor and Employment Lawyer and Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Chicago, IL

  • OSHA's new generation of compliance officers and aggressive, enforcement-first strategies
  • Limiting liabilities relating to contractors at multi-employer worksites, heat illness, and OSHA's latest enforcement programs
  • How to manage OSHA inspections to limit liability for civil penalties and criminal prosecution
  • How to address any citations that employers receive
1:30 - 2:15 p.m.
Getting Out of a Sticky (and Dusty) Situation - End of Shift Core Room Equipment Cleaning

Mary Kay Crowley, CIH, John Deere Foundry, Waterloo, IA

  • Problems encountered with non-silica abrasive blast to remove resin-coated sand
  • Review of alternative cleaning methods and controls evaluated
  • Success! A cost saving cleaning method with reduced dust exposure and damage to equipment
2:15 - 3:00 p.m.
Do's and Don'ts of Workers' Compensation

Pete Buczek

Pete Buczek, 
WGS Global Services LLC, Davisburg, MI

  • Who owns workers' compensation activity and claim management?
  • Basic understanding of work comp and insurance cost structure is paramount!
  • Best & worst practices to consider for compliance and cost savings
3:00 - 3:15 p.m.
Refreshment Break
3:15 - 4:00 p.m.
"Get the Lead Out!" Impacts of Recent Regulatory Actions to Reduce Occupational Exposure to Lead

Kay Rowntree

Kay Rowntree, Industrial Hygiene Sciences LLC, Waterford, WI

  • Brief review of the current federal OSHA standard
  • Michigan actions
  • Washington and Oregon proposals
  • California - Big changes with big impacts
  • Federal OSHA actions
4:00 p.m.


Registration Fees

AFS member: $825 early / $975 standard
Non-member: $1,225 early / $1,450 standard

Early registration ends 8/29/23.

Cancellations & Substitutions

AFS presents a variety of technical and management conferences (in both in-person and virtual formats). The refund policy for AFS conferences is as follows: 1) Substitutions are accepted at no charge at any time up until the start of the conference; 2) Full refunds are offered if AFS is notified in writing of cancellation at least 30 days in advance of the conference. No refunds or credits are available for less than 30 days written notice.