IMPORTANT SAFETY REMINDER FROM WSSC WATER
After COVID-19 closures, stagnant on-property plumbing systems in commercial buildings pose serious health risks. Water pipes and fixtures in buildings must be thoroughly flushed to avoid Legionnaires’ and other illnesses.
By LUIS MAYA
Laurel, Md. (May 28, 2020)—Because COVID-19 stay-at-home orders have forced many commercial buildings to close, the water in these facilities’ plumbing systems can become stagnant – leading to serious health risks for returning employees and occupants. WSSC Water is urging building or property managers to thoroughly flush their water pipes in preparation for their reopening.
Stagnant water can lead to bacterial growth such as Legionella (cause of Legionnaires’ disease), as well as other serious illnesses. Flushing a building’s water system will replace any stagnant water and will help ensure safe, clean water continues to flow.
WSSC Water has developed these recommendations to restore building water quality after closures. Steps for reopening a building include:
• Notify all building occupants not to use or consume water until flushing is complete;
• Remove and clean all aerators (leave aerators off during flushing); clean all faucets and showerheads; discard any accumulated ice;
• Flush hot and cold water through all points of use (e.g., showers and sink faucets);
• Flushing may need to occur in segments (e.g., floors and individual rooms) in large buildings;
• Perform flushing with proper ventilation and personal protective equipment. Care should be taken to avoid inhaling water droplets, especially from shower heads; and
• Other water-using devices, such as water tanks, may require other cleaning steps in addition to flushing.
Property owners are responsible for maintaining the quality of water in building plumbing systems and internal water quality. Consult a WSSC Water licensed plumber, licensed engineer, or personnel that specializes in building water management for assistance with carrying out these recommendations.
WSSC Water offers the following additional resources at www.wsscwater.com. Click on Customer Service tab, scroll to Emergency Sewer Water Problems. Scroll to Recommendations for Non-Residential Commercial Buildings
EPA Guidance on Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings with Low or No Use
EPA Checklist for Restoring Water Quality in Buildings for Reopening
CDC Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation
American Water Works Association flushing instructions
List of laboratories certified by Maryland Department of the Environment
Customers with water quality questions or concerns should call WSSC Water at 301-206-4002 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Former PG County Bomb Squad Commander Nominated as Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year
By PRESS OFFICER
The Office of the State Fire Marshal
STATEWIDE (May 26, 2020)—Senior Deputy State Fire Marshal Dale Ednock has been selected as Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year for the agency’s Bomb Squad. He will join other Deputy State Fire Marshals who will be chosen throughout the state for the 2019 James C. Robertson Deputy State Fire Marshal of the Year Award.
Senior Deputy Ednock began his public safety career in 1990 as a firefighter with Prince George’s County Fire Department, where he pursued training and certification as a bomb technician, police officer, fire investigator, and K-9 handler. After 23-years, he retired as Commander of the Prince George’s County Office of the Fire Marshal Bomb Squad. He was hired by the Office of the State Fire Marshal in January of 2014. As a previous supervisor, Senior Deputy Ednock brought both experience and leadership where he supervised (4) Lieutenants, (8) bomb technicians as well as their Explosive Detection Canine Teams. During his career with PG County, he operated one of the bomb mitigation robots, which disarmed the bomber at the Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring in 2010. Senior Deputy Ednock has continuously pursued training opportunities, gaining certifications as a Tactical Bomb Technician, Underwater Hazardous Device Technician as well as UAS drone operator.
“Senior Deputy Ednock volunteers for assignments and agrees to change his schedule with little notice and is willing to handle special assignments as assigned. His attitude is professional, and he provides great detail during these events. Senior Deputy Ednock embraces the opportunity to educate the public about what we do. His flexibility and ability to get the job done clearly exhibit exceptional performance.” stated Deputy Chief Duane K. Svites, Bomb Squad Commander.
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Money Matters: Fraud and Coronavirus
(NAPSI)—The warning bells are ringing. From regulators, law enforcement agencies and consumer organizations around the globe, the message is clear: Fraudulent schemes related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have arrived, and they are coming in many forms, from investment fraud to fake CDC emails to phishing scams.
Job loss, financial strain, and social distancing are conditions that present fraudsters with an opportunity to pounce. A study by the FINRA Foundation, the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust, Stanford, and the Federal Trade Commission found that social or physical isolation can increase anyone’s susceptibility to schemes.
In times like these, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Now is the time to move slowly, pay attention to details and not make rash decisions. Dramatic news coverage of viral outbreaks and pandemics can be an opportunity for scammers to pump inaccurate information into the marketplace to try to manipulate markets and investors. Following these hints can help you keep your money and personal information safe:
Tips for Avoiding Coronavirus Scams
1. Ask and Check. Before you make any investment decision, ask and check to verify information about any individuals you are dealing with and any investment product you are considering. You can use FINRA BrokerCheck, a free online tool, to get information on brokers and investment advisers.
2. Be skeptical. If an unknown company becomes the subject of press releases, emails, and promotional materials hyping the company and its products to cure the latest pandemic, hit pause. Be wary if you are flooded with information over a short time, especially if the communications only focus on the upside with little or no mention of risk.
3. Read a company’s SEC filings. Check the SEC’s EDGAR database to find out whether the company files with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Verify these reports against promotional information put out by the company or third-party promoters. Exercise caution if they don’t align. And be suspicious of solicitations to invest when products are still in the development stage, where no actual products are on the market, or if the company’s balance sheets only show losses.
4. Question companies new to the “cure” market. Changes to the name or business focus of a company to capitalize on pandemic fears may be a sign that a company is engaged in, or the subject of, a potential fraud. These changes can turn up in company press releases, Internet searches and, if the company files periodic reports, in the SEC’s EDGAR database.
5. Run it through the Scam Meter. Before you make any investment decision, the FINRA Scam Meter can help you tell if an investment you are thinking about might be a scam.
Reliable Resources on Scams and Coronavirus
Fortunately, there are a number of resources that provide accurate, unbiased information to help you spot and avoid coronavirus-related scams:
• Securities and Exchange Commission
• Federal Trade Commission
• Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
• Better Business Bureau.
For further ideas on how to protect your money, or to file a complaint or a tip, visit www.FINRA.org/LearnMore.
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Maryland Bar Exam Scheduled For July Postponed
New dates tentatively scheduled for September
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 26, 2020)—Maryland’s 2020 Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), which was scheduled to take place July 28–29 at the Baltimore Convention Center, has been postponed.
The Maryland Court of Appeals issued an administrative order on May 26, postponing the July 2020 Bar Exam due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. It is tentatively rescheduled for Sept. 9–10, at multiple locations, which will be determined and announced at a later date.
Various factors were taken into consideration, including the number of exam filings received by the May 20 filing deadline, as well as discussions between the State Board of Law Examiners (SBLE) and the governor’s chief legal counsel. SBLE concluded it could not administer a single-site bar exam in July 2020.
The board’s ability to administer the UBE on Sept. 9–10 will depend on the status of COVID-19 in the state of Maryland and public health recommendations regarding group gatherings and social distancing.
There will be no new, additional, or extended application filing periods because of this delay. Applications timely filed by the May 20 filing deadline will be carried over automatically to the September administration. Requests for the board to accept late-filed applications, pursuant to Maryland Rule 19-206(d) and Board Rule 2, will be addressed pursuant to those rules.
The administrative order postponing the exam suspends Maryland Rule 19-203(b), which requires the board to schedule the exam each July and February.
—Government Relations and Public Affairs
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