Drezden Kinnaird: CGRS’ regulatory compliance specialist

It’s not only Project Manager/Environmental Scientist Drezden Kinnaird’s enthusiasm for learning about oil and gas regulations and her ability to understand them that makes her a vital asset to the CGRS Energy team, a division of Environmental Services. It’s also her ability to explain regulations so that others – coworkers, clients, governing jurisdictions and the general public – can understand how those regulations affect them.

“Drezden has a unique ability to read and understand regulations,” said Glen Vallance, Environmental Services manager. “She enjoys doing it so it’s not a difficult process for her, even if it is time consuming. Her ability to interpret regulations is what brings value to our clientele and the services we offer.”

Client relations

But her in-depth comprehension of regulations isn’t the only skill that has made her invaluable to CGRS, allowing her to go from permit technician to Energy team leader in the seven years since she was hired.

“She’s also personable and a good client manager,” Vallance said. “She reaches out to our clients and checks in with them regularly as needed. Drezden’s growth has been focused on becoming more of a client manager and running the energy services business for CGRS.

“I leave it up to her to be the subject matter expert, but I gain very insightful information by listening to Drezden and hearing her speak with clients.”

Kinnaird said she does what she has to do to fulfill her responsibilities to clients and CGRS.

“I really like taking on new projects,” she said. “I enjoy learning how new or updated regulations might apply and what documentation our clients will need to have so they can demonstrate compliance or an exemption for their facility.”

Ongoing demand

That’s a never-ending process, as federal, state, and/or local authorities continue to propose or implement new regulations, whether they are related to oil and gas facilities or more recent enforcement of air-quality regulations for gasoline dispensing facilities (GDFs).

“This has been a long period of a lot of regulatory changes, and Drezden has been part of the stakeholder discussions throughout,” Vallance said. “It’s helped not only our Energy business, but our Refined Fuels business, also.”

Consultant & advocate

In CGRS’ role as a consultant – especially to owners and operators of smaller facilities – it’s important to get involved and stay plugged into the regulatory process, Kinnaird said.

“The majority of our oil and gas clients don’t have an in-house environmental health and safety person on staff,” she said. “They’re all wearing many hats and there’s an overwhelming number of regulatory changes related to the industry. We try to communicate what they need to do to stay in compliance and give them one less thing to worry about.”

If a regulating authority seeks input on proposed regulations, Kinnaird will provide feedback based on what she understands are the goals of the regulations, as well as what the reasonable expectations might be for owners/operators. When a client requests a consultation, she draws on her own knowledge as well as that from other experts and resources, so she is providing the most accurate information available.

“I enjoy advocating,” she said. “In the end, our job is to help clients meet compliance no matter what the regulations are. I enjoy being a part of stakeholder processes because they allow me an opportunity to advocate for our clients before the regulations are finalized. I’ve always enjoyed having a role in regulatory compliance because it has a direct positive impact on the health of the environment.”

Team leader

Kinnaird obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Technology with a concentration in Environmental Pollution Control, and a minor in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Cartography from Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. The unique skills she brought to the Energy team allowed her to play a key role in the leak detection and repair program, groundwater monitoring service, and recordkeeping and reporting related to air quality.

“In my role, I’ve been able to use my degree and my GIS background, as well as the knowledge and experience I’ve gained by being involved in the industry,” Kinnaird said. “I’ve been lucky to have been able to do that.”

Vallance said Kinnaird has worked hard to become an invaluable member of the Energy team and CGRS as a whole.

“She’s leading one of our larger groups with the Energy team,” he said. “Her leadership abilities have grown significantly. I know her team trusts her, and I certainly trust her to lead those folks. It’s been a pleasure to work with Drezden and see her grow.”