History of EPI

 

History of Environmental Protection, Inc.

~ The First 28 Years ~
"Enhancing our environment by preserving water resources for future generations."

 

 

1980

Environmental Protection, Inc. is incorporated in Michigan to produce 20 mil PVC liners for the oil exploration industry.
EPI has one customer/dealer.  PVC geomembrane material is produced by BF Goodrich.

1982

EPI purchases building and expands production facility to produce larger size liner panels.
EPI has two customer/dealers.

1983

Fred Rohe & Jim Lundy install their first 20 mil PVC geomembrane liner for EPI at the Leelanau County Landfill closure in Leelanau County, Michigan.
EPI expands its production facility a second time to double fabrication area.

EPI becomes Exxon Geotextile distributor for MI, IN, & OH.

1984

Fred Rohe forms Groundcover Services, Inc. (which later becomes Geomembrane Services, Inc.) to provide installation of EPI geosynthetics.

EPI becomes a geotextile dealer and provides geotextiles for shoreline protection along the Great Lakes.

1985

Fred Rohe becomes President of EPI.
Fred Rohe sells Groundcover Services, Inc. to Jim Lundy, and also sells Anvil Construction, Inc.

1986

EPI produces first liner panels using 76" wide PVC.
EPI expands office space and adds a geotextile warehouse.

First EPI Geomembrane Test Ponds are constructed.

1987

EPI has Occidental Chemical Corp. produce the first "single pass" 50 mil thick PVC at their Pottstown calendaring facility for a Penn Electric project.
Fred Rohe begins participating in National Sanitation Foundation meetings for updating NSF Standard 54 for geomembrane liners.

1988

EPI introduces UltraTech geomembrane.
PGI ~ EPI is a founding member of the PVC Geomembrane Institute (PGI). 
Other Charter members of PGI were:  Occidental Chemical Corp. Calendaring Division, Staff Industries, Inc., Palco Linings, Inc., and Environmental Liners, Inc..  NONE of these other four companies exists today!

1989

EPI provides PVC geomembrane for underwater lining at the Bureau of Reclamation's 49 year old Coachella Canal project.
EPI divests Geotextiles and related geosynthetic products to focus only on geomembranes.

Mark Wolshon is a "part time" laborer on EPI's installation crew.

EPI receives Michigan Leading Edge Technology Award for development of UltraTech geomembrane.

1990

Fred Rohe travels to Ontario, Canada to learn about hot wedge welding of PVC liners from Ford Wood at Geoguard.
EPI begins thermal welding PVC field seams with Pfaff wedge welders.

QC ~ Paul LaPorte is retained to draft the first volume of the EPI Quality Control Manual.

EPI provides UltraTech liner for golf course water features at the King of Morocco's summer palace in Skirat, Morocco.

SPC ~ EPI begins collecting data on curing of chemical seams and other welding information for development of statistical process control.

1991

QC ~ EPI incorporates Statistical Process Control into all PVC factory welding.
QC ~ Mark Wolschon takes over Quality Control at EPI.

EPI provides Thermal Welding of PVC for the Coachella Canal Underwater Lining prototype project in the California desert.

QC ~ Wolschon begins research on oven aging and accelerated testing of PVC chemically welded seams.

Fred Rohe participates for one week in Cincinnati with the EPA's Thermoplastic Task Group that edited the agency's Technical Guidance Document on "The Fabrication of Field Seams for Flexible Membrane Liners."

Fred Rohe becomes sole owner and CEO of EPI.

1992

QC ~ The Wolschon Test is adopted as the standard for factory seam testing at EPI.
QC ~ Wolschon conducts extensive research in dead load testing of PVC seams

Safety ~ EPI establishes priority "Safety" program with the help of Nelson Gelinas..

1993

QC ~ Wolschon dead load testing  ~ recommends minimum 15 lb/in minimum peel for EPI 30 mil PVC factory seams.
ASTM ~ EPI becomes a Corporate Member of ASTM

Fred Rohe serves on NICET PVC Geomembrane Advisory Committee on Testing and Certification of PVC Geomembrane Inspectors.

EPI retrieves 25 year old 10 mil PVC from northern Michigan irrigation pond.

1994

NICET ~ EPI employees participate in NICET Beta Testing for PVC technicians.
Fred Rohe elected President of the PVC Geomembrane Institute.

Mark Wolschon and Fred Rohe become NICET Certified for PVC installation QC.

Mark Wolschon and Fred Rohe demonstrate dual track thermal welding of PVC geomembrane to Dr. Robert Koerner and Dr. Henry Haxo after GRI-?? in Philidelphia.

IAGI ~ Fred Rohe is a Founding Director of the International Association of Geosynthetics Installers (IAGI).

1995

EPI Spec.File Ver 1.0 is introduced on 3.25" floppy disk for Windows 3.1.   Bob Denis proposes to write "Spec.File for Dummies".

EPI Internet home page is located on the Grand Rapids Free Net ~ www.grfn.org - This first home page was text only...

NSF-54 includes the Wolschon sampling method for factory fabricated PVC seams in Appendix A.

EPI proposes 30 year PVC testing program with PGI for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The First Annual EPI Fishing Tournament.

1996

Dan Rohe graduates from Michigan State University and begins his career at EPI as plant manager.

Fred Rohe is elected to a second term as President of the PVC Geomembrane Institute.

Filmtex SA in Bogota, Colombia becomes the first to license EPI's chemical welding technology to fabricate PVC geomembranes for sale in South America.

PGI introduces its first standard PVC specification (PGI-1197) requiring minimum 15 lb/in peel strength for PVC factory seams.

1997

EPI begins fabrication of Tapered Pipe Boots.

EPI switches to hot air technology for thermal welding of dual track PVC field seams using Leister Twinny equipment.

1998

Fred Rohe elected Treasurer of the PVC Geomembrane Institute.

1999

Safety ~ EPI Safety program marks 4 years accident free.
EPI Spec.File CD Ver. 3.0 is introduced on CDROM

2000

EPI retrieves 30 year old 20 mil PVC from Michigan State University test ponds.
15 year old EPI Test Pond material is removed and analyzed while new materials are installed.

Fred Rohe is elected to a second term as PGI Treasurer.

2001

Dan Rohe appointed Vice President of EPI.

Mark Wolschon travels to TRI in Austin, TX to thermally weld PVC to begin research on air channel peel strength testing of PVC geomembrane field seams.

Fred Rohe serves as Interim Technical Director of the PVC Geomembrane Institute.

2002

EPI installs 2 million SF of 30 mil PVC at the Crown Vantage Landfill with over 6 miles of air channel peel tested field seams.

2003

Dan Rohe appointed President of EPI.

Fred Rohe retires from EPI.

Brad DeArment becomes Sales Rep & Installation Manager of EPI

ASTM ~  Wolschon proposes PVC air channel testing standard to ASTM D35 committee on geosynthetics.

2004

Safety ~ EPI Safety Program marks 4 years without a "reportable" accident.
Fred Rohe's Great Western Adventure.

2005

EPI 25th Anniversary
ASTM Committee D35 ~ ASTM D7177 Standard Specification for Air Channel Evaluation of PVC Dual Track Seamed Geomembranes becomes a reality.  Congratulations Mark Wolschon for seeing this through.

EPI receives its largest PVC liner order ever!

2006

NEW PVC now available from EPI.
ASTM Committee D35 ~ ASTM D7176 Standard Specification for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Geomembranes for Buried Applications has now been adopted by ASTM.  This is the standard for the NEW PVC with high molecular weight plasticizers.

2007

EPI becomes member of Geosynthetics Research Institute

2008

Max Smith has worked at EPI for 20 years


ASTM D7408 Standard Specification for Non Reinforced PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Geomembrane Seams becomes an industry standard thanks to the efforts of Dan Rohe and Mark Wolschon

Dan Rohe and Fred Rohe attend EXPOMIN in Santiago, Chile

EPI Website undergoes major update

2010

EPI 30th Anniversary

2011

EPI receives contract for largest continuous liner project in history!

EPI begins Columbus Upground Reservoir project
Mark Wolschon has been Quality Control Manager and has worked at EPI 20 years

2012

EPI sets installation and QC records at Columbus Upground Reservoir project

2013

EPI purchases and moves into new building location in Traverse City, MI at 1567 W. South Airport Rd.

2014

Dan Rohe & Brad Dearment are featured in Local Newspaper.

EPI was nominated for Traverse City Area Chammber of Commerce Hagerty Small Busniess of the Year Award.

2015

EPI 35th Anniversary

Couple team members from EPI, spend a couple days in Mancelona, at EPI's old plant digging up old test pond liners.The first three liners, 36 Mil XR5, 50 Mil PVC and 30 Mil PVC were placed 27 years ago in 1986.