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Ask the Expert

by Joelie Zak

More about Joelie Zak

Ms. Zak has fifteen (15 ) years experience in the metal finishing industry, primarily focused on environmental, health and safety regulatory compliance. She is currently executive Vice President of Scientific Control Laboratories, Inc., Chicago, IL. Her daily responsibilities include consulting on metal finishing and pollution problems, designing and trouble-shooting plating shops and wastewater pretreatment systems, consulting and completing all local, state and federal environmental regulatory reports, resolution of regulatory and environmental violations with city, state and federal agencies, and safety training and program development.

Ms. Zak is currently featured on the NFMRC website ( under the "Ask The Expert" for advice on the new OSHA Chromium PEL ruling as well as the USEPA's Toxic Release Report (Form R) and other metal finishing regulatory questions. She has testified on behalf of the industry before OSHA and other regulatory agencies as part of her activities with the NASF.

Ms. Zak is a certified AESF Foundation trainer for the Introductory & Regular Electroplating Courses, Industrial Wastewater Treatment, Pollution Prevention, and Regulatory Compliance Courses. She regularly teaches courses regionally and nationally for her clients and AESF. She has presented multiple technical papers and served as a technical session chairman at the national NASF conventions. Ms. Zak regularly contributes environmental and technical articles to the NASF's Plating and Surface Finishing magazine and various local trade publications. She regularly presents technical papers and seminars on metal finishing on a national basis.

Ms. Zak currently serves on multiple NASF advisory committees including: Government Advistory Committee. She has also served as the chairman for the AESF Environmental, Safety and Health Board. She has recently retired from a second term as Chairman of the RCRA/CERCLA Committee. Ms. Zak is currently serving as the first female President on the national American Electroplaters and Surface Finishers (AESF) in September 2006 and as an executive officer on the National Association for Surface Finishing (NASF).

Ms. Zak has served all of officer positions on the Chicago Branch of the AESF, including serving as President in 2002. Contributions to the Chicago Branch AESF have included the publishing of monthly newsletter and course committee chairman. She is also a member of the Milwaukee Branch AESF.

Ms. Zak has also served on all officer positions on the NAMF affiliate board, the Chicago Metal Finishers Institute (CMFI). She is Past President and is currently serving as a Director. She has also served CMFI as Program Committee chairman, Environmental and OSHA Committee chairman.




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