Semeraro Does Its Part to Make Garden State a Little Greener

Wed August 22, 2007 - Northeast Edition
Maura Bohart



Charlie Semeraro, president of Frank Semeraro Construction Co. Inc., is on the board of directors of environmental organizations such as Genesis Farm.

“It seems each year as our corporation matures we become more concerned with the effects our construction operation has on the environment, community and our employees,” he said.

When Bill Connolly, general line sales manager of Foley CAT in Piscataway, N.J., offered Semeraro Construction a chance to make its machines more ecologically sound, Semeraro said yes. It had planned to put money into the engines anyway, to extend their lives for a few more years, so it seemed logical to upgrade them to Tier III emissions standards at the same time.

But the cost of the Tier III upgrade stopped the company in its tracks. It was approximately 25 percent more expensive than just extending the lives of the engines.

“It was $50,000 more on our year end bottom line,” Semeraro explained. “The issue for our upper management was, how much money do we invest in becoming a socially responsible business?”

But Caterpillar was willing to meet Semeraro half-way. “Bill responded to our frowns by offering several rebates from Cat and also Foley,” Semeraro said. Caterpillar and Foley brought the company a deal it could afford.

The engines were now ready to be updated. Semeraro’s two 330 excavators equipped with 3306T engines were sent to Foley Inc. in Piscataway, N.J. Foley engineers used special emission kits to overhaul the excavators and equip them with new components. The kits included piston packs, turbo chargers, new exhaust manifolds, fuel injection pumps, fuel injectors and all related hardware, seals and gaskets for the installation.

After the kits were installed, the engines emitted one-half the emissions of the original stock engines. After the engines were rebuilt and testing was performed, the data was forwarded to a Cat emissions group to be registered with the EPA.

The data were verified by the EPA and Cat. Then a special decal and engine specification data sticker were supplied to Charlie and installed on the engine so that any emissions inspector could easily view them.

“It’s important for businesses and business owners to be responsible members of the community,” Semeraro said. “Cat and Foley are doing the right thing in my book.” He added, “We know these two engines are not going to change the air quality of New Jersey by themselves, but we feel better knowing at least we have taken a small step in the right direction to become a greener corporation.”