The city of Indianapolis signed a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to make more than $1.86 billion in improvements to curb overflows from its sewer system. According to the EPA, the settlement will be the third highest-cost Clean Water Act settlement addressing combined sewer overflows (CSO), and will ultimately reduce the volume of Indianapolis’ untreated CSO discharges by 7.2 billion gallons in an average year.
Civil engineering and structural engineering firms across the country are celebrating a major accomplishment this month: They have been honored for achieving high levels of employee satisfaction and a great workplace.
On Sept. 28, the top 50 and honorable mention 2006 Best Civil Engineering Firms To Work For were announced at an awards presentation during the Best Firm To Work For Summit in Chicago. Additionally, the top 15 and honorable mention 2006 Best Structural Engineering Firms To Work For were honored.
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) recently adopted World Water Monitoring Day, an international outrach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources. Held annually between Sept. 18 and Oct. 18, the program engages communities in monitoring the condition of local rivers, steams, estuaries, and other water bodies.
A minor earthquake that shook Maine on Oct. 2 caused the water level in a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) monitoring well to drop more than 2-1/2 feet. Hydrologists call the change in the well "dramatic," and note that well-water users could notice changes in their drinking water.
In the waning hours before the electoral recess, the Senate unanimously passed legislation to extend the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, and the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act.
The Geospatial Industry Workforce Information System, a pilot project funded by the U.S. Department of Labor through a $700,000 grant to "define and communicate geospatial industry workforce need," launched a website at www.giwis.org . Currently focused on Colorado, the site was designed by the Geospatial Information & Technology Association and the Association of American Geographers to be a model site for other locations. The site is designed as a one-stop resource for finding geospatial jobs, qualified employees, educational resources, schools, industry data, salary information, and more.
Experts from 17 countries will address "Design for Environmental and Social Sustainability" at the Eighth International Conference on Concrete Block Paving-Sustainable Paving for Our Future, Nov. 6-8, 2006, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. The event, hosted by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute Foundation for Education & Research, will focus on segmental concrete pavements and their ability to address total environmental design, including ecological, energy, safety, and visual design needs. The conference will emphasize sustainable pavement applications, low-impact development approaches, stormwater management with permeable interlocking pavements, and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
In addition to the technical paper sessions, the conference will include a one-day seminar for design professionals and a one-day workshop for civil engineering university professors. For more information on the conference, visit www.icpiconferences.org .
BaySaver Technologies, Inc., and industry expert Gary Minton, Ph.D., P.E., are offering a two-day short course, Stormwater Treatment – How It Works, Nov. 29 and 30, 2006, in Baltimore. Attendees will learn about up-to-date stormwater treatment solutions, receive printed reference materials, and earn up to 1.4 CEU credits.
On Saturday, Sept. 30, a highway overpass near Laval, Quebec, Canada, collapsed, killing 5 people trapped in vehicles beneath the bridge. According to news reports, Transport Quebec officials had inspected the overpass at 11:58 a.m. that morning after receiving calls reporting debris falling from the structure. New debris was reported at 12:33 p.m.; the 36-year-old overpass collapsed at 12:37 p.m. The Ottawa Sun reported that transportation officials plan to dismantle a second overpass on the same stretch of highway that was built at the same time as the collapsed bridge and that shares the same design. According to CBC News, in a report issued in 2003, the Quebec Ministry of Transportation claimed that 55 percent of the province’s bridges were safe, but it wasn’t sure about the other 45 percent.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of developing regulations that will address deicing practices at airports and handling of wastewater.