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August Upfront News & Views

August Upfront News & Views

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    Service Coordinator Mike McDonald was one of nine Little Rock Fleet Services Department employees who volunteered to help local Boy Scouts earn their auto mechanics merit badge. Photo: Darryl Syler

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    This soft ground tunnel will hold 19 million gallons of combined sewer overflows and storm-water, reducing closures at South Boston beaches from three weeks a year to once every five years. Photo: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

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    New Jersey's Garden State Parkway made almost $250,000 by selling old transit tokens, which recyclers value for their high nickel-silver and brass content. Photo: Osborne Coinage Co.

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    Membranes are submerged below the grating and major process units are enclosed to confine odors at this new water reclamation facility. Photo: Black & Veatch

Baltimore public works deemed excellent credit risk

Standard and Poor's upgraded the Department of Public Works' Water and Waste-water Utility's credit rating from A+ to AA for senior lien revenue bonds and from A to AA- on subordinate lien revenue bonds; the AA category is the second highest available to state and local municipal bond issuers. Moody's Investors Service's rating went from A2 to A1 for senior lien revenue bonds and from A3 to A2 for subordinate lien revenue bonds.

Endangered species reviews may be eliminated

The Bush administration will propose changes to the Endangered Species Act to allow federal agencies to decide whether protected species would be jeopardized by projects under their purview. A federally funded project would be able to proceed without an independent review by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service if the funding agency, such as the Federal Highway Administration, decides it won't harm vulnerable species.

Owners missing out on ‘green' savings

An American Council of Engineering Companies of New York survey shows that clients often don't implement recommendations for operational cost savings, thus perpetuating the perception that sustainable projects are too expensive. “Despite their paying for our extensive efforts to conduct detailed engineering-based analyses and to develop technically defensible data, clients often fail to take the next step,” says Linda Thomas of Ecology and Environmental Engineering.

Canada promotes tap water

London, Ontario, has become the fourth city or school board to ban the sale of bottled water in public buildings.

Sound familiar … ?

While 61% of private-sector respondents to a survey conducted by consulting firm EquaTerra feel executive management views them as a strategic asset, only half of the public-sector respondents feel they're perceived this way. Public-sector human resources managers say lack of resources, funds for information technology transformation, and respect are keeping them from making a strategic contribution to the organization.

Guidance for ‘greening' asphalt streets

The National Asphalt Pavement Association's Asphalt Pavements and the LEED Green Building System explains how to obtain or contribute to LEED credits. E-mail publications@hotmix.org for copies of the $2.50 brochure (order number PS-32).

More engines biodiesel-compatible

Caterpillar Inc. approves B20 biodiesel for all compact and mid-range engines after testing and approving B30 for C7 – C32 ACERT and 3400 and 3500 series engines. B20 can be used in C0.5 through C2.2 Tier 4 Interim (11- to 66-hp) engines; the C4.4, C4.4 ACERT; and C6.6 ACERT (72- to 275-hp) Tier 3 engines.