Book answers transportation questions

In Driving Questions: Developing a National Surface Transportation Vision, Joseph Giglio, executive professor of strategy at Northeastern University's College of Business Administration, focuses on four issues: what our transportation system should look like in the future, options for getting there, available resources, and how success should we measured. Visit www.hudson.org.

Do we pay enough for our water?

Most consumers don't think so, according to a recent WaterTech Online poll. More than 70% of respondents think suppliers aren't charging enough to recover the costs of treating and distributing drinking water, or the costs of maintaining water infrastructure. Another 13% think the amount charged is just about right. Only 15% think the charges are too high.

Staples launches e-waste program

In early June, the big-box office supply company became the first national retailer to accept discarded computers, monitors, printers, and other electronics items on a daily basis. Customers can drop off large pieces of equipment during regular business hours for $10 each; smaller peripherals (i.e. keyboards and mice) will be accepted for free. Visit www.staples.com.

Earn your degree online

Starting this fall, the Johns Hopkins University Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals will offer an online program on water-resource planning. Students must complete 10 courses on topics such as environmental impact assessment, water resources management, and optimizing public decision making. Visit www.epp.jhu.edu.

Town tests plastic water mains

In early June, the Bradenton (Fla.) Public Works Department began replacing more than 3000 feet of decaying cast-iron water mains with high-density polyethylene pipes. The $236,000 investment is part of the agency's efforts to explore cost-effective, environmentally safe ways to update its sewer system.

Program preserves pavement

A new Federal Highway Administration Web site provides a wealth of publications, fact sheets, events, and other resources to preserve pavements and associated structures. The list includes the FHWA's new Pavement Preservation Compendium II, a series of articles on preservation technologies and techniques. Visit www.fhwa.dot.gov/preservation.

Operator error unleashes sewage

The Milwaukee's Jones Island treatment plant sent 4.1 million gallons of wastewater—including untreated sewage—into Lake Michigan on May 3. The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District holds a discharge permit authorizing diversion of wastewater around routine treatment only when heavy rains cause extreme flows, but there had been no storm that day. United Water Services, the firm that operates the plant, was cited for causing the incident, and for waiting five days to notify the district of the error.

‘Take your CFLs back!'

A coalition of government stewardship groups from the United States and Canada has formed to applaud retailers and consumers for promoting use of compact fluorescent light bulbs and urge manufacturers to create and finance convenient, environmentally safe ways to recycle the bulbs, which contain mercury. The group pointed toward California legislation that would require manufacturers to provide take-back services as a potential model for the rest of the country.