The U.S. EPA has proposed altering the definition of “solid waste” to streamline regulation of hazardous secondary materials by including rules for solvents, metals, and other chemicals and materials. Susan Bodine, assistant administrator for the agency's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, says that “by encouraging legitimate recycling practices that are environmentally protective, this proposal presents a win-win for the environment and the economy.”
Treatment plants represent security threat
According to the left-leaning think-tank Center for American Progress, more than 25 million Americans stand in harm's way because many wastewater and water treatment plants use chlorine gas, which is shipped via rail and therefore vulnerable to being pilfered and used in chemical attacks. The study suggests that plants use liquid chlorine bleach or ultraviolet light instead. Visit www.americanprogress.org.
Pervious concrete helps stormwater
A six-page publication from the American Concrete Pavement Association can help educate the public on the importance and usefulness of pervious concrete, including how it helps manage stormwater runoff. The literature includes details about pavement design, construction, maintenance considerations, and various applications. It also lays out considerations for using pervious pavement in stormwater hotspots, in retrofits, and near cold-water streams. For more information or to obtain a copy, visit www.pavement.com.
Retail giant pushes e-waste grants
Minneapolis-based Best Buy is accepting applications for its consumer electronics recycling grant program, geared toward increasing e-waste recycling opportunities. Cities and counties operating collection events are encouraged to apply for the grants, which range from $500 to $1500. Visit www.e4partners.com.
New water contaminants emerging
Perchlorate, endocrine disruptors, and perfluorocarbons rank among the list of emerging contaminants gaining the attention of drinking water regulators, according to Water Quality Association technical director Joseph Harrison. He says the public and water agencies will likely look for new technology that removes the contaminants, either at the municipal treatment level or at the point of use. Visit www.wqa.org.
Guide to waste containment sites
The American Society of Civil Engineers' Waste Containment Facilities, 2nd Edition provides technical guidance for construction and controlling quality at municipal solid waste landfills, hazardous waste impoundments, covers for facilities, and site-remediation projects. The updated edition includes recent developments in test methods, specifications, and field practices. Visit www.asce.org for more information or to buy a copy.
The Missouri DOT(MoDOT) added a splash of color to numerous state landmarks in an effort to remind motorists to use caution in highway work zones. Water in Kiener Plaza's fountain, in the shadow of the famous Arch in downtown St. Louis, was dyed orange. Also, the four columns in front of MoDOT Headquarters in Jefferson City were lit to honor the four state highway workers killed in 2006.
The event marked the start of the first construction season since the state's August 2006 enactment of tougher penalties for reckless driving through work zones.