EPA finalizes streamlining rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the Pretreatment Streamlining Rule, which revises how industrial and commercial facilities manage wastewater discharge before sending it on to publicly owned treatment works for final treatment. The pretreatment program requires manufacturing dischargers to reduce or eliminate the discharge of harmful pollutants that could compromise municipal treatment plant processes or contaminate waterways. The rule maintains that protection, but removes process requirements for industrial operations, including sampling their discharges for pollutants that are not present at their facilities. The change will substantially reduce the costs to facilities, while still holding those facilities to the same federal discharge limits currently in place under Clean Water Act regulations. For further information, visit www.epa.gov/npdes/pretreatment.

Katrina water damage in billions

The costs to repair and replace public drinking water infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Katrina will surpass $2.25 billion, according to a preliminary assessment from the American Water works Association. The report—presented to members of Congress and the White House—estimates costs to repair or replace assets such as treatment plants, storage pumping, and related control facilities impacted by storm surge, flooding, and other factors. It also analyzes the impact of revenue shortfalls due to the inability to service debt, particularly in communities where customers have relocated and the system is inoperable. For more information or to obtain a copy of the report, visit www.awwa.org.

Transpo group examines SAFETEA-LU

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association has published an analysis of the recently passed Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users law. The 31-page document looks at the 1700-page law and breaks down the issues surrounding transportation investment, policy, and regulatory issues in the United States. For more information or to download a copy, visit www.artba.org.

FHWA lauds top info sites

The U.S. DOT'S Federal Highway Administration has lauded state department of transportation Web sites in California, Connecticut, and Missouri for offering innovative and helpful online tools for the public and transportation officials. California's site— www.dot.ca.gov/contractor—was selected for its new online registry, which provides the state with immediate access to contractors for cleanup, repair and other emergency relief work after a natural disaster. Connecticut's www.conndot.ct.gov/traffic/ealerts.aspx allows users to automatically receive customized e-mail alerts on highway or rail routes. Missouri won for adding an easy-to-use tool to www.modot.state.mo.us/asp/repair.htm for drivers to report accidents and other road incidents, allowing road crews and emergency personnel to respond more quickly.

Concrete terms online

The Cement and Concrete Thesaurus, a list of accepted terminology for all aspects of cement and concrete, now can be accessed on the Portland Cement Association Library's Web site, www.cement.org/library. The tool ensures that terminology is applied consistently, so that users can retrieve the information accurately and efficiently. The software for the online thesaurus allows users to cut and paste selected terms into their documents as needed. The thesaurus by design is a “work in progress,” due to the continuous introduction of new materials and technologies.

Recycled roofing hits the road

Crews in Missouri's south St. Louis County have paved a 2-mile stretch of Lindbergh Boulevard with recycled roofing material. The segment of Lindbergh Boulevard, which runs from Ronnie Lane to Roxanna Drive, was paved with asphalt containing recycled roof shingles from Peerless Landfill in nearby Valley Park. It is the first state road in Missouri paved with such material. “We Americans are kind of fat and sassy,” said Dale Behnen, co-owner of the landfill, where the shingles were kept prior to recycling. “We won't change our ways until we get desperate and are forced to. That time is coming.”

Wastewater technology surges

A recently released report, U.S. Wastewater Treatment Equipment Markets, reveals that revenue in this industry totaled $774.4 million in 2004 and estimates it to reach $1.32 million by 2011. According to findings in the analysis—released by San Antonio-based Frost & Sullivan—the market is driven by the strong need for wastewater reuse, and a shift and upgrades in treatment processes is surfacing. In addition, an expanding design-build-operate market offers new opportunities in the otherwise budget strained municipal market. In addition, process equipment, such as dissolved air flotation clarifiers, diffused aeration, sequencing batch reactors, and ultraviolet disinfection will become popular in existing wastewater treatment facilities. For more information or to purchase a copy, visit www.frost.com.

Municipal government expo

The National League of Cities' Congress of Cities and Exposition—scheduled Dec. 7–9 in Charlotte, N.C.— offers a broad range of learning opportunities. Through offsite educational sessions, spouse/guest tours, and other events, delegates are offered the chance to explore the host city. The exposition is one of the largest exhibits for companies serving municipal needs to come face-to-face with buyers looking for products and services to assist with the changing demands to improve their municipalities. For more information, visit www.nlc.org.

Building guide available online

The National Institute of Building Sciences has developed a guideline for exterior envelope design and construction for institutional/office buildings. It includes guidelines for below-grade jobs, walls, roofing, windows, and atria. Performance issues examined for each major building system include material durability, system maintainability, thermal performance, moisture protection, fire safety, and acoustics. The guide also discusses earthquake and blast resistance, sustainability, and HVAC integration. For more information, visit www.wbdg.org.

City reaches broadband milestone

The first citywide commercial deployment of broadband-over-powerline (BPL) technology anywhere in the United States is now complete in Manassas, Va., according to Communication Technologies Inc., the Chantilly-based company that owns and operates the BPL network. Both the White House and Federal Communications Commission have highlighted BPL technology as an important way to get broadband access to underserved portions of the nation.