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March Upfront News & Views

March Upfront News & Views

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    CityFIRST may be more appealing to homeowners than refinancing over 20 years or taking out a home equity loan.

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    The “filtering flux sensor” measures ammonia and nitrite levels to reveal the ion flux, or how many ions are being transported into and out of the bio-film per minute. Photo: Purdue University

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    In honor of National Engineers Week, the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York promoted the profession with billboards, ads in state publications, and posters with this image. “Greater understanding of the engineer's inventive role should enhance the perception of the profession and its essential — and often overlooked — contribution to our quality of life,” says Hannah O'Grady, the council's deputy executive director.

The technique also is a departure from conventional methods, which require that bacterial “biofilms” be damaged or destroyed in order to be tested. The biofilms are a matrix of wastewater-treatment organisms that coat natural or synthetic surfaces, and a healthy population of the bacteria must be maintained for wastewater treatment facilities to operate properly.

PCA seeks to honor ‘green' public officialsAwards

The Portland Cement Association invites building industry representatives to submit nominations for its 2009 Sustainable Leadership Awards program, which was established last year to identify and honor government leaders who advance sustainable development through the use of concrete and cement-based products.

The awards program includes four categories:

  • Leadership in sustainability policy
  • Homes and residential building
  • Non-residential building
  • Infrastructure.

The leadership category honors public officials who advance policies that promote the concept of sustainable development by advocating and promoting the use of concrete and cement-based products in their communities. The other categories honor public officials who use such products to achieve sustainable benefits for projects. Last year's winners were recognized for using new innovations and technologies such as pervious concrete, insulating concrete forms, full-depth reclamation, green alleys, and green roofs.

Buildings and activities must have occurred between Jan. 1, 2007, and Dec. 31, 2008, to be eligible. The deadline to submit final entries is May 29, 2009.

For more information and to access the nomination form, visit www.cement.org/sustainableleadership.

Americans support 1% tax increase to improve infrastructureResearch

That was one finding of a national survey conducted by Building America's Future, a coalition of city, county, and state elected officials seeking to influence federal investment in infrastructure. Regardless of party affiliation, taxpayers support higher taxes if projects are completed on time and on budget and they can see exactly how and where their money's being spent.

Energy facilities are the top concern of the 800 citizens who were asked which of 12 categories needs fixing first, with roads and highways coming in second and clean water third. Bridges and dams/ levees ranked below the electricity grid, school buildings, and mass transit but above broadband Internet access, passenger rail, airports, and bike paths.

Virtually all — 98% — say Americans have the right to safe roads, railways, and runways. For details, go to www.investininfrastructure.org.

Green light for California desal plantWater

The San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board voted unanimously Feb. 11 to take final action on the Carlsbad Desalination Project's Marine Life Mitigation Plan (MLMP) in April.