Other stories by Steve Barlas

  • EPA offers potential flexibility on sewer repair costs

    The new U.S. EPA guidance designed to rationalize city and county public works expenditures on Clean Water Act compliance is meant for localities such as Peoria, Ill. The city is in the midst of negotiations with the EPA on a consent decree covering combi

  • Congress continues to stall updates to floodplain maps

    Congress is closer than ever to reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). But lawmakers are far from meaningfully supporting a well-intentioned program that has become a disaster.

  • Once again, public works' status as a first responder is unclear

  • OSHA singles out sewers

    A new rule addresses manholes and lift stations, as well as road excavations, drilled shafts in bridges, and water tunnels in dams.

  • Overflow relief

    Beginning immediately, wastewater treatment systems with separate stormwater and sanitary sewers can look forward to being inspected every other year instead of annually.

  • Drinking and Driving

    The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is poised to exempt transportation departments from having to perform environmental assessments (EA) or release environmental impact statements (EIS) on intelligent transportation infrastructure (ITI) projects.

  • Dung and disasters

    The EPA has altered the compost and fertilizer listings in the landscaping category. The measure stands to encourage local public works departments to get past previous concerns about the environmental friendliness of the practice, thereby increasing local landscaping options and, in some instances...

  • Breathing Room

    Grants benefit public transportation funding while tougher ozone standards endanger it.

  • Material Issue

    Highway departments can continue using cheaper foreign steel for bridge projects, despite attempts by Congress to constrict the practice.

  • Legality of Flow-Control Ordinances Upheld

    Flow-control ordinances allow governments to require private waste contractors to deliver the curbside garbage they pick up to a specific disposal facility.