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November Upfront News & Views

November Upfront News & Views

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    Filterra Bioretention Systems combine landscape plants with an engineered filtration media to capture and remove stormwater runoff pollutants —trash and debris, oils and grease, sediments, nutrients, metals, and bacteria — prior to discharging treated runoff into local waterways.

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Gov. Deval Patrick backed the change by eliminating a provision that would have allowed police details to continue as long as a local labor contract or municipal ordinance required it.

Police authorities say the new rule reduces their ability to make public safety decisions; Patrick says it's designed to treat all communities equally.

Teach your children wellResources

The American Public Works Association offers a comprehensive curriculum for students in grades 6 through 8. “Exploring the World of Public Works” provides an adaptable lesson plan on the role of the profession in everyday life.

The curriculum is part of an ongoing effort to reach students. In 2005, the association launched “Discovering the World of Public Works,” a K-5 curriculum that's sold more than 40,000 copies.

The association's newest installment focuses on construction; construction; parks and recreation; traffic and transportation; water and wastewater; solid waste; and public works careers. It addresses subjects including science, social studies, art, math, and language arts.

The three-part curriculum includes an instructor's guide, a seven-chapter student almanac, and a companion novel,Mystery of the Night Vandals. Association members pay $225 and nonmembers $275 for an instructor's guide and 25 copies of the student almanac and novel.

EPA must regulate construction runoffRules & regulations

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the Clean Water Act requires the EPA to protect waterways, beaches, and drinking water from pollution caused by real estate development, and gives the agency until the end of 2009 to set standards that would replace existing state and local protections.

Although another appeal is possible, the standards — if adopted — would affect everything from the development of shopping malls to housing subdivisions.

The EPA began work nine years ago on limiting construction-site runoff after determining that it often carries high levels of nutrients and metals, but later eliminated construction from the list of activities it regulates.

The Justice Department, which represented the agency; the National Association of Homebuilders; and the Association of General Contractors have declined to say whether they plan to appeal the ruling.