Sometimes I wish I were a TV weather forecaster. Seems they can be wrong every day of the week and still keep their jobs.
With 2014 coming to a close, I thought I’d throw out a few predictions of my own. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you agree or disagree, or if I’ve overlooked something you think should be obvious.
1. Winter will be about as bad as last year’s: record cold and snow in some areas of the country, not enough water in others.
2. More states will ban landfills from accepting yard waste; one (any guess which? OK: California) will ban ALL recyclables.
3. Municipalities will push their local utilities to develop meter-based pricing for streetlights.
4. Congress will have to pass a second extension of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) surface transportation funding legislation because representatives will still be fighting over the federal government’s role in supporting local roads.
5. They won’t raise the federal fuel tax, either, even though it would be the fastest and most efficient way to resolve the issue once and for all.
6. There will be a shakeup in prevailing wage laws as states follow California’s example of requiring charter cities that don’t already do so to pay the going rate on local as well as state-funded public works projects.
7. U.S. EPA will lose its latest attempt to expand the Clean Water Act’s definition of “waters of the United States” beyond navigable waters.
8. Congress will eventually appropriate the $20 million EPA needs for fiscal year 2015 (which began on Oct. 1) to begin implementing the new Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) pilot program.
In the meantime, happy holidays. Keep yourself and your crews safe during the Season of Light.
P.S. This is my last magazine editorial of the year, but I write one almost every week. To read them, subscribe to our free e-newsletter.