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"I'm trying to anticipate and manage environmental issues related to a construction project, but I am having a hard time finding resources. What are some construction-related environmental issues I should keep an eye out for since this appears to be an overlooked area?"
The term plumbing is derived from the Latin word "plumbum," the name of the metal lead that was the preferred material used by the Romans to construct their empire's water supply systems. This bit of history is even relevant today as the continued use of this potentially toxic metal has made headlines because of recently exposed problems in the Flint, Mich., water supply.
Smart meters have been prominent in the energy utility world, and are beginning to make substantial inroads in the water utility world. Smart meters are probably more useful for the water sector than for the energy sector, and the old days of billing total water consumption during the last month or two is being phased out with the introduction of time-of-use water consumption information. Smart meter installations have reported numerous benefits, both operational and on the customer side (see Table 1). Aside from the obvious savings from reduced need for onsite meter reading, the ability to identify not just the volume of water consumption but also the timing of that consumption has significant benefits, particularly to customers, and may be a linchpin for enhanced water conservation efforts.
It is a brand-new school year: 2011-2012. If there is any school superintendent in the nation who currently operates without formalized school safety plans in place (quite apart from the noticeable but ignored "thou-shalt-nots" festooned on campus walls, doors and fences), s/he needs to regard-as a wake-up scream-the thunderous allegations of negligence, child endangerment, foreseen traumatic event, breach of duty of care, sexual molestation, dereliction of duty, and reckless disregard hurled by a passing parade of aggrieved and angry parents, as they will set the pace nationwide in the filing of future lawsuits over the on-campus dangers and subsequent injuries and traumas, of various kinds and degrees, to their children.
I have been a member of a premiere American Fraternity since 1966 when I was initiated into DKE at the University of Michigan. I have run the local alumni association, been the general partner on the chapter house, served on the International Board, Founded the Foundation, and ran the Fraternity for over 25 years. Inter-fraternally, I am a life member of the Fraternity Executives Association, led the inter-fraternal movement against the Northeastern Private Colleges attempt to co-edify the movement, and shepherded a freedom of association sense of Congress through both Houses of Congress. I am still an affiliate member of the North American Inter-Fraternity Conference.
As traffic engineers we take care to plan, design, and operate our roads for all users. When we are working in a complex urban environment, we must consider pedestrians, wheelchairs, vision impaired, bicycles, buses, and trucks. When we add automated, connected, and self-driving vehicles to the mix the complexity becomes more complex. That is why the profession is challenging and interesting.
Trends in malpractice awards and adverse actions (e.g., revocation of provider license) following an act or omission constituting medical error or negligence were examined. The National Practitioner Data Bank was used to compare rates of malpractice reports and adverse actions for physicians, physician assistants (PAs), and nurse practitioners (NPs). During 2005 through 2014, there ranged from 11.2 to 19.0 malpractice payment reports per 1,000 physicians, 1.4 to 2.4 per 1,000 PAs, and 1.1 to 1.4 per 1,000 NPs. Physician median payments ranged from 1.3 to 2.3 times higher than PAs or NPs. Diagnosis-related malpractice allegations varied by provider type, with physicians having significantly fewer reports (31.9%) than PAs (52.8%) or NPs (40.6%) over the observation period. Trends in malpractice payment reports may reflect policy enactments to decrease liability.
During a recent conversation with a friend who had purchased a small construction company he mentioned in passing that one of his employees had injured his ankle on the job but didn't report it to his work comp carrier as it was a minor incident, no days off work, didn't want his rates to go up, why bother. All is good. Right?
One of the state of California's largest end uses of electricity is in the treatment, heating and cooling, and conveyance of water. In 2005, the California Energy Commission estimated that water-related energy accounts for almost 20% of the state's electricity requirements. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) followed this observation by authorizing water-energy pilot projects designed to validate claims that saving water can save energy and explore whether energy savings may be realized through water conservation measures and incorporated into electric utility energy efficiency programs (http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Energy+Efficiency/Water+Energy+Nexus+Programs.htm).
Vapor Intrusion (VI) has become a routinely addressed environmental exposure issue within the past few years. Especially at sites where a spill of Tetrachloroethene (PERC) or Trichloroethylene (TCE) has occurred. Many state environmental agencies have provided guidance on dealing with VI issues, and now the US EPA has recently finalized their guidance for use at federal sites. In prior years, however, assessment of the VI exposure pathway was often excluded from a site's investigation and remediation process. Since VI was not really on the regulator's radar, many sites achieved closure without VI having been evaluated. As VI has become a routine part of environmental investigations, regulatory agencies are now beginning to reassess closed sites to see if VI exposure issues have been inadvertently missed. Very recently, it has been reported that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has joined other states in reopening closed sites that warrant further assessment for VI risk.