2013 ENR Top 500 coverEngineering News Record recently interviewed Bob Goober, PE, Weston & Sampson’s Director of Business Development, for his insight on the state of municipal public works departments and projects. Bob’s comments were incorporated into ENR’s 2013 issue on the Top 500 Design Firms (issue #82, April 29, 2013).  A summary of his main observations are:

“Municipal clients are continuing to focus on smart resource management,” explained Bob. “In the context of ‘nice to have’ and ‘need to have,’ municipal clients continue to manage capital efficiently to ensure need-to-have issues are addressed. They are managing funds closely to keep equipment and facilities up and running, prioritizing repairs, and making sure vital infrastructure is maintained and regulatory requirements are met.”

“For cities and towns that can no longer put off repairs and improvements and are facing urgent needs to modernize their infrastructure, particularly public buildings, heightened awareness about aging infrastructure has resulted in local, grass-roots public-sector investment to rehabilitate or replace publicly owned utilities and facilities. Owners are also seeking architects and engineers that can assist with outreach programs to funding authorities, and owners need the contractors and architects to be in sync regarding cost estimating and cost control.”

In addition to the information in the article, Bob notes that more and more municipalities are developing Infrastructure Asset Management (IAM) programs to help with project planning. IAMs compile data and make easier the task of evaluating equipment and systems; prioritizing maintenance, repair, and replacement work; and planning ahead for capital investment funding opportunities.

Bob can be reached by e-mail at gooberr@wseinc.com

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Pages from NHDES Keene Article March-April NewsletterWeston & Sampson served as the environmental consultant on a complex, multi-year remediation of environmental impacts from a former Manufactured Gas Plant site. Project work included the remediation of MGP-impacted river sediment via surface water diversion and excavation of the river bottom. Approximately 30,000 tons of impacted sediment was removed for off-site treatment/disposal, and 13,000 tons of sediment was stabilized using Portland Cement. (Click on image at left for larger view.)

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services highlights this project in their March-April 2013 newsletter.

 

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EPA Releases Second Draft of NH Stormwater Permit

February 12, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency has released the second draft of the New Hampshire General Permit for Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewers (MS4s). Notice of the availability of the new NH Draft MS4 Permit was published in the Federal Register on February 12, 2013 and can be downloaded at https://federalregister.gov/a/2013-03055 As anticipated, there is […]

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Court Ruling on Culvert/Channel Outlets Favors MS4s

January 11, 2013

On January 8th, the Supreme Court returned a unanimous vote ruling that outlets from culverts/concrete channels are not “discharges” under the Clean Water Act.  Please see details provided by WEF below, but in short, the decision affirms that if an open waterway flows into a culvert, concrete channel, or other engineered improvement, the outlet from […]

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EPA Updates Rules on Disposal of PCB-Impacted Building Materials

November 16, 2012

Public and private building owners need to be aware of a recent EPA reinterpretation of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA 40 CFR 761) with regard to management of building materials that may contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The reinterpretation allows for building materials such as brick, concrete, or wood  contaminated by PCB-containing products (e.g., caulk, […]

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Final Issuance of the NPDES Phase II Small MS4 General Permits – Stormwater Utilities as a Funding Alternative?

May 20, 2011

In the last two years, EPA has released three new draft National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II General Permits for Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) within Massachusetts and New Hampshire.  These permits, which are expected to be finalized later this year, will replace the 2003 permit which expired in […]

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I/I Mitigation Fees: Are Sewer Banks in Trouble?

March 10, 2011

Wastewater System Infiltration and Inflow (I/I) Mitigation Fees have been in the news lately in Massachusetts.  A recent court case, Denver Street, LLC vs. Town of Saugus, determined that the Towns “I/I Reduction Contribution” was not an allowable fee but an illegal tax. The ruling required repayment of $670,460, plus 12% interest, to four (4) […]

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Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Environmental Risk as Driving Factors for Remediation Decision Making Process?

February 17, 2011

Several states now have requirements for certain projects to report Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.  For example, in Massachusetts, recent Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) updates include the requirement of calculating Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for projects that prepare an Environmental Impact Report.  This extra effort involved with complying with new regulations could create extra costs […]

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More stringent energy-efficiency building codes – Good for the Environment, Good for the Builder?

January 17, 2011

In an article published in the Boston Globe on November 12, 2010, it was reported that the City of Boston is proposing more stringent energy-efficiency building codes for new buildings in Boston.  These new codes would result in a 20% reduction in energy use compared with buildings adhering to the existing building codes.  These new […]

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