Regulating Resiliency

Regulating Resiliency

Sea level rise and extreme weather events—both intensified by climate change—can create significant risks for municipalities. Across the country, communities are in the process of preparing for what’s to come by creating hazard mitigation plans and assessing infrastructure vulnerability. In addition, recent severe weather events have created a shifting regulatory landscape as lawmakers and regulatory [...]

A Noble Cause: Helping Breweries Reduce Water Use and Meet Wastewater Demands

A Noble Cause: Helping Breweries Reduce Water Use and Meet Wastewater Demands

In 2014, 206 million barrels of beer were shipped and sold in the United States—equivalent to more than 2.8 billion cases and 27.5 gallons of beer per consumer, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association. Craft breweries produced 11 percent of that total. Craft breweries are rapidly growing in the United States. In 1983, there [...]

April 13, 2015
Transforming Brownfield Sites with Public-Private Collaboration

Transforming Brownfield Sites with Public-Private Collaboration

As any owner of a brownfield property knows, the obstacles to cleanup and private redevelopment can be numerous, varied, and complex. Common challenges include remediation concerns, environmental liability issues, and high costs of cleanup efforts. But there are opportunities for bringing new life to properties that have had limited use due to hazardous substances or [...]

April 10, 2015
The Economic Benefits of Infrastructure Investment, Part II: Walking Paths, Bike Trails, and Parks

The Economic Benefits of Infrastructure Investment, Part II: Walking Paths, Bike Trails, and Parks

In a previous post on this blog, we discussed the economic challenges and opportunities raised by public investments in infrastructure. In some cases, such as a new or renovated bridge, it is clear how the public benefits from infrastructure—convenience, safety, a means from here to there. In other instances, such as a new park, the [...]

March 25, 2015
A Proven Solution to Refrigerant Relief Valve Monitoring and Reporting

A Proven Solution to Refrigerant Relief Valve Monitoring and Reporting

Refrigeration systems are pressurized mechanical systems that can have a hazardous Group 2 refrigerant, such as anhydrous ammonia, contained inside. These systems require an overpressure protection device. When a release of refrigerant occurs, the event is strictly regulated. As noted previously on this blog, anhydrous ammonia is regulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration [...]

March 19, 2015
Using CMOM for Stormwater

Using CMOM for Stormwater

When most people think about the EPA’s capacity, management, operations, and maintenance (CMOM) program, they think about its application to wastewater. The goals of this method include proactively avoiding sanitary sewer overflows, establishing best practices for responding to overflows when they happen, and ensuring communities are able to operate their collection systems effectively. However, CMOM [...]

Posted in: Water
March 13, 2015
Laying the Foundation for Grid Modernization

Laying the Foundation for Grid Modernization

A modernized grid is the backbone of our energy economy—delivering safe, reliable, and resilient service; empowering customer choice; and providing the means to a cleaner and sustainable energy future. Across the country utilities are planning, budgeting, and building roadmaps to implement various grid modernization investments and efforts, as well as navigating regulatory commissions with the [...]

Posted in: Energy
March 9, 2015
A Successful Community Approach to Lower Flood Insurance

A Successful Community Approach to Lower Flood Insurance

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12), which sought to reform the nation’s nearly bankrupt National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by ending federal subsidies for insuring buildings in flood-prone areas, led to changes in how the NFIP determined flood insurance rates. Congress later modified BW12 through the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. [...]

Posted in: Environment
March 2, 2015
Successful Public/Private Partnership in Inverness, Florida

Successful Public/Private Partnership in Inverness, Florida

The City of Inverness, Florida is home to more than 7,000 residents. In 2006, the relatively small city undertook an ambitious plan to upgrade its secondary treatment facility into a SCADA-monitored, tertiary-treatment facility that that would produce public-access reclaimed water and save 700,000 gallons of water per day. The City wanted to ensure service would [...]

February 17, 2015
Modern Water Demands Require Smart Rate Setting

Modern Water Demands Require Smart Rate Setting

Water utilities today face enormous demands. As Americans, we consume more water than any other nation in the world while paying much less than most other developed countries. Standards for water quality continue to rise, but users’ rates historically have not, leaving the cost to utilities themselves or local governments. Water is undoubtedly our most [...]

Posted in: Water
February 5, 2015