July Newsline: Steelmakers take on China; Bobcat plants idle; new AWWA publication

July 2009 Vol. 64 No. 7
AEM Construction Challenge winners

The first annual hurricane conference on education and research will be held on Aug. 7, 2009 at the University Hilton, University of Houston, Houston, TX.

The Texas Hurricane Conference on Preparedness, Loss Mitigation, Rapid Recovery & Lessons Learned is sponsored by the Texas Hurricane Center for Innovative Technology and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CIGMAT).

Dr. Cumaraswamy Vipulanandan, a UH professor of civil engineering and the center’s director, officially started up the Texas Hurricane Center for Innovative Technology after two years of planning and getting approval from the university. Vipulanandan’s research is concentrating on material damage from hurricanes.

The conference will feature keynote speakers from local, state and federal agencies. Ongoing research and educational programs at various Universities in Texas and Gulf Coast region will be presented. A special four panel discussion on power grids and utilities, rapid recovery and debris management, transportation and insurance will be held.

For information on attending or to exhibit, call Dr. Vipu at (713) 743-4278.

Bill introduced to alert communities of sewage overflows

Sens. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) recently introduced legislation to protect communities from illness by requiring monitoring, notification and reporting of sewer overflows.

Sen. Lautenberg’s bill will require sewer systems to be monitored regularly for sewage overflows and ensure that neighborhoods are alerted quickly if public health is at risk.

The legislation — the Sewage Overflow Right-To-Know Act of 2009 — would reduce the annual number of human illnesses from contact with untreated sewage by informing communities of sewer overflows discharging waste into their local waterways within 24 hours.

The measure would provide notification of sewer overflows by requiring sewage treatment operators to:

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