June Newsline: Florida receives Recovery Act funds, court cancels 300 NLRB decisions, Texas Water faces tough decisions

June 2009 Vol. 64 No. 6

Florida lawmakers secure state’s energy future
Orange County water system wins national civil engineering award
National Energy Board has busiest year

Florida receives Recovery Act Funds for wastewater infrastructure projects

In a move that stands to create jobs, boost local economies, improve aging water infrastructure and protect human health and the environment for the people in the state of Florida, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded $132,286,300 to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This new infusion of money provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will help the state and local governments finance many of the overdue improvements to wastewater projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment across the state.

“This award is significant because it marks the first investment of EPA stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Florida,” said Stan Meiburg, EPA Acting Regional Administrator in Atlanta. “With this investment, we are embarking on an unprecedented effort to protect human health and the environment and create green jobs.”

The Recovery Act funds will go to the state’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund program. The Clean Water State Revolving Fund program provides low interest loans for water quality protection projects for wastewater treatment, non-point source pollution control, and watershed and estuary management.

Tampa, FL, will be the new venue for UCT 2010 (Underground Construction Technology International Conference & Exhibition), held Jan. 19-21, at the Tampa Convention Center. Much of the work in this area will be of interest to municipalities, contractors, gas/electric utilities, consulting engineers and damage prevention personnel. For more information about UCT, visit www.uctonline.com.

Appeals Court cancels 300 NLRB decisions

The status of some 300 decisions made last year by the Bush administration’s labor relations board are in legal doubt, with two federal appeals courts issuing vastly different opinions about their validity on the same day.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said on May 1 that all the decisions handed down in 2008 by the National Labor Relations Board are invalid because they were made by just two members. But the U.S. Court of Appeals said in an opinion, issued within the same hour, that the votes by two members were sufficient.