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

June 2009 Vol. 64 No. 6

“Floridians continue to suffer from devastating cuts to higher education, environmental protection, health care and vital infrastructure,’ said Martha Barnett, partner at Holland & Knight and past president of the American Bar Association. “For the sake of our state’s future, we cannot delay discussion of this issue any longer, nor ignore the benefits that other states continue to derive from their energy resources.”

Orange County water system wins national civil engineering award

For its creative, effective solution to water shortage challenges, the Orange County, CA, Groundwater Replenishment System (GWR) has been selected as the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement for 2009 by the American Society of Civil Engineers. With water demand rising in southern California, Orange County needed a solution that was more cost-effective than importing water or desalination and would satisfy needs for future generations. The county’s Water and Sanitation District opted for a process that recycles and purifies wastewater and returns it to reservoirs and groundwater aquifers – one which also mitigates the impact of droughts. (As reported in the March 2009 issue, pg. 5 of Underground Construction, “Converting sewage to drinking water”.).

ASCE President Wayne Klotz calls the system “an excellent example of how civil engineering can contribute to a community's economic success, improve residents’ quality of life and protect public safety.” The award was presented to Orange County water officials at the Society’s OPAL Gala in Arlington, VA.

National Energy Board has busiest year

The National Energy Board’s (NEB) 2008 Annual Report has received more applications and presided over more public hearings in 2008 than any other year in NEB history.

The NEB considered applications for new pipeline facilities, tolls and tariffs filings, activities on frontier lands, as well as export and import licenses, and orders. A number of applications to expand the capacity of the oil pipeline system were also considered by the NEB. In total, there were 17 public proceedings in 2008.

Spurred by record high oil and gas prices, over $127 billion worth of crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas liquids and natural gas was shipped through NEB-regulated pipelines in 2008. In addition, NEB-regulated international power lines transported over $3 billion of electricity, demonstrating the economic value that pipeline and power transmission systems bring to Canadians.