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Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the stakeholder-run organization dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the people who dig near them, announced findings from its comprehensive 2011 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) is leading an effort this election season to send a clear message to our elected officials and political candidates that investment in water infrastructure is an investment in America’s future.

The number of North American households connected directly into fiber networks has hit the nine million mark, with small incumbent telephone companies continuing to lead the growth in fiber to the home deployments, according to the Fiber-to-the-Home Council Americas.

Robert Carpenter, Editor

UPDATED: The Charles Machine Works (CMW), Perry, OK, has continued its aggressive underground industry expansion efforts with the pending purchase of American Augers and Trencor from Astec Underground, Loudon, TN, a subsidiary of Astec Industries Inc., Chattanooga, TN. The two companies entered into a formal agreement on Oct. 31, for a cash purchase price of $55 million. Both companies expect the sale to be completed by Dec. 31.

CG/LA Infrastructure Inc., a global leader in infrastructure project identification, development and advisory, has released the Top 100 North American Strategic Infrastructure Projects for 2012. The total estimated value of the projects identified is over $470 billion, across 12 infrastructure categories.

According to a report by HIS Global Insight, in the next three years, natural gas production from shale, coal bed methane and tight sands is expected to generate significant job creation, economic growth and revenue for federal, state and local treasuries throughout the U.S. in gas producing states, as well as non-producing states. The study states unconventional gas production that supported more than one million jobs in 2010 is projected to support almost 1.5 million jobs by 2015.

The Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) will take on three important issues in the future of asset management during its Asset Management Symposium: telematics, finance and Tier 4. The annual two-day symposium kicks off in Louisville, KY, on Oct. 30-31. General information and details on seminars and speakers are available at www.aemp.org/symposium.

In August, the Obama Administration announced it was launching a new institute, the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), to be housed in renovated industrial space in Youngstown, OH, to help lead a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing. Academic scientists involved in the institute hope it will also send a message to students that, in the words of one researcher, "manufacturing is as cool as working for Google."

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has renewed its alliance with the National Safety Council (NSC) to continue enhancing worker safety and health by addressing construction hazards, injury and illness prevention programs and motor vehicle safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a direct final rule that applies the requirements of the August 2010 cranes and derricks in construction standard to demolition work and underground construction, the agency revealed in mid-August.

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