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U.S. exports of construction equipment continued to grow in 2011 and ended the first half of the year up 48 percent compared to January-June of 2010.

The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) has approved a $49.9 million loan from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund to the city of Houston (Harris County) to finance wastewater system improvements.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced enhancements to its online enforcement database designed to improve public access to and understanding of the department’s enforcement actions.

Following a trench collapse that killed one worker and injured another, an Ohio excavation company now faces Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) penalties in excess of $150,000.

EPA has awarded $534,000 to the city of Lincoln, NE, for improvements to the Theresa Street Wastewater Treatment Facility, which is expected to be completed by the spring of 2013.

Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released in August show little change in the number of workplace fatalities in 2010 compared with 2009.

The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) signed a consent decree on Aug. 5 with regulators and environmentalists to make extensive improvements to its sewer systems and treatment plants, at an estimated cost of $4.7 billion over 23 years.

In an effort to learn continually from other operators and to improve North America’s pipeline system safety, the American Gas Association, the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of Oil Pipe Lines and the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, together with the Canadian Gas Association and the Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, have initiated a comprehensive study to explore safety models and procedures currently utilized by other industry sectors in an effort to deliver natural gas and pipeline-transported liquids more safely and reliably.

Guest speaker Jason Iken, P.E., senior assistant director, city of Houston-Wastewater Operations Branch, spoke to nearly 90 attendees at the Underground Construction Technology Association (UCTA) Gulf Coast Chapter general luncheon meeting held in Houston on Aug. 3. The topic covered the city of Houston’s management of its sanitary sewer rehab program.

In a continuing effort to improve the Whistleblower Protection Program, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it is implementing additional measures to strengthen the program and is releasing an internal report detailing a recent review of the program.

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