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Tsunami Impact on Infrastructure

RR082019 fukushima damageAug. 20, 2019 – New research from Oregon State University takes steps toward understanding how tsunamis destabilize soil, which is key to building and retrofitting infrastructure that can withstand a disaster, according to an article in the Daily Astorian.

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EPA Comes Down on Producer

RR081519 EPAAug. 15, 2019 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced an agreement with Whitaker Aggregates Inc. of Humboldt, Kan., to pay a civil penalty for failing to respond to an information request in violation of the Clean Water Act Section 308. Whitaker Aggregates will pay a penalty of $7,500. “EPA relies on information requests to successfully ensure regulated facilities are in compliance with applicable regulations,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “Failing to respond to information requests reduces EPA’s ability to protect human health and the environment, while potentially increasing risk to the communities surrounding these facilities.” In December 2017, Whitaker Aggregates agreed to provide to EPA several reports and other documents demonstrating the company’s compliance with the Clean Water Act. Whitaker Aggregates failed to adequately and fully respond to the information request, as required by the Clean Water Act, EPA asserted. Whitaker Aggregates has until late September 2019 to pay the civil penalty.

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And the Weather Makes it Worse

RR081419 WeatherAug. 14, 2019 – As if the condition of our roads and bridges is not bad enough. Storms and flooding have caused significant damage throughout the United States during the first half of 2019. The Associated Press tallied about $1.2 billion of damage in 24 states based on preliminary assessments of public infrastructure categories established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The tally includes damage to roads and bridges, utilities, water control facilities, public buildings, and equipment and parks. The total figures are likely to rise because several states haven’t completed damage assessments for recent disasters. Figures also could rise for some states that already have submitted figures to FEMA but might still be able to add more counties to their disaster declarations. Check out state-by-state damage totals here.

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States the Truth

RR080919 HighwayAug. 9, 2019 – The nation's governors are taking matters into their own hands. “On behalf of the nation’s governors, we applaud the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee for taking this first step," the National Governors Association (NGA) said in a statement about the recent America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act. "The bill’s emphasis on formula funding, safety and resiliency comes at a critical time for states." But committee passage does not guarantee a new law, it so aptly states in an article in Governing magazine. The last major transportation bill, enacted in 2015, was delayed for years, with Congress passing multiple short-term extensions. Even then, Congress did not increase the federal gas tax, leading to concerns the federal Highway Trust Fund could run dry. Thirteen states have raised gas taxes this year, desperate for more money to build and repair roads, bridges and other infrastructure. “There’s kind of a consensus among all 50 governors, everybody on both sides of the aisle, that this is probably the most important thing that we’re all dealing with,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan told Governing.

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Teachers Rock IAAP Workshop

RR080619 IAAPlogoAug. 6, 2019 – Education is of critical importance. So teachers from across the state gathered for the Illinois Teachers Workshop: Rocks, Minerals & Mining in Today’s Society, presented by the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP) at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Everyone present refreshed their knowledge of earth science and learned so much more about the importance of stone, sand, industrial minerals, fossils, sustainability and the mining process. This was the 23rd year for the rocks, minerals and mining workshop. Kudos to IAAP for this successful event.

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