States can't keep up with coronavirus testing demands logistically or financially, which is why it's important to introduce a nationwide wastewater testing program, write Anna Mehrotra of CDM Smith, David Larsen of Syracuse University and Ashish Jha of the Harvard Global Health Institute. "Doing so will provide a cost-effective method of understanding the pandemic and an early warning system for increased and decreased transmission as the pandemic waxes and wanes," they write.
The Ohio & Lee Water & Sewer utility company has been eyeing improvements to its wastewater treatment system for two decades, but it has been unable to carry out a project because of the cost. Misty Tolzda of the Great Lakes Community Action Partnership is helping the utility weigh two options -- a $24 million wastewater treatment facility and $16 million step-system -- but says neither may be feasible financially.
The Navajo-Utah Water Rights Settlement Act under consideration in the House of Representatives is critical for building out the Navajo Nation's drinking water infrastructure, according to its president, Jonathan Nez. Over 40% of households in the Navajo Nation lack running water, and $220 million in federal and state funding can help address the problem, Nez says.
Rain can pose a real threat to the environment when it hits impermeable surfaces, mixes with trash and pollutants and runs into waterways, writes Felix Stith of Blue Ridge Resource Conservation & Development in North Carolina. Plants are one of the best options for filtering and reducing stormwater runoff because oxygen and compounds generated by photosynthesis help neutralize pollutants, he writes.
Part of the challenge of achieving financial and social buy-in for flood management projects is that their benefits often only become apparent when flooding does not occur. Universities, government agencies, and environmental organizations are embracing interactive simulations to create a new form of public outreach for the stormwater sector.
Vestas has been using Sulzer & Schmid and DJI's drone-based rotor blade inspection technology in Australia and will now begin offering it to customers in the Asia-Pacific region. The technology uses autonomous drones, high-resolution imaging and has a software component to help companies predict maintenance needs and lower their costs, says Sulzer & Schmid CEO Tom Sulzer.
Dominion Energy, Great River Energy, the Alabama Power Company and other utilities are shifting away from coal generation toward cleaner energy sources, but are finding it difficult to replace natural gas with renewables due to flexibility and reliability concerns. Dominion is deeply committed to wind and other renewables, and is investing in battery storage, but the technology is still too costly to deploy at the scale needed to offset natural gas, says executive Katharine Bond.
Laura Morton, the American Wind Energy Association's Senior Director for Offshore Wind Policy and Regulatory Affairs, provided public testimony Tuesday afternoon on the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's draft supplemental environmental impact statement for the Vineyard Wind offshore wind project. The project would open the doors to a once-in-a-generation opportunity for job creation and coastal and port economic development as states up and down the East Coast harness their world-class offshore wind resources.