Pollution-intensive industrial and infrastructure development has often hit the poorest communities hardest, with measurable damage to health. Engineering News-Record looks at the consequences, the growing demand for social justice in the built environment and efforts over many years to achieve it.
The Environmental Protection Agency will rescind guidance on expedited Clean Water Act permitting requirements finalized during the final days of the Trump administration. The Trump-era guidance had been issued after the Supreme Court found non-point discharges require a permit when they are the "functional equivalent" of a direct discharge.
An advocacy group has warned that some smaller engineering firms could be sent spiraling into bankruptcy under a federal requirement to repay what they believed to be forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans to meet payroll. The government has justified its repayment requirement by contending it will prevent firms being paid twice for the same work on state infrastructure projects.
Researchers at Arizona State University and the City of Phoenix say the city's cool pavement yielded surface temperatures 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than conventional asphalt in the afternoon. However, daytime heat exposure increased by more than 5 degrees.
Shutting down Enbridge Energy's Line 5 and building a disputed $500 million tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan would result in "excessive greenhouse gas emissions," climate scientists said. "[W]hen compared to a scenario in which the existing Line 5 pipeline no longer operates, construction and operation of the Proposed Project would lead to an increase of about 27 million metric tons CO2e annually in global greenhouse gas emissions from the production and combustion of oil," said greenhouse gas emissions expert Peter Erickson.
Girders from North Carolina's demolished Herbert C. Bonner Bridge are providing clues to how bridges endure wear and tear over the years in a joint study by the North Carolina Department of Transportation and North Carolina State University. The nearly 60-year-old girders are subjected to cyclic and monotonic loading to test their remaining strength after decades of exposure to extreme weather.
At the 2014 IMTS in Chicago, an entire car was 3D printed on the show floor in 48 hours by the team of Local Motors. Everything on the 3D printed car that could be integrated into a single material piece was 3D printed including the chassis, exterior body, and some interior features. What was the name of this car?
Tiny microchips implanted on the brain's surface or deeper can gather and transmit neural signals that in turn could order different actions, such as driving a car. The chips, known as neurograins, were developed by researchers at Brown University and demonstrated in a mouse, in which the devices independently gathered impulses that could be transmitted to a computer for processing.
Sushil Reddy, a solar energy engineer, is riding a solar-powered Yuba cargo bike across the US to promote sustainable mobility options. Reddy notes that the bike gets around 30 miles of solar-powered assistance from two 50-watt panels, but the batteries can be plugged in to recharge on cloudy days.
Patrick O'Riordan, the interim director of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection, has advised the homeowners' association of the settled Millennium Tower to halt work on a retrofit of the pile foundation until officials complete a review of an updated construction approach for the pile and casings installation. The recommendation comes after Ronald Hamburger, the engineer-of-record for the $100 million foundation upgrade, paused the retrofit last month when reports revealed an increased pace of settlement and tilt.
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