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Four energy companies form joint venture to build 550-mile, $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Richmond, Va. — Four major U.S. energy companies — Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and AGL Resources — announced the formation of a joint venture to build and own the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The $4.5 billion to $5 billion, 550-mile natural gas pipeline would run from Harrison County, W.Va., southeast through Virginia with an extension to Chesapeake, Va., and then south through central North Carolina to Robeson County. The partnership, called Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC, will own the pipeline initially proposed by Dominion as the Southeast Reliability Project.

BioPreferred program opens to wood products

Washington, D.C. — American Wood Council (AWC) President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued the following statement regarding the recognition of wood products under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program going into effect today. The 2014 Farm Bill states that forest products, previously considered to be ineligible because they were “mature market,” are now eligible products to be recognized in USDA biobased programs.

Trans Energy Inc. to restore streams and wetland damaged by natural gas extraction activities in West Virginia

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP), and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with Trans Energy Inc., requiring the oil and gas company to restore portions of streams and wetlands at 15 sites in West Virginia polluted by the company’s unauthorized discharge of dredge or fill material. It is estimated that Trans Energy will spend more than $13 million to complete the restoration and mitigation work required by the consent decree.

California quake points to research advancements in retrofitting older buildings

West Lafayette, Ind. — The 6.0 earthquake that rocked Napa, Calif., on Aug. 24 is placing the spotlight on efforts by property owners and municipalities to retrofit older buildings and improve their ability to withstand earthquakes. Researchers affiliated with the Purdue University-led George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) have studied ways to strengthen older masonry- and wood-framed buildings to minimize earthquake damage and save lives.

ARCADIS manages construction for largest cement plant in Northeast

Highlands Ranch, Colo. — ARCADIS will oversee construction on a multi-million dollar modernization project set to transform Lafarge North America Inc.’s Ravena cement plant – capable of producing more than 1 million tons of cement each year – into one of the most advanced dry-kiln facilities in the nation. The project will increase plant capacity, allowing Ravena to remain the highest-producing plant in the Northeastern U.S. and enabling Lafarge to continue to provide cement for the Freedom Tower, World Trade Center Memorial and more iconic buildings around the country.

Horner & Shifrin to update Morehouse, Mo., water treatment systems

St. Louis — The City of Morehouse, Mo., selected Horner & Shifrin (H&S) to provide structural, environmental and mechanical engineering services for a complete design overhaul of the city’s 1940s-era water treatment and distribution system. Plans for the project include re-coating the city’s 100,000-gallon elevated water storage tank as well as structural and security improvements.

Nonresidential construction spending rebounds in July

Washington, D.C. — Nonresidential construction spending expanded strongly in July, growing 2.5 percent on a monthly basis and rising a robust 8.6 percent on a year-over-year basis according to a Sept. 2 release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Spending for the month totaled $617.8 billion on a seasonally adjusted, annualized basis. The government also revised upward a somewhat disappointing June nonresidential construction spending estimate from $589 billion to $603 billion and the estimate for May from $606 billion to $611 billion.

GEI completes work on San Diego County Water Authority's $1.5B Emergency Storage Project

Sacramento, Calif. — GEI Consultants, Inc. announced that its client, the San Diego County Water Authority, recently dedicated the San Vicente Dam Raise, the final major piece of the Water Authority's $1.5 billion Emergency Storage Project (ESP). The ESP consists of a system of reservoirs, interconnected pipelines, and pumping stations that will ensure the region has a six-month supply of water in the event of an interruption of imported water deliveries.

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