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Published: Tuesday 30 July, 2013

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Immediately after the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01, many Engineers rushed to the scene to volunteer their expertise in the rescue work. After a few days, New York City organized the cleanup and contracted with the volunteer structural engineers to help. Their professional services enabled New York to clean up the site without any deaths by workers. However, now thousands of workers have brought lawsuits against everyone in charge including the structural engineers for letting them work on the site without adequate air masks. .

Apparently operating under the legal theory of no good dead goes unpunished, the lawyers and their plaintifs are making it less likely that engineers will volunteer or work on such disasters in the future.

The Connecticut General Assembly Committee on the Environment has shoes online cheap raised a farreaching bill HB 5600 that would put the state at the forefront of efforts to regulate greenhouse gases and halt climate change. The goal of the bill is to reduce greenhouse gases by 10% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Owners and operators of facilities that produce over 10,000 tons of CO2 would have to report emissions to the DEP. The bill would allow the state to adopt a lowcarbon fuel standard for motor vehicle and home heating fuels, adopt a model smart growth code and a public scoping meeting for any state project, focusing on environmental impacts.

Sections 8 through 10 would require the State Building Code to include the most stringent model energy standards available and shall meet either the International Energy Conservation Code or ASHRAE 90.1. The legislation would drop the requirement that most new construction meet LEED silver requirements. State building projects would have to exceed the new standards by at least 20%.

In order to enforce these energy codes the state would hire and train a cadre of state certified energy inspectors. No certificate of occupancy could be isssued without shoes online cheap approval by these state energy inspectors.

ACEC/CT is one of the founding members of the School Construction Coalition which has been formed to repeal a law passed last year that required bidding for architectural and construction management services for local school building projects using state funds.

The Coalition now includes CT Conference of Municipalities, AIA/CT, AGC, CSCE, School Superintendents, municipal attorneys and many others. Many school projects involve investigation of several alternatives Should we renovate two old schools or build two new schools or one big school? Bidding makes this analysis almost impossible. Many school districts are small and dont have the expertise to put together a reasonalbe bidding scope.

In spite of widespread support from the design and construction industry and municipalities, the Education Committee has not yet committed to bring the matter up for consideration this year. The Coalition is lobbying to get this matter on the agenda.

The Governor proposed splitting the Connecticut Department of Transportation into a Department of Highways and a Department of Public Transportation, Airports and Ports. She is recommending 50 new engineers for the DOT or whatever departments, 42 bridge inspectors, a 511 phone system for traffic news, a citizens ombudsman, a chief operating officer for DOT or whatever and a new office of planning.

The Governor proposed repealing the business entity tax.

Ethics reforms would include more disclosures by state employees who sign or negotiate contracts and a ban on fundraising by the Governors staff and spouse.

In order to keep engineering students in the state, the Governor recommends a $300,000 loan reimbursement program for engineers who stay and work in Connecticut. shoes online cheap