“It’s the single biggest geotechnical problem we have,” said Jeff Currey, materials engineer for Alaska DOT’s northern region. “The Romans built roads 2,000 years ago that people are still using. On the other hand, we have built roads that within a year or two, without any maintenance, look like a roller coaster because they are built over thaw-unstable permafrost.”

By Greg Quinn quinngreg cross-posted from Bloomberg Snowcapped mountains and evergreens along the Alaska Highway. For seven decades, the Alaska Highway has mesmerized adventure-seeking travelers. In one breathtaking stretch through the Yukon, glacier lakes and rivers snake through aspen forests and rugged mountains that climb into the clouds. In recent years, though, a new sight has been drawing motorists’ attention, too, one they …

Low Emission Zones & bans of high emitting vehicles, to reduce air pollutants

Local Emissions Zones (LEZ) can be an effective way of reducing PM10 and soot emissions. An increasing number of cities are implementing LEZs, either for all vehicles or for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) only. The LEZs which are for heavy goods vehicles only were graded lower than the LEZs for all vehicles. Also these zones should be introduced early, should …

EPA air pollution, criteria pollutants, other pollutants – last reviewed in 2014

EPA Criteria Pollutants https://www.cdc.gov/air/pollutants.htm, page last reviewed in April 2014 The EPA has identified six pollutants as “criteria” air pollutants because it regulates them by developing human health-based and/or environmentally-based criteria (science-based guidelines) for setting permissible levels. These six pollutants are carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen oxides, ground-level ozone, particle pollution (often referred to as particulate matter), and sulfur oxides. Carbon Monoxide …

What do wind development trends mean for health, jobs, cities and transportation?

The Wind Vision Report  takes America’s current installed wind power capacity across all facets of wind energy (land-based, offshore, and distributed) as its baseline—a capacity that has tripled since the 2008 release of the Energy Department’s 20% Wind Energy by 2030report—and assesses the potential economic, environmental, and social benefits of a scenario where U.S. wind power supplies 10% of the …

Jobs, water, health benefits and more: A retrospective analysis of benefits and impacts of U.S. renewable portfolio standards

Energy Policy, Volume 96, September 2016, Pages 645–660 by Galen Barbose, Ryan Wiser, Jenny Heeter et al.  doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2016.06.035.  The prior study in this series focused on historical RPS compliance costs, and future work will evaluate costs, benefits, and other impacts of RPS policies prospectively.  See Report PDF, Presentation PDF, Factsheet PDF, and Press Release PDF. Benefits of satisfying U. S. renewable portfolio …

MIT& Ford are running AV-EV small shuttles/taxis summoned on demand, to be integrated with pedestrian traffic on sidewalks – streets are next stop!

Ford and MIT signed a research partnership that will delve on autonomous driving and pedestrian traffic pattern recognition. The project is supposed to debut this fall, with a number of on-demand electric shuttles for MIT’s students.  ( Ford ) Ford and MIT partnered up for a project to assist electric shuttles gauge current levels of demand among pedestrians and better …

50% of electricity in NY will come from renewables by 2030 and over 30% by 2021 say state regulators

New York regulators on Monday approved a Clean Energy Standard that mandates the state get half its power from renewable sources by 2030  and expect to reduce GHG emissions 40% by then. The state has set a aggressive implementation schedule, requiring utilities and energy service companies to begin serving up 26.31% renewable power starting next year, and will grow to 30.54% by 2021. …

Meteorologists: yes, 1000-year rainfall events really are becoming more common

Slate meteorologist Eric Holthaus wrote in his email newsletter Monday: If you think you’ve heard something like this before, you’re probably right. In fact, 1,000-year rainfall events are occurring frequently enough now that we can start to categorize them. There’s the “rapid onset” 1,000-year events, like what happened this weekend in Maryland and last month’s extreme rainfall in West Virginia, …

Mergers are leading to price increases in 75% of cases, according to research

Some of the issues that could be ripe for discussion this fall… 1. Monopolies: Increasing Prices, Cutting Jobs The Busch/Miller merger is the latest attack on competition, joining the recent surge toward oligopolies in the banking industry, pharmaceuticals and hospitals, wireless companies, and airlines. Contrary to any condescending claims that mergers contribute to price-lowering efficiencies, they have actually led to …