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2017 Infrastructure Report Card

March 8, 2017

Over 18,000 sites and an associated 22 million acres of land are related to the primary hazardous waste programs that comprise much of the nation's hazardous waste infrastructure, and more than half of the U.S. population lives within three miles of a hazardous waste site. The current capacity of the nation's hazardous waste infrastructure is generally adequate, owing in no small measure to significant improvements in managing materials through recycling and reuse, rather than disposal. There have also been significant improvements in remediation technologies, resulting in faster and less resource-intensive cleanup approaches.

Report Card for New York's Infrastructure 2015

September 1, 2015

An independent review of the current state of infrastructure needs, capacity and funding in the State of New York by the American Society of Civil Engineers' New York State Council.Infrastructure supports daily life and the state's economy. With thousands of entities and officials in charge of the state's network of infrastructure, rarely is information about the state's infrastructure gathered in one place and looked at as a whole. ASCE's New York State Council created this Report Card for New York's Infrastructure to report on the condition of the infrastructure and provide solutions to improve it.As civil engineers charged with managing the care of many of the key pieces of New York State's infrastructure, we understand the challenges it faces and have used our expertise to condense complex data into an easy-to-understand analysis. When you're sick, you ask a doctor to diagnose the problem; civil engineers are the doctors of infrastructure so the Report Card is our diagnosis and prescription to treating New York's infrastructure.

Predicing Ecological Effects of Watershed-Wide Rain Garden Implementation Using a Low-Cost Methodology

July 13, 2015

Stormwater control measures (SCMs) have been employed to mitigate peak flows and pollutants ssociated with watershed urbanization. Downstream ecological effects caused by the implementation of SCMs are largely unknown, especially at the watershed scale. Knowledge of these effects could help with setting goals for and targeting locations of local restoration efforts. Unfortunately, studies such as these typically require a high level of time and effort for the investigating party, of which resources are often limited. This study proposes a low-cost investigation method for the prediction of ecological effects on the watershed scale with the implementation of rain garden systems by using publicly available data and software. For demonstration purposes, a typical urban watershed was modeled using Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) 5.0. Forty-five models were developed in which the percent impervious area was varied 3 to 80%, and the fraction of rain gardens implemented with respect to the number of structures was varied from to 100%. The river chub fish (Nocomis micropogon) and its congeners (Nocomis spp.) were chosen as ecological indicators, as they are considered to be keystone species through interspecific nesting association. Depth and velocity criteria for successful nest building locations of the river chub were determined; these criteria can then be applied to many other watersheds. In this study, both base flow conditions and a typical summer storm event (1.3 cm, 6 h duration) were evaluated. During the simulated storm, nest-building locations were not affected in the 3 and 5% impervious cover models. Nest destruction was found to occur in approximately 54% of the original nest building sites for the 9% and 10% impervious areas. Nearly all of the nest-building locations were uninhabitable for impervious areas 20% and greater. Rain garden implementation significantly improved river chub habitat in the simulation, with greatest marginal benefit at lower levels of implementation.

Predicting Ecological Effects of Watershed-Wide Rain Garden Implementation Using a Low-Cost Methodology

July 13, 2015

Stormwater control measures (SCMs) have been employed to mitigate peak flows and pollutants associated with watershed urbanization. Downstream ecological effects caused by the implementation of SCMs are largely unknown, especially at the watershed scale. Knowledge of these effects could help with setting goals for and targeting locations of local restoration efforts. Unfortunately, studies such as these typically require a high level of time and effort for the investigating party, of which resources are often limited. This study proposes a low-cost investigation method for the prediction of ecological effects on the watershed scale with the implementation of rain garden systems by using publicly available data and software. For demonstration purposes, a typical urban watershed was modeled using Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) 5.0. Forty-five models were developed in which the percent impervious area was varied 3 to 80%, and the fraction of rain gardens implemented with respect to the number of structures was varied from to 100%. The river chub fish (Nocomis micropogon) and its congeners (Nocomis spp.) were chosen as ecological indicators, as they are considered to be keystone species through interspecific nesting association. Depth and velocity criteria for successful nest building locations of the river chub were determined; these criteria can then be applied to many other watersheds. In this study, both base flow conditions and a typical summer storm event (1.3 cm, 6 h duration) were evaluated. During the simulated storm, nest-building locations were not affected in the 3 and 5% impervious cover models. Nest destruction was found to occur in approximately 54% of the original nest building sites for the 9% and 10% impervious areas. Nearly all of the nest-building locations were uninhabitable for impervious areas 20% and greater. Rain garden implementation significantly improved river chub habitat in the simulation, with greatest marginal benefit at lower levels of implementation.