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Woodard & Curran Wins Two Operations & Management Contracts in New England

Posted April 27, 2007 by

PORTLAND, Maine – March 20, 2007 – Woodard & Curran recently won an Operations & Management contract from the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC)/Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and renewed its contract with the Town of Greenville, New Hampshire.

The BWSC and MWRA selected Woodard & Curran to serve as the operator of their new stormwater treatment facility and the upgraded Union Park Pumping Station for the next three years. A client since 2000, the BWSC provides water, wastewater, and storm drainage services throughout Boston, while the MWRA provides wholesale water and sewer services to 61 metropolitan Boston communities. Woodard & Curran is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management, including the provision of trained staff 24 hours a day, implementation of a state-of-the-art predictive maintenance management program, administration and implementation of minor capital repair and replacement projects, 9 unmanned pump stations, and emergency response during storm events.

The Town of Greenville, New Hampshire hired Woodard & Curran in 2001 to provide contract operations of its water and wastewater treatment systems. After six years of successful operations, the Town recently renewed the contract for another five years. Woodard & Curran is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the 0.425-million-gallons-per-day (MGD) water treatment plant, distribution system, 2 storage tanks with a capacity of 750,000 gallons, and biannual meter reading, as well as the 0.233-MGD wastewater treatment facility and 7.5-mile-long collection system.

Woodard & Curran is a 500-person, integrated engineering, science, and operations company. Privately held and steadily growing, the firm serves public and private clients locally and nationwide.

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Massachusetts DCR Park Fellows Program – Summer 2007

Posted April 20, 2007 by

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is seeking a select group of 12 qualified and motivated college students eager to explore their interest in DCR Park management and operations through a summer of hands-on work and learning.

This summer the DCR Park Fellow 2007 program will consist of:

  • A twelve week park or district assignment with a variety of work experiences.
    • A mentor assigned to each fellow.
    • A mid-term gathering of all fellows for shared learning and project planning.
    • Park Fellow special projects, developed by each fellow.
  • Both hands-on work and learning in the park system:
    • Operational overview of the park facilities.
    • Routine duties within day-to-day operations of the park.
    • Natural resources specific to each park.
    • Partnerships vital for building robust park programs.
    • Interpretive programs essential for connecting the public to our parks.

This is a 40-hr/week position with some weekend and holiday hours expected. Salary is approximately $480/wk for 12 weeks beginning June 3, 2007 and ending August 17, 2007. Fellows are expected to provide their own transportation.

An application and recommendation are required. Information and forms are available online. Look for “Park Fellows Program” at http://www.mass.gov/dcr/employment.htm.

Applications are due by May 11, 2007.

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MetroFuture: Making a Better Boston Region

Posted April 18, 2007 by

We invite you to a Boston College Citizen Seminar on Tuesday morning, May 1, for MetroFuture: Making a Greater Boston Region. There, we will unveil the plan to guide Metro Boston’s growth through 2030 and identify action steps that the region can take, over the coming months and years, to make the plan a reality.

Governor Deval Patrick has been invited 
to offer remarks at this event, which will include discussions about the region’s workforce and housing supply, municipal finances, public safety and more.

Whether you are new to the project or you’re a longstanding participant, please join us!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Hyatt Regency Hotel
Downtown Boston

7:30 a.m. Registration
Complimentary continental breakfast

8:00 a.m. Program
Governor Deval Patrick (invited)

Register today!

More information.

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Conference Attendees High on Low-Impact Development

Posted April 17, 2007 by

April 9, 2007 – Two years ago, low-impact development, or LID, was just a concept. Today, three dozen Bay State communities have adopted that concept, which promises to preserve natural resources and reduce construction costs.

Last week, more than 300 developers, town planners, engineers and consultants gathered at the First Annual Low Impact Development Conference and Vendor Fair for the Real Estate Industry at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham.

“Studies have provided plenty of evidence that we are not building enough housing and Gov. [Deval] Patrick has emphasized the need for new businesses to grow the economy,” said Kurt Gaertner, director of Sustainable Development at the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA). “The good news is that by implementing techniques like LID through careful site selection and better development practices, we can address all of these issues.”

Gaertner was the first in a parade of speakers to endorse LID, described as a combination of techniques designed to lessen the impact of development on the environment. Under that kind of construction, houses are built closer together and open space is preserved with smaller roads and shared driveways.

In addition, the use of permeable paving allows rainwater into the ground at a slower rate and rain gardens, also known as bioretention fields, are used to naturally retain and filter stormwater. The result is more green space with amenities such as hiking trails for residents to enjoy, according to proponents.

Traditionally, housing development in Massachusetts has been based on conventional zoning that often results in sprawl, where wooded areas are leveled without regard for the landscape’s natural features, LID proponents say.

In a typical subdivision, paved roads are wider than they have to be and commercial projects result in a sea of parking lots, LID advocates insist. Sprawl, they say, results in large impervious surfaces where catch-basins collect storm water and pipe it into detention ponds that often discharge the polluted water into streams and tributaries.

In contrast, when LID methods are used, rainfall infiltrates the ground and replenishes wetlands, streams and the groundwater that becomes drinking water, according to advocates.

EOEA’s Gaertner argues that LID smart-growth techniques allow municipalities to reduce their infrastructure and maintenance costs, as well as balance growth while protecting the environment.
“We encourage LID because it helps to preserve the integrity of ecological and biological resources and helps with water quality, groundwater recharge and all those aspects of environmental stewardship our agency is accountable for,” he said.

Critically Important

Andrew Crane, president of the Home Builders Association of Massachusetts, said the trade group has embraced LID.

“Whether installing Energy Star-rated appliances or using recycled materials, there are a number of simple steps we can take to ensure that we use the limited resources and protect the environment,” he said. (Energy Star is a program of the U.S. government that promotes energy-efficient consumer products.) “As advances in technology bring us new and different ways to undertake LID projects, you can be sure that our members will embrace and utilize this technology.”

Susan Studlien, director of the Office of Environmental Stewardship at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said LID is critically important to New England.

“Storm water is one of the leading causes of water quality impairments in our water bodies, which is why it is a national as well as a regional EPA priority,” she said. “LID enables us to treat rainwater as an asset before it becomes a pollutant. LID increases the ability of the land to recharge and filter rainwater, thus preserving groundwater and the flows of our streams and avoiding huge volumes of water that can cause flooding and erosion.”

Richard A. Claytor, principal at Horsley Witten Group in Sandwich, noted that LID is the opposite of traditional subdivision development where 1- and 2-acre lots are often required by local zoning along with 32-foot-wide streets and 30- to 40-foot setbacks for single-family homes.

“These requirements create a fairly enormous footprint in the landscape and that has consequences not just in infrastructure costs but the land costs,” he said.

Claytor said one of the best examples of LID can be found at The Pinehills in Plymouth. The 3,000-acre wooded site has more than 1,000 homes and 60,000 square feet of retail space built in the woods. More than 2,000 acres of forestland remain as open space, with condominiums and custom homes built around woods, water and golf courses.

“Pinehills maintained 70 percent of the development as open space with golf courses and forests so the houses are clustered in pods,” he said. “These homes are not inexpensive but are very desirable.”
In an interview during a break at the conference, Andrea Cooper, smart-growth coordinator at EOEA, acknowledged the challenge to convince local officials to discourage traditional development. Still, she noted that since 2000, dozens of communities including Westminster, Framingham, Paxton and Franklin have embraced the LID concept.

“Communities are resistant for a number of reasons,” she said. “Officials often tell me they’ve been doing things the same way for years and now they are expected to change. It can be difficult.”
But Cooper added that she is convinced more communities will adopt LID guidelines in the coming years. She said in small workshops, officials are getting the message that infrastructure and maintenance costs will be less expensive.

“We started talking about the concept a few years ago and now some communities are making changes,” she said. “We are very optimistic.”

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Governor James Douglas Welcomes URS to Vermont

Posted April 17, 2007 by

RUTLAND, VT – March 19, 2007 – URS Corporation has recently opened a new office in the state of Vermont to provide engineering and consulting services in the environmental, health & safety, and transportation sectors. Governor Douglas was the first to welcome URS, as highlighted in his 2007 State of the State Budget address.

“With a commitment to affordability, an innovative education system and a state-of-the-art telecommunications network, we can establish Vermont as a world center for environmental engineering,” stated the governor during his budgetary speech for 2007. “Thanks to our long-held environmental ethic, our system of higher education and the framework provided by the Vermont Environmental Consortium and the Green Valley Initiative, our state has the foundation from which this sector can grow and create more and better paying jobs across all levels of our economy. There is no state more prepared or motivated to support an industry dedicated to the greatest environmental challenges of our time.”

“We are not just a major company moving into the state, we are your friends, your neighbors, and members of your community,” reflected Maureen Alvarez, senior consultant and general manager. “Although we are a large company that can tackle any engineering challenge, we have the feeling of a small company or family business. Our goal is to be the center of excellence for engineering and consulting services in the state while being a contributing member of the community-at-large.”

“We have been working on engineering projects in the state for more than 20 years and believe the current business climate in Vermont is ideal for us to establish a physical presence here,” remarked Marcel Guay, vice president of URS New England. ?We are confident that expanding into the state of Vermont will better serve our existing clients and establish new relationships. With our local presence supported by our global depth, we hope to be one of Vermont’s premiere firms.”

URS will commemorate this event with a ribbon cutting and open house on March 22 at its new office in Rutland. Governor Douglas will be in attendance to formally welcome URS to the state. For more information, please contact Maureen Alvarez, at 802-774-1010 or maureen_alvarez (at) urscorp.com.

About URS:
URS Corporation offers a comprehensive range of professional planning and design, systems engineering and technical assistance, program and construction management, and operations and maintenance services for transportation, commercial/industrial, facilities, environmental, water/wastewater, homeland security, installations and logistics, and defense systems. Headquartered in San Francisco, the company operates in more than 20 countries with approximately 28,900 employees providing architectural, engineering and technical services to federal, state and local governmental agencies, universities as well as private clients in the health care, chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, power, manufacturing, mining and forest products industries.

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