'Floodplain maps have been redrawn by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Delaware, a change that could shift properties into or out of a flood risk zone.
The updated maps are used to calculate flood insurance rates, so for homeowners whose properties moved into FEMAs designated flood risk areas, the map change could mean paying more for flood insurance'.
What happens when a corrupt FEMA bows to developers to change flood zone data allowing expansion of building on real estate that holds public hazard as we see today in PUERTO RICO? Any citizen or citizen group can petition this review but it is our ELECTED OFFICIALS that should lead in demanding FEMA revise these flood zone data. It is our Maryland Health and Human Services and our Baltimore City Public Health Department that would LEAD in these efforts if they were not working for those DEVELOPERS. Our public universities as Morgan State, University of Baltimore, and University of Maryland Medical Center would all be shouting and producing data showing OBAMA'S FEMA JUKED THE FLOOD ZONE DATA FOR DEVELOPERS.
Who do we hear shout loudly when our cities are flooded and destroyed? The same global Wall Street Baltimore Development 'labor and justice' FAKE ALT LEFT tied to being that 5% to the 1% pushing to be those contractors building on flood plains.
Who would be shouting against a global VEOLA ENVIRONMENT controlling the building of today's public water and waste making sure pipeline materials are safe unlike the 1950s when lead-laced water pipes were laid? THESE SAME PEOPLE.
WHERE ARE THE CIVIL ENGINEERS RIGHT NOW?
FEMA HOMELAND SECURITY
How To Request a Flood Hazard Determination Review from FEMA
This page describes the Letter of Determination Review process--from timing, to participants and what is needed.
A Letter of Determination Review (LODR) is an option available to a property owner to appeal a lender's flood zone determination. The request can be made to FEMA, at a current cost of $80, jointly by a lender and borrower within 45 days of the notice being send by the lender to the borrower stating the building is located within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The LODR review process enables FEMA to verify whether the building’s location was correctly identified on the applicable Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
A successful LODR releases the lender from the statutory obligation to require the purchase of flood insurance and identifies the building as being in a low-tomoderate flood risk area. However, lenders retain the prerogative to require flood insurance as a regulatory safety and soundness measure even without the federal requirement.
Borrowers who have reason to dispute the flood hazard determination presented by a lender may request, jointly with the lender, that FEMA review that determination. FEMA will make its determination within 45 days of receipt of all necessary data. If the request for review is related to a loan and the loan closing occurs before the end of the 45-day response time, the purchase of flood insurance is required. If it is determined through the review process that the structure is not located in a SFHA, and if the lender waives the flood insurance purchase requirement, a premium refund for the current policy term may be obtained if no claim on the policy has been made.
The Flood Hazard Determination Review process does not consider the elevation of the structure above the flood level. It considers only the location of the structure relative to the SFHA shown on the effective FIRM.
EVERY CITIZEN should read and know their city/county CODE and as this article states our Baltimore City council and mayor as most US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE city councils have rewritten our CODES especially around ZONING.
It is that city council and mayor who allow MOVING FORWARD GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS GLOBAL FACTORY who cares if they build on FLOOD PLAINS and throw worker housing, nursing homes, et al on those flood plains. It is this city council responsible not only to monitor our public works projects like public water and waste but to assure public safety and INFORM THE PUBLIC OF ALL details of construction. If the public is told they cannot KNOW what materials are being used by which outsourced construction contracting corporation---then those city council pols are the driver of BAD CIVIL ENGINEERING.
THIS IS CRITICAL FOLKS-----ZONING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY IS THAT MOVING FORWARD TO US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE INDUSTRIALIZATION-----MINUS WE THE PEOPLE THE 99%.
Please glance through and go to the full text document to understand what 21st century development looks like ------this article highlights a few of those left social progressive bones thrown -----FRATS AND SOR GREEKS are as we said no longer needed as 5% Robber Baron players and they are on the way out---not only in zoning. Liquor boards are on the way out because global Wall Street wants liquor sold in global grocery chains where control is through global corporate tribunal ----not city boards and pols. BONDSMEN are not needed when crime is handled by rehabilitation forced labor and any sign of US citizen rights and pathway to justice are gone....we are almost there in MOVING FORWARD.
When we talk of all the harmful effects of US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE development with goals of moving a few billion of global labor pool into heavily industrialized zones with development that places citizens in harm's way----these are the people we shake our fists at-----not the sitting President---read the details because these few front page zoning wish list policies are window-dressing.
(As Enacted & Corrected, Effective June 5, 2017, by Ords. 16-581 & 17-015
As Last Amended by Ord. 17-056)
BALTIMORE CITY DEPARTMENT OF LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE
Avery Aisenstark, Director
TITLE 7 OPEN-SPACE AND ENVIRONMENTAL DISTRICTS
Purpose of Title
§ 7-101. Purpose.
Open-Space Zoning Districts
§ 7-201. Purpose of Open-Space Districts.
§ 7-202. Use regulations.
§ 7-203. Bulk and yard regulations.
§ 7-204. Other applicable standards.
Floodplain Overlay Zoning District
§ 7-301. Definitions.
§ 7-302. Purpose of Floodplain Overlay District.
ROWHOUSE AND MULTI-FAMILY RESIDENTIAL
Purpose of Title
§ 9-101. Purpose.
§ 9-201. R-5 Transitional Residential District.
§ 9-202. R-6 Garden Rowhouse Residential District.
§ 9-203. R-7 Mixed Residential District.
§ 9-204. R-8 Rowhouse Residential District.
§ 9-205. R-9 Multi-Family Residential District.
§ 9-206. R-10 High-Density Residential District.
TITLE 11 INDUSTRIAL DISTRICTS
Purpose of Title
§ 11-101. Purpose.
§ 11-201. OIC Office-Industrial Campus District.
§ 11-202. BSC Bio-Science Campus District.
§ 11-203. I-MU Industrial Mixed-Use District.
§ 11-204. I-1 Light Industrial District.
§ 11-205. I-2 General Industrial District.
§ 11-206. MI Maritime Industrial District.
APPOINTED BY THE MAYOR AND APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL
The New Orleans City Planning Commission is a nine member citizen board appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. ... City, in accordance with the goals and policies of the City's Plan for the 21st Century or the Master Plan'.
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- Planning Commission
- Members of the Planning Commission
Wilbur Cunningham, Chairman
Victor Clark Jr., Citizen Representative
Victor Bonaparte, Citizen Representative
The Honorable Edward Reisinger, City Council Representative
Robert Hopkins, Citizen Representative
Colin Tarbert, Mayor’s Office Representative
Marcia Collins, Dept. of Public Works Representative
Cheo D. Hurley, Citizen Representative
Wilbur E. Cunningham is Vice President of the Living Classroom Foundation. He served in the Baltimore City Council for ten years where he chaired the Land Use Committee, the Health and Environment committee and represented the City Council on the Planning Commission. Following his service in the City Council, he was the Economic Coordinator for Mayor Kurt Schmoke. Cunningham has served as President of the Ednor Gardens-Lakeside Community Association, Housing Chairman of CPHA, and on the Board of NECO, Northeast Real Estate Conservation Project. He was also president of the Baltimore City College Alumni Association. Both of his children attended Baltimore City Public Schools beginning in Kindergarten and culminating with graduation from Baltimore City College High School.
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Victor Clark Jr.Citizen Representative
Victor Clark, Jr. is currently a Program Manager for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (MDBED). He has been serving on the Baltimore City Community Relations Commission since 1995 and the Baltimore City Board of Fire Commissioners since 2000. He served on the Baltimore City Wage Commission from 1986 – 1994. Prior to his present position at MDBED, he was an Account Executive at Booker T. Washington Foundation and provided professional consulting services at Mile One Corporation. Mr. Clark received his High School Diploma from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and holds a B.S. Degree from University of Baltimore.
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Victor BonaparteCitizen Representative
Victor Bonaparte is currently a Socio-Economic Planner for the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Baltimore Region. A lifelong resident of Baltimore City, he is an active member of the Hillsdale Heights Neighborhood Association. A 1992 graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Program, he has served on the boards of Liberty Medical Center, Bon Secours Hospital, Civic Works and the International Book Bank. He has broad experience in Capital Planning and Budgeting in local and state government. Prior to assuming his present position at the BMC, he was a capital projects planner at the Baltimore City Planning Department, rising from staff planner to Deputy Director. Along the way, his responsibilities included serving as Chief of the Capital Improvement Planning, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation and the Mayor’s Capital Projects Coordinator before retiring from city government in 1996. Following his career with Baltimore City, he held positions at the Maryland Department of Planning, serving as the Secretary’s Designee to the Public School Construction Program and Director of Capital Planning and Development Review from 1997 to 2002. He holds a B.S. Degree from Morgan State University and a MGA from the University of Maryland University College.
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The Honorable Edward Reisinger
City Council Representative
Baltimore City Council Baltimore City Council
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Robert HopkinsCitizen Representative
Robert B. Hopkins, a lifelong Baltimore resident, is a partner in the Baltimore office of the international law firm of Duane Morris, where he practices civil litigation. He is also the Vice President of Baltimore based American Maritime Cases and is on the Boards of the Maritime Law Association of the Unites States and the Admiralty Law Institute. He is an active member of the Saint Davids Church and lives in the Fourth District with his wife and two children.
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Mayor’s Office Representative
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Marcia CollinsDept. of Public Works Representative
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Cheo D. Hurley
Cheo D. Hurley began his community development career as a Business Analyst for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Since 2009, he has served as Vice President, Community and Economic Development at the Park Heights Renaissance, Inc., a non-profit organization tasked with implementing the Park Heights Master Plan. He oversees all real estate and community-development activities related to the implementation of the Park Heights Master Plan. Mr. Hurley holds a B.B.A, Degree from Howard University, an MPA from American University and a Master of Real Estate from Johns Hopkins University.
We have today in US the same third world public works outsourcing fraud and corruption as we see below----as in Asia----as in Africa. The US is no longer a developed nation under US Rule of Law----our US cities operate under FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE policies-----global corporations already have that outsourcing structure of construction contractors and subcontractors AND they are filled with FAKE ENGINEERS----who rubber stamp and SEE NO EVIL ----and these are the PARTNERSHIPS to which our Baltimore City council and mayor as all US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE CITIES are making.
In Colombia, the procurement of pipes for water supply and
infrastructure has been vulnerable to corruption and fraud.
The conditions established to participate in the tendering
process often tend to favour single bidders, without consideration
for the technical analysis justifying given requirements.
Moreover, the bribes are frequently offered in the contracting
processes. These practices resulted in the loss of large sums
of public resources for water and infrastructure projects'.
The international justice and economic integrity NGOs independent of United Nations and World Bank have been outing these few decades the building supply corporations as substandard/criminally fraudulent/openly negligent----
WE THE PEOPLE THE 99% have lived in a developed nation for 300 years where standards of building products were first-rate----pride of craftsmanship from brick-layers, concrete and mortar manufacturers---our Baltimore City row houses built 100 years ago are just now getting a POINTING ---that is repair of mortar between bricks as these houses are built with the best of manufacturing products.
TODAY, GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONS AWARDED OUTSOURCED CONTRACTING JOBS HAVE LONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH BUILDING MANUFACTURING IN THIRD WORLD WHERE FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES WERE BUILT THESE FEW DECADES. THIS IS TO WHERE THEY WILL GET THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPLIES AND YES IT IS RIDDLED WITH MATERIAL FRAUD AND CORRUPTION.
'Cheating Chinese building suppliers provide fake safety documents...
Jul 23, 2017 ... Some Chinese manufacturers have forged compliance certificates. ... into substandard building products that “fraudulent documents abound'' in ...'
Our US cities are controlled by global Wall Street development corporations whose only goal is expanding empire overseas in exchange for allowing foreign corporations space in our US Foreign Economic Zones and markets for those foreign nations' products especially in construction and building materials------our US city CIVIL ENGINEERING controlled by global corporations go for the CHEAPEST building material while receiving US Treasury and state/city municipal bond revenue worth LOTS OF PROFITS. This has been the policy these few decades in US cities---and it will soar in MOVING FORWARD building global corporate campuses, roads, bridges, and ports.
MOVING FORWARD is NOT a rebuilding of American cities---it is the building of yet another developing nation Foreign Economic Zone.
Private Sector Anti-Corruption Agreement in the Pipe Manufacturing Industry
Case Study - Colombia
Home » Good Practice » Private Sector Anti-Corruption Agreement in the Pipe Manufacturing Industry
Action and Outcomes
To reduce the mistrust in the pipe manufacturing industry in Colombia and reduce opportunities for fraud, the Sanitary and Environmental Engineering Association (ACODAL) approached Transparencia por Colombia to establish a sectoral Anti-Bribery Agreement. The Agreement stipulates that each company must introduce a general anti-corruption policy. To consolidate the Agreement, participating companies (9 companies – covering most of the Colombian pipe market) created an Ethics Committee to monitor suspect tenders or conduct and promote compliance.
The agreement is cited as good practice example for integrity pacts in the water sector.
The Ethics Committee has since uncovered irregularities in several projects.
The US has been buying almost all its infrastructure building materials from overseas these few decades of CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA from steel to pipes to concrete to bricks and mortar with token local small business patronage.
We all KNOW the quality of building supplies from developing nations is substandard for US -----we all know there is no oversight or inspection-----the ENGINEERS listed are not educated to US regulations and standards so as we MOVE FORWARD in major infrastructure building in all mid-size US cities like Baltimore------what was once a REAL PUBLIC WORKS department----now operated by global corporations will be bringing that substandard building material to our public works projects and have been these few decades.
We have in our US city public works departments 5% global Wall Street players----black, white, and brown with degrees from global IVY LEAGUES in civil engineering and lots of online degree certificate employees not knowing whether things are done well----whether they meet code----
US cities have MINORITY CONTRACTORS----HIRE MINORITY EMPLOYEES which today means global labor pool and many of the engineers being hired in US cities are coming from developing nations having no idea of what US STANDARDS OF BUILDING are.
We have no one on the outside looking in------we have people on the inside tied to SEE NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL.
TRUMP'S 'BUY AMERICAN' WILL SIMPLY MOVE FORWARD BRINGING OVERSEAS FOREIGN CORPORATIONS TO US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES TO MANUFACTURE HERE OPERATING JUST AS THEY DO OVERSEAS.
BUILD TO FAIL OFFSHORE BRINGS BUILD TO FAIL TO US CITIES----IT WILL SOAR.
‘Buy American’ Rule for Keystone Pipeline Dropped After Ex-Foreign Steel Exec Became Commerce Secretary
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross might benefit financially from Trump’s decision to drop the “Buy American” rule from Keystone Pipeline steel.Lachlan Markay
03.03.17 3:35 PM ET
The Trump administration’s decision to exempt the Keystone XL pipeline from “Buy American” rules could benefit one company in particular: the steel giant that newly minted Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross invested in and helped run for a decade.
Two days after Ross was confirmed, the White House announced that Commerce will not apply those rules to the project. “The Keystone XL Pipeline is currently in the process of being constructed, so it does not count as a new, retrofitted, repaired or expanded pipeline,” a White House spokesperson told Politico.
The pipeline’s exemption from Buy American rules could benefit Luxembourg-based company ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel manufacturer. Ross, a billionaire investor and leveraged buyout specialist, sat on the company’s board until Wednesday, and in January disclosed equity holdings of between $750,000 and $1.5 million.
ArcelorMittal has provided large amounts of material for the Keystone pipeline. According to company documentation, its plant in Bremen, Germany, sold dozens of kilotons of steel to Arkansas-based Welspun Tubular, which used the material to manufacture spiral welded pipe for the project.
The resulting products would not qualify as “American-made” under the definition employed by President Trump’s executive order implementing the rules.
In order for steel or iron used in pipeline manufacturing to be considered American, “all manufacturing processes,… from the initial melting stage through the application of coatings, [must have] occurred in the United States.”
The order took the form of a memorandum sent directly to the Secretary of Commerce, a position that was vacant until Ross was sworn in on Tuesday.
“Steel or iron material or products manufactured in the United States from semi-finished steel or iron of foreign origin are not ‘produced in the United States’ for purposes of this memorandum,” the order specifies.
ArcelorMittal’s formidable lobbying operation focused significant attention on approval of the Keystone pipeline as it languished in bureaucratic limbo during President Barack Obama’s second term.
The company disclosed pressing for approval of legislation to advance the project in spite of Obama’s reticence in federal filings that collectively reported more than $3.5 million in lobbying expenditures from 2013 to 2015.
The Obama administration eventually nixed the project, which, due to its crossing of the US-Canada border, required State Department approval. Days after taking office, President Trump reversed that decision.
That could benefit ArcelorMittal if its Buy American exemption allows it to continue providing materials for the project. It could also be good news for Sec. Ross, who has not said when he will fully divest his holdings in the company.
ArcelorMittal did not respond to questions about its continued role in the construction of the pipeline.
The company told the Daily Beast this week that it expects Trump and his Commerce Department to pursue policies that will serve the company’s financial interests.
In the early 2000s, Ross bought up distressed American steel firms, consolidated them into his International Steel Group, then sold ISG to ArcelorMittal’s predecessor. He served on the company’s board from 2005 until his confirmation this week, taking in six-figure “director’s fees” annually.
It was not immediately clear if Commerce or the White House made the decision to exempt Keystone from Buy American provisions. Neither returned requests for comment.
Every aspect of building material not only escapes manufacturing oversight but today we have NO REAL BUILDING INSPECTORS----no REAL engineers ready to stop construction because they work for global corporations and want to MAXIMIZE PROFITS.
We have watched these few decades as CLINTON/BUSH./OBAMA filled our infrastructure development with the worst of the worst in the world BUILD TO FAIL. If we can imagine our US bridges having held strong for almost a century---our old wooden bridges in local communities holding strong for 200 years------MOVING FORWARD brings BUILD TO FAIL TO REPAIR profiteering ---just as in Foreign Economic Zones overseas.
IT IS CRITICAL FOLKS WE GET RID OF GLOBAL WALL STREET 5% POLS AND PLAYERS WHO HAVE BEEN INSTALLED DURING CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA TO MOVE FORWARD THIRD WORLD US FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE DEVELOPMENT.
NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG IS SIMPLY SHOCKED AT FRAUDULENT./CORRUPT/THIRD WORLD BUILDING ---WHO APPOINTS THE INSPECTORS?--------
'The inquiry has led to the indictment of two companies. State racketeering charges have been brought against the largest in the region, Testwell Laboratories, and several of its officers and employees. Another company, Stallone Testing Labs, and its laboratory director have been charged with fraud.
A third company, American Standard Testing Laboratories, has acknowledged that it is under investigation. The defendants in the two criminal cases have pleaded not guilty, and American Standard has denied wrongdoing'.
Isn't today's global Johns Hopkins simply BLOOMBERG UNIVERSITY? You betcha with no intent to do anything that hinders MAXIMIZED PROFITS.
City Inquiry Into Concrete Testing Widens
By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUMAUG. 17, 2009
Casa Redimix won a restraining order allowing it to continue supplying concrete for the Willis Avenue Bridge.
Credit Andrea Mohin/The New York Times
Manhattan prosecutors have executed a search warrant at a company that supplies concrete to large public works projects in the city, marking a significant expansion of a 17-month investigation in the concrete testing industry that they say has exposed widespread fraud, according to court papers and officials.
The search took place on Aug. 6, and a day later the city’s Department of Transportation banned the company, the Casa Redimix Concrete Corporation, from serving as a supplier on a major venture, the $612 million replacement of the Willis Avenue Bridge, which spans the Harlem River.
The company won a temporary restraining order in State Supreme Court on Friday, allowing it to continue work on the bridge pending a hearing next month. A lawyer for the company said it had done nothing wrong and defended its work.
The search of Casa’s offices, on Edgewater Road in the Bronx, was conducted by the office of the Manhattan district attorney. Court papers filed by the city in its effort to suspend Casa said the company was a subject of the continuing inquiry into the concrete testing industry, and the company acknowledged the search in its response.
The investigation, begun in March 2008, has resulted in charges alleging a series of crimes, including the failure to perform some required tests and the fabrication of the results of others on scores of construction jobs, including Yankee Stadium, 1 World Trade Center and other prominent projects.
Concrete testing, required by the city’s building code, is viewed as a basic safety measure. Faulty concrete would be less durable and not last as long. Investigators, industry experts and engineers have said they do not believe any falsified tests created immediate hazards, because most of the concrete poured in New York is of high quality.
The investigation has been a source of embarrassment to the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a forceful advocate of development in his two terms. The construction industry has presented a series of problems for the mayor, among them a rash of deaths and accidents, including two fatal tower crane collapses in 2008 and the deaths of two firefighters at the former Deutsche Bank building in 2007.
Facing criticism of the city’s oversight, Mr. Bloomberg has instituted regulations and signed legislation, but problems persist at the Buildings Department, long plagued by corruption and mismanagement. A year after the agency announced that it had a plan to retest concrete in an untold number of buildings in response to the investigation, few checks have been done and the agency refuses to make its plan public.
The inquiry has led to the indictment of two companies. State racketeering charges have been brought against the largest in the region, Testwell Laboratories, and several of its officers and employees. Another company, Stallone Testing Labs, and its laboratory director have been charged with fraud.
A third company, American Standard Testing Laboratories, has acknowledged that it is under investigation. The defendants in the two criminal cases have pleaded not guilty, and American Standard has denied wrongdoing.
The search of Casa’s offices, where the authorities seized three dozen boxes of records and a computer, suggests that investigators have begun to focus on companies beyond testing laboratories, a significant broadening of the inquiry. Several people briefed on the matter said additional suppliers and other companies were also facing scrutiny, but did not name them.
When the charges against Stallone were announced at a news conference last month, the district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, and an aide suggested that the inquiry would widen.
Mr. Morgenthau said prosecutors had seized faxes and e-mail messages from Stallone indicating that contractors were knowingly buying false test results. The records, he said, showed that contractors ordered overnight mix design reports with test results that were supposed to take 28 days.
Patrick Dugan, the office’s chief of investigations, said at the time that investigators were identifying the contractors who received those reports and results. “That’s the next chapter,” Mr. Dugan said.
Several people briefed on the matter said one of those companies was Casa.
The State Supreme Court justice who blocked the city’s effort to suspend Casa, Alice Schlesinger, wrote in her decision Friday that there was no information beyond the execution of the search warrant that the company had violated the law and that unsafe concrete had been used.
She said, however, that “in order to insure the safety of the public,” the city and the company building the bridge, a joint venture of Kiewit Construction and Weeks Marine, “have complete authority to monitor and supervise in accordance with their own judgment.”
A lawyer for Casa, William B. Wachtel, said the company, like other concrete suppliers, sells mix designs for which tests have already been performed, essentially taking a standard recipe for a certain strength of concrete off the shelf. Casa rarely deals with the testing companies, Mr. Wachtel said.
“Concrete suppliers are like pharmacists,” he said on Friday. “They fill the prescriptions that contractors issue and nothing more.”
Casa’s owner, Mauro Perciballi, denied wrongdoing in a sworn affidavit filed as part of its effort to block the suspension and said that neither he nor Casa had ever “been accused, much less convicted, of a crime.” He said that roughly 80 percent of the company’s work was on contracts performed for the Department of Transportation and other city agencies; it supplied concrete for the Third Avenue Bridge, the 145th Street Bridge and Interstate 95.
For nearly two years, Mr. Perciballi said, Casa has supplied concrete for the Willis Avenue Bridge under its $11.5 million, four-year subcontract with the Kiewit-Weeks joint venture.
“In particular, there have been no complaints or reported deficiencies with respect to the concrete Casa has provided to the project,” he said. “In fact, it is my understanding that the concrete provided by Casa to the project has routinely tested at strengths well above the required specifications.”
'The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Tuesday revealed that the operation codenamed “Greenfield” was launched a week ago, netting two senior executives, two senior site laboratory technicians, 12 site laboratory technicians and five laboratory assistants employed by the contractor for the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD)'.
We already see our US Foreign Economic Zones tied to foreign corporations-----MALAYSIA AND CHINA have been awarded US oil and natural gas refineries-----Chinese port management corporations control US PORTS ----and with that brings these global contracting corporations from manufacturing, engineering, and operations along with those third world DO ANYTHING TO ACCUMULATE WEALTH AND MAXIMIZE PROFITS. As we watch CLIMATE CHANGE bring more intense storms---as earthquakes become more intense----our 21ST CENTURY REBUILDING OF OUR US CITIES is filled with BUILD TO FAIL with no oversight and accountability and global Wall Street 5% pols and players in US city councils, development and planning boards.
Concrete and pipe are the two most prevalent materials in infrastructure building AND they are both the materials found with the most fraudulent and corrupt process manufacturing.
Officers arrest 21 over faked concrete test results for Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge project
The government says it is investigating possible safety implications, while an expert warns the structure might have to be rebuilt in worst-case scenario
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 May, 2017, 6:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 May, 2017, 9:11am
Hong Kong’s anti-corruption agency has arrested 21 employees of a government contractor accused of faking concrete test reports for the multibillion-dollar bridge that will link the city to Zhuhai and Macau, raising serious safety concerns.
SCMP Today: Intl Edition
The government said it was investigating whether there were any safety implications for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, while an expert warned that it might even have to be rebuilt in the worst-case scenario.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Tuesday revealed that the operation codenamed “Greenfield” was launched a week ago, netting two senior executives, two senior site laboratory technicians, 12 site laboratory technicians and five laboratory assistants employed by the contractor for the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD).
They were released on bail pending further inquiries.
Development minister Eric Ma Siu-cheung pledged that the government would examine the safety of the bridge construction.
“If the situation is not that serious, reviewing the existing construction is already enough. Otherwise we will take serious measures and follow up actions,” he said.
A government spokesman said on Tuesday night that the Highways Department had instructed workers last week to immediately conduct non-destructive concrete strength tests on three main projects – the boundary crossing facilities, the Hong Kong link road and the tunnel being built from Chek Lap Kok to Tuen Mun.
Tests so far have found nothing abnormal, although they are continuing.
The department will also recruit an independent professional body to help conduct tests in the coming weeks on crucial parts of the three projects, including the bridge body and the tunnel.
Engineering firm contracted to Hong Kong-Macau bridge has server hacked, documents destroyed
The civil engineering department has been working with the contractor since January 2013 to conduct compression tests on concrete samples for the bridge. All concrete samples were required to pass the tests within a set period of time.
“It was revealed that when some of the tests were not conducted within the set time frame in compliance with the contract requirements, the site laboratory technicians and laboratory assistants might have adjusted the times on the testing machines to cover up the irregularities,” the ICAC said on Tuesday.
The ICAC further alleged that some laboratory staff might have replaced the concrete samples to falsify the tests, and suspected the offences might have started in early 2015.
“ICAC inquiries [also] revealed that the two senior site laboratory technicians had certified the false test reports. It was suspected that they might have corruptly connived at the submission of the false reports to the CEDD,” the graft buster said.
Two Hong Kong workers on mega bridge construction injured in generator fire
The contractor said it had conducted an internal investigation after the department found irregularities in the test reports, but failed to disclose that staff might have used a metal calibration cylinder and high-strength concrete cubes to make it look like the tests had been conducted properly, according to the ICAC.
Greg Wong Chak-yan, a former president of the Institution of Engineers, said whether safety had been compromised would depend on the quality of the concrete, and where and how much of it was used on the bridge.
“If the concrete is far below standard and is used in one-third or two-thirds of the supporting pillars or bridge columns, of course it would pose safety risk and the government needs to take extra time to replace them,” Wong said.
“That would be the worst thing that could happen. Otherwise simple measures could be taken in remediation.”
Work on the Hong Kong part of the bridge, costing more than HK$110 billion, began in 2011 and was delayed for a year to the end of this year amid a string of construction obstacles.
Ten workers have died and more than 600 have been injured while building the bridge, in a total of 275 incidents.
Here is UK---same third world neglect of development, materials, and FAKE ENGINEERS--------
'The committee will meet with the officers from the City Engineer’s Department today on the recommendation of City Mayor Patricia Chase-Green, who at last week’s statutory council meeting recommended that disciplinary action be taken against three members of the City Engineers Department over flooding in the city'.
When our major public institutions are not the voice of 99% WE THE PEOPLE putting students from public universities tasked with research projects and gathering data HOLDING POWER ACCOUNTABLE as we used to before CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA made corporations of our public universities----we lose a huge driver of public justice in development.
Morgan State, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore should have student projects making these agencies and pols FEARFUL OF BEING PLAYERS.
City engineers, building inspectors accused of neglect of duty– point fingers at dep’t head over negligence, abuse of office
By Staff Writer May 16, 2017
Six municipal engineers and building inspectors have been asked to appear before the city’s Human Resources Committee to answer to charges of “neglect of duties,” resulting in City Engineer Colvern Venture being accused of negligence and abusing his office.
The committee will meet with the officers from the City Engineer’s Department today on the recommendation of City Mayor Patricia Chase-Green, who at last week’s statutory council meeting recommended that disciplinary action be taken against three members of the City Engineers Department over flooding in the city.
Contacted for comment on the accusations yesterday, Venture said that he could not respond until he had seen all the documents and was more aware of the nature of the complaint.
According to the Mayor, subsequent to the flash flooding last December, three engineers were placed on a rotating shift to overlook the operations of the sluices and pumps and asked to submit regular reports to Venture. It has been claimed by him that they failed to fulfil these duties.
The engineers identified have denied this accusation, while noting that for months they submitted reports chronicling persistent problems which were never addressed by Venture until the Mayor became involved.
Chase-Green herself noted that “things that could not have been done in weeks were done in 48 hours” once she contacted the engineer.
Deputy City Engineer Ron Eastman, in his written response to Human Resources Manager Paulette Braithwaite, has challenged the claims of neglect and non-cooperation made against him, while stating that Venture received several updates from his office since they discussed several matters on a daily basis, including drainage infrastructure. He also claimed that it was the same officers (engineers) now being accused of failing to write reports who “helped the current city engineer transform his reporting approach to a more technically inclusive approach on the engineering implications if matters are not addressed.
“All drainage matters have been given priority and made to supersede any other task because of the impact it has on the city and its inhabitants,” Eastman explained, while noting that he encountered the mayor while fulfilling his duties of visiting several locations to further update on their operation.
“I vividly remember calling the current city engineer after visiting a location on the installation of a pump that was under mechanical repairs we discuss a day ago as to why it was not installed to date. The answer received was and I quote, ‘It is not my responsibility to ensure it is install it is the workshop manager to do that and if he don’t the council will deal with him,’” he reported.
Along with the engineers, several building inspectors have been asked to appear before the committee. While it is not clear why this is so, one inspector, Vaughn Canterbury, in a correspondence to Braithwaite, said he believed that he was being singled out after raising concerns about works on an unauthorized building. According to his written response, Canterbury has in the last three months sent two memos to the City Engineer. One of these memos, dated April 18, questioned why Venture granted permission for construction of a roof over a building never approved by the department.
Canterbury explained that as the officer in charge of the Werk-en-Rust area, he did not grant permission for the applicant to place a roof over an authorized building at Lot 18 aka 21 Lombard Street, Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown.
He explained that the plan could not be approved by the department or by the Central Housing and Planning Authority because it is an encroachment on the pavement and breaches other sections of the building by-Law.
The application has since September 24, 2014 been in the plan not in order file, however whilst carrying out routine checks within and around the area on April 9, 2017 Canterbury said he observed building works being carried out on the fourth floor of the existing building.
Upon enquiring, he was presented by the owner with an approval for building works, dated January 11, 2017, Ref: CV/MH/NH, to construct a roof over the existing three-storey building. The approval, which was attached to his response, was signed by the City Engineer.
Canterbury subsequently brought to Venture’s attention that the building was actually four and not three storey and that no approval was granted for its construction, yet an approval was granted to place a hip roof over third floor.
He also mentioned several other inconsistencies he had drawn to the attention of the City Engineer that have not been addressed.
He argued that instead of addressing these complaints, some of which were made more than a year ago, Venture recommended that he face disciplinary action for neglecting duties and being disrespectful.
Maryland had the worst state health system website because WE TRUSTED THEM ---THEY WERE ENGINEERS----who always just GET OUT OF HERE after they BUILD TO FAIL -----
It was the OUTSOURCING of what was the best in the world Federal health website MEDICARE ------operating just fine for several decades ---all it needed was to be expanded ----and Obama dismantled all of what worked to replace it with dozens of outsourcing from here to China.
The problem was not the money lost-------moving money to any global 1% corporation is PEACHY KEEN----it was the fear that 99% of WE THE PEOPLE would understand that the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT was ending our first world best in world history public health system-----when corporations were filled with ACTUAL ENGINEERS wanting building to SUCCEED IN PUBLIC INTEREST.
October 17, 2013, 6:51 PM EDT
The Obamacare Website Didn't Have to Fail. How to Do Better Next Time
The flawed software that doomed healthcare.gov and how to fix it
By Paul Ford
Right as the U.S. government shut down on Oct. 1, the new national health-care exchange went live at healthcare.gov. Intended for people who want to buy health insurance under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the website failed from the start. It was unusable to hundreds of thousands of Americans who wanted to enroll. Screens wouldn’t load. A woman trying to get help via Web chat was told to “please be patient” an infuriating 40 times. Despite pledges from Obama administration officials that the “glitches” would be quickly fixed, the list of bugs and problems kept growing.
Development Seed was brought in as a subcontractor specifically because it had lots of code on GitHub. Its part of the healthcare.gov project was “open by default,” says , Development Seed’s president. When it launched, the company “open-sourced the whole repo” (shorthand for “code repository”). It was built atop open frameworks such as , a spinoff from Twitter, and , a spinoff from the nonprofit DocumentCloud. Using these solutions saved countless hours and cost nothing. Along the way, says Gundersen, Development Seed contributed improvements to the software it was repurposing. This approach—take a lot, give a little—is what makes open source work; all of the little changes add up across millions of projects. “From start to finish of the entire project, it was three months and 25 days,” says Gundersen. “We were operating in a very fast sprint cycle.” (The whole open repository for healthcare.gov has since been removed from GitHub without a clear explanation, although third parties have been able to restore the code from external backups.)
We will find that plastic pipes will become that next lead water pipe statistic AND we knew leaching of plastics into water would likely create public health issues BEFORE they were used.
Notice these problems are surfacing in GREEN BUILDINGS.
Our civil engineers are now allowing these plastic pipes to be used in major infrastructure pipelines as well. So, it is not only what is used in pipes coming into homes it is being buried underground as major pipeline arteries.
Plastic Pipes for Drinking Water Come under Scrutiny
By Catherine A. Cardno, Ph.D.
Researchers who have discovered that the plastic plumbing regularly used in "green" buildings can contaminate drinking water argue for changes in building industry practices.
featured image Researchers are studying the effect of plastic pipelines on the quality and odor of drinking water that has been treated with a variety of chemicals. Wikimedia Commons/Mark Schellhase
November 13, 2014—Americans are familiar with local and regional variations in the quality of their water supply. What is not part of the typical conversation, however, is the impact that the plastic or metal pipes used within individual buildings have on drinking water quality. Researchers at Purdue University and the University of South Alabama have established the significance of just that with their research-based discovery that certain types of plastic pipes that are gaining traction in the marketplace can contaminate some types of drinking water.
Using those findings, the research team is advocating for the so-called green building industry to "broaden its approach to indoor environmental quality and encompass all of the ways that material selection, building design, and building operations can impact [a] premise's water quality," says Andrew Whelton, A.M.ASCE, an assistant professor of civil, environmental, and ecological engineering at Purdue University.
Whelton is overseeing a multiyear examination of the effects that plastic piping has on drinking water quality. He is working with Alexandra Stenson, Ph.D., an associate professor of chemistry at the University of South Alabama, and Rebecca Dunn Bryant, AIA, LEED-AP, GGP, the principal of the Fairhope, Alabama-based green-building design and consulting company Watershed.
Traditionally, metal pipes have been used for plumbing systems within the United States. However, the comparatively low price of plastic piping has driven its widespread use in homes and commercial buildings, according to Bryant. The use of plastic pipes has become so common, Whelton says, that "water companies are even choosing to use plastics in parts of their buried water piping networks."
To date, few studies have been conducted on plastic drinking water pipes sold in the United States, according to Whelton, and the results of those few studies are rarely made public. While tests on plastic piping's effect on drinking water have been completed in Europe and Asia, Whelton notes that those results are not applicable in the United States because its plastic piping is manufactured differently. For this reason, his research team is studying which types of chemicals leach from various types and brands of plastic pipes and whether those chemicals exceed health or aesthetic standards, transform into other compounds due to interactions with water disinfectants, and whether those leached chemicals promote microbiological growth inside plumbing systems. The results will be made public.
Under the National Sanitation Foundation International's Standard 61: Drinking Water System Components-Health Effects , tests are conducted on many plumbing pipes before they are sold to "determine what contaminants may migrate or leach from the product into drinking water," according to Whelton. The tests "also confirm if they are below the maximum levels allowed to be considered safe," he says. But the results aren't made public.
According to a surveyof U.S. state drinking water agencies released in 2013 by the National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF) in cooperation with the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators (ASDWA), "48 states have legislation, regulations, or policies requiring drinking water system components to comply with, or be certified to NSF/ANSI Standard 61."
Whelton points out, however, that the Standard 61 test does not address several important issues. "The test assumes water will not be used from newly installed pipes for 14 days," he says. "Secondly, the test involves only one type of [drinking water] disinfectant, [but] several other chemicals are used to keep water safe inside plumbing systems across the U.S." Other acceptable drinking water disinfectants include chloramine, also known as combined chlorine, as well as potassium permanganate and chlorine dioxide, according to Whelton. Whelton also points out that certain states have more stringent drinking water standards than what Standard 61 considers.
"Standard 61 also does not address drinking water odor, which is important to consumers," Whelton says. "The takeaway point is that many pipes that are available for construction professionals to install do not undergo testing that represents the field," he says. Because of these issues, additional research is necessary to determine how plastic pipes will behave once installed, he says.
Whelton's team has already tested how various brands of plastic pipe affect water-chemical quality and odor, most of their effort focused on cross-linked polyethylene, or PEX, plastic piping. And his results show high variability between how different brands of PEX pipe perform with respect to the number and amount of chemicals that they release into drinking water. "Some manufacturers make a fairly 'clean' product and other manufacturers make a very 'dirty' product," he says. "There is wide variability across available brands in the U.S. and there are at least three different PEX manufacturing processes."
Bryant agrees. "The variability in chemical leaching from brand to brand is extremely significant," Bryant notes. "If consumers had access to information about leaching per brand, then market forces would do the work to clean up manufacturing processes and the products," she says.
Bryant also notes the research team's findings that "many chemicals that end up in your water may not be material 'ingredients' per se." They may be reactants between material ingredients or between water and disinfectants, or they may be by-products of the manufacturing process. "This tells us that while the disclosure of material ingredients… is an important first step, it does not fully capture the impact of piping or other water-contact materials on water quality," she says. (The newest edition of the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED] rating system requires this type of disclosure, Bryant points out).
When the researchers examined drinking water piped through eight brands of PEX pipe, they found ethyl- tert -butyl ether (ETBE), which is a chemical that is produced as a by-product of PEX pipe manufacturing, according to Whelton. Even though there are no federal guidelines on safe levels of ETBE, "certain states have decided to impose their own limits," Whelton notes. The levels of ETBE discovered by the researchers in the pipes exceeded the health limits established by both New Hampshire and New York, he says. "That's an important finding because to my knowledge, the pipes that are being sold and marketed today are not marketed for different states." Most are promoted as having been tested by the NSF's Standard 61, but this method does not test for ETBE, he points out.
Whelton and his team also tested the plastic pipes for odor over the course of a 30-day period. "We found that on day 30, odor levels were equal to or less than those on day 3, but all pipes exceeded the EPA's recommended drinking water odor level," he noted. "Odor is an aesthetic standard, it's not a health-based standard," Whelton points out. "But …water companies across the United States strive to provide clean, safe, and pleasing water to people…[and] the data we have show building plumbing piping can drastically change the quality of that water."
Bryant, Whelton, and Stenson have drafted a pilot credit for the LEED rating program. The requirement that manufacturers disclose the ingredients of their building products "is the backbone" of the credit, Bryant says. "The credit goes a step further, requiring disclosure of the NSF Standard 61 extraction reports, which analyze compounds in water that have been in contact with these pipes," Bryant says. "The credit also includes specific considerations for preventing lead contamination in metal piping, and addresses best practices to prevent pathogen proliferation in all piping types."
"Many green building organizations and the USGBC in particular, have been quite embattled as they try to promote consumers' right to know more about the materials in their buildings," Bryant says. "The discussion has been likened to the first debates around nutritional labeling for food products. In those debates, manufacturers argued that disclosure would ruin their businesses, that competitors would steal their 'secret recipes,' etc. It's very similar to the discussion we're having today about building materials.
"Plumbing piping is basically food packaging, and it needs to receive an appropriate level of scrutiny as such," Bryant says.
Future research will continue to study flushing and disinfection techniques in various types of piping, and will include an examination of how water temperature affects the leaching process.
The results of the first study released by the research group are available online.