Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Recap on EBC Program on Energy and Environmental Affairs

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

by Stephen Barrett, LEED AP

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I recently had the opportunity to participate in a panel discussion organized by the Environmental Business Council of New England (EBC) with Matthew Beaton, the new Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs under Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.  While the Baker Administration took the reins in early January and Secretary Beaton has been on-board since day one, this panel was one of his first public appearances as he has been busy building his team and getting them up to speed.  Some in the clean energy and environmental industries had been concerned that the Baker Administration would roll back clean energy policies and environmental protections, though Beaton emphasized that the Administration was entering office with an open mind and no actions would be considered during an initial three month freeze period on any new regulations or programs.  Renewable energy advocates were happy to hear the Secretary’s announcement at the PV America Conference the previous day that the Administration would continue the Patrick Administration’s commitment of 1600 MW of solar by 2020.  Beaton was asked by the panel about another Patrick Administration proposal – the Clean Energy Standard – which would incentivize the purchase of Canadian hydropower in Massachusetts in an effort to achieve the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act goal of 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.  With the proposed program out for public comment, Beaton only said that he would wait to review public comment, but that he would focus on cost-effective solutions.  The high cost of electricity in Massachusetts due to constrained supplies of natural gas elicited a lot of interest.  While everyone seems to agree that high energy costs are a burden on the economy and that increasing natural gas supply in some manner is the best short-term solution, how to deliver new supply (e.g., new or enhanced pipelines, more Liquid Natural Gas [LNG] deliveries by sea) and how much to deliver given the region’s current over-dependence on natural gas is of much debate.  Beaton did not offer a plan for avoiding price spikes next winter but said it would be a focus of his agenda in the coming months.  All in all, the evening was a welcomed introduction to the new Secretary and the start of a productive dialogue with the environmental and energy business community.

Observations from a Panel at the ACC/AAAE Design and Construction Conference in Denver

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

by Stephen Barrett

I had the pleasure of participating in a panel on how airports apply unique engineering techniques to take advantage of available resources. I started off the panel discussion by presenting information on ACRP 02-56, Developing the Airport Business Case for Renewable Energy where I described how the research will produce a ranking system which quantifies the economic, self-sustainability, and environmental benefits of renewable energy projects. These benefits include stabilizing long-term electricity costs, investing in a modernized electricity generation and distribution network to ensure reliability and resiliency, and advancing environmental initiatives to open up permitting for future development. Traci Holton, Manager of Design at the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, followed up with a discussion of a variety of examples from Nashville Airport (BNA) including solar planning (which I am helping them with – thanks for the kudos Traci), to asphalt and rock reuse, to converting mulch produced through vegetation management activities into improving site stabilization and minimizing runoff. Traci also described their Geothermal Project which will utilize the constant water temperature from a large on-site quarry for heating and cooling resulting in savings to the airport from avoided natural gas use and potable water previously purchased for boiler make-up and on-site irrigation. The project is currently out-to-bid with a design-build format and requiring a minimum payback period. The last speaker was Dale Stubbs, Associate Vice President for AECOM in Atlanta, who talked about Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson’s (ATL) Green Acres Recycling Facility that is presently under development. The unique facility will be built, owned and operated by a third party contractor on 39-acres of airport property where all the airport’s waste will be delivered, sorted and managed including the use of compost for growing food that will be sold back to concessionaires. Each of these projects shows how airports can be leaders in developing innovative approaches to areas such as energy consumption and waste management that can produce a financial benefit through the efficient use of available resources.

Happy America Recycles Day 2014!

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

by Christopher Menge

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In honor of today being America Recycles Day, I put together the following tips to assist with your recycling efforts:

  1. Put your recycling bins next to your trash or near your kitchen.
  2. Remind your family members with “Can you Recycle that?” signs on your trash bins.
  3. Your cereal bags aren’t really “dirty.” Just shake them out or rinse them and then recycle! Recycle the boxes as paper, of course.
  4. Don’t throw away that greasy food container! You don’t need lots of energy-hungry hot water to recycle your greasy plastic take-out food container. Just put in a couple drops of dish soap, and with a sponge, some cold water and 15 seconds of scrubbing, you’ll have a clean container ready for the bin!
  5. Make 90% of those pizza boxes recyclable! Just use your sharp box cutter knife to cut out the greasy spot, and the rest of the box can go in the recycle bin.
  6. Quickly dress up your glass bottles for clean recycling. Just cut off the metal or plastic capsules and rings at the tops of the bottles, and put those pieces in the proper stream.

For more information on America Recycles Day, see http://americarecyclesday.org.

Happy Recycling!

Beaming with Pride!!!

Friday, October 31st, 2014
by Diana Wasiuk

HMMH led the environmental analysis for THREE (3) of the successful NextGen implementation projects highlighted by FAA administrator Michael Huerta in his speech to the Aero Club of Washington this month. The three Performance Based Navigation (PBN) projects are the Seattle Greener Skies and the Houston and North Texas Optimization of Airspace & Procedures in the Metroplex (OAPM) projects. Yours truly managed one of the OAPM NEPA projects and contributed to a report on NextGen priorities sent to Congress by the FAA last week (also mentioned by the Administrator).

To read the transcript of Administrator Huerta’s speech see:
https://www.faa.gov/news/speeches/news_story.cfm?newsId=17554.

For more on work performed by HMMH staff in support of NextGen implementation see our website and the OAPM environmental website at http://oapmenvironmental.com.

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored ACRP Document 19: Integrated Noise Model Accuracy for General Aviation Aircraft

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

by Nicholas P. Miller

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The Transportation Research Board (TRB) recently released ACRP Document 19: Integrated Noise Model Accuracy for General Aviation Aircraft, the result of research conducted by a team of consultants led by HMMH. HMMH was retained to conduct this research project to determine the cause and recommend changes to the Integrated Noise Model (INM), which currently incorrectly computes the noise created by many of the General Aviation Jets. The study compared INM produced sound exposure levels and climb profiles with measured sound exposure levels and radar reported climb profiles. HMMH found that the INM assumed all aircraft used maximum power for takeoff, while in practice, pilots used a “derated” thrust to preserve engine life, creating lower takeoff altitudes, and generally lower levels than the INM computed. HMMH developed a method that would use the INM modeling in a realistic manner, duplicating the procedures used by pilots and are in communication with FAA to assist if possible in correcting the INM modeling. In the future, modeling would be more accurate, noise exposures realistic, and better decisions will be made about land use and aircraft noise around airports where General Aviation jets operate.