WaterBriefs: Northwest Pipe to supply Vista, Calif., pipeline project

In other news: Pentair receives 2005 Minnesota Business Ethics Award; Brooklyn Navy Yard drafted for EPA Performance Track Program; Cal/OSHA issues multi-employer citation in Walnut Creek explosion; Homeland Security initiatives prompt perchlorate business for Md. manufacturer; Defenders of Wildlife - Bush forest ruling threatens watersheds...

In other news, below:
-- Pentair wins 2005 Minnesota Business Ethics Award
-- Brooklyn Navy Yard project drafted for EPA Performance Track Program
-- Cal/OSHA issues multi-employer citation in Walnut Creek explosion
-- Homeland Security initiatives prompt perchlorate treatment technique at Md. manufacturer
-- Defenders of Wildlife: Bush Administration guts protection for roadless forests

Northwest Pipe announces major order
PORTLAND, OR, May 6, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Northwest Pipe Co. reported that it was named to supply about $14 million of welded steel pipe to L.H. Woods & Sons, Inc. of Vista, Calif. The pipe is for the Del Dios Reline Pipeline #4 project for the San Diego County Water Authority.

Northwest Pipe will supply about 22,400 feet of 93-inch-diameter steel pipe. The pipe is expected to be manufactured in the Company's Adelanto, California, division, with delivery scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2005.

Northwest Pipe Company (www.nwpipe.com) manufactures welded steel pipe in two business segments. Its Water Transmission Group is a leading supplier of large-diameter, high-pressure, steel pipe products used primarily for water transmission in the United States and Canada. Its Tubular Products Group manufactures smaller-diameter steel pipe for a wide range of construction, agricultural, industrial and mechanical applications. The Company is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and operates eleven manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico.

Pentair recognized for exhibiting high ethical standards
GOLDEN VALLEY, MN, May 6, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- Pentair Inc. has received the 2005 Minnesota Business Ethics Award (MBEA), an award established by The Center for Ethical Business Cultures and the Minnesota Chapters of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. With 2004 revenues of $2.28 billion, the company has about 13,000 employees worldwide, Pentair was honored for its commitment to ethical business dealings, as reflected in its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and for its passion to sustaining an ethical culture...
Click here for more.

Brooklyn Navy Yard project accepted into EPA Performance Track Program
MORRISTOWN, NJ, May 6, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- A Brooklyn Navy Yard Partners L.P. (BNYCP) cogeneration power facility in Brooklyn, N.Y., was recently accepted into the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Performance Track Program.

This program recognizes BNYCP's accomplishments in environmental leadership and improving environmental performance of the facility by reducing air and wastewater emissions and consumption of water and other resources. BNYCP must demonstrate each year that the facility has continued its leadership by submitting an annual report that is available to the public. Additionally, a benefit of the program to the public is that the facility is subject to critique by mentors in its peer group.

The EPA program is four years old and has over 350 facilities, of all types, participating with such major firms as IBM, Pfizer, J&J, 3M, and NASA being represented in the program.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. is owned primarily by affiliates of Morristown, N. J. based Delta Power Company LLC (www.deltapower.com), and affiliates of New York City based Metalmark Capital LLC. The facility sells steam and electricity to Con Edison and the BNYCP.

Cal/OSHA issues multi-employer citation in Walnut Creek explosion
SAN FRANCISCO, May 5, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) today released citations to multiple employers for violations leading to a gas explosion on Nov. 9, 2004, fatally injuring five employees and seriously injuring four others. The companies involved included East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P., Comforce Technical Services, Mountain Cascade Inc., Matamoros Pipelines Inc., Camp, Dresser, & McKee Inc. (CDM), and Carollo Engineers P.C.

"After a six month thorough investigation, Cal/OSHA has determined that the explosion which occurred Nov. 9, 2004, leaving five employees dead and four seriously injured, was completely preventable," said Cal/OSHA Acting Chief Len Welsh. "The primary cause of the incident was that the location of the petroleum line was not known by the employees working in the area. Several employers failed to take required action and committed errors that contributed to the failure to determine and mark the location of the utility line."

On Nov. 9, 2004, at 1:22 p.m. an excavator operated by Mountain Cascade punctured a high-pressure petroleum line owned by Kinder Morgan. Mountain Cascade was constructing a large water supply line for EBMUD. Gasoline was released into the pipe trench and was ignited by the welding activities of Matamoros Pipelines, a welding subcontractor working for Mountain Cascade. The resulting explosion and fire fatally injured five employees and seriously injured four other employees. All of the victims worked for Matamoros and Mountain Cascade, and all fatalities and injuries were due to the explosion and fire. There was also extensive property damage.

Cal/OSHA also has a concurrent criminal investigation underway through its Bureau of Investigations. The findings from that investigation, which focuses on possible criminal liability involved in the accident, will be given in a confidential report to the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office for a determination as to whether criminal charges are applicable.

Employers were cited with the following violations:
-- KM, two serious willful, penalties totaling $140,000
-- Carollo, one serious accident related, penalty of $22,500
-- MCI, one serious accident related, penalty of $22,500
-- EBMUD, one serious, penalty of $6,750

California law provides that a company may appeal Cal/OSHA citations and penalties within 15 working days to the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board in Sacramento. For more information, see the California Department of Industrial Relations website: www.dir.ca.gov.

Homeland Security initiatives spawn new business for Md. manufacturer
PRINCE FREDERICK, MD, May 5, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Batching Systems Inc. (BSI), a Prince Frederick-based manufacturing company in operation for over 15 years, specializes in building customized, state-of-the-art production equipment for other manufacturers that need machines to count or precisely weigh their products. Their client list has included Hasbro, Delta Faucet, Lucent Technologies, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry and the Siemon Company, to name a few. With more than 40 employees and clients worldwide, BSI is a leading example of the impact that Calvert County's manufacturing sector has on the local economy.

Lately, however, BSI owner Don Wooldridge and a small band of engineers and production staff have been working on a new "intrapreneurial" project that has strong implications for homeland security and Department of Defense initiatives. Wooldridge's new spin-off company, Unique Technologies Inc. (UTI) is working on two technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the bioterrorism, crop-science and homeland security industries using PERSOLs research and manufacturing.

PERSOLs are a family of heavy-duty oxidizing compounds originally formulated and patented by the U.S. Navy for use in propulsion systems. They have the ability to break down potentially harmful compounds into water, oxygen and other elements that are deemed harmless by the Environmental Protection Agency. UTI has licensed the use of PERSOLs in commercial applications such as bioterrorism remediation, extended-life disinfectants and crop-science disease prevention through a tech transfer program at the Indian Head Naval Base. The disinfecting features of PERSOLs give them the ability to kill farm-based bacteria and fungus that can lead to the spread of Avian Flu and SARS.

Wooldridge says that PERSOLs have another major potential market as a replacement for perchlorate in all forms of energetic materials from solid rocket propellants to explosives and pyrotechnics. Perchlorate is a highly toxic and stable material that can leach into soil and ground water, causing human health problems like thyroid disease and cancer, and costing communities millions of dollars to clean up.

"The potential applications for this technology are mind-boggling," said Wooldridge. "The Navy has utilized PERSOLs for years in their rockets and propulsion systems and now we are exploring ways they can solve a much wider range of business and security issues. I am certain that the potential for these products will dwarf current use and understanding. That's the real beauty of technology transfer; products that were originally developed for military purposes are retooled and used in novel ways to resolve consumer problems."

Wooldridge is interested in sublicensing his new PERSOLs technology to other manufacturers for development of additional product applications. Currently, several multinational corporations are negotiating with UTI for specific licensure in biological clean-up operations.
Another technology that UTI is working on is flash grenades. Also a spin- out technology from Indian Head, flash grenades provide a non-lethal method for controlling crowds, terrorists or criminals by emitting a temporarily blinding flash. The grenades produce no noise, are relatively inexpensive, generate no fire-inducing heat and are self-contained. "Because they produce virtually no human injuries or property damage, there are a number of organizations that are interested in our flash grenades," said Wooldridge, "including police units, the military and officials at the Department of Homeland Security."

For more information on Unique Technologies Inc., visit its website at www.uniquetechinc.com.

Defenders of Wildlife: Bush Administration guts protection for roadless forests
WASHINGTON, DC, May 5, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Defenders of Wildlife President Rodger Schlickeisen called today's move by the Bush Administration to drop protection for millions of acres of roadless national forest land "a crass rejection of science, public participation and conservation on behalf of a handful of timber industry backers." The announcement by the U.S. Forest Service completely withdraws the landmark 2001 Roadless Area Conservation rule, which protected 58.5 million acres of unroaded national forest lands for wildlife habitat, recreation, clean water and purposes other than resource extraction. Today's action eliminates all these protections, leaving in place a state petition process that immediately exposes all national forest lands to logging, mining, and energy drilling.

"It is truly breathtaking just how beholden this White House is to industry," Schlickeisen said. "Gutting protection for our last truly wild public forests is absolute validation that there is no place so special this administration will not drill, mine or clear cut."

Unlike the Roadless Rule itself, which was adopted after more than 600 public hearings and 2.5 million public comments in favor, today's announcement follows no public hearings, no scientific scrutiny, and more than 1.7 million public comments in opposition. In place of nationwide protections crafted through an open and public process, today's new rule adopts a piecemeal approach, requiring individual states to petition the federal government to protect individual roadless areas. Even if an individual governor did petition for protection, the U.S. Forest Service could still deny his/her request.

"The timber industry didn't like the idea that the best remaining wildlife habitat in our National Forests might actually be necessarily and legitimately be set aside for something other than clear cuts, so they had their allies in the White House change the rules," Schlickeisen said. "All the other values in our forests -- like recreation, clean drinking water, and homes for forest wildlife -- get dumped by this rule so that the White House can keep cutting down to the last tree and drilling for the last drop of oil."

Schlickeisen said Defenders of Wildlife intends to engage lawmakers and other stakeholders to find a national approach that will rightfully reinstate protection for these unique national public lands.

Defenders of Wildlife (www.defenders.org) is considered one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and habitat, and was named as America's Best Wildlife Charity by Readers Digest magazine. With nearly a million members, supporters and electronic advocates, Defenders offers an effective voice for wildlife and habitat.

In other news briefs: "WaterBriefs: Synchrony client earns Va. 'Excellence in Waterworks Operations Award'" -- ALSO: Nalco announces price increase to the paper industry; City of Santa Rosa wins ACWA's 2005 Clair Hill Award; Aqua America expands N.C. base with three acquisitions; Great Lakes Chemical gains approval for sale...

###

More in Environmental