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Vol. 45 No. 2

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FOPP 24 reservations now being taken!
There's only one comprehensive program for technical firms' rising stars: Fundamentals of Professional Practice (FOPP). Highly praised by both participants and the CEOs who fund their participation (many of them being FOPP alumni themselves), FOPP comprises six months of home study participants must complete while playing the role of a project manager. John Bachner plays the role of a client representative, a genuine Mr. Hyde who is hard to please and perpetually grumpy, especially when it comes to writing. (He critiques everything participants submit, including e-mails.) He also maintains a Dr. Jekyll persona that is immediately available via telephone or e-mail. In addition to pleasing their client representative and completing a reading assignment, participants must conduct a research project, preferably one that is designed to institute improvements at their firm. Almost 80 sample assignments are available, but participants are encouraged to develop one of their own, preferably with the assistance of a mentor within their participant's firm. The remote work is complemented by a 2.5-day seminar held in Centennial, Colorado, involving participants in public speaking, dispute resolution, and a variety of other real-world experiences all designed to help them kick start their professional careers. On-line sign-ups will begin in June. In the meantime, you can reserve space (no money required until you name names!) or have questions answered by speaking with Sara Menase (301-565-2733, ext. 232; or John Bachner (301-565-2733, ext. 223;
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Terracon's David Gaboury elected to the Council of Fellows
David R. Gaboury, P.E. is the newest member of GBA's prestigious Council of Fellows, established in 1975 to provide guidance for GBA's direction. The president, CEO, and board chair of Terracon, Mr. Gaboury is a licensed professional engineer with more than 30 years’ experience in environmental, geoenvironmental, and water-resources engineering. A 15-year "veteran" of Woodward-Clyde Consultants, which he served as president and chief operating officer before joining Terracon, David is well known for his volunteer and charitable endeavors. He has served GBA in a variety of leadership positions over the past decade, most recently as its president during the organization’s 2011-2012 fiscal year.
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Safety Committee needs more members
GBA's newly minted Safety Committee needs more members! The Committee is initiating work on two new publications and a presentation for the October 23-25, 2014 Fall Conference in San Francisco. If you’re involved with safety issues, get involved with GBA's Safety Committee! And if you're not, but others in your firm are, encourage them to get involved. Send a quick e-mail to; we'll pass it along to Safety Committee Chair Randy A. Knott, P.E. (AMEC Environment & Infrastructure).
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1,000 power plants need better air-pollution controls
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled April 29 in favor of EPA in an important case, EPA v. Homer City Generation, L.P., No. 12-1182, which challenged the agency's Transport Rule, issued in

August 2011: In furtherance of the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues a transport rule, establishing emission-reduction requirements for power plants in 27 upwind states that "contribute significantly" to downwind states' inability to attain EPA air-quality standards.

August 2012: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit holds that EPA lacked the authority to establish the transport rule, vindicating the position of the appellate plaintiffs: power companies; coal companies; and the states of Texas, Michigan, and Ohio.

April 2014: EPA wins! In a 6-2 decision written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the appellate decision, thus requiring about 1,000 power plants — most in the eastern United States — to adopt new pollution controls to limit emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

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  Past conferences on demand

Bring home the best of GBA conferences with content on demand — online and on DVD.

Let's close that tunnel when we come to it
Capital New York
Two railway tunnels carry 160,000 New Jersey commuters into and out of downtown Manhattan every workday. Both tunnels are more than a century old. Both were inundated by salt water thanks to Superestorm Sandy. Now, Amtrak CEO Joseph Boardman has announced, "I'm being told we got something less than 20 years before we have to shut one or two down…. I don't know if that something less than 20 is seven, or some other number. But to build two new ones, you're talking seven to nine years to deliver, if we all decided today that we could do it."

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie killed plans to build Access to the Region's Core (ARC), a state and federally financed project to build two new rail tunnels under the Hudson. Senator Chuck Schumer was none too pleased, labeling Christie's decision "one of the worst decisions that any governmental leader has made in the 20th century, or the 21st century." In response to Christie's action, Amtrak has created the still-unfunded Gateway Program. Like ARC, its goal is to build two new tunnels under the Hudson. Amtrak says it can deliver the tubes by 2030, but some say 2040 is more likely. And when they are complete, the tunnels will be used principally for Amtrak trains, not necessarily those of New Jersey Transit.

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Lunch & Learn: Scope Definition
What do the project managers and project-manager "wannabes" at your firm need to know about effective mutual scope development? Use this Lunch & Learn as a platform to teach them what you want them to know.
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Webinars on-demand
Did you know that nearly every webinar GBA has ever offered is available on-demand? Schedule a group lunch to watch and discuss one, or just watch it on your own. Most are eligible for professional-development Hours (PDHs).
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Oklahoma takes no. 2 spot in state-seismicity sweepstakes
Insurance Journal
From 1978 to 2008, Oklahoma experienced an average of two magnitude-3.0-or-larger earthquakes per year. How, then, to explain why the state has experienced 183 magnitude-3.0-or-larger earthquakes from October 1, 2013 through April 30, 2014, giving it the dubious honor of being the second-most seismically active state, trailing only California? According to a U.S. Geological Survey/Oklahoma Geological report, wastewater injection comprises at least a partial explanation for the change. It states, "The water injection can increase underground pressures, lubricate faults and cause earthquakes — a process known as injection-induced seismicity. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose…. The recent earthquake rate changes are not due to typical, random fluctuations in natural seismicity rates." The two agencies also noted that, "As a result of the increased number of small and moderate shocks, the likelihood of future, damaging earthquakes has increased for central and north-central Oklahoma."
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Date Event Location
June 28, 2014 "Write Right" BackYard Seminar led by John Bachner Geotechnology, Inc.
St. Louis, Missouri
Oct. 23-25, 2014 GBA Fall Conference The Westin San Francisco Market Street;
San Francisco, California
April 16-18, 2015 GBA Spring (Annual) Conference - J. W. Marriott Marquis Miami, Florida

  For a complete list of upcoming events, click here.

Standard-operating procedure
Standards influence — and can at times mandate — how you perform your services and what they consist of. Do you want to change those that exist or establish new ones? You can, provided you're a member of ASTM International and active on its environmental and/or geotechnical engineering/CoMET committees.
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GBA top publications
GBA makes searching for publications easy! We offer many publications and materials oriented towards improving the professionalism of your staff and educating your clients. Best of all, GBA-Member Firms and associate members never pay a dime for most of them! Check-out the GBA Top Publications section and see what your peers are reading.
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GRAPE PRESS: Buy this by the case while you still can
This review is relatively brief, so you can start ordering sooner rather than later! The wine is Domaine Tournon Shay's Flat Shiraz 2011. It comes from central Victoria where famous French vintner Michel Chapoutier puts it together. It is not one of those big, jammy "fruit bombs" that have come to typify Aussie Shiraz, and of which many U.S. wine drinkers seemingly have grown tired.
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Bluesphere to have 17 waste-to-energy plants by 2018
MSW Management
Bluesphere Corporation, an Israeli company that builds, owns, and operates waste-to-energy projects, is beginning design of its first U.S. project, a 5.2-megawatt plant in Charlotte, NC. It said that site work would begin in July or August 2014; completion is expected one year later. When running, the facility will intake organic waste, like food and farm waste, then process it in an anaerobic digester to create biogas that it uses to generate electricity. The company will derive revenue from tipping fees and the sale of electricity and compost. Bluesphere is developing a second U.S. waste-to-energy facility in Rhode Island. It said that, by 2018, it will have eleven facilities built and six more in progress. You may want to get the company on your radar: Waste-to-energy is one of the fastest-growing segments in the renewable energy market.
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Fit for leadership
The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) conducted a ten-year study in which it compared 360-degree reviews of executives who exercised regularly vs. those who exercised sporadically or not at all. According to Dr. Sharon McDowell-Larsen, co-author of the study, "We found that the exercisers rated significantly higher than their nonexercising peers on overall leadership effectiveness. They also scored higher on specific traits including: inspiring commitment, credibility, leading others, leading by example, energy, resilience, and calmness." Researchers also found that "levels of body fat made no difference in how leaders are rated by their bosses, peers and direct reports"; i.e., exercise matters more than weight loss. The author of this article — Jake Gibson — is a believer, saying that regular exercise has helped him become a far better leader. His advice is to follow five basic steps:
  •    choose a practice that's right for you,
  •    question your assumptions,
  •    take it slow,
  •    compete against yourself, and
  •    create a virtuous circle.

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    YOU'VE JUST GOT TO BE KIDDING: All aboard! Next stop, China
    The Guardian
    The state-run Beijing Times newspaper has reported that Chinese experts are actively considering an 8,000-plus-mile, high-speed "China-Russia-Canada-America" railway system that would begin in northeast China, continue through Siberia, pass through a 125-mile tunnel beneath the Bering Strait, then cut through Alaska and Canada to reach the continental United States. According to Wang Mengshu, a Chinese Academy of Engineering railway expert, "Right now we're already in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years." The passage from China to the mainland U.S. would take two days, with the train travelling at an average 220 mph. Some experts have expressed skepticism, in part because the Bering Strait tunnel — which would be the world's longest undersea tunnel — would require an unprecedented feat of engineering. Or maybe not. According to China Daily — another state-run newspaper — the tunnel technology is "already in place" and will be used to build a high-speed railway between the south-east province of Fujian and Taiwan. "The project will be funded and constructed by China," China Daily reported.
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    Steven D. Thorne, P.E., D.GE
    (Terracon / Somerset, NJ)

    Gordon M. Matheson, Ph.D., P.E., P.G.
    (Schnabel Engineering, Inc. / Glen Allen, VA)

    Joel G. Carson
    (Kleinfelder / Omaha, NE)

    Kimberly F. Morrison, P.E., R.G.
    (Morrison Geotechnical Solutions, Inc. / Denver, CO)

    Laura R. Reinbold, P.E.
    (TTL, Inc. / Nashville, TN)

    Alex Sy, Ph.D., P. Eng.
    (Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. / Vancouver, BC)

    Woodward L. Vogt, P.E., D.GE
    (Paradigm Consultants, Inc. / Houston, TX)


    Phone: 301/565-2733

    Executive Vice President
    John P. Bachner
    Ext. 223 /

    Operations Director
    Sarah P. Lanning
    Ext. 231 /

    Program Director
    Barbara A. Nappy
    Ext. 222 /

    Program Manager
    Sara Menase
    Ext. 232 /

    Associate Program Manager
    Melody A. Patrick
    Ext. 225 /

    Membership Manager
    Susan A. Ford
    Ext. 227 /

    Phillip D. Pettway
    Ext. 233 /


    John P. Bachner, NewsLog Editor-in-Chief, 301.565.2733 ext. 223   
    Contact ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association

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