Sheryl Barr

October 22, 2019

Fort Bliss hospital cost rises to $1.4 billion as years of troubled construction near end

Source: https://www.elpasotimes.com, October 17, 2019
By: Vic Kolenc

The most expensive U.S. military hospital project currently under construction is nearing the finish line — three years late and more than $629 million over the original contract awards.

After six, troubled years of construction, the new, mammoth William Beaumont Army Medical Center complex in East El Paso is expected to be completed Nov. 15, with a price tag that’s ballooned to $1.4 billion, reported officials at the Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth District office, which oversees the project. Read more.

October 22, 2019

Toxic PCBs linger in schools; EPA, lawmakers fail to act

Source: https://www.theoaklandpress.com, October 20, 2019
By: Tammy Webber and Martha Irvine

At first, teachers at Sky Valley Education Center simply evacuated students and used fans to clear the air when the fluorescent lights caught fire or smoked with noxious fumes. When black oil dripped onto desks and floors, they caught leaks with a bucket and duct-taped oil-stained carpets. Read more.

October 22, 2019

Missed asbestos, dangerous dust: How Philadelphia’s Ben Franklin H.S. project went wrong

Source: https://www.inquirer.com, October 18, 2019
By: Wendy Ruderman and Kristen A. Graham

A few weeks into the school year, Benjamin Franklin High and Science Leadership Academy parents received an urgent note: Damaged asbestos had been discovered inside ducts in the boiler room and first-floor SLA commons. The Philadelphia School District shut the building to students on Oct. 1, and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said he was surprised the $37 million project had run into asbestos problems. Read more.

October 22, 2019

The Conflict Between Choice-of-Law Provisions in Insurance Policies and a State’s Fundamental Public Policy

Source: https://www.natlawreview.com, October 18, 2019

Many contracts include a choice-of-law provision in which the parties agree to use a particular jurisdiction’s set of laws to govern the contract. These provisions promote predictability. No matter where a dispute may arise under the contract, the contract will always be interpreted under the laws of the chosen jurisdiction. This practice of including choice-of-law provisions extends to policies of insurance. Read more.

October 22, 2019

‘Totally avoidable’: 3 construction companies fined for deadly Seattle crane collapse

Source: https://www.usatoday.com, October 18, 2019
By: Kristin Lam

Washington state investigators on Thursday fined three companies involved in a crane collapse that killed four people in Seattle in April, determining workers failed to follow manufacturer instructions.

Workers disassembling the construction crane removed pins holding together sections too quickly, officials said, and wind gust toppled the unsteady tower onto traffic below.  Read more.

October 22, 2019

4th person dead in Legionnaires’ outbreak tied to hot tubs at North Carolina state fair

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com, October 20, 2019
By: Doha Madani

A fourth person has died in a Legionnaires’ outbreak that’s been linked to a hot tub display at a North Carolina state fair last month.

Nearly 150 people who attended the N.C. Mountain State Fair were sickened in addition to the four fatalities, according to an update Friday from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. At least 133 people were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ while another eight were confirmed to have a milder form of the disease called Pontiac fever. Read more.

October 17, 2019

Did Concrete Error Doom Florida Bridge?

Source: https://www.enr.com, October 16, 2019
By: Richard Kor,man and Scott Judy

In their competing accounts of what went wrong before last year’s Florida pedestrian bridge collapse, both the contractor and designer agree on one point: The concrete was never “roughened” at locations where it was required. The process involves altering the material to promote mechanical bonding. Among the most important locations were the key junctures where bridge truss diagonals and verticals met the bridge deck. Read more.

October 17, 2019

In Largest Settlement of Its Kind, Formosa Plastics Agrees to Pay $50 Million

Source: https://www.environmentalleader.com, October 16, 2019
By: Jennifer Nastu

In the largest ever settlement of a Clean Water Act suit brought by private individuals, petrochemical giant Formosa Plastics Corp. has agreed to pay $50 million to fund environmental mitigation in the region around its Point Comfort facility in Calhoun County, Texas.

The company – whose Point Comfort, Texas, plant is said to have discharged billions of plastic pellets into Lavaca Bay and Cox Creek – has also agreed to comply with future “zero discharge” of all plastics and to clean up existing pollution. Read more.

October 17, 2019

‘Emerging’ contamination found in some Oroville and Chico wells

Source: https://www.chicoer.com, October 17, 2019
By: Camille Von Kaenel

At least 17 wells in Chico and Oroville have traces of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, according to new state testing released Monday.

The testing is part of a multi-year effort by California to regulate the class of chemicals, called per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and perfluorooctanoic acids — shortened to PFAS and PFOA. Read more.

October 17, 2019

Toxic PCBs linger in schools; EPA, lawmakers fail to act

Source: Associated Press, October 16, 2019
Posted on: https://www.advisen.com

At first, teachers at Sky Valley Education Center simply evacuated students and used fans to clear the air when the fluorescent lights caught fire or smoked with noxious fumes. When black oil dripped onto desks and floors, they caught leaks with a bucket and duct-taped oil-stained carpets.

Then came the tests that confirmed their suspicions about the light ballasts. Read more.