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Daily Archives: September 6, 2017

Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles

CRS report via FAS – Disaster Debris Management: Requirements, Challenges, and Federal Agency Roles, September 6, 2017.
“Every year, communities in the United States are affected by disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanoes, floods, wildfires, and winter storms. After a disaster, when a region turns its attention to rebuilding, one of the greatest challenges often involves properly managing disaster-related debris. Disaster debris typically includes soils and sediments, vegetation (trees, limbs, shrubs), municipal solid waste (common household garbage, personal belongings), construction and demolition debris (in some instances, entire residential structures and all their contents), vehicles, food waste, “white goods” (refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners), and household hazardous waste (cleaning agents, pesticides, pool chemicals). Each type of waste may contain or be contaminated with toxic or hazardous constituents. In the short term, debris removal is necessary to facilitate the recovery of a geographic area. In the long term, the methods by which these wastes are managed requires proper consideration to ensure that their management (e.g., by landfilling) will not pose future threats to human health or the environment..”

Fortune – Change the World List

Fortune places JPMorgan Chase at the top of the latest Change the World List – doing well by doing good:  “More companies than ever are using the profit motive to solve a multitude of societal problems. Here’s our third annual list of the best of them. Click here to read more about the list and… Continue Reading

AXIOS Graphic – Thirty years of Atlantic hurricanes

“This is a history of every Atlantic storm tracked by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration since 1987. Hurricane Irma is forecast to be the second major hurricane to stroke the mainland United States in as many weeks. With two devastating storms already in the books, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to… Continue Reading

NYT – If You Build It, the Dutch Will Pedal

If You Build It, the Dutch Will Pedal – “Utrecht, the Netherlands’ fastest growing city, is one of the world’s most bike-friendly places in one of the world’s most bike-friendly countries… In a country where there are more bikes than people — 22.5 million vs. 18 million — daily usage has grown 11 percent in… Continue Reading

Google New Street View Cameras Use Algorithms to Index Locations Around the World

Wired: “…Street View imagery is about to get a lot clearer. Look forward to sliding through the world from your couch in higher resolution and punchier colors. But Google’s new hardware wasn’t designed with just human eyes in mind. The car-top rig includes two cameras that capture still HD images looking out to either side… Continue Reading

Social Explorer’s Andrew Beveridge in Supreme Court Amicus Brief on Gerrymandering

“A challenge to a partisan redistricting plan in Wisconsin goes before the Supreme Court this fall in the case of Gill v. Whitford. In the New York Times article “The New Front in the Gerrymandering Wars: Democracy vs. Math,” Emily Bazelon writes of the significance of the case, “The outcome of the Supreme Court’s decision… Continue Reading

Species at risk as poachers exploit online research data from around the world

Adam Welz – Yale Environment 360: “Today, researchers are surveilling everything from blue whales to honeybees with remote cameras and electronic tags. While this has had real benefits for conservation, some attempts to use real-time location data in order to harm animals have become known: Hunters have shared tips on how to use VHF radio… Continue Reading

18F working on new centralized FOIA website

FedScoop: “The General Services Administration’s 18F digital services team has begun work to build a modern, centralized “portal” for Freedom of Information Act requests. The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 directs the Department of Justice to create a “consolidated online request portal that allows a member of the public to submit a request for records under… Continue Reading

Guardian – Study finds plastic fibers found in tap water around the world

theguardian: “Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83% of samples found to be polluted. Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent for health. Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations… Continue Reading

More Americans now say they’re spiritual but not religious

Pew Survey – “…the survey did not directly ask respondents whether the label “spiritual but not religious” describes them. Instead, it asked two separate questions: “Do you think of yourself as a religious person, or not?” and “Do you think of yourself as a spiritual person, or not?” The results presented here are the product… Continue Reading