The Commission on the Future of Transportation was established almost a year ago by Governor Baker’s Executive Order No. 579.
The Commission developed 19 recommendations to guide Commonwealth transportation policy “so that Massachusetts can benefit from coming changes – including in demographics, technology, and mobility preferences – and build a future for all of us that is healthy, sustainable, and prosperous.”
Link to report of the Commission – Choices for Stewardship: Recommendations to Meet the Transportation Future: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/commission-on-the-future-of-transportation
A second volume containing extensive background materials, supporting data, and valuable sources of information accompanies the report.
Abbie Goodman, ACEC/MA Executive Director and TECET and MALSCE External Affairs Chief, testified on the bill before the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy on December 11, 2018.
Gas Moratorium Impact on Development: Two state-ordered moratoriums on non-essential work against two gas companies are blocking the opening of new commercial and residential real estate properties that need gas connections, causing some economic issues. Columbia Gas of MA (NiSource) is barred from doing work until at least 12/1 as the state and contractors reconnect existing Merrimack Valley properties to natural gas, while National Grid is under a similar moratorium as labor lockout is in its 5th month.
NTSB Issues Gas Safety Recommendations In Response September 13 Merrimack Valley gas disaster
As federal investigators continue their probe into the Merrimack Valley gas disaster, on November 15 the National Transportation Safety Board issued a series of safety recommendations it classified as "urgent," The NTSB report included 4 recommendations for NiSource (parent co. of Columbia Gas), + 1 for the state, seeking elimination of the professional engineer licensure exemption for public utility work and a requirement for a PE's seal on public utility engineering drawings. NTSB's report recommends NiSource revise the engineering plan and constructability review process across all subsidiaries, review all records and documentation of natural gas systems, apply management of change processes to all changes to identify threats that could result in a common mode failure, and develop and implement control procedures during gas main modifications to mitigate risks. On 11/20, Governor Baker filed H.4979 to eliminate the PE exemption.
Three lease winners have each agreed to pay $135M to gain access to ocean tracts off the coast of Massachusetts where they may someday build commercial-scale wind energy installations.
The lease areas auctioned this week are 20 nautical miles from Martha's Vineyard. [Source: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management]
The results of Thursday's federal government auction of 390,000 acres were announced on December 14, 2018 by the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
The auction began at 9 AM on December 13 and ended late Friday morning on December 14. The winners were Equinor Wind US, Mayflower Wind Energy LLC, and Vineyard Wind.
Vineyard Wind is already in the process of building an offshore wind farm in an area south of Martha's Vineyard on a previously leased site.
The Board of Registration cancelled its November 15, 2018 meeting. The next meeting will be on December 20, 2018. The agenda for this meeting will be posted during the week of December 17 on the Board's webpage here. (See Upcoming Events). Issues for discussion on December 20 are expected to include:
Board Counsel Legal Report:
These are pending issues in the Division of Professional Licensure
Additional resource links:
250 CMR –version as finalized through the Secretary of State’s office as of 2-10-2017
Scroll down on that webpage to separate sections of 250 CMR
DigSafe: This bill is now H4420, An Act Relative to Public Safety in Excavation
MALSCE is actively supporting H4420, An Act Relative to Public Safety in Excavation. This bill is currently in the House Ways & Means Committee. Abbie Goodman has had several meetings with legislative leaders about this bill in recent weeks to advocate for this bill to move during this current informal session, which ends on December 31, 2018. This bill would allow land surveyors to access Dig-Safe information earlier in a project, when the project is in preliminary design. Specific, accurate utility location information at the design phase of projects will promote more efficient design and construction of facilities and protect the general public, utility company assets and the lives of contractors. It also will help to reduce the number of construction change orders for public and private sector projects, saving money during construction and improving construction site safety.
Please contact your Massachusetts State Representative to urge positive action on H4420 this session. You can find your current State Representative (Representative in the General Court) by entering your home address on this state site: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/wheredoivotema/bal/myelectioninfo.aspx
Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors, Registered Architects and other Design Professionals living in and licensed in Massachusetts are sought after to serve on certain public boards and commissions created under state law or by regulations. This is an opportunity to participate directly in government, by providing your professional expertise to help shape public policy for the benefit of residents. For more on serving and how to apply, see this link: https://www.engineers.org/get-involved/public-boards-commissions
--posted by Abbie Goodman, MALSCE External Affairs Chief
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