Indiana State officials say Southwest Indiana is experiencing a boom in oil and gas exploration, with a peak number of wells drilled over the past 15 years. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Oil and Gas released a report earlier this week that says oil and gas wells are being drilled in Indiana "At a pace that hasn't been seen for at least 15 years," according to Herschel McDivitt, director of the DNR Division of Oil and Gas. DNR officials say the division issued more than 450 drilling permits in 2006, a number that McDivitt expects to steadily increase during the next several years, due to the anticipated higher prices for crude oil and natural gas. "This is an exciting time to be in the oil and gas business," McDivitt said in a press release announcing the news. "While much of the interest is in drilling for crude oil, a growing number of wells are being drilled for natural gas, especially in the southwestern part of Indiana where companies are actively developing wells." McDivitt acknowledged that along with the increase in drilling applications has come a significant number of questions from landowners who have been approached by companies seeking to obtain leases from the landowners allowing them to drill on their properties. "Many landowners are unfamiliar with the process of leasing their land for oil and gas and are seeking more information about oil and gas operations and looking to find answers to their questions," McDivitt said. DNR has also made some changes in the Division of Oil and Gas's organizational structure. Jim AmRhein will be responsible for all inspections and compliance- related functions within the division's program. Previously, AmRhein was in charge of all permitting functions, as well as inspections and enforcement duties in central and northern [...]
2/10/2016 Upcoming Tunneling Projects CALIFORNIA Laguna Beach Tunnel Stabilization and Sewer Pipeline Replacement Approved by the South Coast Water District Board of Directors in 2010 and the City of Laguna Beach in late 2013, the Tunnel Stabilization & Sewer Pipeline Replacement Project (Tunnel Project) is a 100-year solution to protect the environment, local economies and neighboring communities. The project comprises two key components: Tunnel Stabilization: The District will enlarge the size of the tunnel from an average of 6 to 9 ft. This will ensure safer working conditions and greater access for future pipeline maintenance and repair. Permanent shotcrete lining and steel supports will be installed at several locations where required, replacing rotten timber supports and removal of loose rock that currently exist. Pipeline Replacement: The District will install a new 24-in. pipeline throughout the tunnel. The current pipeline – also 24 in. in diameter – will be encased in concrete, but preserved for redundancy and emergency use. The cost to repair the tunnel is estimated at approximately $90 million and will be funded through low-interest state loans, grants and the District’s general fund. Shortlisted tunnel contractors announcement was anticipated for 2014-2015 with request for bids expected in 2015 and NTP in 2015-2016. Los Angeles The North East Interceptor Sewer (NEIS) Phase 2A The North East Interceptor Sewer (NEIS) Phase 2A project is currently the northern extension of the NEIS Phase 1 project. The project will construct approximately 3.03 miles of 8-ft diameter sewer in tunnel and associated structures. The sewer will be constructed from the Division St. Shaft site, near the intersection of San Fernando Road and Cazador Street and terminate at the northern overflow parking lot for the Pony and Train Rides in Griffith Park, just north of the I-5 Griffith Park On/Off Ramps (I-5 Shaft Site) east [...]
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As water rushed toward St. Louis in May 2015, attention is on geotechnical runaway development that has occurred since the floods of 1993. ST. LOUIS, — Miles and miles of bigger and stronger levees have been built along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers since the deadly floods of 1993, and millions of dollars have been spent on drainage improvements. Building is happening on flood plains across Missouri, but most of the development is in the St. Louis area, and it is estimated to be worth more than $2.2 billion. Though scientists warn about the danger of such building, the Missouri government has subsidized some of it through tax financing for builders. The existing alignment of the Missouri River levee and embankment system is recognized to have breach/foundation distress from underseepage and boil activity concerns as a result of hydrologic conditions and flow constrictions. The repetitive cycle of repairing levees in place after each major flood event has resulted in increased O&M and RR&R costs, increased flood risk, and a general concern over the effective level of protection. Levee repairs in place do not reduce flood risk. Additionally, the current alignment of federal levees has acted to disconnect the river from its historic floodplain causing environmental degradation and impaired habitat for fish and wildlife. It several locations, bridges (rail and highway) and abutments, have encroached into the river’s conveyance area, increasing stages on the upstream side and increasing velocities on the downstream side, which also influence the performance of the levees.
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