March 31, 2010

In The News

by Bob Murphy

In reading various publications and articles I have chosen a few that may be of interest:

LaFrance AWWA’s new executive

director

AWWA named David B. LaFrance as its new executive director. He will join the staff in May.

LaFrance, 46, has served as director of finance for Denver Water for the past 12 years and is a respected industry leader in the areas of utility economics and water rates.

“It’s a privilege to lead AWWA at such an important moment in the history of our association,” LaFrance said. “I look forward to working with AWWA volunteer leaders and staff in fulfilling our mission to protect public health and to provide safe and sufficient water for all.“

US utilities get $6 billion from

Recovery Act

Of the $6 billion allocated for drinking water and clean water state revolving funds (SRFs) by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, 100 percent was committed to signed contracts in time for the Feb. 17 deadline.

“Not one dime had to be reallocated,” Lisa Jackson, US Environmental Protection Agency chief, told Congress in late February. Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., responded, “If we had more money, the need is there.”

The Drinking Water SRF, which received an extra $2 billion appropriation from ARRA, has 1,348 project agreements signed with contracts executed. Construction has begun on more than 80 percent of those projects — 1,097 projects, valued at $1.5 billion.

The drinking water projects exceeded the requirement that 20 percent of the projects be “green.” The final tally showed 513 drinking water projects (valued at $539.1 million) met the green requirements — 28.8 percent.

US Waives “Buy American”

Requirements for Canada

Canada and the Unites States have signed an agreement to provide equal access to their government procurement programs, seeking to end a dispute over “Buy American” provisions in the U.S.stimulus package.

The deal gives companies on both sides of the border access to government procurement contracts below the federal level.

Under the agreement, which went into effect Feb. 16, the countries agreed to permanently give reciprocal treatment in the Canadian territories and provinces and 37 U.S. states covered by the WTO’s procurement agreement.

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