The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will develop regulations for coal- ash storage by the end of the year, says EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. The March 9 decision comes 10 weeks after a dike burst at a storage impoundment at a Tennessee Valley Authority plant, spilling about 5.4 million gallons of coal-ash slurry. EPA will ask experts to assess the integrity of 300 units across the country that store ash suspended in liquid. It is working closely with dam safety experts because of structural similarities of coal-ash impoundments and dams.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.