10 of the World's Most Expensive Megaprojects
From the Top Down: Ending Sexual Harassment in the Construction Industry
Spending Up for the Month, Down for the Year
Friday Funny: "Raising the Roof"
Tracking Technology Helps Construction Companies Save Money, Improve Safety
What The ‘Tech’ Just Happened to Meetings?
Weekly Grind: The Future of Construction Technology Across the Country
Friday Funny: It's Just Ergonomics
By Matt volz, Associated press
July 10, 2017
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A judge on Wednesday blocked construction of a $59 million irrigation dam because of the potential threat to an ancient fish species in Montana's Yellowstone River just three months after he lifted a previous injunction on the project.
In his order reinstating the injunction, U.S. District Judge Brian Morris wrote that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' new analysis of the proposed dam and a separate channel to allow pallid sturgeon to swim around the dam likely violated federal environmental laws.
The long-snouted pallid sturgeon, which evolved from fish that were alive in the age of dinosaurs, are cut off from their spawning grounds by a wood-and-rock irrigation dam in eastern Montana. They now number about 125 wild fish, and U.S. government officials have acknowledged that the species could go extinct if action isn't taken.
Their solution was to propose the new dam and a bypass channel for the fish, a project expected to take between two and three years to build.
Two wildlife and conservation groups successfully sued to block the project in 2015, arguing that there was no evidence that the fish would use the proposed bypass channel. They want the government to remove the existing dam and have a free-flowing Yellowstone River that will allow the pallid sturgeon to spawn without manmade obstacles.
In April, Morris allowed the dam project to proceed after the Corps, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a more in-depth review of the dam and fish channel on the sturgeon than their original analysis.
Defenders of Wildlife and Natural Resource Defense Council filed new claims that even the in-depth government review fell short of the requirements of the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Protection Act.
Morris agreed. In his order, the judge noted that the U.S. government estimated about 41 percent of the fish would use the bypass channel, but didn't analyze what effect those low numbers would have on the overall population.
Government officials also couldn't demonstrate that the project would "improve a situation that they concede to be dire," Morris wrote.
Chris Fassero, the Corps' project engineer for the dam, said the construction contractor had been waiting to begin work until now, the end of the pallid sturgeon migration season.
"The Corps and the other agencies involved need to reconvene and decide how to proceed," he said.
Aaron Hall, Defenders of Wildlife's Rockies and Plains representative, said the pallid sturgeon can't wait a decade on construction and analysis to determine whether the bypass works.
"Like the government, we agree that this is a time-sensitive matter," he said. "We really feel like there's a win-win solution here that we would love to get to."
2 Dams Illustrate Challenge of Maintaining Older Designs
That master strategist Sun Tzu knew a thing or two about out-thinking the competition. Turns out his focus on strategy over strength can be applied to gaining an edge in the construction industry. ... Read More
If you're a construction worker, you're most likely working physical labor and it can get hot if you're working under the sun. Here's a guide for h... Read More
As an architectural statement, the campus is a monument both to Apple’s corporate success and centrality to the global tech culture. At 176 acres, ... Read More
August 8, 2016
"Some of the cool things that we're doing on job sites today are with Rovers and the alive platform. Alive is that software platform that glues to... Read More
The National Association of Women in Construction has a new executive vice president. This change marks a “brand new day and brand new way” for the... Read More
Every construction business owner can learn a lot from competitors. But merely copying them won't do. You will just always stay one step behind. So... Read More
We've selected eight women from all walks of life to ask them one common question: what advice would you give women who want to enter the construct... Read More