Monthly Archive for April, 2010

EPA Establishes Website On BP Oil Spill

EPA launches site to inform the public about health, environmental impacts of spill

As part of the ongoing federal response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, EPA today established a website to inform the public about the spill’s impact on the environment and the health of nearby residents. The website – http://www.epa.gov/bpspill- will contain data from EPA’s ongoing air monitoring along with other information about the agency’s activities in the region. Also today, Administrator Jackson joined Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to tour the region. The Administrator will spend the next 36 hours visiting with community groups and meeting EPA staff responding to the spill.

Additional information on the broader response from the U.S. Coast Guard and other responding agencies is available at: http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com

“We are taking every possible step to protect the health of the residents and mitigate the environmental impacts of this spill,” EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said. “For several days, EPA has been on the ground evaluating air and water concerns and coordinating with other responding agencies.  We are also here to address community members — the people who know these waters and wetlands best.  They will be essential to the work ahead.”

EPA has established air-monitoring stations along Plaquemines Parish on the Louisiana coast. EPA established those facilities to determine how oil set on fire in the gulf and oil that is reaching land is impacting air quality. EPA is monitoring levels of a number of chemicals potentially emitted by oil, including volatile organic compounds such as xylene, benzene and toluene.

EPA has also deployed two Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzers – mobile laboratories that collect and analyze air quality samples in real time – to monitor air quality in the region.

EPA tested smoke from the controlled burn two days ago and found the Louisiana coast had not been affected because an off-shore breeze was blowing away from land and out to sea during that time. The agency will continue to collect and share data with the public, and will coordinate and share information with local health officials.

In addition to monitoring air quality, EPA is also assessing the coastal waters affected by the spreading oil. EPA deployed our twin-engine aircraft to assist in the collection of air sampling data and photograph the spill and surrounding area.

All of the data EPA collects will be posted to http://www.epa.gov/bpspill , along with frequently asked questions, fact sheets about potential health impacts of the spill, and links to more information on the spill and the government’s response.

Cat Auction Services Returns to Twin Cities on May 5 and 6

Cat Auction Services, recognized the world over for its commitment to building customer loyalty, announced recently that it will hold two unreserved public auctions in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.) area on May 5 and 6. These mark the company’s third and fourth Twin Cities-based auctions and come on the heels of a mid-April auction in Houston, Texas.

Both Twin Cities auctions will include a broad assortment of construction equipment from a number of manufacturers. The first auction event will be held just north of the Twin Cities metro at the former site of Arcon Construction (5973 433rd Street) in Harris, Minn., on Wednesday, May 5, beginning at 9 a.m. Excavators, skid steer loaders, wheel loaders and track-type tractors highlight a sizable and growing equipment list. Consignments are still being accepted for this auction.

On Thursday, May 6, at 9 a.m. the venue moves to nearby Blaine, Minn., at the Glenn Rehbein Excavating, Inc. site (8651 Naples Street Northeast) for a complete dispersal of that company’s equipment, including ag tractors, excavators, loaders and a variety of specialty trucks.

Both auctions are expected to draw bidders from across the United States and around the world. Interested buyers are invited to view the entire equipment list and inspection reports online prior to the events by visiting www.catauctions.com. Real-time online bidding will be available on the day of each auction through the company’s website, and participants are invited to register early so as to have access to inspection reports on the equipment.

Cat Auction Services president Rick Albin said, “We’re excited to be holding two more auctions here in the Twin Cities metro area. Both the Harris and Blaine sites provide ideal settings for our innovative LeaderboardTM display and perfectly accommodate our unique auction-theater setup. And it’s always a pleasure to work with sellers and buyers right here in our own backyard.” Cat Auction Services is based in Shakopee, Minn.

Albin continued, “We’ve built strong momentum, and are committed to continuing that growth with high-caliber auctions that provide great value to our buyers and sellers, giving them an auction experience unlike any other. Our inspection reports and warranty options quite simply have no equal. And the wide range of exclusive Caterpillar services we provide give our buyers more options, more flexibility and more confidence than anyone else can provide.” Albin noted that more than 50 pieces of Caterpillar equipment between the two auctions qualify for an extended Equipment Protection Plan.

Albin went on to describe the options available to online bidders. “Our simplified online bidding system streamlines the registration and bidding processes, and allows those who cannot make it to the sites the chance to interact in a way that is more consistent with what our on-site participants experience. With so many bidders participating via the web, this improvement will significantly enhance the bidding process for a large number of our customers.”

In addition to the Twin Cities events, Cat Auction Services has upcoming auctions in Des Moines, Iowa, in June and Denver, Colo., in July. Cat Auction Services entered the heavy equipment auction arena in late 2008 and has been active across the country. Reviews from all corners have been positive, and the auctions have drawn buyers from 49 states and nearly three dozen countries.

Houston Cat Auction Generates Impressive Results

Last week, Cat Auction Services sold more than US$5 million of heavy equipment during an unreserved public auction held at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas. Bidders from 35 states and 9 countries registered to participate on-site and online at www.catauctions.com to compete for nearly 200 lots. The Houston auction kicked off a string of auctions for the company, with the next two occurring in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn.) on May 5 and 6, and in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 17.

Cat Auction Services President Rick Albin said, “We were very pleased with the results of the Houston auction. It wasn’t our biggest in terms of number of lots or dollar amount sold, but we continued our trend of attracting active, serious buyers. As with our other auctions, buyer confidence was extremely high, which lead to exceptionally solid prices.”

Albin attributes this high level of buyer confidence to the TA1-level inspection reports on the equipment, as well as to the exclusive Caterpillar products and services available to buyers. “The fact of the matter is that our buyers have access to an impressive number of tools — from the most detailed inspection reports in the industry, to extended Equipment Protection Plans, to warranty and part options — that, combined, make them very comfortable with the value they’re receiving. Quite simply, we’ve given them the tools to make highly informed decisions.”

Once again the unique auction setup and innovative LeaderboardTM display drew rave reviews from on-site participants. And nearly 2/3 of the total bidders participated remotely via the company’s improved online bidding tool at www.catauctions.com. Albin noted the importance of continuing to achieve this balance of on-site and online participation as the company prepares for the upcoming Minnesota and Iowa auctions.

Brierley Associates Acquires Lyman Henn to Form Major Tunnel Design Firm

Brierley Associates today announced that it has acquired Lyman Henn, a privately held company based in Denver that provides specialized geotechnical, tunneling and construction services to clients in the water/wastewater and transportation industries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brierley Associates provides design, analysis and management consulting services for major underground construction projects throughout the country. With the acquisition, the firm now has annual revenues of $8 million and 50 employees located in offices in seven states.

Lyman Henn will operate as a division of Brierley Associates. By combining Lyman Henn’s capabilities with Brierley’s expertise in major underground construction projects, clients across the country will have access to a broader array of tunneling/ trenchless engineering, geotechnical engineering, construction management and forensic engineering services.

“Brierley has established itself as the industry’s preeminent tunneling/trenchless engineering consulting firm, and we’re pleased to join them,” said Tracy Lyman, senior consultant at Brierley Associates and former president of Lyman Henn. “By adding the expertise of Lyman Henn, Brierley Associates is in a much stronger position to offer comprehensive engineering services to projects throughout the country, whether they are below ground or above ground.”

“I have worked with Lyman Henn’s Tracy Lyman for close to 30 years and we have the utmost respect for each other and the companies we have both built,” said Gary Brierley, founder and president of Brierley Associates. “Together, we now offer the underground and geotechnical industries tremendous depth of expertise in the form of nearly two dozen tunneling, trenchless and underground engineering professionals.”

KOBELCO ON MAY 2nd EPISODE OF
ABC’S “EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION”

Kobelco Construction Machinery America recently joined the crew of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for a project in eastern Texas. The company provided a Kobelco SK210 excavator to demolish a home so that a new one could be constructed for a very deserving family.

Most Americans are familiar with the ABC television series “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” Each week on the show, a deserving family is selected to undergo a dramatic home “makeover,” which may involve a large addition, remodel, or demolition of the existing house and complete construction of an entirely new home. A team of designers, contractors and several hundred workers have just seven days to completely rebuild an entire property, including landscaping – a project that normally takes up to nine months to complete.

For this project, the Carr family of Mineola, Texas – a small town about 80 miles east of Dallas – was selected for a home transformation. The Carr’s four adopted children have had to overcome severe physical and mental disabilities while living in a cramped and dangerous home. Compounding the family’s struggles, the father has undergone pancreas and kidney transplants in recent years.

The family’s small, three-bedroom home was at high risk for fire due to a faulty electrical system. The home was not handicap accessible for the children, plus plumbing leaks throughout the house created mold issues.

Kobelco SK210 Excavator to the Rescue

When word reached the local community that the show had selected the Carr home, businesses, corporations and individuals from all over eastern Texas offered to contribute. One of the early volunteers was Eugene Toole, a local demolition contractor. Toole is a customer of Bane Machinery, a Kobelco dealer with four locations in Texas, including the nearby town of Tyler. The staff at Bane Machinery quickly coordinated with the production crew to deliver the much-needed construction equipment to the site.

On a rainy Friday, the show’s production crew and an army of more than 3,000 volunteers and donors descended on the Carr home. Once the power lines and water lines were moved, demolition on the home began. With Toole at the controls, the Kobelco SK210 excavator tore through the shingles, plywood, trusses and studs, reducing everything to a pile of rubble within minutes. Toole then switched to a crawler dozer to help clear the rubble and build the pad for the family’s new 4,800 square foot home.

“Kobelco is proud to be part of such a generous effort for this family. We extend our appreciation to Eugene and Bane Machinery for their help and support,” said Alan Jenkins, territory sales manager. “Improving the lives of the Carr family is a rewarding experience on many levels.”

The Kobelco SK210 excavator will be seen on the episode scheduled to air on the ABC television network on Sunday, May 2, 2010, at 8 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Central.

For more show information, visit www.abc.go.com/shows/extreme-makeover-home-edition.

The Emmy award-winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now in its 7th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced by Anthony Dominici. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.