Category: Infrastructure

Resource Category Topic Type
Biofueling Rural Development: Making the Case for Linking Biofuel Production to Rural Revitalization
Biofuels play a crucial role in America's quest for oil independence. In recent years, the biofuel industry has seen significant technology and efficiency advances, as well as expansions in the materials that can be used to create biofuels. Grains and oilseeds are limited in their ability to meet fuel needs, but a shift to biomass feedstocks offers better production possibilities. For rural communities, locally owned biomass refineries may offer promise of new investment, job growth, and revitalization.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change Economic Development, Environment, Infrastructure, Rural Publication
Carsey Perspectives: New Hampshire's Electricity Future
May 2017 update PointLogic Energy, a source for natural gas pipeline flow and capacity in the original report, has recently updated its models for calculating natural gas flow in the Tennessee Gas Pipeline in New England. This model update has resulted in significant changes to their previous estimates. Most importantly, data obtained from PointLogic Energy in December 2016 supported the finding that overall net gas flow in the “Tennessee Gas Pipeline: NY to MA” was from Massachusetts to New York from 2013–2016; their revised models indicate a net flow during the same period from New York to Massachusetts. To be conservative, we have removed analysis of natural gas pipeline flow and capacity from this report that relied on the original data obtained from PointLogic Energy. Instead, we use estimates of natural gas pipeline flow and capacity published in a 2014 ICF International report that was commissioned by ISO New England (Exhibit 2-3, pp. 12)a and information provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.b a ICF International, “Assessment of New England’s Natural Gas Pipeline Capacity to Satisfy Short and Near-Term Electric Generation Needs: Phase II,” 2014 . b U.S. Energy Information Administration, “U.S. State-to-State Capacity,” updated 12/31/2015; U.S. Energy Information Administration, “New England Natural Gas Pipeline Capacity Increases for the First Time Since 2010,” December 6, 2016 (see endnote 15). Download the revised publication. Download the previous version of this publication.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Energy, Infrastructure, New Hampshire Publication
Carsey Perspectives: Saving Salt, Protecting Watersheds, in Winter Road Maintenance
Every winter, the surface of the earth in the northern United States becomes considerably more salty. The reason is, for availability, cost, and effectiveness, nothing beats salt-based deicers for keeping roadways clear of ice. But the effects of road salt on aquatic ecosystems, freshwater drinking supplies, infrastructure, and vehicles is significant. When chlorides get into groundwater, it can be very difficult to get them out. They do not biodegrade over time, and the accumulation in soils can be retained for decades.1 As few as 50 pounds of salt can contaminate 10,000 gallons of water.2 The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services estimates that there are almost 50 chloride-impaired watersheds within the state, and it lists over 100 of the state’s drinking water sources as contaminated due to chlorides.3 Groundwater experts suggest that the chloride problem may be much larger than we know, due to limited testing and the cumulative impact of the chemical. Therefore, given what we know about the harmful effects of salt, it makes sense to use it sparingly. But as any homeowner who has tossed it on a sidewalk knows, it is hard to estimate the right amount to use and, if anything, we err on the side of caution, resulting in liberal applications. Municipalities have an even tougher time getting it right. A public works department must deploy dozens or hundreds of spreaders, managing them so they do not miss a road and adjusting their management approach to accommodate changing temperatures and the unique weather fluctuations of each winter event. When trucks are moving through complex road systems it can be challenging for operators to know the last time deicing material was applied to a particular surface. When in doubt, operators apply more material. It was in seeing that there was significant opportunity for innovation within the winter road maintenance industry that I decided to launch a company where we could work to help address some of the industry’s challenges. In 2012, I launched the New Hampshire based company, Sensible Spreader Technologies LLC (SST), and we are currently helping municipalities and private contractors increase efficiency, increase safety, and reduce deicer waste by showing operators in real time what’s been covered and what hasn’t. SST’s Coverage Indication Technology (CIT) uses mobile devices, wireless sensors, cloud computing, and real-time electronic maps to show operators the concurrent locations of other vehicles in the fleet and the plowing and deicing operations that have taken place over specific intervals. SST developed this technology after measuring the regular occurrence of material-based overlap within short time durations at multiple municipal locations. Material-based overlap occurs when operators reapply material in areas that have already received sufficient quantities of deicing material. We observed that the highest likelihood for overlap occurred in and around grid-type infrastructure, typical of urban environments, but overlap was also observed in rural settings.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Environment, Infrastructure, New Hampshire Publication
Transportation and Taxes
As in the United States as a whole, New Hampshire’s transportation infrastructure is in serious need of upgrading and maintenance. Addressing the problem will require substantial public investment, which will in turn require public awareness of infrastructure challenges and public understanding of the means to address them.
Community, Environment, and Climate Change, New Hampshire Infrastructure, New Hampshire, Tax Publication