Field Notes
The New Guidelines for Drafting Avian Protection Plans
By Lisa Berntsen, PWS – Oct 11, 2013
An avian protection plan, also known as an APP, is a voluntary, utility specific plan for reducing risks to birds and system reliability that result from avian interactions with power lines and electric utility facilities. In 2012, the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee updated these guidelines...

Wind Turbines and Bird Mortalities: How to Accurately Track and Report Data
By Chris Bellusci – Sep 12, 2013
A recent Associated Press article on the number of eagles killed by wind farms in the last five years has been widely circulated among major media outlets, such as NBC News, ABC News, The Weather Channel, and multiple newspapers. The article, and the study it cites, highlights the importance of...

Helping Electric Utilities Avoid Bird Mortality Compliance Risk with AvianAudit
By Chris Bellusci – Sep 9, 2013
Power lines kill upwards of 170 million birds in the U.S. each year, and wind turbines are estimated to kill 33,000 according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s factsheet Migratory Bird Mortality: Many Human-Caused Threats Afflict our Bird Population (PDF – 518 KB). Utilities that have not adhered...

Emergency Response Considerations That Go Beyond Geology
By J Gordon, PE – Jul 16, 2013
I recently talked about landside emergency response procedures for the American Public Works Association’s (APWA) Washington Chapter Emerging Professionals Committee. The original request was to focus on the Whidbey Island landslide that occurred this spring.  However, considering the audience...

Emerging Technologies in Trenchless Pipeline Installations
By Jon Robison, PE – Jun 28, 2013
We had a great time this week in Fort Worth, Texas, at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pipelines 2013 Conference.  The theme was “Pipelines and Trenchless Constructions & Renewals: A Global Perspective.” It was well attended, breaking all previous records.  I had the...