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F. X. Browne, Inc.'s

Sustainable Environments

October 2011

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."


An excerpt from
The Walrus and The Carpenter

~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland



Happy Halloween from F. X. Browne, Inc.!


News Clips:

Down the Drain:  Wetlands as Sinks for Absorbing Reactive Nitrogen
EPA scientists conduct the first continental-scale analysis to estimate how much nitrogen is removed by wetland ecosystems across the U.S.

EPA researchers are working to quantify the ability of wetlands to absorb “reactive” nitrogen (Nr), which is released into the environment mainly from agricultural fertilizers, sewage treatment and fossil fuels.   More...

Modular Wetlands Receives Washington State Department of Ecology Approval

Washington State has approved the use of the Modular Wetland System (MWS) - Linear Stormwater Biofiltration System to treat stormwater runoff.  More...

Busted Bridges in the Poconos: How bad are the ones you use?
Monroe No. 2 in worst bridges in the state

Thirty percent of Monroe County’s bridges are rated “structurally deficient,”  and are in need of repair or replacement.  More...

Study Finds Predators Don’t Benefit From Increased Insect Biomass Caused by Nutrient Enrichment

Researchers at the University of Georgia have conducted a long-term study to determine the effects of nutrient enrichment.  More...


Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene hit the eastern coast from August 22 to August 28, 2011.  More...




Interesting Facts about Water 

 • To manufacture one car, including tires,
147,972 liters of water are used.

• 13% of municipal piped water is lost in pipeline leaks.

• The human brain is 75% water.

• Outdoor watering uses 35 liters of water each minute
(over 9 gallons).

• One drop of oil can make up to 25 liters of water unfit for drinking.

• Half of world’s wetlands have been lost since 1900.

• Each year, over 89 billion liters of bottled water are sold.


For more interesting water facts, visit


"Success is foreseeing failure." 
~ Henry Petroski, P.E.

Policy Updates:


EPA/USDA Partnership to Promote Sustainable Drinking Water Systems to Protect Public Health
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a partnership on August 8, 2011 to support communities in upgrading their rural drinking water/wastewater systems to protect the public health and water quality. 

For more information, visit
For more about EPA's programs and tools for small water systems, visit
For information about USDA's Water and Environmental Programs for rural communities, visit

Update on EPA’s Effluent Limit Guidelines for Construction Industry

The EPA issued a numeric limit for turbidity in the 2009 final effluent guideline rule for the Construction and Development Point Source Category.  This set national monitoring requirements and numeric limitations on stormwater discharges from construction sites.  They then withdrew the limit to correct a calculation error.  In December 2010, they submitted a proposed rule to revise the turbidity limit.  Recently, they again withdrew this proposal.  They have decided to collect more data on treatment performance before proposing a revised numeric turbidity limit.


“Engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand,
into shapes we cannot precisely analyze so as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess,
in such a way that the public has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.”
~ A.R. Dykes



Great American Cleanup 2011

This year, 159,922 volunteers collected 354,267 bags (7,085,340 pounds) of trash along 13,140 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 5,887 acres of park and/or wetlands in Pennsylvania.  Volunteers also planted 3,321 trees, plants and bulbs.  All 67 counties in Pennsylvania were represented in this effort.   Since the program began in 2004, over 61 million pounds of letter and waste have been collected and tens of thousands of trees, plants, and bulbs have been planted.  The Great American Cleanup of PA is sponsored by Keep America Beautiful. 

To view the 2011 Great American Cleanup of PA report, visit



“Creed of the Engineer: Measure with micrometer, mark with chalk, cut with axe.”
~ Anon

Grants and Awards:
To view our list of available grants, click here.




Marcellus Shale News and Resources

For the latest Marcellus Shale news and information sources, click here.



“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."
~ Albert Einstein

Link of the Month:

Web Soil Survey 2.3
The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Web Soil Survey has been upgraded to version 2.3.  You can now save your Area of Interest (AOI) as a Web Soil Survey URL so you can bookmark it for future use.  You can save your AOI as a downloadable zipped shapefile and create an AOI from a saved shapefile or zipped shapefile.  Additional improvements include more recent aerial photography and a more user friendly Quick Navigation tool.



Old Gas Station Site Transformed Into Rain Garden in Camden, NJ
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has dedicated a new rain garden on the site of an abandoned gas station.  The half-acre site has been planted with native trees, shrubs and grasses to collect and filter stormwater runoff.  The site will reduce stormwater runoff volumes and peak rates and will provide habitat for wildlife.  The rain garden was designed to manage a million gallons of stormwater each year.  It was also designed with walkways to encourage visits by the public. 
NJ DEP News Release, July 26, 2011


"One man with courage makes a majority."
~ Andrew Jackson

Tools and Publications:

EPA Launches Revamped Sustainable Water Infrastructure Web Pages
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched an enhanced website to provide information and resources on water infrastructure challenges.  They’ve added a section specifically for local officials to provide information, resources, and materials to address a community’s water infrastructure needs. 
To view the revamped sustainable infrastructure web pages, visit
To view the local officials section, visit

Economic Impacts of Restoration Calculator for Oregon Counties v.1.0
This new tool allows users to calculate the economic impacts of ecological restoration in Oregon counties.  The calculator predicts county-level employment, earnings, and overall economic impact for restorations.  This site also provides a Quick Guide for Monitoring Economic Impacts of Ecosystem Restoration and Stewardship to assist those using the tool.


Fish Habitat Fact Sheets
State fact sheets are available to highlight the challenges and opportunities facing fish and fish habitat conservation efforts.  Development, agriculture, pollution, dams, and culverts have degraded aquatic habitats.  Approximately 7,000 of Pennsylvania’s rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and bays are considered impaired.  Visit the link below to learn more about the fish habitats in your state.
To view the Pennsylvania fish habitat fact sheet, visit


"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
~ George Santayana



Audubon Bird Town
The Audubon is working with municipalities in Pennsylvania to promote conservation and create more sustainable environments and habitats for people and birds.  Municipality residents can register their property and plant native plants to improve the township’s scorecard.  Audubon will provide brochures, educational materials, articles, workshops, street signs, annual analysis and reports on the municipality’s progress, and access to qualified experts.  Pennsylvania is located within the Atlantic flyway and is important to a number of key species.



Newsletter Editor/Design and Layout: Lisen Cummings

Poem and Quotes:
Frank Browne


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F. X. Browne, Inc.  – Environmental Consulting

Engineers – Planners – Scientists
34 Years of Excellence & Innovation



Corporate Office: Lansdale, PA
Pocono Office: Marshalls Creek, PA
New York Office:  Saranac Lake, NY


For more information, call us at (215) 362-3878 or visit: 

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