Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 08:30 External News

California Gov. Gavin Newsom gave legislators just three months to address a multibillion-dollar wildfire liability problem that has forced the state’s largest power company, PG&E Corp., into bankruptcy and threatens the same fate for its other utilities.

The governor issued a report Friday outlining possible solutions for how costs for destructive wildfires will be covered, including a possible fund that utilities can tap into, that sent the clearest signal yet that the state will move to keep its power companies solvent. He called for legislation to be passed before lawmakers take a month-long summer recess on July 12, sending shares of PG&E and its peers soaring. It was made known two weeks ago that Newsom was also drafting plans to respond to wildfires more broadly, and his proposal has been expected.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 11:15 External News

(TNS) — The Warrenton, Ore., Commission plans to develop a new policy to address encroachments on the city's levee system.

A recent inspection of Warrenton's nearly 11 miles of levees revealed several issues. There are moles everywhere and, in several cases, there are structures built into levee slopes.

One example the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has rated as "unacceptable" is a garage built into the levee right of way off Main Avenue near Fourth Street.

If the garage is not addressed, it could jeopardize the levee system's status within the federal Rehabilitation and Inspection Program, which provides rehabilitation assistance.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 10:00 External News

City court officials in Austin used to spend a lot of time answering rote questions related to parking tickets, court dates and other issues.

Then about two years ago, the city began using a chatbot to field these requests. The move made life easier not only for workers in the court system, but also residents.

“They had a challenge with individuals coming down, asking questions about paying tickets,” explained Austin CIO Stephen Elkins during a panel discussion last week at the Smart Cities Connect Conference in Denver.

Monday, April 8, 2019 - 10:00 External News

As the efficiency of operational risk management remains a top priority and pressure to maximise value increases, emerging technology could prove crucial. Nitish Idnani, leader of oprisk management services at Deloitte, explores how the oprisk management space could look in the future if it continues its current evolution, and discusses the potential impact of key technologies

The efficacy and efficiency of operational risk management continue to be a major priority in today’s business climate. The ability to demonstrate the value of oprisk management frameworks – with risk managers being increasingly expected to do more with less – is increasing. This pressure is creating an incentive for risk leaders to explore and embrace new technologies and techniques that can help improve their programmes.

Friday, April 5, 2019 - 07:15 External News

Creation of a catastrophic wildfire risk pool is emerging as the most likely option as California lawmakers seek to protect the solvency of investor-owned utilities from record payouts for fire damages.

PG&E filed for a bankruptcy reorganization this year, saying it needed the court’s protection because it cannot count on the California Public Utilities Commission to allow it to recoup its costs through rates. The legislature last year created the Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery, which is due to recommend ways of mitigating wildfire risks by July 1. Gov. Gavin Newsom is also drafting plans to respond to wildfires more broadly and is expected to release a proposal late next week.

Monday, April 1, 2019 - 10:15 External News

(TNS) — California’s hospitals are scrambling to retrofit their buildings before “The Big One” hits, an effort that will cost tens of billions dollars and could jeopardize health-care access, according to a newly released study.

The state’s 418 hospitals have a deadline from the state, too. They’re racing to meet seismic safety standards set by a California law that was inspired by the deadly 1994 Northridge earthquake, which damaged 11 hospitals and forced evacuations at eight of them.

By 2020, hospitals must reduce the risk of collapse. By 2030, they must be able to remain in operation after a major earthquake.

Monday, April 1, 2019 - 11:00 External News

(TNS) - Oroville Dam’s massive flood-control spillway will be deployed Tuesday for the first time since it was rebuilt for $1.1 billion after a near-catastrophe forced the evacuation of 188,000 people in 2017.

In a brief statement Sunday, the California Department of Water Resources’ deputy director Joel Ledesma said the agency has “restored full functionality to the Oroville main spillway and is operating the reservoir to ensure public safety of those downstream. The Oroville main spillway was designed and constructed using 21st century engineering practices and under the oversight and guidance from state and federal regulators and independent experts.”

Friday, March 29, 2019 - 11:00 External News

California’s earthquake early warning system may have taken a step forward this week when officials conducted a test in downtown Oakland.

The USGS, in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), the city of Oakland and Alameda County, issued Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) soliciting a response to a survey to about 40,000 people in a 60-acre block. It went well, but not perfectly.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 - 11:15 External News

The speed and scale of digital rollouts are putting risk and internal audit professionals in a difficult spot, and the smarter risk managers are making more use of data and digital capabilities to inform their decisions, according to a new study from consulting firm PwC.

Friday, March 22, 2019 - 06:45 External News

Northern Cass Middle School in Hunter, North Dakota is located about 30 miles northwest of Fargo and the student body of about 650 students is made up of many rural towns. Unfortunately, for the school and townspeople, the closest first responders about a 30- to 45-minute drive away.

So the school’s eighth-grade class decided that was the best choice as a problem they could solve for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow national Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) contest. They developed an app, the Emergency Video Assistance (EVA) that connects the caller with first responders during their lengthy drive, providing video and other information for real-time situational awareness.