ECO/EPA 2005 COMMUNITY INTERN PROGRAM (ECO/EPA)
ECO (Environmental Careers Organization) is now accepting applications from interested organizations for the ECO/EPA 2005 Community Intern Program (CIP).
Eskimos Seek to Recast Global Warming as a Rights Issue (N.Y. Times)
The Eskimos, or Inuit, about 155,000 seal-hunting peoples scattered
around the Arctic, plan to seek a ruling from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that the United States, by contributing substantially to global warming, is threatening their existence.
WHITE HOUSE TO PUSH CLEAR SKIES LEGISLATION (ASME)
Rather than release new, long-awaited coal power plant emission rules, the Environmental Protection Agency said this week that the administration instead plans to make an "early push" for environmental legislation is terms "Clear Skies."
2003 Particle Pollution Report Shows Major Improvements in Air Quality (EPA)
Levels of fine particle pollution, also known as PM 2.5, were the lowest in 2003 since nationwide monitoring began in 1999, according to an EPA
Nobel Winner Maathai Sounds Alarm Over Planet (PPRC)
Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai urged democratic reform and an end to corporate greed after becoming the first African woman to collect the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
Kansas: Clean Up of Hazardous Waste and Tires Underway in South Hoisington (BLR)
Clean up is underway in South Hoisington where illegal dumping has occurred over the past several years. The effort is part of a state program.
Fuels Driver Training Now Available (EPA)
The course materials for the alternative fuel training courses held in the summer of 2004 are now available on the Alternative Fuels Data Center Web site. Sponsored by EPAct and Clean Cities, the courses focus on biodiesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), E85, and propane and teach drivers to how safely operate and fuel AFVs and what to do in case of emergency. Fleet managers are encouraged to download the courses and add them to their driver training package. Developed in PowerPoint, the materials include formatted slides and detailed speaker notes. Each presentation contains modules that can be mixed and matched to suit a fleet's particular needs.
2005 Summer Conference, "Environmental Stewardship in Transportation"
This conference will focus on transportation-related systems-based solutions and research associated with:
Pollution Prevention and Waste Reduction.
Materials Recycling and Reuse.
Contaminated Materials Management and Tracking.
Product Substitution and Green Designs.
Brownfields Programs (Reuse of Contaminated Properties in Urban Transportation Systems).
Establishment of Best Management Practices (BMPs).
Environmental Management Systems (EMSs).
A New Environment for Insurance and Auto Body Repair; Allstate Connects Safety, Pollution Prevention and Quality
Allstate, the nation's second largest auto insurer, is asking the more than 3,200 auto body repair facilities across the country that participate in its direct repair program to complete an auto body specific environmental and safety-training program.
Automaker Rankings 2004: The Environmental Performance of Car Companies (UCSUSA)
The pollution performance of just a handful of corporations has a dramatic impact on the air we breathe and the climate we will pass on to future generations. The six largest automakers in the U.S. market—General Motors (GM), Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, Honda, and Nissan—are responsible for more than 90 percent of the heat-trapping and smog-forming emissions from new automobiles today.
Funding Opportunity - Closes January 14, 2005 (OSWER)
The US EPA Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) set aside a limited amount of funding for regional and HQ program offices to develop new and creative approaches addressing OSWER’s key priorities. Please note that this solicitation is limited to public authorities, agencies and institutions; non-profit organizations and agencies; academic institutions; and federally recognized Tribes.
Hyperion Offers Employees $5,000 Toward Purchase of Hybrid Cars
Hyperion Solutions, a Silicon Valley software company, has launched a first-of-its-kind initiative to help its employees purchase fuel-efficient cars for their personal use.
Report: Which New Building Technologies Save Energy, Money?
This analysis reviewed 200 technologies and practices (T&Ps) in order to select those that promise to save at least 0.25% of national electricity use; avoid "lost opportunities" in new construction, rehab, or equipment replacement; or capture important regional opportunities.
2005 Top 10 Green Projects Competition (AIA)
Archetects: Register your design!The Top Ten Green Projects program seeks to: Identify and recognize the benefits of a high performance, sustainable design approach, Educate the architecture community and the public on the increased value that sustainable design provides for developers, building owners, and occupants, and Acknowledge architects as experts in the creation of energy conscious and environmentally responsible design solutions.
EPA Announces Four New Environmental Management System (EMS) Local Resource Centers (WRRC)
EPA announced the selection of four new Public Entity EMS Resource Centers (PEER Centers) to help local governments learn more about and adopt EMSs for their operations. The new centers are located at the University of Missouri-Rolla, Kansas State University, the University of Colorado and EcoVenture in Oakland, Calif. EMSs provide organizations with a structured approach for assessing and reducing their environmental impacts on a continual basis.
MidAmerican Energy Announces Sites for its Wind Generation Project (MidAmerican Energy)
Seizing the oppertunity for wind energy. The $323 million project will be located on two sites in north central and northwest Iowa. One site is an area north of Blairsburg, situated in Wright and Hamilton counties. The other location is southwest of Storm Lake in Buena Vista and Sac counties. Approximately 100 GE Wind Energy 1.5 megawatt wind turbines will be constructed at each location. Together, the sites will provide enough energy to power approximately 85,000 homes.
EPA Releases 2003 TRI Data Early (ChemAlliance)
To better inform communities, the EPA for the first time has released facility information about toxic chemical releases as reported to the agency, rather than waiting until release as part of the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report. In the past, this data was received, quality-checked, analyzed and released in the annual TRI report that resulted from the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986. The TRI program requires industrial facilities to publicly report quantities of toxic chemicals annually released into the air, water and land.
Clean air shift spurs fight (Omaha World-Herald)
Nebraska environmental officials have proposed revisions to some of the Bush administration's controversial changes in clean-air-rules.
Ethanol Fuel Industry on Building Spree in the Midwest (GLRPPR)
A growth in demand and favorable new tax credits appear to have accelerated the U.S. ethanol fuel industry. Since October, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) has announced the start of construction on new ethanol plants in Illinois, Iowa, and Kansas, plus two plants under construction in Minnesota.
Moving Forward with Pollution Prevention in North America: A Progress Update (PDF) (NPPR)
Describes the mission of the NAP3 to collaborate on pollution prevention policy development, capacity building, stakeholder involvement and environmental leadership, through a unified and coordinated effort.
What is the normal amount of pollution? (Omaha World-Herald)
Discusses one of the key issues in the federal rules that Nebraska is proposing for revision is what constitutes a normal amount of pollution.
City considers sack tax (Topeka Capital Journal)
San Francisco officials are considering charging grocery stores 17 cents each for grocery bags to discourage use of plastic sacks.
Scientists Warn of Toxins in Fish (Omaha World Herald)
Provides information on pollution, namely mercury, and the effects on individuals who eat fish that are contaminated.
Awards for Shopping Centers Practicing Waste Reduction and Recycling (ICSC)
Do you or your states or localities know of shopping centers who are
leaders in waste prevention or in recycling? If so, check out information regarding application for new awards developed by the ICSC.
Potential Platte Basin well conflicts defined (Omaha World Herald)
A preliminary map was unveiled Friday that determines where groundwater wells could significantly deplete the flow of the Platte River and its tributaries in central and western Nebraska. This story includes a map depicitng the effects groundwater wells have on the region.
Conference: Landscaping with Native Plants (EPA)
Landscaping with Native Plants: Exploring the Environmental, Social,
and Economic Benefits
December 6-7, 2004.
This is a two-day scientific conference. This conference will help
define what is known about the benefits of native landscaping, will
identify key gaps in our current knowledge and will define future
Missouri Department of Natural Resources Urges Waste Reduction for the Holidays (MoDNR)
This news story offers information regarding the careful purchase of gifts during the holidays that inturn will reduce the amount of related waste that ends up in the state's landfills.
EPA awards Environmental Justice Grants to 73 community organizations (IWRC)
In FY 2005, the Environmental Justice Hazardous Substance Research Small Grants Program will make available $500,000 in grant funds to community-based organizations.
November 15th is America Recycles Day (IWRC)
Every year on November 15th, citizens all over the country celebrate America Recycles Day. The purpose of this day is to promote recycling and buying recycled products across the United States.
World’s First Magnetic Force Flashlight Says Goodbye to Batteries (Sustainable Practices 2004)
The NightStar, manufactured by Applied Innovative Technologies, is the world’s first magnetic force flashlight. Without a bulb or batteries, the NightStar works by human motion. When the flashlight light is shaken, a high-strength magnet inside passes back and forth through a coil of copper wire, producing electricity. Energy is stored in a capacitor that can be recharged and discharged hundreds of thousands of times. About 2 minutes of shaking yields about 20 minutes of light. The NightStar features a special luminescent material and an LED.
2005 Green Vehicle Guide
The EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy has released the 2005 Fuel Economy Guide in order to help consumers make informed decisions when they purchase a new vehicle.
2nd Annual P3 Award: A NATIONAL STUDENT DESIGN COMPETITION FOR SUSTAINABILITY FOCUSING ON PEOPLE, PROSPERITY, AND THE PLANET (EPA)
Learn summary of program requirements,eligibility requirements, get the applications and contact information regarding the 2nd Annual P3 Award.
EPA Announces 66 Research Grants to Develop Sustainability Designs (EPA)
This article tells of 66 student teams all recieving awards up to $10,000 for research in enviromental and economic sectors. Of the 66 teams 2 were from Region 7 (UM-Rolla).Dr. Paul Gilman, EPA Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, today announced 66 student teams have received awards up to $10,000 each for the 2004-2005 academic year to research and develop designs that incorporate and support environmental and economic goals of sustainability. The teams from 51 universities will take their designs to a national competition in May.
The P3--People, Prosperity, and the Planet--national student design competition was launched in January 2004 to help achieve the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet’s natural systems, and a higher quality of life for all. This competition enables college students to research, develop and design scientific, technical and policy solutions to sustainability challenges facing communities around the world. Relevant social, economic, and environmental considerations are key elements of this award. More than 40 partners in the federal government, industry, and scientific and professional societies provide support for the competition.
EPA Announces 66 Research Grants to Develop Sustainability Designs (EPA)
This article tells of 66 student teams all recieving awards up to $10,000 for research in enviromental and economic sectors. Of the 66 teams 2 were from Region 7 (UM-Rolla).Dr. Paul Gilman, EPA Assistant Administrator for Research and Development, today announced 66 student teams have received awards up to $10,000 each for the 2004-2005 academic year to research and develop designs that incorporate and support environmental and economic goals of sustainability. The teams from 51 universities will take their designs to a national competition in May.
The P3--People, Prosperity, and the Planet--national student design competition was launched in January 2004 to help achieve the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the planet’s natural systems, and a higher quality of life for all. This competition enables college students to research, develop and design scientific, technical and policy solutions to sustainability challenges facing communities around the world. Relevant social, economic, and environmental considerations are key elements of this award. More than 40 partners in the federal government, industry, and scientific and professional societies provide support for the competition.
MO: Energy Proposal Favored by a Landslide Margin (GLRPPR)
An interesting article regarding Columbia, MO and an ordinance requiring at least 2% of the cities electricity come from renewable sources by 2007 with incremental increases from then on.
123Inkjets Buys and Resells Remanufactured Personal Computer Printer Cartridges. (123 Inkjets, 2004)
Interesting article regarding refillable injet cartradiges. An estimated 375 million ink jet cartridges are thrown away every year. Now Inkjets123 takes back a wide variety of these for remanufacture and resale. At the company’s website, customers can learn how to return empties to 123Inkjets for rebate. A minimum of 5 cartridges per return is required. According to the company, ink cartridges cost more to destroy than to manufacture, making the remanufacture effort worthwhile. Customers can check the company’s website for a list of cartridges acceptable for rebate as well as which remanufactured products are available for purchase at a reduced rate compared to new cartridges. The firm supplies a pre-paid envelope for use in returning the spent cartridges
Closing the Circle News, Special Issue:Electronics Stewardship
This newsletter gives information regarding the management and disposal of electronics. The Federal government has always been a strong advocate of sustainable environmental stewardship in its mission of safeguarding the welfare of all its citizens. This is especially the case when new environmental challenges surface, such as the management of our electronic assets. The Federal government is the largest block purchaser of electronics in the world. The IT budget for FY 2003 alone was $54.2 billion. The majority of the 1.8 million employees in the Federal government have a personal computer;therefore,given an average three-year life cycle,the government discards approximately 10,000 computers each week. In addition to the volume of waste generated, the volume of hazardous chemicals associated with the electronics waste is also an issue.
Newsletter on Economic Incentives and P2 (PPRC)
PPRC discusses the importance of economic incentives in this great article. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimated in a 1999 study that it could save almost $50 billion per year, exactly one-quarter of the $200 billion spent annually on environmental management, by increasing the use of economic incentives in environmental regulation. Such staggering cost saving are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reaping the many potential benefits of this clever form of government regulation.
National Environmental Performance Track: Open Application Until Oct. 31 (US EPA)
EPA's National Environmental Performance Track is designed to motivate and reward top environmental performance. Currently, the program has over 300 members - including a dozen facilities in Iowa, Missouri & Nebraska. EPA is currently accepting new program applicants for Performance Track. As part of membership in Performance Track, participants receive a range of incentives, including public recognition, low priority for routine inspections and networking opportunities. Open Application Season ends October 31, 2004. FOr more information, visit www.epa.gov/performancetrack or call Martha Curran at 617-918-1802.
"Swine Oil" - Turning Hog CAFO Waste To Energy (Power & Energy)
"That's the smell of money!" At least that's what you hear in these parts. Interesting article on the state of the technology in producing energy from CAFO lagoon waste.
"Decision 2004: The Energy Debate" (Power & Energy)
This article from the ASME journal reviews the energy policy proposal differences between the candidates. George W. Bush and John Kerry seek to transform the energy industry. Some of their plans differ in nuance; Others provide a stark contrast. This issue contains some other interesting articles, including a 25 year-look back at Three-Mile Island.
Clean Buses for Kids School Bus Diesel Retrofit Program (Toyota)
Toyota Motor Corporation is making $20 million of new funding available
this fall to school districts interested in retrofitting school buses
and purchasing ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. The funds are being
provided through an enforcement case settlement EPA negotiated last year
with Toyota. Eligible applicants for Toyota's Clean Buses for Kids
School Bus Diesel Retrofit Program include public school districts (as
recognized by the U.S. Department of Education) and government entities
that own and operate a diesel school bus fleet. Funding can be used to
purchase and install qualified diesel particulate filters on eligible
school buses, and to offset the additional cost associated with
purchasing ULSD fuel. The maximum funding available is $750,000 per
entity and the minimum amount is $30,000 per entity. The cost of each
retrofit is estimated to run between $6,500 and $7,500. Funds will be
awarded through a lottery process, however, award priority will be given
to those schools located in non-attainment areas. Areas of the country
where air pollution levels persistently exceed the national ambient air
quality standards may be designated "non-attainment." In addition, steps
will be taken to ensure geographical diversity among grant recipients.
An expression of interest form must be submitted to the program by
November 12, 2004 to be eligible for an award of funding. To obtain
additional information and to access forms, instructions and a list of
important deadlines for the program, please contact Toyota by calling
1-703-934-3040 or visit Toyota's Clean Buses for Kids website at
EPA Announces First Awards for Protecting Children from Environmental Risks (US EPA)
Applications are now being accepted for EPA's first Children's Environmental Health Awards. The awards are designed to increase awareness, stimulate activity, and recognize efforts that protect children from environmental health risks at the local, regional, national and international level. Children are susceptible to some environmental risks, because their nervous, immune, digestive and other systems are still developing. The Children's Environmental Health Awards will recognize individuals, organizations and businesses on an annual basis that are engaged in activities to protect children from environmental health risks. There are two levels of the Children's Environmental Health Awards. The Recognition Award (level one) is designed for groups or individuals who have demonstrated commitment to protect children from environmental health risks. Applicants must show that they have initiated outreach, education or intervention activities. Winners will receive a certificate of recognition and use of the children's environmental health awards logo. The Excellence Award (level two) recognizes applicants who have demonstrated leadership and a track record in the protection of children from environmental health risks. Outreach, education and intervention projects or programs must have been in place for at least six months. Award winners will be invited to an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., in Spring of 2005. They will also receive use of the children's environmental health awards logo and recognition on EPA's Children's Health Web site. Applications are due Dec. 15, 2004. For additional information or to obtain an application, go to:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/news2.htm or call the Office of Children's Health main number at 202-564-2188.
Hybrid Vehicle Technology Review - Fuel Cell Future (Mechanical Engineering)
It has been five years since Honda introduced the hybrid, Insight, to the US. This article looks at the still numerous technical issues associated with a hydrogen fuel economy, and the role of the current hybrid vehicle in meeting the economic and transportation pressures in the coming years.
World's First Commercialization of Mercury-Free Silver Oxide Battery
Starting January 2005, 10 models of mercury-free batteries will be commercialized on a world-wide basis. Silver Oxide battery is mainly used for wrist watches, small-size thermometers and mobile game products. Annually, Sony sells approx. 400 Million Silver Oxide batteries worldwide, and considering the fact that the mercury level of Sony's silver oxide batteries is 0.2% of the total content of a battery, making them mercury-free will lead to reducing the annual usage of mercury by 320 kg, which dramatically contribute to protecting the environment.
Science Asks Presidential Candidates Their Views On Science Issues (Science)
From the abstract:
"Politicians are fond of touting research and innovation as drivers for economic prosperity, keys to good health and environmental preservation, and pillars of national defense. Traditionally, these topics are included mainly to provide applause lines in stump speeches. But this year they have become campaign issues, too. The two candidates for U.S. president, incumbent Republican George W. Bush and his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, and their representatives have sparred repeatedly over issues ranging from embryonic stem cell research to global warming. But that discourse, played out across several months and thousands of miles, may have been hard for the average voter or international reader to follow. So as it has done in past elections, Science has consolidated the debate by inviting each candidate to lay out his views on a dozen important issues."
Their unedited answers are in Bush and Kerry Offer Their Views on Science. The editor provides an introductory comparison of the two in The Candidates Speak.
Money Can't Buy Happiness (Nor Measure It Neither) (Psychological Science in the Public Interest)
The article, Beyond Money: Towards an Economy of Well-Being, reports on a scientific study that reveals a nation's economic fortitude is not as tied to the well-being of its citizens as previously believed. The results of the study--prepared by researchers at the University of Illinois and University of Pennsylvania--appeared in the July issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest.
"It has been assumed that money increases well-being and, although money can be measured with exactitude, it is an inexact surrogate to the actual well-being of a nation." Importantly, the usefulness of money as a measurement of well-being decreases with the increasing wealth of a nation.
Isn't that what Maureen Hart told us so long ago? Be that as it may, we recommend you keep this study in your bibliography for sustainable measures.
Gateway To International Best Practices And Innovations Available On EPA Website (US EPA)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched a new website which contains various international best practices and environmental policies. This online library provides a number of links to an assortment of publications including databases, journals, policies and programs. It also has information on EMS, smart growth and sustainable transport.
DOE Proposed 2005 Budget for Energy Conservation Available Online (US DOE)
The Department of energy has issued a proposed 2005 budget for energy conservation. The FY 2005 request proposes several program shifts to more efficiently and effectively meet
national energy needs. These budget shifts reflect application of the R&D Investment Criteria
and the Program Assessment Rating Tool developed as part of the President’s Management
Draft Environmental Impact Statement Focuses On Wind Energy Development On BLM–Administered Public Lands (BLM)
Rebecca Watson, assistant secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management announced the availability of a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on Wind Energy Development on BLM-Administered Lands in the Western United States. The public is invited to review the document and submit comments during the next 90 days.
“As we look closer to home for ways to help meet America’s energy needs in an environmentally sound manner, it’s apparent that our public lands have much to offer in terms of renewable energy resources, including wind energy,” Watson said. “Our national energy strategy includes not only enhancing supplies of renewable and nonrenewable energy, but also places an important focus on conservation.”
The Draft Programmatic EIS was prepared to assess the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with wind energy development on public lands in 11 western states, and to evaluate a number of alternatives to determine the best management approach to mitigating potential impacts and facilitating wind energy development. The study does not include Alaska.
The Draft Programmatic EIS is in response to recommendations set forth in the President’s National Energy Policy, which encourages the development of renewable energy resources on public lands.
“We are working aggressively with communities and local officials to promote and encourage the development and use of our domestic renewable energy sources,” Watson said. “Our approach is consistent with the President’s National Energy Policy for diversifying the nation’s energy portfolio by encouraging the use of biomass, geothermal, wind and solar energy on federally owned lands.”
Public comments are encouraged via the web. Written comments should be mailed to BLM Wind Energy Programmatic EIS, Argonne National Laboratory, EAS/900, 9700 S. Cass Ave., Argonne, IL 60439.
Funding Opportunity - FY 2005 Environmental Education Grants Solicitation (US EPA)
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new solicitation for environmental education grants. Proposals are due by November 15, 2004.
EPA Environmental Excellence Awards Go To 13 Regional Organizations (US EPA Region 7)
EPA Region 7 honored recipients of 13 Pollution Prevention Environmental Excellence awards. Regional Administrator Jim Gulliford, who presented the awards, said, “These environmental projects are proof that pollution can be prevented at the source and that energy can be conserved as part of positive programs and production.”
All winners receive an Environmental Excellence Award plaque. The awards honor businesses for environmental excellence in eliminating or reducing waste at the source. The goals are to eliminate or reduce waste generation, to conserve natural resources and materials, to reduce the use of hazardous materials, and to promote the use of more energy-efficient equipment.
This year’s categories and winners are:
General Pollution Pool
Anheuser-Bush Inc. - St. Louis
Target Corp./Target Stores - Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp. - Kansas City
General Electric-Burlington - West Burlington, Iowa
Environmentally Preferable Products & Services
Habitat Restore/Kansas City and MARC Solid Waste Management District - Kansas City
HNI Corp. (Allsteel & Hon Co.) - Muscatine, Iowa
UBF Foodsolutions - Wichita, Kan.
Energy Efficiency & Renewable or Alternative Energy Sources
S.A. Flick Seed Co. - Kingsville, Mo.
Davenport Community .School District and Trane Co. - Davenport, Iowa
The Community Mercantile - Lawrence, Kan.
Community Pollution Prevention
Sellers-Sexton Inc. - St. Robert, Mo.
EPA Recognizes 13 Leaders For Pesticide Stewardship (US EPA)
The US Environmental Protection Agency is recognizing 13 members of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) for their outstanding efforts in pollution prevention and pesticide risk reduction. The 2004 "PESP Champions" used most or all of the following integrated pest management (IPM) strategies to reduce the human health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use: (1) sampling to accurately determine pest population levels, (2) training and demonstrating IPM practices, (3) employing cultural practices such as crop rotation or removing food and habitat for structural pests, (4) controlling or managing pests through biologically based technologies, (5) applying less toxic or reduced-risk pesticides such as insect growth regulators, and (6) using conventional pesticides only when absolutely necessary.
The 2004 "PESP Champions" are Almond Board of California, Modesto, Calif.; Aquila, Pueblo, Colo.; Artichoke Research Association, Salinas, Calif.; Central Coast Vineyard Team, Templeton, Calif.; Fischer Environmental Services Inc., Mandeville, La.; Gerber Products Company, Fremont, Mich.; Glades Crop Care Inc., Jupiter, Fla.; International Cut Flower Growers Association, Haslett, Mich.; IPM Institute of North America Inc., Madison, Wis.; Lodi-Woodbridge Wine Grape Commission, Lodi, Calif.; New York Power Authority, New York, N.Y.; U.S. Department of Defense, Washington, D.C.; and U.S. Hop Industry Plant Protection Committee, Moxee, Wash.
Established in 1994, PESP is a voluntary program that forges partnerships with pesticide users to implement pollution-prevention strategies and reduce the health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use. PESP began with 16 charter members and now has 147 members.
New And Free Renewable Energy E-Book Available Online (zelicoff.com)
Dr. Allan P. Zelicoff has written a new free e-book concerning conservation and renewable energy. Saving Energy Without Derision has a number of recommendations that are easy to apply and geared for the average person. The author focuses on the easy actions anyone can take to reduce energy costs and environmental impact. The book will be updated on a regular basis to deal with the latest issues. The next issue he plans to tackle is that of hydrogen-powered vehicles. Saving Energy Without Derision is available at a number of mirror sites listed at the link below.
Study Finds Children's Lungs Weakened By Air Pollution (Columbia Daily Tribune)
A new study concludes that teens that were raised in areas with high levels of air pollution have a lower lung capacity than others. This places them at high risk for illness in adulthood.
The University of Southern California performed the study, measuring the effects of pollution on developing lungs. The results show that only 1.5 percent of 18-year-olds who were raised in low pollution areas had a lung capacity of less than 80 percent below normal. Compare this figure to, 8 percent of 18-year-olds raised in the most polluted areas of Los Angeles.
America's First Publicly Traded Wind Energy Company Begins Business (Sustainable Practices)
The country’s first only publicly traded wind energy company has been announced. U.S. Wind Farming, Inc. (USWF) will establish small, distributed “Wind Turbine Agricultural Renewable Energy Cooperatives” on farmers’ properties nationwide. USWF expects to utilize the resources of GE Wind Energy to provide 1.5 to 2.5 MW wind turbines for projects up to 15 MW in size. GE’s wind turbines are soon to be rated for 50 years operation. The Cooperatives will sell the wind to the agricultural community’s local utility and other major utilities seeking renewable energy to meet their non-fossil fuel requirements. Each cooperative will produce enough electricity to run roughly 4,500 typical homes. Farmers agreeing to install the turbines on their property will benefit from a 30-year annuity of up to $100,000 per year.
Green Building Costs Little Extra According To New Study (Davis Langdon Adamson)
An international management construction firm has conducted a study that concludes Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) projects are not statistically more expensive than non-LEED projects.
Introducing NE DEQ's Small Business And Public Assistance Coordinator (NE DEQ)
Dr. Hugh Stirts has accepted the position of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quantity's Small Business and Public Assistance Coordinator. Hugh has extensive experience in a variety of environmental programs while serving as Environmental Director of the Strategic Air Command. Additionally Hugh coordinated many efforts associated with small businesses while working for the Army Corps of Engineers. Hugh received an engineering degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a PhD in biology from the Florida Institute of Technology.
IA School District Among MVP2 Award Winners (NPPR)
The 2004 recipients of the National Pollution Prevention Round Table’s (NPPR) Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) awards reduced pollution by 3 billion pounds, conserved 80 million KwH of electricity, all while cutting costs by $30 million. Their collective efforts are equivalent to taking 3 million cars off the road. "These organizations demonstrate the fact that pollution prevention is beneficial to both the environment and the economy." stated Jeffrey Burke, Executive Director of NPPR.
Award winners represent federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as non-profits, industries, and individuals that have demonstrated significant accomplishments in pollution prevention (P2). These prestigious awards will be presented at a ceremony in the Rayburn House Office Building on September 23, 2004. Congressional representatives from the states and districts of each winner have been invited to attend and present the awards.
West Des Moines Community School District is being honored for their work performing a myriad of environmentally sound practices. The school district’s pollution prevention (P2) measures include chemical avoidance, reuse, source reduction, and education programs. These programs are both economically beneficial and environmentally valuable. One of the pollution prevention programs the school district implemented was through the Integrated Pest Management service, the company contracted to handle the pest problem in the schools. This program focused on preventative measures such as eliminating pest entry, food sources, and harborage. Non-chemical removal techniques were the first course of action including trapping, baiting, or vacuuming as opposed to chemical pesticides. As a result, the West Des Moines Community School District expects to cut the application of pesticides by 50% yearly.
Other 2004 MVP2 recipients include: CenterPoint Energy (TX); City of Austin (TX); City of St. Cloud (MN) Wastewater Treatment Facility; City of Superior (WI); Mannington Mills Inc. (NJ); Minnesota Technical Assistance Program; Mohegan Sun Resort (CT); New Hampshire Pollution Prevention Internship Program; Pfizer (PA); Sud-Chemie (KY); Washington State Department of Ecology; and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (OH). This year’s writing and publications award goes to the Harbor Consortium of the New York Academy of Sciences for their report on mercury in the NY/NJ Harbor. Terri Goldberg of NEWMOA will be awarded the "Volunteer of the Year" award and the inaugural "P2 Champion" award will be presented to both Harry Gregori (VADEQ) and Lena Ferris (USEPA).
The MVP2 awards are just one aspect of National P2 Week, held every third full week in September, this year from the 20th – 26th. Since P2 Week became a national event in 1995, NPPR has been advancing pollution prevention awareness through its efforts to encourage and promote widespread participation during the week and beyond. P2 Week is a time when businesses, environmental groups, and citizens can join forces for a common cause and share information. It is also a time when organizations can become more competitive, realize cost savings, and enhance environmental quality.
EPA Releases 12th Annual National Listing Of Fish Advisories (US EPA)
For the 12th straight year, EPA is releasing its summary of information on locally issued fish advisories and safe-eating guidelines. This information is provided to EPA annually by states, territories, and tribes.
States monitor their waters by sampling fish tissue for long-lasting pollutants that bioaccumulate. States issue their advisories and guidelines voluntarily and have flexibility in what criteria they use and how the data are collected. As a result, there are significant variations in the numbers of waters tested, the pollutants tested for, and the threshold for issuing advisories. Based on self-reporting, the national trend is for states to monitor different waters each year, generally without retesting waters monitored in previous years.
The number of fish advisories is increasing even as emissions for major pollutants are decreasing and as pollutants such as DDT and chlordane are banned in the United States. In 2003, 48 states, the District of Columbia and American Samoa issued 3,094 fish advisories, 280 more than the previous year. With these additions, 35 percent of the total lake acres and 24 percent of the river miles in the nation are now under advisory. Since 2002, the number of lake acres under an advisory increased by two percent, river miles by nine percent and coastline by four percent. A large part of the increase in lake acres and river miles under advisory occurred because Montana and Washington issued statewide advisories for all their lakes and rivers in 2003 and Hawaii issued a statewide advisory for its entire coastline.
States issue fish consumption advisories if elevated concentrations of chemicals such as mercury or dioxin are found in local fish. As new waters are tested and results added to previous years’ findings, the number of fish advisories continues to rise. Most of the new fishing advisories involve mercury despite the fact that U.S. emissions of mercury have declined by almost 50 percent since 1990.
“More and more of our waters are being tested, and that’s protective for children and pregnant women,’’ said Administrator Mike Leavitt. “Emissions are down, and emissions will continue to go down as the Bush Administration takes the first-ever steps to regulate mercury from coal-fired power plants.”
For most people, the risk from mercury by eating fish and shellfish is not a health concern. Yet, some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the EPA recently advised women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. (http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fishadvice/advice.html)
Human-caused mercury emissions in this country have dropped 50 percent since 1990, and the Bush Administration is in the process of regulating mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants for the first time in our nation’s history. The final rule, which will be promulgated by March 15, 2005, will be one component of the Agency’s overall effort to reduce mercury emissions domestically and internationally.
State-issued advisories apply primarily to non-commercial fish and shellfish obtained through sport, recreation, and subsistence activities. Each advisory is different: it may recommend unrestricted, limited, or totally restricted consumption; may be targeted to everyone or limited to women, children or other people at risk; and may apply to certain species or sizes of fish or a specific water body.
States issue advisories for any of 40 different pollutants. Most advisories (98 percent) involve five bioaccumulative contaminants: PCBs, chlordane, dioxins, DDT, and mercury. In addition to steps to reduce mercury emissions, actions have or are being taken to address other pollutants of concern: production of PCBs for use ceased in 1977, chlordane was banned in 1988, DDT was banned in 1972, and dioxin emissions have been dramatically reduced.
States may issue safe-eating guidelines in addition to issuing fish advisories. A fish advisory is issued to warn the public of the potential human health risks from chemical contamination of certain species from particular types of water bodies such as lakes, rivers, and/ or coastal waters within the state. In contrast, a safe-eating guideline is issued to inform the public that fish from specific water bodies have been tested for chemical contaminants, and the fish from these waters are safe to eat without consumption restrictions.
The number of safe-eating guidelines nearly doubled in 2002 (164 were added) and increased a further 14 percent (47 were added) in 2003. The number of guidelines is likely to continue to grow as additional states identify safe fishing waters in future years.
The following is a list of state fishing advisories for EPA Region 7:
New Online EMS Manuals Available (PA Dept. of Environmental Protection)
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has posted new Environmental Management System tools on their website. These tools are to assist small businesses and local governments in energy and monetary savings through environmental performance improvements.
"Environmental Management Systems: A Guidebook for Improving Energy and Environmental Performance in Local Government" will assist local governments to implement an EMS with little outside support. Such an implementation will lay the groundwork to address environmental issues such as pollution prevention, energy efficiency, generation of waste, and natural resource conservation.
"Steps for Improving Your Business and the Environment" will assist small to medium sized businesses enhance economic performance through environmental management. This is a good resource for a small to medium sized company unsure where to start to implement an EMS.
NE Alfalfa Dehydrator Fined For Air Emissions Violation (NE DEQ)
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, and Mann Hay Company, Inc. have reached a settlement in a case involving a violation of state air quality regulations. In a Consent Decree approved by the District Court of Dawson County, Mann Hay Company did not admit to the allegations made by DEQ but agreed to pay a $4000 fine to settle the case.
Mann Hay produces dehydrated alfalfa products at two locations in Gothenburg. On August 26, 2003, DEQ conducted an air quality inspection at the Mann Hay grinding facility at 207 West 7th Street. The inspector observed emissions of smoke and particulates that exceeded allowable opacity (opacity is a measure of the density of smoke and particulate matter). State air quality regulations allow alfalfa grinders to emit smoke and particulates at no more than 20% opacity; the DEQ inspector measured emissions from the Mann Hay facility at 65% opacity.
All fines collected due to violations of state environmental regulations are distributed to schools in the county where the violations occurred.
45 Percent Of MO Trash Diverted From Landfill Disposal (MO DNR)
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources recently announced that the state is keeping an estimated 45 percent of its trash out of landfills.
"Missourians continue to focus on recycling and reusing trash instead of just throwing it away. Missouri is diverting an ever larger share of its wastes away from landfill disposal," said Steve Mahfood, director of the Department of Natural Resources.
"Businesses are able to make new products using materials that would have discarded."
During the past 14 years, the department has provided grants and information to help create and sustain recycling services across the state. Cities, counties, businesses and schools have all played a part in improving the way Missourians manage their solid waste.
The solid waste management districts also contribute to the success of waste reduction. The districts put local solid waste management plans into practice. Within 14 years, the number of Missouri communities with recycling collection services has increased from 68 to 410. Communities with yard waste collection services also increased from 127 to 333.
KS Pollution Prevention Efforts Recognized At Environment Conference (Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment)
The 2004 Pollution Prevention Awards will be presented during the annual Kansas Environment Conference on August 31 - September 2 at the Doubletree Hotel in Overland Park. The awards will be presented at the conference luncheon on September 1.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) sponsors the annual awards for businesses, industries, municipalities, and individuals who make significant contributions to the prevention of pollution. Award applications are screened by agency staff then submitted to an independent awards selection committee who recommend final awards to KDHE.
The following projects were selected to receive awards this year:
Fort Riley will receive an award in the New Initiatives category for implementing a Lithium Sulfur Dioxide (LiSO 2 ) battery management program. LiSO 2 batteries are commonly used to power military communications systems and other portable electronics. Due to the environmental risks associated with LiSO 2 batteries, the State of Kansas requires the batteries be disposed of as universal waste when they have an electrical charge; however, discharged LiSO 2 batteries are less reactive and can be disposed of as non-hazardous solid waste. Fort Riley's innovative program of reusing the batteries and safely discharging batteries that cannot be reused has saved Fort Riley more than $114,600 since its inception in October 1999.
UBF Foodsolutions in Wichita will receive an award in the New Initiatives category for implementing an Environmental Management System (EMS). UBF Foodsolutions is a premier blending company that conducts business with some of the world's largest fast food and casual dining restaurant chains. UBF has facilities located across the U.S. with the capability of producing wet products such as sauces and dressings as well as being able to produce dry blends. Some of UBF's accomplishments since implementing the EMS include recycling of polypropylene super sacks, installation of energy efficient lighting, elimination of chlorinated solvents, decreased hazardous waste emission through inventory control, implementation of a mercury elimination program, integrated pest management, and general recycling. The facility benefits from almost $80,000 in annual savings from these new practices!
For more information about this awards program, or for information about the August 31 – September 2 Environment Conference, contact Cathy Colglazier of KDHE at 785-296-0669 or 800-357-6087.
Study Concludes Household Cleaning Products May Cause Asthma (Reuters)
A study published last week in Thorax, a British Medical Association journal, shows that fumes from household cleaning products could be a source of asthma in children. The results of the study concluded that children who were exposed to a certain level of VOCs were more likely, four times so, to develop asthma than unexposed children.
EEA Report Predicts Disastrous Impact Of Global Warming Over Next 75 Years (European Environment Agency)
More frequent and more economically costly storms, floods, droughts and other extreme weather. Wetter conditions in northern Europe but drier weather in the south that could threaten agriculture in some areas. More frequent and more intense heat waves, posing a lethal threat to the elderly and frail. Melting glaciers, with three-quarters of those in the Swiss Alps likely to disappear by 2050. Rising sea levels for centuries to come.
These are among the impacts of global climate change that are already being seen in Europe or are projected to happen over the coming decades as global temperatures rise, according to a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA).
Strong evidence exists that most of the global warming over the past 50 years has been caused by human activities, in particular emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) from the burning of fossil fuels.
The concentration of CO2, the main greenhouse gas, in the lower atmosphere is now at its highest for at least 420,000 years - possibly even 20 million years - and stands 34% above its level before the Industrial Revolution. The rise has been accelerating since 1950.
The summer floods of 2002 and last year's summer heat wave are recent examples of how destructive extreme weather can be.
The serious flooding in 11 countries in August 2002 killed about 80 people, affected more than 600,000 and caused economic losses of at least 15 billion US$. In the summer 2003 heat wave, western and southern Europe recorded more than 20,000 excess deaths, particularly among elderly people. Crop harvests in many southern countries were down by as much as 30%. Melting reduced the mass of the Alpine glaciers by one-tenth in 2003 alone.
"This report pulls together a wealth of evidence that climate change is already happening and having widespread impacts, many of them with substantial economic costs, on people and ecosystems across Europe," said Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director.
She added, "Europe has to continue to lead worldwide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but this report also underlines that strategies are needed, at European, regional, national and local level, to adapt to climate change. This is a phenomenon that will considerably affect our societies and environments for decades and centuries to come."
The extent and rate of the climate changes under way most likely exceed all natural variation in climate over the last thousand years and possibly longer. The 1990s were the warmest decade on record and the three hottest years recorded - 1998, 2002, and 2003 - have occurred in the last six years. The global warming rate is now almost 0.2 °C per decade.
Europe is warming faster than the global average. The temperature in Europe has risen by an average of 0.95 °C in the last hundred years and is projected to climb by a further 2.0-6.3 °C this century as emissions of greenhouse gases continue building up.
As a first step towards reversing this trend, the world's governments in 1997 agreed the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty under which industrialized countries would reduce their emissions of six greenhouse gases by around 5% between 1990 and 2012.
So far 123 countries, including all member states of the European Union, have ratified the treaty but the US, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has decided against doing so. To enter into force the Protocol still needs ratification by Russia.
In addition to those mentioned above, a broad range of current and future impacts of climate change in Europe are highlighted in the report.
The new issue of National Geographic magazine has the first of a three part series on global warming. (http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0409/index.html)
You also have the opportunity to test your "Climate IQ" at http://magma.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0409/feature1/quiz/index.html.
US DOE To Award IA And KS Funding For Energy Projects (US DOE)
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) will provide $570,367 to the state of Iowa for five energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The DOE will also award Kansas $164,668 for two such projects. Funding is being provided through DOE’s State Energy Program Special Projects competitive grants.
“Energy efficiency is an important part of President Bush’s National Energy Policy,” said Secretary Abraham. “These important projects will greatly help in achieving the energy efficiency goals our administration has set.”
State energy offices will use these funds to improve the energy efficiency of schools, homes and other buildings; promote energy-efficient industrial technologies; and support renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and biomass. Some projects will create opportunities for distributed energy resources. States, territories and the District of Columbia competed for these DOE awards that provide specialized funding in addition to annual formula grants given to each state energy office. While actual award dates will vary, DOE anticipates making the awards in September.
CA Opens Hydrogen Fueling Stations; Plans To Open 150-200 By 2010 (ASME Capitol Update)
California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Terry Tamminen recently fueled
up a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle at one of the first hydrogen
fueling stations accessible to the public at the headquarters of
California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).
Hydrogen fuel-powered vehicles from Honda, Toyota, and DaimlerChrysler
were fueled at the grand opening ceremony. AQMD's facility is among the
first of 13 hydrogen-fueling stations co-funded by AQMD and slated for
construction throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino
counties. These stations will provide fuel for hydrogen-powered fuel cell
and internal-combustion engine vehicles used in fleet demonstrations
throughout the region.
In addition to providing hydrogen fuel for vehicles, the station also is
the first of its kind in California to demonstrate hydrogen fueling and
power production using an internal combustion engine generator. The
electricity produced will be used at the AQMD headquarters building during
periods of peak demand.
The hydrogen fueling station grand opening drew international interest.
Among those in attendance at the ceremony were consul representatives from
Southern California consular offices, including Canada, Japan, China,
South Africa, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belize, Switzerland,
Philippines, New Zealand, Latvia, and the Republic of Georgia.
"This station is a major link in California's Hydrogen Highway," said
Cynthia Verdugo-Peralta, AQMD Governing Board Member. "And it's an
important step in ensuring that every Californian has access to hydrogen
fuel produced from clean, stable, renewable sources along our major
transportation corridors. That's our vision. And this hydrogen fueling
station brings us closer to that vision."
The AQMD's hydrogen fueling station took six months to complete and is
part of a balanced variety of advanced clean air technology projects,
including projects to increase the natural gas refueling infrastructure,
research and demonstration of advanced engine development, electric hybrid
vehicles, stationary power combustion processes and other clean fuel
New Stormwater Resources For Construction Sites Now Available (US EPA)
Two new EPA resources will help contractors know how to handle new stormwater regulations. Does Your Construction Site Need a Stormwater Permit? is a guide for construction site managers affecting parcels of one acre or more. It includes an overview of filing the electronic Construction General Permit (CPG). Resource List for Stormwater Management Programs helps managers start developing or improve their stormwater programs including sections about construction and post-construction site runoff control.
Ecobuild America Green Building Conference To Focus On Sustainable Building Techniques Including Reuse Of Construction Waste (Ecobuild America 2005)
Experts in sustainable design, building technology, and major event management have joined forces to bring a comprehensive environmental systems conference and exhibition to the $15 billion U.S. green building market.
Ecobuild America premieres June 20-23, 2005 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Focused on the needs of the expanding green building market, the unique event combines sustainable building techniques with the technology that supports the entire process from concept, through design, construction and long-term operation.
The exhibition portion of Ecobuild America features products that serve the entire scope of designing, constructing and operating buildings for better energy and environmental performance. The educational sessions cover the newest innovations in green building materials, energy and technology, with particular emphasis on sustainable growth, green building, and environmental design.
The multi-faceted event combines elements that meet whole building needs, something no other U.S. event currently is doing.
"By having a strong technology component, Ecobuild America highlights more efficient methods of designing sustainability into any project. This whole building approach considers the long-term operation and management of structures in a more environmentally and energy-saving way," says George Borkovich, one of the principal organizers of the event, and a former owner of the very successful AEC SYSTEMS International event.
The range of topics in the comprehensive educational program include: creating environmentally designed facilities, life cycle cost assessment of materials and systems, hardware and software tools for green design, building automation and control systems, green initiatives from Europe and Japan, using GIS in environmental design, lessons learned from the LEED certification process and recycling and reusing construction waste.
Ecobuild America will rotate locations annually across the United States, moving to Chicago in 2006 and to Anaheim, Calif. in 2007. A companion event, Ecobuild Federal, targeted to the special needs of those who design, build and manage government facilities, will be held each year in Washington, D.C. The first Ecobuild Federal takes place December 12-15, 2005.
Compliance Assistance Advisory Committee Presents Final Report to USEPA Administrator Leavitt (NACEPT)
The Compliance Assistance Advisory Committee (CAAC) was established under the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) in 2000 to provide recommendations to the United States Environmental Protection Agency on compliance assistance and its use and benefit in protecting the environment. Its final report “Maximizing Compliance Assistance: Recommendations for Enhancing Compliance Assistance Opportunities at EPA and Through Other Providers,” was submitted to Administrator Whitman in August 2001. A copy of the NACEPT Council's transmittal letter for the CAAC's Final Report is available at http://www.epa.gov/ocem/nacept/caac_2004_transm7_14.htm.
In 2002, the second CAAC made up of various state, federal, tribal, local governments, trade associations, and community based assistance providers began building on their work to produce further recommendations and insight to USEPA regarding compliance assistance. The second report entitled: “Recommendations for Enhancing EPA’s Compliance Assistance Program,” June 2004; was recently presented to Administrator Leavitt and focuses on the implementation aspects of three areas critical to compliance assistance: (1) integration of compliance assistance into the Agency’s mission, goals and activities; (2) development of parameters which will successfully measure the results of compliance assistance activities; and (3) optimization of the compliance assistance network across EPA and other environmental assistance providers.
New Book Explores Links Between Green Chemistry And Agriculture (Illinois Waste Management and Research Center)
Exploring how environmentally friendly chemistry can be applied to agriculture is the subject of a new book edited by Dr. William Nelson of the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center (WMRC).
"Agricultural Applications in Green Chemistry" is published by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and distributed by Oxford University Press. Dr. Nelson directs the Alternative Cleaning Technology and Chemical Process Alternatives labs at WMRC. He is an expert on cleaning processes that reduce waste generation, and the author of a recently published book on "green" solvents for use in chemistry.
"Green" chemistry is the use of a set of principles that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances in the design, manufacture and application of chemical products. Green chemistry takes a long-term, holistic view of chemical processes and applications to make them more environmentally benign.
Nelson says he has been interested in applying the principles of green chemistry to agriculture since the discipline began to emerge in 1996. "It’s a natural match," said Nelson, given his interest and experience in green chemistry and the location of WMRC in the midst of Illinois agricultural lands. In 2002, Nelson organized a symposium for ACS on agricultural applications in green chemistry. The symposium grew out of conversations between Nelson, colleagues at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Peoria, Dow Chemical, Monsanto, and researchers at the University of Illinois, including Richard Larson and Constantin Rebeiz. The book is the result of research and ideas presented at that symposium.
Nelson sees the application of green chemistry to agriculture as an opportunity to learn from, and work in tandem with, nature in an effort to make agriculture more sustainable. With the widespread use of chemicals in modern agriculture, we’re potentially "sitting on a powder keg," according to Nelson. He pointed to the infamous case of DDT, a pesticide that was once widely used, but banned in the U.S. in 1972 after it was discovered to be harmful to wildlife. DDT builds up in plants and in the fatty tissues of fish, birds and other animals. "DDT still appears periodically in the environment, and who knows what other chemical may turn out to be the next DDT," Nelson said.
DDT is one example of how "chemists and chemistry have helped to create environmental problems, but this book is an example of how chemists and chemistry can help solve environmental problems," according to Nelson. The book includes material on the connection between green chemistry and sustainable agriculture, as well as agricultural products as examples of green chemistry (such as ethanol as an alternative fuel or the use of a plant’s essential oils as alternative pesticides). Also included is material on agricultural processes in green chemistry, such as bioremediation (using plants or microbes to clean up contaminated soil) and increasing the efficiency of photosynthesis so that crop yields are naturally higher, decreasing the need for artificial fertilizers and pesticides. Finally, the book looks to nature for models of how to deal with agricultural problems, such as using biological control to eliminate pests instead of chemical pesticides. "Nature is very efficient," said Nelson. "It has had millions of years to develop its processes."
The book is written primarily for researchers and educators in chemical and agricultural sciences, though Nelson says interested farmers could also gain inspiration from the material. Nelson hopes the book will spur further interest and research in the application of green chemistry to agriculture. The book is available from the Oxford University Press and the American Chemical Society. Requests for it can be made at university and local bookstores.
National P2 Week Posters Now Available (NPPR)
Orders are being taken for National Pollution Prevention Week 2004 posters. This year's poster was provided by Anne Subercaseaux, Graphic Designer and Stan Archacki, Source Control Officer at the East Bay Municipal Waste District (Oakland, California). Limited quantities are available and there is a discount for NPPR members.
EPA Requests Comment On Draft Guide For Green Buildings (US EPA)
The EPA's draft Federal Guide for Green Construction Specs is ready for public comment. This tool will help promote environmentally preferable purchasing during construction and renovation of buildings for Federal agencies. Comments must be received on or before September 27, 2004.
Proper Calibration Of Sprayers Can Save Farmers Money And The Environment (Lawn & Landscape Magazine)
Proper sprayer calibration can save farmers money and the environment. However, this practice is not implemented as widely as is could be. According to Ohio State University Agricultural Engineering Professor, Erdal Ozkan, 75% of farmers overspray or underspray. Furthermore, most farmers overspray by 23% on average. A farmer could save this amount through proper calibration of his sprayers.
Bill Would Give Tax Credits For Energy Efficient, Water Saving Appliances (ASME Capitol Update)
A bill introduced by Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR) would attempt to address the water crisis in several Western states by providing tax credits to manufacturers of energy efficient, water-saving appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators. Smith cited S. 2655, the Water and Energy Efficient Appliances Act of 2004, as "one immediate way to stretch available water supplies, as well as energy resources."
The bill would provide tax credits of varying amounts to manufacturers of appliances with higher energy- and water-efficiencies than are currently available. Manufacturers would be required to certify to the Secretary of Energy the energy- and/or water efficiency of their new product; the bill would limit the credit(s) to not more than two percent of their gross receipts, averaged over the previous three years.
The bill would affect appliances produced after December 31, 2007, and would continue through 2010, unless extended by Congress.
To view the entire bill, please click here and search for Bill Number S. 2655.
Improved Pollution Estimates Will Support Upcoming Power Plant Regulations (GLRPPR / US EPA)
In support of a power plant rule that will significantly reduce pollution that causes soot and smog, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is incorporating the latest data and methods available for estimating air quality impacts. EPA is issuing a Notice of Data Availability (NODA) for the proposed Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) that describes improvements that EPA is making to the air quality modeling and updated information that is used to predict pollution levels. CAIR, one of the Clean Air Rules of 2004, is a critical component in EPA's program to reduce levels of fine particles and ground-level ozone across the Eastern United States. The rule builds upon the Acid Rain program to improve air quality and protect human health. By giving stakeholders, academics, technical experts in the States and Tribes, and the general public an opportunity to evaluate the modeling platform and the model inputs, the Agency ensures that the best technical information is used correctly. The improved air quality modeling system reflects technical adjustments and updates to the computer model, growth rates, emission inventories, air quality data, forecasting, scientific innovations, and the latest research in atmospheric chemistry. Many of the revisions are in direct response to information provided in public comments on the proposal. To allow the public an opportunity to comment on the new air quality modeling system, there will be a 21-day comment period from the date the NODA is published in the Federal Register.
NE And MO Among 20 States To Receive $94.8 Million DOE Award To Weatherize Homes (GLRPPR / US DOE)
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $94.8 million to 20 states on July 1st to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families. Such families spend an average of 14 percent of their income on energy, compared with 3.5 percent for the average U.S. family. Weatherization reduces an average home's energy costs by $218 a year.
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced on July 29th the award of $6 million to Missouri and $2.49 million to Nebraska. Other awards announced were: $1.13 million to Arizona, 5.48 million to Colorado, $2.93 million to Georgia, $13.85 million to Illinois, $4.52 million to Kentucky, $2.65 million to Maryland, $9.86 million to Minnesota, , $835,429 to Nevada, $1.72 million to New Mexico, $4.16 million to North Carolina, $2.5 million to North Dakota, $14.71 million to Pennsylvania, $1.92 million to South Dakota, $4.18 million to Tennessee, $2.08 million to Utah, $4.02 million to Virginia, $8.57 million to Wisconsin, and $1.17 million to Wyoming.
DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program performs energy audits to identify the most cost-effective measures for each home, which typically include adding insulation, reducing air infiltration, servicing the heating and cooling systems, and providing health and safety diagnostic services. For every dollar spent, weatherization returns $1.40 in energy savings over the life of the measures. The program is delivered through the states and 970 local agencies, and gives priority to low-income households with elderly members, people with disabilities, and children. For more information, visit the Weatherization Assistance Program Web site at http://www.eere.energy.gov/weatherization/.
Pesticide Registration Improvement Act Small Business Waiver Form Available Online From CSPA (CSPA)
A Voluntary Small Business Waiver form has been posted to help small businesses request pesticide registration fee waivers which are required by the 2003 Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA). Pesticide registration fees were put in place by the PRIA for Antimicrobials, Pollution Prevention and Biopesticides, and Registration Divisions. The waiver form will assist applicants in following EPA guidelines when submitting reductions or waivers for fees allowable in the PRIA. The form can be accessed through the Consumer Specialty Products Association's (CSPA) website at http://www.cspa.org/public/news/fees_document.pdf.
AIAM Criticizes New CO2 Guidelines For CA Issued By CARB (ASME Capitol Update)
Just because you don't live in California doesn't mean you can escape the cost of proposed new CO2 regulations under consideration by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). That's the message from the U.S. and foreign automakers that make up the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers (AIAM) in response to a draft regulation issued by CARB last month that would mandate a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide from vehicles in California over the next decade. The AIAM represents 17 automakers, including the "Big Three" American automakers and such foreign auto giants as Honda, Nissan, and Toyota.
The proposed CARB regulations are especially important to the automakers and to consumers throughout the nation because automakers would have a difficult time tailoring vehicles to California standards and might end up having to build all their vehicles to conform to those standards, which would increase the cost to everyone regardless of their state of residence.
That would be fine with the Sierra Club, whose spokesman, Dan Becker, lauded the proposed California rule. "What California is proposing," Becker told the Washington Post, "is to slash global warming emissions from automobiles, which is good for California and good for the world." Becker said he would expect many states to follow California's lead.
While the CARB draft estimates the cost of the new regulation to be about $1,000 per automobile, a figure the AIAM scoffs at. A spokesman for General Motors warned that what the CARB is proposing is out of touch with reality. "There is a huge gap between what can feasibly be accomplished today and what the staff draft has proposed," said Dave Barthmuss. "[The CARB] would essentially mandate that multiple technologies be put on every California vehicle, which would dramatically increase costs and we believe dramatically reduce choice," Barthmuss told the Washington Post.
While other emissions can be reduced through filtering, CO2 can only be reduced by improving vehicle efficiency, something the automakers warn will be costly, especially for the American automakers, which rely on larger cars and SUVs for the majority of their profits.
Ames, Iowa To Build Wind Turbines For Hydrogen Generation (Sustainable Practices)
The City Council of Ames, Iowa voted 6-0 in favor of installing two utility-scale wind turbines as part of an effort to examine the use of wind power to produce hydrogen. Two 1.5 MW wind turbines are scheduled to be installed on land belonging to Iowa State University, a partner in the project with the City of Ames and the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Ames Laboratory. The goal of the project is to have the turbines produce electricity for the City as well as producing hydrogen for the Ames Laboratory during periods of off-peak electricity demand.
EPA Lists Missouri Mine Among Nine New Hazardous Waste Sites Added To Superfund National Priorities List (US EPA)
EPA is making progress in protecting public health, cleaning up the nation's hazardous waste, and encouraging economic revitalization and land reuse by adding nine final sites to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). EPA's selection of the sites was based on various factors including: risk to human health and the environment; the response urgency needed; maintenance of a strong enforcement program; leverage of other cleanups (polluters wanting to avoid NPL listing can choose to participate in the Superfund Alternative Site cleanup program or enter into a voluntary cleanup agreement with the State); and program management and resource considerations.
The nine sites were proposed in the Federal Register on March 8 for a 60-day public comment period. The proposals received only comments in favor of this NPL listing. The nine sites being added are: Jacobsville Neighborhood Soil Contamination, Evansville, Ind.; Annapolis Lead Mine, Annapolis, Mo.; Picayune Wood Treating, Picayune, Miss.; Grants Chlorinated Solvents Plume, Grants, N. M.; Diaz Chemical Corporation, Holley, N.Y.; Peninsula Boulevard Ground Water Plume, Hewlett, N.Y.; Ryeland Road Arsenic, Heidelberg Township, Pa.; Cidra Ground Water Contamination, Cidra, Puerto Rico; and Pike Hill Copper Mine, Corinth, Vt. With the addition of nine new sites to the NPL, there are now 1,245 final sites on the NPL (1,087 non-Federal sites and 158 Federal facility sites). Additionally, EPA has proposed 56 sites now waiting final agency action (50 non-federal sites and 6 federal facility sites). If these sites are eventually funded, EPA will work with states, tribes, local communities and other partners in identifying land reuse options and opportunities at these sites. Under its Land Revitalization Agenda announced last year, EPA made a commitment that revitalization and reuse will now be a formal part of planning at every site.
Nationally, more than 70 percent of all Superfund sites are cleaned up by those responsible for the pollution; even when EPA has to fund cleanup, the Agency works to get reimbursed from polluters under its cost recovery program. Since the beginning of the Superfund program, more than $22 billion in cleanup commitments and funding have been provided by the parties responsible for toxic waste sites. The NPL serves primarily informational purposes, identifying for the states and the public those sites that appear to warrant remedial actions.
New EPA Reports Highlight Ground-Breaking Techniques In Environmental Protection (US EPA)
Two new reports provide information about innovative approaches to environmental protection. The 2004 Sector Strategies Performance Report provides environmental data on 12 key industrial and service sectors that are collaborating with EPA to improve environmental performance. The report provides a baseline for tracking environmental progress and will help in identifying knowledge gaps that need to be filled to improve performance measurement in the future. Protecting Water Resources with Smart Growth documents 75 innovative approaches including redeveloping abandoned properties, encouraging rooftop gardens, creating shared parking, and promoting tree planting that state and local governments and water quality professionals can use to achieve their smart growth and water quality goals.
To access these reports, go to:
New Initiative Promotes Recycling And Waste Prevention At
Shopping Centers (US EPA)
America's Marketplace Recycles! (AMR!) is a new initiative targeting waste streams at shopping centers. Because shopping centers have the ability to reach suppliers and consumers, they are uniquely positioned to increase recycling, reduce waste in packaging and promote and energize the recycling message to the public. In addition to targeting traditional materials such as corrugated cardboard and paper, AMR! encourages shopping centers and retailers to recycle construction and demolition debris from renovations and expansions, and whenever possible, to use products containing recycled content. Participation incentives include a series of awards that recognize significant recycling and waste prevention efforts.
New Web-Based Tools Provide Unprecedented Public Access
To Local Brownfields Information (US EPA)
EPA introduced two new Web-based Brownfields tools EnviroMapper and Envirofacts that will give the public
unprecedented access to interrelated information about local Brownfields properties. The tools allow residents to locate Brownfields in their area and provide access to new detailed information about the individual Brownfields grants.
Don't forget the 2004 national Brownfields conference will be held in St. Louis, Sept. 20-22, 2004. Visit http://www.brownfields2004.org/en/index.aspx for more information on Brownfields 2004, Gateway to Revitalization.
PSI Requests Local HHW Coordinators To Update Paint Service Data (Earth 911)
A National Paint Dialogue is being performed by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) with facilities involved in paint reuse, recycling, and disposal. This group in interested in information on local paint collection and disposal practices. PSI requests all HHW coordinators to update or add information about their local paint reuse, recycling and disposal programs in the Earth 911 system. This information will help the group to decide the cost effectiveness of future paint management.
To update your local paint listings on Earth 911, please go to http://www.earth911.org/dataentry/login.asp.
To view the PSI Paint Update Request, go to http://www.productstewardship.us/supportingdocs/LettertoHHWCoordinators.doc.
Energy Department Science Education Initiative Launched (US DOE)
On July 8, U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its national laboratories are launching an initiative to promote science literacy and help develop the next generation of scientists and engineers.
“It is critical that we leverage the resources of this Department -- and of all our national labs -- to help create a new generation of scientists who will achieve the scientific breakthroughs and technological advances so essential to our future security and prosperity,” Secretary Abraham told a gathering of researchers and graduate students at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, a DOE national lab. “That is why I am announcing today a series of changes in the way the Department of Energy will address the growing and serious problem of science and math literacy in this nation.”
Secretary Abraham outlined a seven-step program named STARS: Scientists Teaching and Reaching Students. The program is designed to enhance the training of America’s mathematics and science teachers; grow students’ interest in science and math, especially in the critical middle school years; and draw attention to the women and men who have done DOE science so very well – and thereby encourage young people and prospective teachers to pursue careers in math and science.
Secretary Abraham also announced that he is creating a special Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Task Force to assess what additional ways DOE can help improve science education in America. The special task force will be chaired by a prominent leader in the world of science, technology, and business who will be named soon. The task forces will be charged with reporting its findings and recommendations to Secretary Abraham by the end of this year.
The Department of Energy’s missions are national security, energy security, environmental clean up and science. To help accomplish these missions, the department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Environmental Management, Office of Fossil Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology and Office of Science fund research and development projects at the DOE’s national laboratories, all of which maintain science education programs for teachers and K-12 students. The department supports math and science education to help provide a technically trained and diverse workforce for the agency and the nation.
More information about all of the components of the department’s science education initiative, the text of the Secretary’s remarks and information about the labs’ science education offerings are available via the Internet at: www.science.doe.gov
Compliance Assistance Advisory Council Presents Final Report to USEPA Administrator Leavitt (CAAC / Illinois Small Business Environmental Assistance Program)
The Compliance Assistance Advisory Council (CAAC) was established under the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) in 2000 to provide recommendations to the United States Environmental Protection Agency on compliance assistance and its use and benefit in protecting the environment.
Its final report “Maximizing Compliance Assistance: Recommendations for Enhancing Compliance Assistance Opportunities at EPA and Through Other Providers,” was submitted to Administrator Whitman in August 2001. A copy of the NACEPT Council's transmittal letter for the CAAC's Final Report is available at www.p2ric.org/vlibrary/docs/caac2letter.doc
In 2002, the second CAAC made up of various state, federal, tribal, local governments, trade associations, and community based assistance providers began building on their work to produce further recommendations and insight to USEPA regarding compliance assistance. The second report entitled: “Recommendations for Enhancing EPA’s Compliance Assistance Program,” June 2004; was recently presented to Administrator Leavitt and focuses on the implementation aspects of three areas critical to compliance assistance: (1) integration of compliance assistance into the Agency’s mission, goals and activities; (2) development of parameters which will successfully measure the results of compliance assistance activities; and (3) optimization of the compliance assistance network across EPA and other environmental assistance providers.
Iowa Among Seven States To Sue Over Global Warming (Iowa Office of the Attorney General)
Iowa, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin, and the City of New York filed suit today against the five largest global warming polluters in the United States, power companies that own or operate more than 170 fossil fuel-burning power plants and emit about 10 per cent of the nation's carbon dioxide pollution.
"Global warming threatens Iowa as we know it today," said Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. "The Earth is heating faster than at any time in history, and that poses enormous long-term risk to Iowa agriculture and Iowans' health," he said.
"The risks are especially great for Iowa agriculture," Miller said. "Most scientists believe global warming is likely to cause more extreme weather conditions of various kinds in North America, with hotter heat waves, longer and more frequent drought, and more severe storms.
"We shouldn't just be rolling the dice and hoping for the best," Miller said. "We need to act to protect Iowa," he said.
"The problem is pollution, and the top source of pollution is carbon dioxide emissions from power plants," Miller said. "Our suit names the five U.S. power companies with the most carbon dioxide pollution, totaling hundreds of millions of tons per year. The suit demands that they make pollution reductions that are substantial and achievable. My goal is to protect the bountiful Iowa we know today, and preserve it for generations to come."
ISU Extension Climatologist and Professor of Agricultural Meteorology Elwynn Taylor joined Miller at a news conference announcing the suit Wednesday in Des Moines.
Taylor said: "The first sector to take a hit from global warming is agriculture. Iowa and Kansas could feel it hardest because of our dependence on agriculture. Erratic, sharp weather fluctuations - a likely consequence of global warming - leads to wide extremes in crop yield. I've estimated that global warming already consistently is costing about half a billion dollars a year in reduced corn yield to Iowa alone. And the effect on beans is likely similar."
Companies named as defendants in the States' and NYC action are American Electric Power
Company; the Southern Company; Tennessee Valley Authority; Xcel Energy Inc.; and Cinergy
Corporation. Together, the companies own or operate 174 fossil fuel burning power plants in 20 states that emit some 650 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, according to the suit - almost a quarter of the U.S. utility industry's annual carbon dioxide emissions and about 10 percent of the nation's total. The action calls on the companies to reduce their pollution; it does not seek monetary damages.
Online EMS Managers Guide Available (Office of the Federal Environmental Executive)
The Environmental Management System Managers Guide is now available online at http://www.ofee.gov/ems/training/manguide.pdf This EMS Managers Guide was developed to provide the business case for EMS implementation at Federal facilities. It also describes the roles and responsibilities of senior managers throughout the process from getting started to management review and program improvement.
P2R7 Roundtable Navigation Button Change On P2RIC.org (p2ric.org)
Please note that the navigation button to the Pollution Prevention Region 7 Roundtable homepage on www.p2ric.org has moved. The new button is at the bottom of the right-hand navigation list.
New And Improved Calendar At P2RIC.org (p2ric.org)
Be sure to visit p2ric.org's new online calendar for announcements on upcoming special events. The redesigned calendar features a quick view of overall event length, plus regional and subject filters. The calendar can be accessed at http://www.p2ric.org/National/index.cfm?fuseaction=ShowCalendar. If you have a special event, go to http://www.p2ric.org/National/index.cfm?FuseAction=AddEvent1 to submit it and we will review the event and add it to the calendar.
Reminder: Take The P2RIC Online Survey To Be Entered In Drawing For $25 At Amazon.com (p2ric.org)
If you have not already done so, be sure to take the online website survey for www.p2ric.org. By completing the survey, you will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate and other prizes if you provide your e-mail address. This is optional, and we will not use your e-mail address for any purpose other than this drawing. Your responses are completely confidential and will not be connected to your name or e-mail address in any way.
We are working hard to make our website as useful to you as possible. We would appreciate your feedback on how we can better meet your pollution prevention information needs. This brief survey will take approximately five to ten minutes to complete.
All individual responses will be pooled and analyzed together. Only the independent researcher working with P2RIC will have access to the data.
If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Nedra Weinreich at Weinreich Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org, 818-346-2721).
Thank you for your assistance!
Facilitated EMS Implementation For Business Session II, Sept. 15-16 (IWRC)
The second session of the quarterly training to facilitate the development of an EMS written plan will be held September 15-16, 2004. The modular EMS training seminar developed through business specific initiatives is grouped into four quarterly training sessions offered at the Discovery Center in Kansas City, MO.
Facilitated development of an EMS uses the classroom to teach the components and then implementation is through homework for the modules. This methodology has proven to be valuable for the business as it walks them through the process. Online registration is available at http://www.iwrc.org/programs/emsclasses.cfm.
Freecycle Network Expands Reuse Options (US EPA)
Freecycle is a worldwide network of individual groups who are getting and giving stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is run by a moderator and features an email list serve to participants as well as a webpage for each local group. Members can find new owners for unwanted belongings as well as find items they need from others. The only rule is that everything posted on the website must be free, whether it is a chair, a fax machine, a piano or an old door to be given away. It is up to the givers to set up a time to pass on the unwanted treasures to new owners, matched through the website. Begun originally in Tucson, Arizona by RISE, Inc., the Freecycle Network is open to all cities and to all individuals who want to participate. Almost 1,000 cities with over a quarter million individuals globally are freecycling. Go to http://www.freecycle.org/display.php?region=US+Central for a list of Freecycle groups in the Central United States.
Iowa Company Develops Solar Fabric Offering Durable, Lightweight Field Power (US EPA)
Iowa Thin Film Technologies has created a lightweight, durable fabric that has thin solar panels integrated into its surface. In its first application, the solar fabric has been used to turn tents into generators for remote field applications. The tent fabric becomes a source of field power ranging from 200 watts to 1 kilowatt and can be used to run lighting or ventilation systems, field communications, GPS systems or laptop computers. Several tents can be joined together to increase power flow, which can also be stored in batteries. Made of silicon, the thin film is rolled tissue paper thin and embedded with solar modules, and then attached to flexible plastic through a proprietary process. http://www.iowathinfilm.com
Reminder: Deadline For Applications For P2 Environmental Excellence Awards July 15 (US EPA)
The deadline for submitting applications for 2004 Pollution Prevention Awards for Environmental Excellence is July 15, 2004. To be eligible, a complete application available at http://www.epa.gov/region7/p2/2004P2AWARDAPPLICATION4.pdf, must be received by EPA Region 7 on or before July 15, 2004.
Applications should be provided to:
Jennifer S. Anderson
Solid Waste and Pollution Prevention Branch
Environmental Protection Agency - Region 7
901 N. 5th Street
Kansas City, KS 66101
Phone: (913) 551-7644
Fax: (913) 551-7521
EPA Report Profiles Environmental Performance In 12 Major Sectors (US EPA)
A new EPA report establishes a performance baseline for tracking future environmental progress in a number of key industrial and service sectors. The 2004 Sector Strategies Performance Report provides a snapshot of environmental trend data for each of 12 sectors, including construction, forest products, and iron and steel manufacturing, that participate in the Agency's multi-media Sector Strategies Program. Drawing from publicly available data sources, the report presents a demographic profile of each sector, plus performance information in such areas as energy conservation, water and air quality, and waste management. This report marks the first time that the Agency has assembled available data in this format, as a way to help the public better understand the environmental progress that is being made in a given sector. It will serve as a starting point for identifying the knowledge gaps that need to be filled in order to improve performance measurement in the future. Measuring performance is a critical part of EPA's Sector Strategies Program, which also seeks collaborative ways to promote the use of environmental management systems and address regulatory barriers that can hinder performance improvements. http://www.epa.gov/sectors/performance.html
Byproducts Beneficial Use Summit, November 8-9, 2004, Kansas City, MO (National Environmental Compliance Assistance Clearinghouse)
The 2004 Byproducts Beneficial Use Summit will be held November 8-9 at the Westin Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. This is the third annual Summit and is sponsored this year by Waste News, in cooperation with EPA Regions 5, 7 and 8, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Mid-America Regional Council, the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Kansas City Environmental Excellence Business Network.
The beneficial use of high-volume, low-hazard industrial byproducts is expanding, with a number of applications gaining market and regulator acceptance. However, the question of whether these byproducts can be recycled in an environmentally and economically sound manner is currently an impediment to further development and expansion of the practice. The 2004 Byproducts Beneficial Use Summit is designed to exchange information about beneficial use and to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas between regulators and industry players.
The Summit supports discussions: (a) between industry and regulators to increase the understanding of industrial byproducts and regulatory programs; (b) among state regulators to share information and experiences on beneficial use regulations and determination processes; and (c) among industries to share experiences on navigating the regulator process and to assess the potential to utilize each other's byproducts. Specific topics to be covered include:
Last Summit update
Foreign beneficial experience
Procurement experience with byproducts
Liability and insurance for generators and end-users
Risk management tools
Case studies of successfully approved byproduct applications
Industry/regulator discussion, networking and problem-solving sessions
Those who would benefit from this conference include:
End-users of industrial byproducts
Market development officials
State and Federal Regulators
House Members Send Letter To EPA Seeking Tougher Mercury Emissions Rule (ASME)
180 members of the House of Representatives, including House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), have signed a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Leavitt seeking a tougher rule on mercury emissions.
The EPA is in the process of completing a rule on curbing mercury emissions from power plants, and is reportedly considering two approaches to achieve reductions: requiring power plants to reduce mercury emissions by 14 tons by early 2008 using what is known as "maximum available control technology," (MACT), and establishing a trading program whereby utilities would buy and sell mercury emission credits to reduce emissions by 33 tons sometime after 2018.
In their letter, the House members claimed that the reductions envisioned by EPA could be achieved in a much shorter time frame with currently available technology.
Mercury advisories exist for fish caught in Nebraska and Missouri. Information on mercury in Iowa waters is available at http://iowa.sierraclub.org/Steve-Sierra%20web%20docs0526/Iowa_Mercury_Report_2004v2.pdf A national list of advisories is available at http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/fish/advisories/factsheet.pdf A mercury list serve subscription is also available through contact with Andy Bray at abray@NEWMOA.org.
Barbara Johnson Approved As Region 7 Representative For NPPR (p2ric.org)
Barbara Johnson replaces Sherry Davis as the EPA Region 7 representative on the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) board through Sept. 30, 2005. Johnson currently works as an industrial pollution prevention specialist with the Pollution Prevention Institute (PPI) at Kansas State University. She has experience in surface water, stormwater, and groundwater quality issues, hazardous and solid waste regulations, environmental permits, and tank regulations. She provides services to industrial, agricultural, and consumer sectors. The PPI provides technical assistance services in Kansas as the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, SBEAP. For more information on Barb, or to contact her, see http://www.sbeap.org.
NPPR is the largest membership organization in the United States devoted solely to promoting pollution prevention (i.e. source reduction) instead of traditional end-of pipe pollution control. The mission of the Roundtable is to provide a national forum for promoting the development, implementation, and evaluation of efforts to avoid, eliminate, or reduce pollution at the source. The Roundtable acts as a window on the pollution prevention (P2) community. For more information on the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable, see http://www.p2.org
Johnson participates as a member of the EPA Region 7 Pollution Prevention Roundtable, which provides a forum to improve the effectiveness of and cooperation among pollution prevention programs in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. For more information on the Region 7 Pollution Prevention Roundtable, see http://www.p2ric.org/Roundtable/index.cfm.
July 2004 Edition Of What's New In P2? Now Available (PPRC)
The July 2004 edition of What's New in P2? is now available. This is a monthly information service provided by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC). What's New in P2? can be accessed at http://www.pprc.org/pprc/pubs/whatsnew.html.
Reminder: ISO 14001 EMS Lead Auditor Training, July 12 - 16 (IA DNR)
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Prevention Services has contracted with Excel Partnership to offer ISO 14001 EMS Lead Auditor Training. This training will take place the week of July 12, starting at Monday July 12 at 8AM. There are still openings for two people.
The cost to participate in this training is $1,150 each. (Excel Partnership usually offers this course for $1995.) This fee also includes AM breaks all five days and PM breaks the first four days. Meals and lodging will be the responsibility of the participants.
The training will be held at the Living History Farms Conference Center. Days one through four will be long days running from 8AM until 7:30PM. Friday will be the short day and will end at 12:30PM. The auditor exam will also take place Friday from 10:30AM to 12:30PM.
31% Of Rural Nebraskans Believe Water Quality Has Deteriorated (Rural News Bits)
The first report from the 2004 Nebraska Rural Poll, “Nebraska’s Water: Perceptions and Priorities” was released on June 2. This report focuses on rural Nebraskans’ priorities for various uses of water and whether or not they have experienced changes to the quality or quantity of their domestic water supply. The second report, which focuses on health care, was released June 29. This report examines rural Nebraskans’ access to health care, their satisfaction with aspects of medical and mental health care and whether or not they have experienced any medical hardships during the past year. Both of these reports are available at http://cari.unl.edu/ruralpoll.htm. If you cannot access the reports online and would like one mailed to you, please call 800-328-2851. http://cari.unl.edu/ruralpoll/water.pdf
EPP Guides Available For Public Review (p2.org)
A Federal Register notice has been published announcing the availability of four Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Guides for review. These guides are to be used by procurement personnel making EPP choices. The guides include:
"Greening Your Purchase of Carpet: A Guide For Federal Purchasers"
"Greening Your Meetings and Conferences: A Guide For Federal Purchasers"
"Greening Your Purchase of Cleaning Products: A Guide For Federal
"Greening Your Purchase of Copiers: A Guide For Federal Purchasers"
Earlier drafts of these guides were issued in 2002, but recalled due to content and reviewing issues. This time round, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is posting the guides as drafts with a 60-day public review phase. These documents may be accessed at http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/06jun20041800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-14831.htm
For more information on these guides, contact Terry Grogan at (202)
564-6317. For more information on the review and comment process,
contact Jesse Eaves at (202) 564-8867.
Healthcare Green Supplier Network Lead By Baxter (US EPA)
The Green Suppliers Network, has expanded its ground-breaking approach to incorporating lean and clean practices into healthcare supply organizations. Baxter Healthcare is spearheading the project. Baxter had already started to incorporate lean manufacturing practices into its organization.
"One thing we've discovered, however, is that lean doesn't always mean clean," says the manager of Baxter's EH&S engineering, Jenni Cawein. "The Green Supplier Network will help our suppliers achieve this balance."
Five suppliers to a Baxter manufacturing plant in Puerto Rico have signed up. One supplier completed the GSN review in 2003.
"The review identified opportunities to reduce hazardous chemical use, energy and other resources," says Cawein. "We also expect suppliers to benefit from greater efficiencies and bottom-line cost improvements, which we hope will result in more competitive pricing."
"When we learned about the Green Supplier Network, it didn't take long for us to decide to participate," says Dave Valentini, Baxter's VP of purchasing and supplier management. "The network goes even further, putting technical professionals on suppliers' manufacturing floors to train them in clean manufacturing processes."
Baxter's participation has prompted GSN to add healthcare to their list of target industries. Others include the auto, aerospace, heavy equipment and furniture industries.
"[GSN] hadn't thought of health care," Cawein says. "We are now working with others in the health-care sector -- including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Wyeth and Abbott -- to identify common suppliers we can approach together. We hope this will bring a greater participation rate from suppliers as more of their customers urge them to be involved in this important program."
"We look forward to adding more industry sectors as companies realize the economic and environmental benefits of 'going green' in their manufacturing processes," says Kristin Pierre, GSN's program director. "The opportunities that continue to emerge present a bright future for GSN and its partners."
WasteCap To Host Lunch & Learn Regarding Universal Waste Regulations Changes (WasteCap of Lincoln)
WasteCap of Lincoln, in partnership with the Nebraska Department of Environmental
Quality, is hosting a Lunch & Learn at the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County on Tuesday, July 27, 2004 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM. A Lunch & Learn is a one and a half hour educational and networking opportunity to get up to date information on business related environmental news, while enjoying good food.
The purpose of the upcoming Lunch & Learn is to discuss the soon-to-be published changes to Universal Waste Regulations in the state of Nebraska. On June 4th, the Environmental Quality Council met and approved a petition to add electronic items and mercury-containing items to the list of Universal Wastes. The change increases the ease of handling and managing hazardous waste materials for businesses of all sizes and types.
The presenter of this Lunch and Learn is Jim Harford, RCRA Compliance Assistance Coordinator with NDEQ. Mr. Harford will discuss the upcoming changes in Universal
Waste Regulations and how the changes can affect businesses. The changes include electronic items and mercury-containing items that currently only include thermostats.
The new regulations can affect current and future electronic items that are or could be considered hazardous waste and will expand the definition of mercury-containing items to include all wastes that contain elemental mercury. This discussion will give Nebraska businesses the opportunity to plan for upcoming changes.
The cost of the Lunch & Learn, including a catered lunch is $15 per person for nonmembers and $10 for WasteCap members. Early registration is advised, as space is limited. For additional information or to register to attend, please contact Carrie Hakenkamp, Director of WasteCap of Lincoln, at 436-2384, 436-2360 fax, or visit the
WasteCap website at www.wastecaplnk.org.
EPA Says Iowa Air Meets Small Particle Limits (Des Moines Register)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Monday that Iowa meets federal airborne small particle limits. These findings mean that Iowa vehicles will not be required to be inspected for clean burning. Power plants, manufacturing plants and construction machinery will not be required to install pollution-control devices. The findings also indicate that Iowans are less likely to develop lung disorders. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040629/NEWS03/406290365/1005
House Science Committee Passes Manufacturing Technology Competitiveness Act (ASME)
By a vote of 19-13, the Committee passed H.R. 3598, the Manufacturing
Technology Competitiveness Act of 2004. The bill, which is sponsored by Environment, Technology, and Standards Subcommittee Chairman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI), would help improve the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers by providing grants to help develop new manufacturing technologies; establishing a fellowship program for manufacturing sciences postdoctoral and senior research fellows; and reauthorizing and strengthening the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program to help small and medium-sized manufacturers respond the to extraordinary challenges they face from globalization. Rep. Ehlers’ manufacturing bill will help our smaller manufacturers stay up-to-date and competitive.
“Today’s action clearly shows how important MEP is to Congress and to
America,” said Ehlers. “This bill fosters innovation, which is critical to ensure that America’s manufacturing sector can not only survive, but thrive in today’s global economy. Manufacturing is the base of our economic strength, and we must meet and exceed the manufacturing challenges from other countries. This bill will help us do that.”
The Committee approved the following amendments:
By a voice vote, a substitute amendment by Mr. Ehlers that made changes to the legislation to reflect negotiations with the Administration;
By a voice vote, an amendment by Representative Mark Udall (D-CO), as amended by Chairman Boehlert, that would authorize appropriations for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) laboratories;
By a voice vote, an amendment by Ranking Minority Member Bart Gordon (D-TN) that would ensure that new manufacturing programs do not eat into the base MEP program; and
By a voice vote, an amendment by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee
(D-TX), as amended by Chairman Boehlert, that would prohibit a general
competition among MEP centers in any year that the MEP program receives at least $106,000,000.
To view the entire bill, please click here and search for Bill Number HR 3598. http://thomas.loc.gov
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Grant Funds Available For Litter Pick Up And Recycling (NE DEQ / Rural News Bits)
The Department of Environmental Quality Waste Planning and Aid Unit administers grant programs providing funding towards waste reduction programs and projects, litter cleanups and education, recycling support, and illegal dump site cleanups. Information about two of these grant programs follows.
The Litter Reduction and Recycling Grant Program provides funds to Nebraska citizens and communities to support litter cleanup programs, public education programs intended to alter attitudes about litter and/or recycling, and recycling programs to reduce waste and conserve natural resources. This program is funded through an annual fee assessed to manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers on sales of products in Nebraska that commonly contribute to litter. Funds are applied for and awarded under three grant categories: public education, cleanup, and recycling.
Eligible Applicants: Political subdivisions, and other public, private and nonprofit entities and organizations
Eligible Activities: Public education on litter reduction and recycling, Litter cleanup of public areas, Recycling, Source reduction programs and projects
The annual application deadline is September 15. If you have questions, or would like to receive more information or an application, contact Mary Schroer at 402-471-4242, 877-253-2603 (toll free), or Mary.Schroer@ndeq.state.ne.us.
Illegal Dump Site Cleanup Program. Funding is also available to help clean up illegal dump sites. Only political subdivisions are eligible to apply and the illegal dumpsite must be located along a public roadway or ditch. Applications may be submitted at any time (no application deadline) though funds are limited to a maximum annual amount. For more information on this program, contact Steve Danahy at 402-471-0273, 877-253-2603 (toll free), or Steve.Danahy@ndeq.state.ne.us.
EPA Seeks Sustainability Proposals For Universities' Engineering Curricula (ASME)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the need for
research proposals to assess the integration of sustainability concepts into engineering curricula at institutions of higher education in the United States.
"Our next generation of engineers must be aware one of the roles of
engineering as a cornerstone for sustainability," said Dr. Paul Gilman at the 2004 EPA Science Forum. "This awareness will build capacity for a future workforce that is prepared to address the scientific and technical challenges to simultaneously promote prosperity, benefit people, and protect the planet."
EPA is interested in proposals describing a methodology that can be used to benchmark the current efforts of engineering departments to give future engineers an awareness of the relationships between the economy, society, and the environment from those interested in conducting this evaluation.
Proposals should also include a means to identify exemplary faculty
members or departments that have played a key role in advancing the
integration of sustainability into engineering education.
Institutions of higher education and not-for-profit institutions located in the U.S.; and tribal, state and local governments; are eligible to apply. EPA expects to make one award for a total of $350,000 to conduct the evaluation. EPA relies on quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision-making.
The deadline for submitting proposals for this request for applications is August 3, 2004. http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2004/2004_sustainability_engineering_curricula.html
2002 Toxics Release Inventory Public Data Release (EPA / Greenwatch)
On June 23, 2004 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the 2002 Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data. The Toxics Release Inventory, created under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986, requires certain facilities to annually report their chemical releases and other waste management activities to EPA and the states.
This year the EPA has seen an increase in electronic reporting from
the TRI community, a significant step in advancing “E-Government” as
called for in the President’s Management Agenda. Electronic reporting
is a key part of the Agency’s efforts to improve TRI data quality and
the timeliness of making these data available to the public.
A summary of the 2002 TRI data and background materials are
available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/tri. The TRI Internet site also provides a link to the TRI Explorer, an electronic search tool that makes the TRI data more easily accessible and understandable.
The new TRI report was not released without some controversy. Some environmental groups dispute the numbers. http://www.epa.gov/tri/tridata/tri02/index.htm
DEQ Awards Over $1.6 Million In Waste Reduction And Recycling Grants (NE DEQ)
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality Director Mike Linder today announced the awarding of $1,655,695 in grants for waste reduction and recycling projects. The grants are available through the Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Grant Fund. This fund is generated by a fee on solid waste disposed of in landfills (disposal fee), an annual retail business sales fee (business fee), and a fee assessed on the sale of new motor vehicle tires (tire fee). Grants totaling $1.5 million for projects related to tire recycling were previously announced in April. http://www.deq.state.ne.us/press.nsf/3eb24ee59e8286048625663a006354f0/f297ef0fe49028ff86256ebc005295e7?OpenDocument
MEP Receives Funding Approval From House (SSTI)
The House subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations has surpassed the Administration's fiscal year 2005 request for $39.6 million by agreeing to fund the Manufacturing Extension Partnership with $106 million. This would bring the program back to the funding levels it received in FY03. The Senate now must decide on what figure to approve. The MEP has received the support of the Senate in recent years so it is possible that the $106 million figure will stand. http://appropriations.house.gov/
National Hotline Unveiled for the Conservation Security Program (CFRA)
The Center for Rural Affairs has opened a “Hotline” to connect farmers and ranchers practicing effective conservation to the Conservation Security Program (CSP) created by the 2002 Farm Bill. The Hotline’s number is 402-687-2100 and will be open once the CSP sign-up begins.
The Conservation Security Program (CSP) is a 2002 Farm Bill initiative
written by Congress to provide financial assistance to farmers and ranchers who are solving key natural resource and environmental problems by adopting sustainable practices and systems. The CSP was designed by Congress to provide support to farmers and ranchers who are already engaged in strong conservation systems to protect soil, water, air, and wildlife or who will adopt more sustainable systems as part of the program. Traci Bruckner, policy analyst and Hotline director for the Center, said, “This program is the most promising conservation proposal in the Farm Bill. It was designed by Congress to reward the best conservation farmers and ranchers.”
However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is intending to implement the program with some very severe geographic restrictions by limiting it to only 18 watersheds across the country for this first sign-up and expanding slowly to other watersheds on a rotational basis. Add the weak and complicated payment methods they have proposed, and you have a much weaker program than Congress intended.
The hotline is timed to coincide with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s release of the interim final rule and the subsequent sign-up announcement for the CSP. Sign-up will run from July 6th to July 30th. Bruckner views USDA’s very short sign-up timeframe as a step in the wrong direction. “The administration’s plan to run a brief sign-up period during the middle of summer, when farmer’s schedules run from dawn to dusk, will stunt the growth potential of this program. This program is about planning and short sign-ups fail to facilitate such planning. The Administration cares more about getting the money out than running a workable program.”
These factors only contribute to the Hotline’s importance for farmers and ranchers truly committed to improving stewardship, according to Bruckner. “We want to ensure that the farmers and ranchers this program was intended to reward are able to fully access the program.” The Hotline is designed to assist farmers and ranchers with questions regarding how to apply and program eligibility. Eligibility questions will center around the self-assessment that farmers and ranchers will need to complete. This self-assessment can serve as the first hurdle to cross in accessing the CSP and the Hotline will be there to assist farmers and ranchers with this process.
For more information on the Conservation Security Program or the Hotline, contact Traci Bruckner at 402-687-2100 or email email@example.com. http://www.cfra.org/resources/FarmBill_Implementation/conservation.htm#Conservation%20Security%20Program
Local Governments Gain Access To Online Training In Pollution Prevention And Safety For Vehicle Repair Operations (CCAR)
Two of the national “Environmental Compliance Assistance Centers” established in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are working together to provide city and county governments with online training in environmental and related safety concerns for their vehicle repair operations.
The Coordinating Committee For Automotive Repair (CCAR), which operates the “CCAR-GreenLink” center, announced that its “S/P2” online training in Safety and Pollution Prevention is now available to local governments through “LGEAN,” the Local Government Environmental Assistance Network.
LGEAN provides environmental management, planning, funding, and regulatory information for local government elected and appointed officials, managers and staff.
The LGEAN center is operated by a partnership of organizations managed by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). “S/P2” is CCAR’s Internet-based training to address the key safety and pollution prevention issues faced by professionals working in automotive service and collision repair. S/P2 was developed by CCAR in concurrence with U.S. EPA and OSHA standards, which require that shop personnel be trained at least annually on safety and environmental regulations. “Local governments must comply with the same EPA and OSHA requirements as private-sector automotive facilities,” said Andrew Seth, LGEAN’s director. “The online S/P2 training will provide cities and counties with a cost-effective means to meet environmental and safety standards.” “CCAR-GreenLink is pleased to be working with LGEAN to expand our audience for this important training,” said Robert G. Stewart, CCAR President. “We look forward to assisting local governments in bringing this information to their vehicle maintenance and repair facilities.” CCAR makes S/P2 available in separate versions for mechanical repair/service and autobody/collision repair. Each version of S/P2 is available for a $299 annual subscription per facility. The S/P2 program tracks individual progress through the training, evaluates test results, and provides printable certificates of completion. For more information on the S/P2 training for local governments, visit the LGEAN web site at www.lgean.org/html/sp2.cfm or call toll-free at 1-866-477-2669. http://www.lgean.org/html/sp2.cfm
Center For A New American Dream Issues Environmentally Preferable Copy Paper Price Survey (Center For A New American Dream)
A large number of organizations routinely purchase environmentally preferable copy paper. Some purchasers claim they are not paying extra for copy paper containing high post-consumer recycled-content, tree-free fibers, zero old growth forest fiber, and chlorine-derivative free bleaching; others claim suppliers are charging significantly more. The Center for a New American Dream decided to find the underlying cause of this conflicting pricing information with a nationwide, web-
based survey. Visit http://www.newdream.org/procure/products/papersurvey.html to complete their online copy paper survey.
You’ll need to know the price you’re paying per case of copy paper, where you’re buying it, and basic information available on the wrapper from a ream of copy paper. The deadline for this survey is June 30.
After data has been collected and analyzed, the results will be shared with survey participants so you can use the information to negotiate better copy paper prices for more environmentally preferable paper. http://www.newdream.org/procure/products/papersurvey.html
Kansas and Missouri Communities Awarded Environmental Justice Grants (EPA)
This week EPA is awarding cooperative agreements to 30 community-based
organizations across the country to launch projects that address local
environmental and public health issues using a collaborative
“These agreements are excellent examples of using a collaborative
process to break down barriers among various stakeholders and to find
solutions. These projects bring together communities and other
stakeholders who understand that environmental justice issues and
concerns can be best addressed through balanced, open and inclusive
approaches at the local level,” said Barry E. Hill, Director of EPA's
Office of Environmental Justice. “Collaborative approaches often result
in greater satisfaction among all stakeholders and ensure better
long-term stakeholder involvement in addressing the local environmental
and/or public health issues.”
Each organization will receive $100,000 over three years under the
Office of Environmental Justice’s Environmental Justice Collaborative
Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program. To accomplish the goals
of these projects, the recipients will form partnerships with other
affected community and grassroots organizations, local governments,
health care providers, industry, and academia. This program was
established in 2003 to provide financial assistance to eligible,
affected local community-based organizations.
More information about the Environmental Justice Collaborative
Problem-Solving Cooperative Agreement Program and the 30 cooperative
agreements is available at: http://www.epa.gov/ej/grants/ej-cps-grants.html.
P2RIC Is Moving As Of June 21, 2004 (P2RIC)
The offices of the Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center will be moving on June 21, 2004. Click here to update your records. http://p2ric.org/contact/contact.cfm
Take The P2RIC Online Website Survey (P2RIC)
We are working hard to make our website as useful to you as possible. We would appreciate your feedback on how we can better meet your pollution prevention information needs. This brief survey will take approximately five to ten minutes to complete.
By completing the survey, you will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate and other prizes if you provide your e-mail address. This is optional, and we will not use your e-mail address for any purpose other than this drawing.
Your responses are completely confidential and will not be connected to your name or e-mail address in any way. All individual responses will be pooled and analyzed together. Only the independent researcher working with P2RIC will have access to the data.
If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Nedra Weinreich at Weinreich Communications (firstname.lastname@example.org, 818-346-2721).
Thank you for your assistance! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=57275497686
Panel Makes Recommendations To Improve Manufacturing Program (NAPA)
The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) recently released a report recommending improvements to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a 50-state program that helps small and medium-sized manufacturers take advantage of new technologies. According to the report, small manufacturers still face barriers such as competition from companies in other countries and insufficient access to skilled workers, as they seek to boost productivity and improve performance.
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which administers the program, the approximately 18,748 clients served by MEP in 2002 created or retained 35,028 jobs, increased sales by $953 million, and invested $940 million in modernization for plants, equipment, information systems, and workforce training. After receiving $106 million in federal funds in FY2003, funding for the program shrank to $39 million in FY2004, the same level requested by the President in his fiscal year 2005 budget request.
The NAPA report is available online at http://www.napawash.org/Pubs/NIST6-2-04.pdf. For additional information about the MEP program, visit www.nist.gov. http://www.napawash.org/Pubs/NIST6-2-04.pdf
ATSDR Releases Public Health Assessment Concerning Lead For Omaha Lead Site (ATSDR)
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is issuing for public review and comment a public health assessment for the Omaha Lead site, Omaha, Neb. The site is on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) and ATSDR is required by Congress to conduct public health assessments on all sites proposed to the NPL. The public health assessment was completed to evaluate whether past, current, or future exposures at the Omaha Lead Site are causing harm to persons living in or near the site.
The Omaha Lead site includes residential properties, childcare facilities, schools, and other properties in the city of Omaha. Those properties have been contaminated with lead from air emissions from lead-refining operations, which operated from the 1870s until 1997, and other sources, including lead-based paint. The 8,840-acre site area extends south from Ames Avenue to L Street and eastward from 45th Street to the Missouri River, excluding the central business district. ATSDR's evaluation of the 2000 Census data indicates that about 86,000 residents live within the identified site area. Of these, 9,700 are children 6 and younger.
ATSDR reviewed blood lead testing results for about 12,800 children, soil lead data for about 15,000 properties, and various exposure scenarios. On the basis of that review, ATSDR determined the following: The ongoing exposure to lead of children under 6 years old living in or near the Omaha Lead initial site investigation area puts them at risk of lead-related health effects. From July 2000 through August 2002, nearly 300 children living in or near the Omaha Lead site were reported with blood lead levels of 10 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) or greater. The majority of these children had blood lead levels between 10 µg/dL and 40 µg/dL and may be at risk for decreases in IQ, slightly impaired hearing and growth, and problems metabolizing vitamin D. For the Omaha Lead site area, 9.7% of children had blood lead levels of 10 µg/dL or greater compared to 2.0% and 3.1% for Nebraska and the United States, respectively. Children living in the Omaha Lead site area are exposed to two major sources of lead-lead-based paint and past emissions from the ASARCO refinery. More than 60% of the homes in the site area likely have lead-based paint. Over 40% of the properties tested in the site area had at least one sample above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level of 400 ppm. The mean soil lead level for the Omaha Lead site area was 437 parts per million (ppm).
ATSDR recommends the following: The county, state and federal agencies involved with this situation should develop a plan concerning lead hazards that would increase public knowledge regarding lead hazards, promote primary prevention activities, and promote and facilitate yearly blood lead testing for all children 6 years and under living in or near the Omaha Lead initial site investigation area. This plan should include aggressive blood lead testing of young children to increase the likelihood of identifying children currently exposed. This would allow timely interventions such as mitigation of lead-based paint and cleanup of contaminated soil.
The health assessment is available for public review and comment from June 7 through August 6 at these three library locations in Omaha:
W. Dale Clark Library 215 S. 15th St.
South Omaha Branch Omaha Public Library 2302 M St.
Washington Branch Omaha Public Library 2868 Ames Ave.
A copy of the PHA can be downloaded from http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/PHA/omahalead/pdfnote.html.
Comments on the public health assessment must be made in writing. Mail comments to
Chief, Program Evaluation, Records and Information Services Branch ATSDR, 1600 Clifton Road, N.E. (MS E-60), Atlanta, GA 30333.
Comments received during the public comment period will be logged in to the ATSDR administrative record for this health assessment. Comments received, without the names of individuals who submitted them, and ATSDR responses to the comments will appear in an appendix to the final public health assessment. Names of those who submit comments, however, will be subject to release for requests made under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
For more information, community members can contact Senior Environmental Epidemiologist John Crellin or Environmental Health Scientist Annmarie DePasquale toll-free at 1-888-422-8737. Regional Representative Sue Casteel also may be contacted at 913-551-1312. Callers should refer to the Omaha Lead site in Omaha, Neb.
ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances. Established by Congress in 1980 under the Superfund law, ATSDR conducts public health assessments at each of the sites on the EPA National Priorities List, as well as other sites when petitioned. Headquartered in Atlanta, ATSDR is staffed by more than 400 health professionals including epidemiologists, physicians, toxicologists, engineers and public health educators. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/PHA/omahalead/omahalead.pdf
New Sustainable Business And Finance Report Available From Cleaner Production International (Cleaner Production International LLC)
Cleaner Production International has published a new report about criteria for corporate social responsibility used by socially responsible investment funds and indexes. It includes a new model integrating CSR criteria with quality management in the Baldridge quality system, and sections on CSR in banking, pension fund investment, quality management and applications in Peru as an example of a developing country. It is widely applicable and includes a number of references to great publications that may as yet be unknown. This is a preliminary report; comments and feedback are invited. http://www.cleanerproduction.com/misc/CIESreport.htm
Columbia, MO Developers Receive Warning Of Possible EPA Inspection (Columbia Daily Tribune)
The Central Missouri Development Council, a non-profit group that protects developer interests, has issued a notice to warn builders in Columbia, MO of an upcoming inspection by the EPA. Don Stamper, the council’s executive director, said, "I don’t think they are singling us out. EPA has targeted most of the major metropolitan areas in the state. We are encouraging our members to be on top of this anyway." Former Missouri Department of Natural Resources Director, David Shorr said that inspectors have been visiting building sites in Springfield and St. Louis, and it is likely they will come to Columbia next. Connie Patterson of the DNR said of the inspection, "It’s simply a rumor.” According to the EPA, they keep inspection schedules confidential. Martin Kessler of the EPA said that if builders in violation know when an inspection is to occur, it may be counterproductive. "They can make Band-Aid adjustments...make everything look sweet and nice, and when we leave they can go back to what they were doing," Kessler said. http://www.columbiatribune.com/2004/Jun/20040603News003.asp
Extensive Storm Water Education Campaign Begins in Los Angeles County (California EPA SWRCB)
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the State agency responsible for preserving the quality of California’s waters, launched a two-year, $5 million public education campaign to reduce harmful storm water pollution in Los Angeles County and improve the environment of the region’s coastal and inland communities. The Erase the Waste-themed campaign, which marks the first State-funded countywide storm water public education effort in California, unveiled its first nine-week wave of multi-ethnic paid advertising to Los Angeles residents on August 4, 2003. The campaign includes English and Spanish print, radio and television advertisements – including first-time use of paid, network television advertising to address the storm water issue in the LA media market. Total campaign funding comes from California’s Cleanup and Abatement Account (CAA), which derives funds from court judgments and administrative sanctions levied against corporate, government and industry polluters. All CAA funds, by law, must be used for clean water purposes, and do not represent taxpayer dollars.
“The Davis Administration has made the protection of California’s waters a top priority,” said Arthur Baggett, Jr., Chair, State Water Resources Control Board. “Polluted storm water runoff is the greatest danger to water quality in Southern California and poses significant threats to public heath and safety, natural resources, and the region’s economic vitality. Through the Erase the Waste storm water campaign, the State is committed to providing critical resources to improve the region’s water quality for Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents.”
The Erase the Waste campaign encourages residents to take ownership of their communities, help reduce storm water pollution from the local landscape, and be part of the “pollution solution” by adopting simple, everyday action steps. The multifaceted program will primarily reach out to the region’s “greatest polluters, most likely to change their polluting behaviors.” This group comprises three primary sub-audiences, defined by their unique polluting tendencies and lifestyle characteristics as “Neat Neighbors,” “ Fix-It Foul-Ups,” and “Rubbish Rebels.” Collectively, these groups make up more than seven million residents, approximately 72 percent of the total County population, and represent all ethnicities, genders and levels of socio-economic status. http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/erasethewaste/
Common Lawn Care Products Can Harm A Fetus (WebMD)
A new study has shown that everyday lawn products can adversely affect the development of a fetus in early pregnancy. Weed-B-Gon, Scott's 4XD, and Atrazine are a few of the products that can cause developmental problems if a pregnant mother is prematurely exposed to treated grass. The EPA has requested to review the study which may lead to new labeling of products that contain the herbicide 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). http://my.webmd.com/content/article/87/99566.htm?z=3734_00000_1000_qd_01
The Environmental Health Perspectives article that this press piece is
based on is "Low-Dose Agrochemicals and Lawn-Care Pesticides Induce
Developmental Toxicity in Murine Preimplantation Embryos" and is at
Missouri: Governor Seeks Nominations For Missouri Businesses Leading Environmental Efforts (Kansas City infoZine)
Missouri Governor Bob Holden, with help from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Bridging the Gap and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, is looking for businesses, municipalities and institutions that exemplify Missouri's top environmental stewardship efforts. All Missouri businesses, municipalities, organizations and schools are eligible for this award, which honors those who have been involved in pollution prevention activities, innovative technologies, improvements in energy efficiency, recycling, and education and outreach activities. Nominations are due to the Missouri Chamber of Commerce by Friday, June 18. To obtain an application, call the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-361-4827 or visit the department's Web site at www.dnr.mo.gov/oac/p2-award-appl.pdf. For more information contact David Goggins at the Department of Natural Resources' number above or Michael Grote at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce & Industry, (573) 634-3511.
Energy Agency Issues Analysis Of "Clear Skies" Initiative (ASME)
Earlier this year, Senator James M. Inhofe, Chairman of the Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee, asked the Department of Energy's
Energy Information Administration (EIA) to prepare an analysis of the
impacts of S. 1844, the Clear Skies Act of 2003, S. 843, the Clean Air
Planning Act of 2003, and S. 366, the Clean Power Act of 2003. The EIA
recently released its report analyzing the impacts of limits on nitrogen
oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and carbon dioxide (for S. 843 and S. 366)
emissions from electricity generators. The report also addresses the
projected impacts on electricity generation by fuel, emissions, capacity
expansion, prices and industry costs.
The analysis was prepared using EIA's National Energy Modeling System
(NEMS). The reference case used in this report is based on the reference
case in the Annual Energy Outlook 2004, and it incorporates final
regulatory action under existing laws. However, consistent with standard
EIA practice requiring policy neutrality in baseline projections, it does
not include pending or proposed actions, such as the maximum achievable
control technology (MACT) standards for mercury emissions from power
plants or actions that might be taken to comply with the revised National
Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and fine particulates.
ASME's Environmental Engineering Division recently convened a Task Force
to review and issue a position statement addressing technical and economic
issues relevant to Mercury, Sulfur Dioxide and Nitrogen Oxide. http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/csa/pdf/sroiaf(2004)05.pdf
EPA RFP For Economic Development Strategies That Support Environmentally-Friendly Development (EPA)
EPA is seeking proposals on Economic Development Strategies that Support Environmentally-Friendly Development. Proposals are due by 5pm East Coast time July 19, 2004. EPA is seeking proposals for research examining specific economic development strategies that have protected environmental resources by producing smart growth outcomes. EPA expects to award one assistance agreement under this solicitation and expects to have approximately $40,000 available for first year funding, with a ceiling of $150,000 over the three year life of the agreement. Proposals must be submitted by 5pm East Coast time July 19, 2004.http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/pdf/econdvl.pdf
Russia To Ratify Kyoto Protocol; Move Will Put Treaty In Effect (ASME) / (Reuters)
Bowing to intense pressure from the European Union, which had been
blocking Russia's accession into the World Trade Organization, Russian
President Vladimir Putin announced last week that his country will ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the international climate change treaty negotiated in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. After the required 90 days following Russia's notification of ratification to the United Nations, the treaty would go into effect. Under the terms of the treaty, industrialized countries representing at least 55 percent of world carbon dioxide emissions had to ratify the pact before it could take effect. Before the Russian announcement, 122 countries, representing 44 percent of emissions, had ratified.
The treaty was negotiated during the Clinton Administration, which never submitted it to the United States Senate for ratification. Shortly after taking office in 2001, President Bush announced that he would not submit it for ratification, either. Given that most industrialized nations had already signed the treaty, Russia remained the biggest emitter after the United States, increasing pressure on that nation to ratify.
The Kyoto Protocol requires ratifying industrialized nations - developing nations such as China, India, and Mexico are exempt from the treaty, a major complaint of the United States - to collectively reduce their emissions of six primary "greenhouse" gases 5 percent below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. There is no word on whether the time limit will be extended because it took seven years for the treaty to go into effect.
In his announcement, President Putin acknowledged being concerned about the economic impact of ratification. "We have a few worries about the obligations which we will have to take on," he said. The European Union maintained that the treaty "would also help Russia improve energy efficiency through the transfer of modern technology. In this way, it would make Russian industry more competitive and more able to compete on a level playing field, once industrial energy prices increase." http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L21591574.htm
Coal Power Plants Lacking Pollution Controls To Be Sued By NY, NJ & CT (Des Moines Register)
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut sent a notice of intent to sue to Allegheny Energy, Inc., which owns over five coal-fired power plants in West Virginia. These states claim that the offending power plants are the cause of local smog and acid rain. According to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, an investigation previously made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found these plants in violation of the law by not installing controls for air pollution. Allegheny Energy, Inc. has 60 days to settle before the filing of the lawsuit. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EPA_CLEAN_AIR?SITE=IADES&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT
USDA Grants NRWA $3.75 Million For Source-Water Pollution Prevention Program (USDA)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding the National Rural Water Association (NRWA) a grant of $3.75 million to implement a source-water pollution prevention initiative as part of the Source Water Protection Program. The program is to be implemented in 33 states. The NRWA, working with federal and state officials, will identify the areas with the greatest need for pollution prevention, and organize citizen teams to outline plans for clean groundwater promotions. http://www.usda.gov/print/2004/0203.04.doc
Court Decision: Federal Highway Administration Did Not Fully Consider Sprawl (US District Court, District of Vermont)
Senville v. Federal Highway Administration, Case No. 2:03-cv-279, 204 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8312 (D VT May 10, 2004).
Reviewing an Environmental Impact Statement for a portion of a
long-planned “circumferential highway,” which is designed to reduce
congestion on surface streets, the court considered issues of sprawl and environmental justice within the context of NEPA and §4(f) of the
Department of Transportation Act of 1966. Among other things, the court found that the NEPA documentation inadequately considered induced growth, “often referred to as ‘sprawl,’” encroachment of recreational lands, and alternatives. The court noted that “Induced growth consists not only of growth that would not have occurred absent the project, but of relocated or redirected growth due to changes in accessibility. . . . In its induced growth analysis, FHWA did not consider factors such as the detrimental social and economic impact of draining jobs and population from the region’s cities.”http://www.vtd.uscourts.gov/Cases/03cv279.html
Healthy Home Initiative Notice Of Funding Availability (HUD)
Department of Housing and Urban Development, Notice of Funding
Availability (NOFA), Policy Requirements and General Section to the
SuperNOFA for HUD’s Discretionary Programs, 69 Fed. Reg. 26942 (May 14,
Among the programs and application requirements outlined in this
notice, The Healthy Homes Initiative establishes a $5,000,000 fund “to
develop, demonstrate, and promote cost-effective, preventive measures to correct multiple safety and health hazards in the home environment that produce serious diseases and injuries in children of low-income
families.” Not-for-profit institutions, and for-profit firms located in the U.S., state and local governments, and federally recognized Indian Tribes are eligible to apply. Among other goals, the initiative seeks to “Affirmatively further fair housing and environmental justice.”
WasteCap Hosts Talk & Tour At Lincoln Action Program (WasteCap of Lincoln)
WasteCap of Lincoln, with funding from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, is hosting a Talk & Tour at Lincoln Action Program on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM. This event will highlight Lincoln Action Program’s waste reduction and recycling efforts, giving special consideration to current successes. All businesses are invited to come and learn from others how to realize their own successful waste reduction program. The cost of the Talk & Tour is $15 for non-members, $5 for WasteCap members.http://www.wastecaplnk.org/LAP%20Talk%20%20Tour%20Press%20Release.pdf
New Dry Cleaner Compliance Website Now Available (Iowa Waste Reduction Center)
The Iowa Air Emissions Assistance Program (IAEAP) at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center (IWRC) is publicizing their new Dry Cleaner Compliance Website. This resource can be used as a reference guide to current air regulations, hazardous waste management, wastewater discharge, solid waste management and general operating practices. The website can be accessed by dry cleaners nationwide. http://www.iwrc.org/pubs/clspring2004.cfm#2
Department Of Energy Seeks Energy Savings Proposals (SSTI)
The Department of Energy is seeking proposals for energy saving innovations for residential and commercial structures.
Designing The Environment To Promote Healthy Living (Public Health News)
The U.S. Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is supporting efforts to broaden local and regional public health officials’ influence over decisions concerning built environments. The CDC wants changes to building codes to support environments that encourage exercise and interaction with others.
Experts Claim EPA Fuel-Efficiency Test Overstates Performance Of Hybrid Vehicles (Wired News)
A story on www.wired.com states that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mileage claims for hybrid automobiles are overstated. Experts claim that the 19-year-old fuel efficiency test used by the EPA may be inaccurate for current models. http://www.wired.com/news/autotech/0,2554,63413,00.html
Kansas National Guard Honored With Army Environmental Award (U.S. Army Environmental Center)
Over the past few years, the Kansas Army National Guard has implemented new technologies and initiatives at its 90-plus facilities across the state. These efforts recently helped win the Kansas Guard an FY 2003 Secretary of the Army Environmental Award for Environmental Quality.http://www.accesskansas.org/ksadjutantgeneral/News%20Releases/2004/Special%20-%20KSANG%20Environmental%20Award.htm
ACS Institute Gets New Director (Chemical & Engineering News)
Paul T. Anastas of the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy will become the American Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute's director beginning in June.
Brownfields 2004, Gateway to Revitalization (Brownfields 2004)
The 2004 national Brownfields conference will be held in St. Louis, Sept. 20-22, 2004.
Free Soils Best Management Practices Manual Now Available (PPRC)
The Washington Organic Recycling Council has posted a free soils BMP manual on its website entitled “Guidelines and Resources for Implementing Soil Depth and Quality BMPs.”
Funding Opportunity From The Department of Agriculture (SSTI)
USDA Rural Development is seeking applicants for funds to promote energy improvement and renewable energy for Ag producers and small businesses in rural communities.
National MEP Program Named Finalist For Government 'Oscar' And Eligible For $100,000 Prize; Nebraska MEP Is One Of Its Shining Stars (NE Dept. of Economic Development)
Fifteen trailblazing government initiatives at the federal, state and local levels have been named finalists for the esteemed innovations in American Government Award. One of the 15 finalists is the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. MEP uses public and private funds and service fees to help small manufacturers compete effectively with larger counterparts. An example of the outstanding quality offered through the national MEP is the Nebraska MEP Center, which for the sixth straight quarter, scored a perfect 100 points on its review this past January.
New Sustainable Building Tool Now Available (PPRC)
The City of Seattle has launched Implement, a new Web site designed for architects, designers, developers, project managers and building owners and operators to help them make sustainable design decisions based on energy consumption and costs.
ECOS Passed P2 Resolution At Spring Meeting [PDF] (ECOS)
The Environmental Council of States (ECOS) passed the resolution entitled Promotion of Pollution Prevention (P4) in Partnerships in Arkansas last month. The resolution encourages EPA to increase and enhance its efforts to promote and institutionalize P2. http://www.sso.org/ecos/policy/resolutions/Resolution%2004-4.pdf
EPA's "State and Local Climate Change Program" Provides Assistance to Public Officials Interested in Addressing Climate Change Issues (EPA)
The State and Local Climate Change Program was established by the U.S. EPA to help states and communities prepare for climate change and act on it. The program's "State and Local Outreach Kit" provides educational and outreach materials designed to inform the public about global warming, with a primary focus on voluntary greenhouse gas reduction strategies that help states, communities, and individuals save money, improve air quality, and lower risks to human health. The program website also provides access to background material on climate change, a database of state-specific emissions data and information, and "Inside the Greenhouse," a publication highlighting greenhouse gas mitigation success stories and other climate change news. For more information, visit EPA's Global Warming Visitor Center for Public Officials at http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/content/VisitorCenterPublicOfficials.html.
National Pollution Prevention Roundtable Releases White Paper on Pollution Prevention and Homeland Security (NPPR)
In April 2004, the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) released a white paper presenting the P2 community's vision for defining and offering its capabilities with respect to homeland security. The paper was developed to: (1) define the relationship between P2 and homeland security, (2) explore the role of the P2 community in homeland security efforts, and (3) identify recommendations that the P2 community can provide to EPA, state agencies, industry, and other groups who work to improve homeland security. According to NPPR, the pollution prevention community has a perspective and set of skills not yet incorporated into homeland security, which can provide the Nation, its citizens, and the environment increased benefit and protection from terrorist attack beyond that offered by physical security measures alone. To view the paper, visit: http://www.p2.org/whitepapers/p2_and_homeland_security.doc.
EPA Requests Extensions for Clean Air Rule on Power Plant Mercury Emissions (EPA)
In an April 29, 2004, press release, EPA announced that they have delayed finalizing rules to reduce mercury emissions from aging power plants until March 2005. As part of a 1997 settlement agreement with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), EPA had a deadline of December 15, 2004 to finalize a mercury regulation which would require utilities to reduce mercury emissions by 70 percent by 2018. But the NRDC has offered to delay the final ruling in order to strengthen the rule that was originally proposed, extend the public comment period until June 29, 2004, and to ensure that the rules are drafted in the most informed way. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/air/mercuryrule/.
International "Group on Earth Observations" Meets to Discuss 10-Year Plan to Achieve Sustainable Development and Protect Human Health and the Environment by Improving Coordination of Earth Observations (GEO)
On April 25, 2004, ministers from countries around the world met for the "Earth Observation Summit II" in Tokyo, Japan, where they adopted a framework document for a 10-Year implementation plan for the Earth Observation initative. The intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), launched at the Earth Observation Summit held in Washington, DC, in 2003, drafted the implementation framework in an effort to improve coordination of strategies and systems for observations of the Earth and to identify measures to minimize data gaps. The GEO's goal is to implement strategies to better understand the Earth system, including its climate, oceans, land, geology, natural resources, ecosystems, and natural and human-induced hazards, in an effort to enhance human health, protect the global environment, and achieve sustainable development. To view the implementation framework document (7-pg PDF), visit: http://earthobservations.org/docs/Framework%20Doc%20Final.pdf.
EPA Announces Availability of $1.5 Million to Fund Transportation Air Quality Partnership Projects Demonstrating Use of Pollution Control Equipment (EPA)
EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality has announced the availability of up to $1.5 million in funds to provide financial assistance to state, local, multi-state, and tribal agencies and non-profits involved with transportation air quality issues. Funds are available for partnership projects that demonstrate the innovative use of EPA-verified pollution control equipment in reducing emissions from diesel fleets affecting sensitive populations – such as children, the elderly and the chronically ill – who are more susceptible to the effects of diesel exhaust. Application deadline is July 2, 2004. For more information visit http://www.epa.gov/otaq/rfp.htm.
Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2004 Passed by U.S. House of Representatives April 21, 2004 (ACS)
H.R. 3970, the Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2004, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 21, 2004. This act emphasizes Federal support for green chemistry in an effort to benefit the nation's economy, environment, health, and security. According to American Chemical Society President Charles Casey, innovative strategies and technologies such as green chemistry are vital as environmental progress shifts from controlling and cleaning up pollution to preventing it in the first place. For more information about green chemistry and H.R. 3970, visit the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute at http://www.chemistry.org/portal/a/c/s/1/acsdisplay.html?DOC=greenchemistryinstitute%5Cindex.html.
Pentagon Honors Kansas Air National Guard as Runner-Up for FY 2003 Secretary of Defense Environmental Quality Award (U.S. Department of Defense)
On May 5, 2004, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz recognized the winners of the 2003 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards during a ceremony in the Pentagon Center Courtyard. Kansas Air National Guard (KSARNG) was a runner-up for the 2003 Environmental Quality - Non-industrial Installation Award. According to the Department of Defense, KSARNG carries out a strong environmental quality program that features unique and successful approaches in the areas of environmental compliance assessment and management, waste management and resource recovery, as well as environmental research and education. A full 10-page report on the environmental efforts being undertaken at KSARNG is available from the Department of Defense at https://www.denix.osd.mil/denix/Public/News/OSD/SecDef03/EQ/eq_kansas_award.pdf (slow download).
EPA Awarding Grants to Help States and Non-Profits Increase Use of Truck Stop Electrification Technology to Reduce Emissions of Trucks Idling at Stops (EPA)
EPA is awarding grants under the Smart Way Transport partnership to help states and non-profit organizations
install truck stop electrification technology to reduce emissions from idling trucks. Annually, long duration truck idling consumes one billion gallons of diesel fuel, and contributes over 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 180,000 tons of nitrogen oxides and 5,000 tons of particulate matter. Much of this fuel consumption and the associated emissions can be reduced with the use of idle reduction technologies. The grants, which total approximately $800,000, will focus on reducing emissions along major transportation interstate corridors. The SmartWay Transport Partnership is a collaborative voluntary program between EPA and the freight industry that creates market-based incentives that challenge companies shipping products, and the truck and rail companies delivering these products, to improve the environmental performance of their operations. SmartWay Transport partners improve energy efficiency, save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. For more information, visit the SmartWay Transport website at http://www.epa.gov/smartway/.
EPA Trend Report Indicates Fuel Economy of 2004 Cars and Trucks Remains Relatively Unchanged from 2003 at 20.8 Miles Per Gallon (EPA)
According to EPA's annual fuel economy trends report - "Light-Duty Automotive Technology and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2004" - fuel economy since 1997 has remained relatively unchanged, and model year 2004 vehicles are estimated to average 20.8 miles per gallon (mpg). While fuel economy levels have been relatively steady, vehicle performance has increased as manufacturers respond to consumer demands and apply innovative technologies to cars and light trucks. In addition, refinements to catalytic converters, transmissions, fuel injection, and electronic controls have made today's cars cleaner and more durable. Recent technology developments, such as hybrid-electric vehicles, clean diesel technology and variable displacement engines also hold promise for improving fuel efficiency in the near future. To view the report, which provides data on the fuel economy and performance characteristics of light-duty vehicles (cars, vans, SUVs, and pickup trucks) for model years 1975 through 2004, visit: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fetrends.htm.
Governor Schwarzenegger Signs Executive Order to Create California Hydrogen Highways Network by 2010 (CA Office of the Governor)
Governor Schwarzenegger recently announced the "California Hydrogen Highways Network" through the signing of an Executive Order creating a public and private partnership to build a Hydrogen Highway in California by 2010. At a recent ceremony, where the Governor christened the first station on California Hydrogen Highway by fueling a hydrogen fuel vehicle at the pump, Governor Schwarzenegger stated that California will deal with problems of air quality, energy security, national security, public health, gasoline price hikes, and shortages in refining capacity by investing in a clean hydrogen future, which will also bring jobs, investment, and continued economic prosperity to the State. The goal of the California Hydrogen Highway initiative is to support and catalyze a rapid transition to a clean hydrogen transportation economy by creating a hydrogen fuel infrastructure and the necessary leadership to make it a reality. Studies show that California's initial Hydrogen Highway Network of about 150 to 200 stations is achievable by 2010 and will cost approximately $90 million, the majority of which will come from energy companies, automakers, high-tech firms, and other companies. To view the Press Release and Executive Order, visit http://www.governor.ca.gov, click on "Press Room," and view the Executive Order S-7-04 and Hydrogen Highway Press Release from 4/20/04.
Grant Proposals Requested for Pollution Prevention Information Network Program - Deadline May 28, 2004 (EPA)
EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics requests applications for the Pollution Prevention Information Network, a nation-wide network of P2 information providers. The P2 Information Network funds - expected to be approximately $1 million - target regional applicants that are willing to work as part of a collective nationwide service to promote training in P2 processes and technologies. This initiative promotes coordination of pollution prevention work among State technical assistance programs in order to advance pollution prevention in manufacturing and service industries. Five to 10 awards are anticipated, and individual awards will average approximately $121,000. Responses are due by 5/28/04. For more information, visit: http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/2004RFP_ppin.htm, and refer to Sol# EPA-GRANTS-040104-001.
EPA's ENERGY STAR Program Offers Online Energy Efficiency Training and Presentations to Help Organizations Become Environmental Leaders - Summer Training Sessions Now Available Online (ENERGY STAR)
EPA's ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program helping businesses and individuals protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. Often the environmental option can also be the best financial decision. ENERGY STAR offers a suite of free online training sessions that demonstrate how to incorporate energy efficiency into the planning processes of organizations such as local government agencies, school districts, colleges, and businesses. Participants in the live 30 to 60 minute sessions exchange ideas and interact with experienced energy or financial consultants on a toll-free conference call while logged into a presentation on the Internet. Full descriptions of each presentation, online registration, and the schedule for May through July are available at: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=business.bus_internet_presentations. For more information on energy efficiency strategies that save money and prevent pollution, visit the Energy Star website at
Kansas State University Chemist Awarded $500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award to Support Innovative Green Chemistry Courses (NSF; KSU)
Christopher Levy, an assistant chemistry professor at Kansas State University, has recently been awarded a five-year $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's "Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program." The CAREER Program is the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award for new faculty members, and provides recognition and support for the activities of teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. The NSF award will support Levy's work in green chemistry and helix molecule development. Levy plans to teach an undergraduate and graduate-level green chemistry course that focuses on chemical processes that have fewer toxic by-products, making Kansas State University a national leader in green chemistry course work. Christopher Levy can be contacted at 785/532-6688, or email@example.com. For more information about green chemistry, visit the EPA's green chemistry site at http://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry/ or the American Chemical Society's Green Chemistry Institute at http://www.chemistry.org/portal/a/c/s/1/acsdisplay.html?DOC=greenchemistryinstitute%5Cindex.html.
Gallup's Annual Earth Day Opinion Poll on Environment Indicates Americans Are Critical, But Less Concerned Than in Previous Years (Gallup Poll News Service)
The Gallup Organization has recently released the results of their annual Environment/Earth Day poll, which is used to measure public interest in the environment. The poll finds Americans slightly more critical of the quality of the U.S. environment than they were in past years. In addition, 58 percent of Americans believe the environment is getting worse rather than better, compared to 34 percent who do not believe the environment is getting worse. Despite these negative views of the condition of the environment, Americans appear less concerned about the environment than they are about many other agenda issues, particularly healthcare, crime, drug use, terrorism, and the economy. And while 77 percent of Americans in 2001 worried a great deal or fair amount about the quality of the environment today, only 62 percent of Americans this year were as worried about current environmental quality. In addition, when Americans are asked whether environmental protection or economic growth should take priority when the two interests conflict, almost as many Americans choose economic growth (44 percent) as environmental protection (49 percent), indicating that public sympathy toward the environmental movement has steadily declined since the early 1990s when 71 percent of Americans chose the environment over economic growth (19 percent). For more information on the Earth Day opinion poll, visit http://www.gallup.com/content/default.aspx?ci=11380.
Department of Energy Awards $350 Million for Hydrogen Energy Research (EERE)
In an effort to promote fuel cell development and use, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced this week that they will award 32 new hydrogen research projects a total of $350 million over five years, and private funding will add another $225 million to support the projects, which involve more than 130 organizations, including academia, industry, and DOE national laboratories. The awards will help establish three "Centers of Excellence" for hydrogen storage research which will tackle DOE's "Hydrogen Storage Grand Challenge": storing enough hydrogen in a car to enable it to go at least 300 miles on a fill-up without impacting cargo or passenger space. In addition, 15 individual projects will investigate aspects of hydrogen storage; 5 projects will research fuel cells for off-road applications, auxiliary power generation, and consumer electronic devices; and 4 projects will advance hydrogen energy education.
Despite the U.S.'s extensive infrastructure for other energy sources, which often makes it difficult to embrace new technology, Bush administration officials defend the White House's commitment to new energy technologies. The award represents nearly one-third of the President's $1.2-billion commitment in research funding to aid U.S. efforts to adopt a "hydrogen economy," free of dependence on fossil fuels for electricity and transportation. For more information from the DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)'s "Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and Infrastructure Technology Program," visit http://www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/.
Center for A New American Dream Looking to Promote Green Purchasing Examples in Government Procurement Publication (Center for A New American Dream)
The Center for A New American Dream, an organization that helps Americans consume responsibly to protect the environment, is looking for green purchasing examples to feature in an upcoming “Green Purchaser” article in Government Procurement, a bi-monthly publication that reaches 20,000 government purchasers. The next article will describe how purchasers use environmental labels, standards, and certification programs to buy less polluting products from less polluting companies. While the audience for this publication is government purchasers, private sector examples are also welcome. Copies of previous articles are available at: http://www.newdream.org/procure. Contact Scot Case by May 3rd, 2004, at 610/373-7703, firstname.lastname@example.org with pertinent examples.
Regional Office of Research and Development Science Topic Workshop on Environmental Indicators Scheduled for May 17-20, 2004, in Kansas City (EPA R7)
The EPA Regional ORD Science Topic Workshop entitled "Making the Linkages Through the Use of Environmental Indicators - A Regional/State/Tribal and Office of Research and Development Science Topic Workshop on Environmental Indicators" will be held May 17-20, 2004, in Kansas City, MO, at the Plaza Embassy Suites Hotel. This week-long training will facilitate discussion and information sharing, and identify outcomes for participants, including scientists, managers, and staff, who work with or are interested in how environmental indicators can be measured and used. The draft agenda, online registration, hotel accommodations, and pre-conference materials are available at http://www.namsinc.org/eiworkshop/. For registration assistance, please contact Stacia Henderson, 703/821-2226, ext.232, email@example.com. For more information about the workshop, contact Brenda Groskinsky, ORD Science Liaison for Region 7, Groskinsky.Brenda@epamail.epa.gov, 913/551-7188, fax: 913/551-9188, cell: 913/449-8291.
Apollo Project Aims to Promote Energy Independence, Job Development, and Environmental Stewardship Through Sustainable Energy Technology (Apollo Alliance)
A new initiative from the Apollo Alliance, a broad coalition within the labor, environmental, business, urban and faith communities, aims to end America's dependence on foreign oil and create millions of jobs developing sustainable energy technology and infrastructure. According to the Apollo Project report entitled "New Energy for America" - available at http://www.apolloalliance.org/docUploads/ApolloReport%2Epdf (44-pg PDF) - the project is based on the recognition that investment in clean energy technologies "will create a new generation of high-wage manufacturing and construction jobs, capture growing markets of the future, reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports, create a resilient energy system, strengthen our cities and rural communities, bolster national security, and clean up our environment." The Apollo Alliance's "Ten-Point Plan for Good Jobs and Energy Independence" describes how Americans can mobilize to: (1) promote advanced technology & hybrid cars, (2) invest in more efficient factories, (3) encourage high performance building, (4) increase use of energy efficient appliances, (5) modernize electrical infrastructure (6) expand renewable energy development, (7) improve transportation options, (8) reinvest in smart urban growth, (9) plan for a hydrogen future, and (10) preserve regulatory protections. For more information, visit the Apollo Alliance website at: http://www.apolloalliance.org.
April Edition of Nebraska Energy Quarterly Features Articles on Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficiency (Nebraska Energy Office)
In an effort to promote the efficient, economic and environmentally responsible use of energy, the Nebraska Energy Office publishes an online quarterly newsletter to aid in the delivery of information, advance the conservation of traditional energy uses, and encourage the development of alternate and renewable energy sources. The April 2004 issue of the Nebraska Energy Quarterly includes the following related articles and news items:
*A Special Wind Energy Feature - Harvesting Nebraska's Wind
*Electricity from Wind: Economic Development for Rural Communities
*Online Tool to Help Municipalities Adopt Renewable Energies
*Those New Energy Efficient Clothes Washers
The online newsletter is available at: http://www.nol.org/home/NEO/neq_online/april2004/apr2004index.htm. Past issues are also available at that site.
DOE's Office of Science Names Pollution Prevention and Environmental Stewardship Award Winners (DOE)
The Department of Energy’s Office of Science recently announced the winners of its first annual Awards for Pollution Prevention and Environmental Stewardship, a program based on the White House Closing the Circle Awards for pollution prevention. The awards recognize accomplishments and innovative activities in pollution prevention and environmental stewardship at the DOE Office of Science's 10 national laboratories. The "Best in Class" award was presented to the Battelle Memorial Institute for its leadership and management in the development and integration of Environmental Management Systems into the operational and business systems of Brookhaven National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and projects at Battelle Columbus. This integration has reduced hazards and waste generation at all of the sites, resulted in cost savings, improved environmental accountability and enhanced compliance with environmental requirements and standards. Other award winners include: Brookhaven National Laboratory (Upton, NY), Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Batavia, IL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory, (Oak Ridge, TN), Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (Stanford, CA). For more information about these awards, visit the DOC Office of Science at www.sc.doe.gov.
New Drinking Water Source Protection Guide Now Available (Clean Water Network)
A new water source protection guide has been developed by the Clean Water Network (CWN), Clean Water Fund, and the Campaign for Safe and Affordable Drinking Water. This guide, entitled Source Water Stewardship: A Guide to Protecting and Restoring Your Drinking Water is designed to provide citizen leaders and activists the information, tools, training and support needed to develop models for source water and watershed protection activities. To view the guide (46-page PDF), visit the CWN website at: http://www.cwn.org/sourceguide.pdf. Or request a free printed copy by contacting Eddie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waste Management Workshop for Colleges and Universities Scheduled for 06/08/04 at Kansas State University (KSU Division of Continuing Education)
Kansas State University is hosting a workshop on hazardous waste management and compliance for all colleges, universities, vocational technical schools, and community colleges in Kansas and the surrounding area. This "Waste Management Workshop for Colleges and Universities" will be held on Tuesday, June 8th, from 8-5, and will cover material that will help participants understand RCRA and comply with Federal and State waste regulations, specifically hazardous waste, medical waste, universal waste, and recycling. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has targeted colleges and universities as lacking in Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) compliance issues. For more information and to register, visit http://www.dce.ksu.edu/dce/conf/wastemgmt/.
Study finds ethanol could be more hazardous than gasoline for human health (ES&T)
When Mark Jacobson heard a venture capitalist tout ethanol fuel as a solution to air pollution last year, he was surprised--and intrigued. Jacobson, an atmospheric chemist at Stanford University, knew that air quality got worse during Brazil's big ethanol push in the 1970s and that the reason was still unclear.
Jacobson decided to use a sophisticated air-pollution model to put ethanol to the test. Would switching the U.S. fleet to ethanol make the country breathe easier? His results, published today by ES&T, show that ethanol is no silver bullet for health. Switching to E85 blends (85% ethanol, 15% gasoline) could result in slightly higher ozone-related mortality, hospitalization, and asthma (9% higher in Los Angeles and 4% higher in the U.S. as a whole), the study finds. Cancer rates would be similar for gasoline and E85. For more information, read the full article.
Bush Administration Announces Commitment to Increase Wetlands Nationwide (US EPA)
President Bush recently announced an aggressive new goal to restore, improve and protect at least three million additional acres of wetlands over the next five years. EPA Administrator Michael Leavitt says that federal, state, local, and private entities will partner to meet the President's goal of increasing the quantity and quality of wetlands nationwide. EPA works with states and the Army Corps of Engineers to implement the Clean Water Act wetlands permit program and other strategies identified in the Administration’s National Wetlands Mitigation Action Plan. In addition, the President’s 2005 budget proposes a five million dollar increase in EPA funding for grants to states that will help them address wetlands protection. For more information on the President’s announcement go to:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/04/20040422-4.html. Additional information on EPA’s wetlands program can be found at:
http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands and http://www.epa.gov/owow/estuaries.
EPA's Plan to Reduce Gasoline Sulfur Air Pollution Remains on Schedule as Planned (US EPA)
EPA announced this week that their "Tier 2 Gasoline Sulfur Program" to reduce sulfur levels in gasoline will achieve full air quality benefits on schedule. An April 22nd meeting between EPA and a group of oil refiners sparked speculation that EPA was considering a "deficit carry forward" approach, which would have permitted fuel providers to miss the low sulfur targets in 2004 in exchange for tighter reductions in 2005 and 2006, a decision that would have allowed more imports from Europe, Venezuela and Russia, and possibly lower fuel prices. But EPA feels the Tier 2 Program will not result in higher gas prices, and they remain committed to full, on-time implementation of the program, possibly due to opposition from U.S. refiners who have invested billions of dollars to meet strict sulfur pollution rules.
EPA's Tier 2 Vehicle and Gasoline Sulfur Program is a program that affects new passenger vehicles and gasoline sold in the U.S. Vehicles meeting the Tier 2 emission standards will be 77-95 percent cleaner than today's cars and trucks. At the same time, the program will result in cleaner-burning gasoline containing 90 percent less sulfur. For more information on the Tier 2 program visit: www.epa.gov/tier2.
Regional Sustainability Grant Opportunity for Higher Education and Non-Profit Institutions - Deadline May 21, 2004 (US EPA)
EPA is soliciting applications for innovative regional projects addressing a problem or opportunity relating to sustainability and use of science to inform design, planning and decision-making at the local, state and industrial levels. Proposals should address the long-term sustainability (in terms of quality, availability and viability) of resources, such as water, atmosphere, land, energy, materials and ecology. Approximately $1.5 million is expected to be available for 6-10 awards. The projected amount per award is $50,000 to $100,000 per year for up to three years. Only institutions of higher education and nonprofit institutions located in the U.S., and tribal, state and local governments are eligible to apply. Proposals are due May 21, 2004. For more information, visit:
EPA Solicits Proposals for Small Business Research Funding Opportunities - May Deadline (US EPA)
Small businesses are invited to submit research proposals under EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. EPA is one of ten federal agencies that participate in the SBIR Program, which was designed to strengthen the role of small businesses in federally funded R&D and help develop a stronger national base for technical innovation. For this funding opportunity, EPA is interested in advanced technologies of nanomaterials, control and monitoring of air pollution, drinking water treatment and monitoring, water and wastewater management, hazardous waste management and site remediation, hazardous waste monitoring, solid waste recycling, safe buildings, and drinking water and wastewater security. An estimated 15 awards of up to $70,000 each are anticipated. Proposals are due May 25, 2004. For more information visit:
*EPA is also issuing special SBIR solicitations covering pollution
prevention, hazardous waste minimization and technology solutions for
pacific southwest environmental problems. For each topic, an estimated
ten contract awards of up to $70,000 each are anticipated. Proposals are due May 25, 2004. For more information on each of these topics, visit:
http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2004/2004_sbir_phase1_haz-waste.html (hazardous waste);
http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2004/2004_sbir_phase1_poll-prev.html (pollution prevention); and
http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2004/2004_sbir_phase1_pac-swest.html (technology solutions).
U.S. and European Officials Meet at "Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development" (OECD) to Discuss Environmental Policy Differences and Similarities (Voice of America)
In a two-day meeting in Paris this week, EPA director Michael Leavitt met with European environmental officials to discuss implementation of OECD's "Environmental Strategy for the First Decade of the 21st Century". A number of environmental policy issues were discussed, including biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, and mercury pollution. The meeting took place following concerns over some recent environmental decisions made by the Bush administration, including their decision not to ratify international agreements such as the Kyoto global warming protocol and a U.N. biodiversity convention. According to Leavitt, the Bush administration is committed to continuing environmental progress while at the same time maintaining economic competitiveness. For more information, visit the OECD website at http://www.oecd.org/site/0,2865,en_21571361_27379763_1_1_1_1_1,00.html.
Investment Firms Identify Link Between Environmental and Financial Performance of Companies (Winslow Management Company)
Winslow Management Company, a firm that invests in environmentally-sensitive companies, has recently released a report that supports the connection between environmental and financial performance. An index called the Winslow Green Index (WGI) measures the performance of 100 equally-weighted "green-screened" companies. Performance returns from the period August 1999 to December 2003 indicate that the WGI compared favorably to the S&P 500 and Russell 2000 indexes, in spite of the bear market of 2000 through 2002. Winslow Management Company believes that by taking advantage of environmental opportunities or by avoiding environmental liabilities, companies can gain a competitive advantage through cost reductions, quality improvements, increased profitability, and access to new and growing markets.
Two other firms have also published studies that support Winslow's findings. The Assabet Group, a firm that works with organizations to catalyze environmental and financial performance, has published a report, entitled "The Emerging Relationship Between Environmental Performance and Shareholder Wealth," available on their website at http://www.assabetgroup.com/. Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, an investment research and advisory firm specializing in analyzing companies' performance on environmental, social, and strategic governance issues, has also published a report, entitled "New Alpha Source for Asset Management: Environmentally-Enhanced Investment Portfolios." For more information about Innovest or to access this report, view their website at http://www.innovestgroup.com/. For more information about the Winslow Management Company, visit their website at http://www.winslowgreen.com/.
Three Kansas City Area Electricity Utility Companies Among Worst In Nation at Controlling Carbon Dioxide Pollution (Kansas City Star)
In a recent report analyzing 2002 data from the 100 largest power companies in the U.S., three Kansas City area coal-burning electricity utilities are rated among the worst at controlling carbon dioxide pollution. The report, entitled "Benchmarking Air Emissions of the 100 Largest Electric Generation Owners in the U.S.-2002", was recently released by CERES (a national coalition of environmental and investor groups), the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG). Westar Energy's coal-fired plants had the second-worst carbon dioxide emission rate, Great Plains Energy was rated ninth-worst, and Aquila was rated 13th worst. While these utilities use coal to generate a majority of the power they supply, nuclear power and natural gas are also used, and the performance of these companies was better when all sources of electricity were considered. Some utilities disputed the report's conclusions.
The report indicates that nationwide, emissions of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide are dropping, but emissions of carbon dioxide are on the increase, largely due to renewed interest in coal-fired plants that has occured as a result of rising natural gas prices. To view the report, visit the CERES website at http://ceres.org/newsroom/press/benchmarking_top100.htm.
DOE's State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC) Solicitation for Funding State Energy Efficiency Projects (DOE)
The Department of Energy's State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC) has released their Energy Efficiency and Fossil Fuel Science Initiative solicitation, making available at least $4.3 million for qualified energy efficiency and clean energy projects. The solicitation makes available projects. Eligible applicants include state and territory energy offices, state-chartered institutions, or institutions of higher learning partnered with at least one state or territory energy office or state-chartered institution from another state or territory. STAC is targeting projects that address one of five program areas of interest that lead to improvements in the production, storage, distribution, and use of energy: (1)Materials Sciences, (2)Fuels and Chemical Sciences, (3)Sensors and Control Sciences, (4)Energy Conversion Sciences, and (4)Emissions Reduction and Environmental Sciences. The mandatory pre-application is due by May 24, 2004. For more information, visit www.naseo.org/stac and click on 04-STAC-01 Solicitation.
New Interactive Tool Designed by Rocky Mountain Institute to Help Communities Adopt Renewable Energy Strategies (RMI)
A new interactive tool called The Community Energy Opportunity Finder was released in February 2004 by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit organization that works with businesses, communities, individuals, and governments to foster the efficient and sustainable use of natural, human and other capital. The Rocky Mountain Institute says its Community Energy Opportunity Finder ('the Finder') is comparable to the initial analysis of an energy consultant, providing an evaluation of opportunities for community energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The Finder helps users collect information on their community's energy use, and then demonstrates potential energy savings, cost savings, job creation, and reductions in carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide emissions. The Finder also provides information on available green power sources, as well as ideas for funding energy projects, case studies on successful programs in other U.S. communities, and other resources. The Finder has been designed for economic development advocates, businesses striving to reduce costs, communities working to ensure sustainable economic development, individuals hoping to reduce energy costs, local leaders seeking a sustainable future for their community, and advocates of renewable energy, sustainability and energy efficiency. For more information, visit the RMI website at http://finder.rmi.org/ or http://www.rmi.org.
On April 22, 2004, Americans Celebrate Earth Day - A National Day of Observance of Environmental Problems and Progress (EarthDay.gov)
In 1962, Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, began his campaign to make the environment an issue in politics, and in the spring of 1970, the American public was invited to participate in the first nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment. On that day in 1970 "Earth Day" began, establishing a forum for the American people to express their concerns about what was happening to land, rivers, lakes, and air. Over the past thirty years, the Federal government has responded to concerns of the public, establishing programs and passing legislation, such as the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Brownfields program, land conservation and stewardship programs, and climate change, greenhouse gas, and alternative fuel research funding. While Earth Day is a time to celebrate the gains we have made, it is also a time to formulate new unified strategies to increase environmental progress and protect the planet. For more information about national and state Earth Day events, visit the government Earth Day website at: http://www.earthday.gov/. Or visit other government Earth Day sites including: www.epa.gov/earthday (EPA), aec.army.mil/usaec/publicaffairs/earthday00.html (Army), and www.hq.nasa.gov/office/codej/codeje/je_site/earth_day/2004/
about_earthday2004.html (NASA). Also visit the Earth Day Network (EDN) at http://www.earthday.net/. EDN is an organization that promotes environmental citizenship domestically and worldwide, and includes an international network of over 12,000 organizations in 174 countries and a domestic program including 3,000 groups and over 100,000 educators and activists. EDN provides a portal of information about Earth Day activities and provides a site where individuals can determine their Environmental Footprint at http://www.earthday.net/footprint/index.asp.
U.S. Energy Information Administration Predicts Increases in Global Energy Demand and Carbon Dioxide Emissions by Year 2025 (US EIA)
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook 2004, world demand for all forms of energy is expected to grow by 54% over the next two decades, with oil consumption alone jumping by 40 million barrels a day. World oil demand is forecast to rise from 81 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2004 to 121 million bpd in 2025, with the U.S., China, and the rest of developing Asia using almost 60% of the additional barrels. According to EIA, global oil production capacity would have to rise by 44 million bpd to meet that demand.
Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use are also projected to increase, from 5,729 million metric tons in 2002 to 8,142 million metric tons, an average annual increase of 1.5%. Carbon dioxide emissions in the residential sector, including from the generation of electricity used in the sector, are projected to increase by an average of 1.1% per year, reflecting increased electrification and use of computers, electronics, and appliances. Significant growth is also projected for the commercial sector (1.9% increase per year from 2002 to 2025), industrial sector (1.1% increase per year), and the transportation sector (1.9% increase per year). In all sectors, efficiency standards, voluntary efficiency programs, and improvements in technology are expected to moderate the potential growth in carbon dioxide emissions.
For more information or to view the full report, visit: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/overview.html.
Climate Change Experts Warn that Global Warming Continues to Threaten Global Environment and Economy (U of Alaska; UN Environment Programme)
While many Americans in the lower 48 states may not immediately notice the effects of global warming, global change experts in Alaska continue to express concern about significant changes taking place in the Alaskan environment. According to a 1999 report from the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research, Alaska has experienced the largest regional warming of any state in the US, with average temperatures in Alaska up approximately 5 degrees Fahrenheit from thirty years ago, and about twice that during winter. The report also indicates that if present climate trends continue, Alaska's ecosystems and the largely natural resource-dependent economy will be significantly threatened.
While the immediate environmental effects of global warming may not appear threatening to many in the US, the long-term effects could be significant and global, as well as economic in nature. According to a report resulting from a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and major private sector financial institutions, there is a significant body of scientific evidence indicating that record insured loss from natural catastrophes in 2003 was not a random occurrence, but rather may have been the result of climate changes. Swiss Re, the world's second largest reinsurance company, concluded that the potential losses that may occur as a result of human-enhancement of the greenhouse effect pose a significant risk to future profitability, and urgent action by government, policy-makers and business is needed to reduce pollutant emissions and stabilize the earth's climate. For more information about the UNEP report, visit the Swiss Re website at http://www.swissre.com/INTERNET/pwswpspr.nsf/fmBookMarkFrameSet?ReadForm&BM=../vwAllbyIDKeyLu/SBAT-5ELHZN?OpenDocument.
EPA Announces "Clean Air Rules of 2004" to Help States and Localities Meet Stricter Ground-Level Ozone Standards (US EPA)
According to EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt, the last 35 years have seen a growing commitment to clean air, and the Clean Air Rules of 2004 have been developed to provide a strategy to promote air improvement in the US while at the same time protecting the nation's economic prosperity. The Clean Air Rules are a suite of actions designed to significantly improve US air quality and the associated benefits of improved health, longevity and quality of life for all Americans. The Clean Air Rules of 2004 include the following major rules:
*Interstate Air Rule - provides states with a solution to power plant pollution that drifts across state lines using a cap and trade system to reduce target pollutants by 70%.
*Mercury Rule - regulates mercury from power plants (for the first time)
*Nonroad Diesel Rule - changes the way diesel engines function to remove emissions and the way diesel fuel is refined to remove sulfur
*Ozone Rules - designates areas where air does not meet health-based standards for ground-level ozone, classifies the seriousness of the problem, and requires states to submit plans for reducing ozone levels where standards are not met
*Fine Particle Rules - designates areas where air does not meet health-based standards for fine-particulate pollution and requires states to submit plans for reducing the levels of particulate pollution.
For more information about the Clean Air Rules of 2004, visit the EPA website at: http://www.epa.gov/cleanair2004/.
National Report Cites Mississippi River As One of Ten Most Endangered Rivers of 2004 (American Rivers)
According to an April 14, 2004, report from American Rivers, a nonprofit organization leading the nationwide river movement, America's rivers and streams are becoming more polluted - and the Bush administration has exacerbated the situation by cutting clean water law enforcement and spending on pollution prevention. The report, entitled, "America's Most Endangered Rivers of 2004", highlights 10 rivers facing the most uncertain futures and lists the Mississippi River as #10 due to decades of manipulation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which could result in significant ecological damage "with vast negative economic impacts to tourism and recreation industries worth $21 billion per year." The report also presents alternatives to proposals that would damage rivers, identifies key stakeholders and policymakers, and points out opportunities for public action.
While America's waters became progressively cleaner after passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, recent data indicate that this trend has reversed, and in 2000, more than half of estuaries sampled were "impaired" - up from 37% in 1994. According to the report, the Bush administration has reduced the number of Clean Water Act enforcement actions, levied fewer and smaller fines on lawbreakers, created new loopholes on behalf of polluting industries, allocated fewer federal funds for sewage treatment, and shifted the burden of cleaning up contaminated river bottoms and other toxic sites from polluters to the public, reducing by almost half the number of sites cleaned up each year.
Fostering Sustainable Behavior Workshop Scheduled for May 13th at Mahoney State Park (WasteCap)
WasteCap of Lincoln is hosting the full-day Fostering Sustainable Behavior Workshop, designed for individuals and organizations who work to encourage environmentally beneficial behaviors such as waste reduction, recycling, water and energy efficiency, watershed protection, pollution prevention, and public transportation. The workshop is intended to benefit health departments, electric and gas utilities, water utilities, home builders, transportation industry, community environmental groups, and those who work with businesses and individuals to encourage environmental behavior change. Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr, author of "Fostering Sustainable Behavior," will be the speaker for this training workshop. Visit his website at http://www.cbsm.com to learn more about Community Based Social Marketing and McKenzie-Mohr & Associates. For complete event information, visit the WasteCap website at http://www.wastecaplnk.org/FSBW_.htm. The cost of the training session is $99 per person ($79 for WasteCap members) and includes validated parking, continental breakfast, lunch, and a copy of the Dr. McKenzie-Mohr's book. The registration deadline is Thursday, May 6th.
Nebraska Manufacturers Get Their Money's Worth from Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) According to National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Quarterly Review (Dept of Economic Development)
For the sixth straight quarter, the Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) has scored a perfect 100 points on its quarterly review by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership. All MEPs nationwide are measured for bottom-line client impact, investment leverage ratio, customer satisfaction, survey response rate, and cost per impacted client. Nebraska MEP also received special commendations for ranking fifth best in bottom-line client impact ratio, second in investment leverage ratio, and third in customer satisfaction score among all centers. In a recent survey, companies throughout Nebraska reported that in 2003 Nebraska MEP services helped them create or retain 88 jobs; increase $1,344,766 in sales; retain sales of $1,074,000; realize $10,884,500 in cost savings; and invest $54,349,350 in modernization.
Nationwide, the MEP is a network of not-for-profit centers in over 400 locations, whose sole purpose is to provide small and medium-sized manufacturers with the help they need to succeed. Nebraska MEP customer agents are located in Columbus, Hastings, Lincoln, Omaha, Spencer, and soon-to-be Scottsbluff. For more information visit http://nics.neded.org/, or contact Carla Patterson at 800/426-6505 or 402/471-6513, or e-mail: email@example.com.
NPPR's Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Award Applications Accepted Now Through May 17 (NPPR)
The application deadline is May 17, 2004, for the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR)'s Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) Awards, presented annually to recognize the outstanding P2 efforts of local government, state government, Federal government, tribal, and not-for-profit organizations or agencies, as well as private industry. Applications will be evaluated on innovation in P2, measurable P2 results, transferability to other projects or programs, commitment to P2, and optimization of available project resources. In addition to outstanding projects, an Environmental Writing Award will be awarded to recognize publications that have had a major impact on P2. Eligible publications include, but are not limited to books, fact sheets, case studies, articles in popular press, peer reviewed journal articles, and editorials or opinion letters. NPPR also awards the Volunteer of the Year Award to an individual whose efforts have had an outstanding impact on implementing pollution prevention in one or more of the following areas: setting P2 vision and strategies, leading and directing P2 programs, implementing P2 projects, and achievement of significant impact on P2. Self-nomination is accepted for all awards. For more information and an application, visit the NPPR website at http://www.p2.org/p2week/awards.cfm.
Small Business Assistance National Conference Scheduled for June 2-5, 2004 in Sacramento (SBO-SBAP)
The eleventh annual 2004 Small Business Ombudsman / Small Business Assistance Programs National Conference is being hosted by the Sacramento Business Environmental Resource Center, June 2-5, 2004, in Sacramento, California. State program representatives and federal EPA officials will assemble to discuss small business compliance program issues, such as innovations, technology, funding, program efficiency, parterships, fuel cells, transportation, storm water, and agriculture. State small business assistance programs were established to help small businesses meet the requirements of the Federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, and these assistance programs have since expanded to provide assistance on water, waste, and other environmental issues. For more information about the conference, visit the Sacramento Business Environmental Resource Center's website at http://www.sacberc.org/2004SBO-SBAPconference.html.
Forum Sponsored by Kentucy Pollution Prevention Center Addresses How Source Reduction Can Reduce the Risk of Terrorist Attacks (Courier-Journal, Louisville, KY)
A recent environmental and homeland security workshop sponsored by the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) encouraged businesses and government agencies to get to the root cause of terror attack risk by reducing the use of hazardous materials and by implementing safer products and technology. Industrial facilities where hazardous chemicals are used and stored, as well as the highways and railroads by which chemicals are transported, are considered primary targets for future terrorist attacks, causing concern among business leaders, government officials, and concerned citizens. According to a white paper on P2 and homeland security from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR), while physical security measures at industrial facilities are needed, they are still vulnerable to penetration and do not necessarily reduce the risk associated with attack. In other words, a hazardous chemical is still toxic whether or not it is protected by a fence or guards. According to KPPC, pollution prevention reduces the amount of hazardous substances entering the waste stream, thus reducing the hazards associated with the release of such substances. Therefore, connecting security with source reduction is an innovative and effective way to address the issue of chemical pollution and terror attack risk. Since 1995, KPPC has conducted more than 500 pollution-prevention assessments, and in response to growing national concern about environmental and homeland security, the center has recently begun conducting vulnerability assessments for companies, including a component on pollution prevention. For more information on environmental security, contact Sharon Baxter, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Tom Piero, email@example.com, of the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable. Or contact NPPR directly at www.p2.org, National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR), 2000 P Street, NW Suite 708, Washington, D.C., 20036, (202) 299-9701.
Pollution Prevention Grants and Announcement of Financial
Assistance Programs Eligible for Review; Notice of Availability (US EPA)
EPA has requested proposals for the Pollution Prevention Grant Program. This program seeks to reduce sources of pollution or eliminate waste across environmental media (air, land, and water) and to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of pollution prevention technical assistance programs in providing source reduction information to businesses. EPA expects to have approximately $5 million available in FY 2004 grant/cooperative agreement funds under this grant program. This year, EPA more prominently emphasizes measurement as one of the national program criteria used in evaluating grant applications. In addition, EPA strongly encourages applicants to consider replicating previous P2 grant projects, in order to more broadly demonstrate regional and national environmental impact. The notice can be found on the Federal Register at http://frwebgate4.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=54311128838+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve. If you have trouble accessing this link, visit the Federal Register at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html and search "2004 (Volume 69)" using the key words "pollution prevention." The grant notice will also be posted to EPA's grant home page at http://www.epa.gov/p2/grants, as well as to the Fedgrants.gov home page at http://www.fedgrants.gov. For more information contact Michele Amhaz, EPA, 202/564-8857, firstname.lastname@example.org.
World's Largest Microchip Manufactuer to Make Its Most Important Components Virtually Lead-free in 2004 (NewScientist.com)
In an effort to reduce the environmental damage caused by computers when they are discarded or stripped, Intel, the world's largest microchip manufacturer, has taken measures to reduce the lead content of its most important components by 95 percent in 2004. Intel will soon begin releasing microprocessors and motherboards using a solder alloy consisting of tin, silver and copper instead of tin and lead, which has traditionally been used to glue electronic components to circuit boards. Lead will still be used to link the complex silicon core of the microprocessor to its outer packaging, but Intel says it plans to remove this lead when a reliable alternative is identified. While environmentalists welcome the change, many advocacy groups feel the manufacturing industry must take further steps to reduce the environmental impacts of PCs, particularly by reducing the hazardous chemicals, such as selenium, cadmium, arsenic, and chromium, that are used in computer manufacturing.
EPA Region 7 Wetland Protection Grant Program Deadline for Application is 4/30/04 (EPA R7)
EPA Region 7 has announced the FY 2004 State, Tribal and Local Government (S/T/LG) Wetland Protection Grant Program. This grant program provides eligible applicants an opportunity to conduct projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys, and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction, and elimination of water pollution. To be eligible for funding, projects must clearly demonstrate a direct link to increasing S/T/LG's ability to protect wetland resources. Anticipated FY 2004 funding to Region 7 for this program will be approximately $1 million. In addition, there will be a competitive Headquarters process to fund national nonprofit nongovernmental organization (NGO), interstate agencies, and intertribal consortia proposals. NGO proposals are to be submitted directly to EPA Headquarters. Wetland grant funds are also eligible to be included in state or tribal Performance Partnership Grants (PPGs). Agencies are encouraged to coordinate their proposals with other organizations interested in wetland and riparian areas protection. All S/T/LG preliminary applications must be received by EPA Region 7 office by close of business (5:00 pm CST) on April 30, 2004. Please submit only those documents requested in the Region 7 grant guidance. Selected applicants will be asked to submit the final Grant Application Form after EPA staff have reviewed the initial submittal. For grant guidelines and additional information on the Wetland Protection Grant Program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region07/economics/pdf/epa-r7wwpd-04-004.pdf for EPA Region 7, and http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/grantguidelines/ for EPA Headquarters. Or contact: Jeannette Schafer, EPA Region 7 Grant Coordinator, 913/551-7297, email@example.com, or Kathy Finazzo, R7 Competition Advocate, 913/551-7833, firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Bush's Top Science Advisor Rejects Advocacy Group's Claim that the Administration Misuses Science to Promote a Conservative Political Agenda (Office of Science and Technology Policy)
In a statement issued April 2, 2004, John H. Marburger III, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, denied accusations that the Bush administration has misrepresented scientific information and taken actions to undermine the quality of scientific advisory panels in an effort to promote their political agenda. Marburger, who is a lifelong Democrat, criticized a February 18 press release from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) that claims the Bush administration has misused science to advance a conservative policy agenda on global warming, air quality, forest management, and other environmental issues. According to Marburger, science does indeed inform policy in the Bush administration, and the accusations in the UCS document are not accurate. Marburger also denied UCS's accusations that the EPA is not included in the development and implementation of climate change policy in the Bush administration. To read an earlier P2RIC article on this subject click on http://www.p2ric.org/EnvNews/NewsByDate.cfm and view the article entitled "Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Issues a Statement to Restore Scientific Integrity to Federal Policymaking (UCS) (02/27/2004)." For more information from the Union of Concerned Scientists, visit http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/rsi/index.html. To view Marburger's report from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, visit: http://www.ostp.gov/html/ucs/ResponsetoCongressonUCSDocumentApril2004.pdf.
"Product Stewardship Institute" Website and Newsletter Provide Support to Help Reduce Environmental Impacts of Consumer Products (PSI)
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) has recently launched a website and newsletter that will assist state and local agencies to partner with manufacturers, retailers, environmental groups, federal agencies, and other stakeholders to reduce the health and environmental impacts of consumer products. PSI is a national organization affiliated with the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production at the University of Massachusetts. Using the Principles of Product Stewardship as its guide, PSI is designed to provide (1) Policy Development Assistance - promoting model product stewardship policies, programs, and legislation; researching technical issues; and helping agencies, organizaitons, and companies develop viable solutions, (2) Coordination, Facilitation, and Mediation - bringing key stakeholders together to reach voluntary negotiated agreements on specific products, and (3) Outreach and Education - serving as a clearinghouse for information and as a network for product stewardship education, training, and development. PSI takes a unique approach to solving waste management problems by encouraging product design changes and mediating stakeholder dialogues, and is involved in several priority product areas, including: carpet, electronics, gas cylinders, mercury products, paint, pesticide, radioactive devices, and tires. For more information view the PSI website at http://productstewardship.us/.
Reminder: Region 7 Source Reduction Grant Deadline is 4/30/04
EPA has requested proposals for the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program for projects that support source reduction, pollution prevention, and resource conservation projects that will provide an overall benefit to the environment by preventing the generation of pollutants at the source. All projects must occur within one or more of the states in Region 7. The Supplemental Guidance for the Source Reduction grants is now posted at http://www.epa.gov/region07/economics/r7_grant_opportunities.htm. The deadline for submission is April 30, 2004. For more information, contact Gary Bertram at 913/551-7533 or email@example.com. Or visit www.epa.gov/region07/economics/r7_grant_opportunities.htm and refer to Sol# EPA-R7ARTD-04-003.
Funding for "Innovation in Environmental Protection" Application Deadline is April 16, 2004 (EPA)
The EPA Office of Solid Waste & Emergency Response (OSWER) has announced a funding opportunity for projects that test innovative approaches in energy recovery, waste minimization, recycling, land revitalization and homeland security. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, tribes, EPA regional and HQ programs, industry, and federal, state, and local agencies. Projects must: (1)address a critical challenge or unmet need in land revitalization, reuse/recycling, waste minimization, energy recovery or homeland security, (2)foster innovative approaches to environmental challenges, (3)have measurable outcomes, (4)build and strengthen partnerships with state, tribal and local governments or interested public, (5)be replicable, and (6)lead to short term results. Application deadline is April 16, 2004. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/oswer/iwg/ or contact Craig W. Smith at 913/551-7683, firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration Releases 50-State Science and Technology Indicators (Capitol Update)
The Technology Administration (TA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce has released its guide to science and technology (S&T) indicators for all 50 states. The guide, entitled "The Dynamics of Technology-based Economic Development: State Science & Technology Indicators (Fourth Edition)," provides updated information on the technology infrastructure of states (such as high school and advanced degree graduation rates), R&D investment, and the numbers of patents issued. The guide also contains a section showing changes in data for periods of up to 10 years, which TA hopes will aid efforts to track state performance trends and the impact of policy decisions. The guide is available [PDF] at: http://www.technology.gov/p_Reports.htm. The Technology Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce works to maximize technology's contribution to America's economic growth by: advocating for technology in the federal policy-making process, expanding opportunity for high-technology business, and promoting the development and commercialization of new innovations and state-of-the-art technologies.
Iowa Facilities Continue to Violate Clean Water Act: Over 70 Percent Exceeded Pollution Permits in Recent 18-Month Period (US PIRG)
According to a recent report released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), more than 60 percent of industrial and municipal facilities across the U.S. exceeded their Clean Water Act permit limits between January 2002 and June 2003, and are doing so by an average of six times their legal limits. In other words, the facilities that are violating water pollution laws are doing so badly, making enforcement of the Clean Water Act a high priority among many policymakers and environmentalists. And these findings are likely conservative, since the data analyzed includes only "major" facilities and does not include pollution discharged by hundreds of thousands of minor facilities across the country. Iowa is one of the states with the ten highest percentages of major facilities exceeding their Clean Water Act permit limits at least once, as well as one of the states with the ten highest average permit exceedances. U.S. PIRG called on the Bush administration to commit to strengthening enforcement of this landmark legislation. For more information or to view the full report, visit the U.S. PIRG at http://uspirg.org/uspirgnewsroom.asp?id2=12717&id3=USPIRGnewsroom&. U.S. PIRG is the national lobby office for the state Public Interest Research Groups.
March 24, 2004, Marks Fifteenth Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Disaster (About Environmental Issues)
At midnight on March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez tanker ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Within six hours, at least 11 million gallons of crude oil spilled into Alaska's coastal waters. The Exxon Valdez spill, the most damaging in U.S. history, ranks as the number one oil spill worldwide in terms of environmental damage. The spill impacted approximately 1,300 miles of coastline line and caused the deaths of an estimated 250,000 seabirds, 2,800 sea otters, 300 harbor seals, 250 bald eagles, up to 22 killer whales, and billions of salmon and herring eggs. While Exxon spent $2.2 billion on cleanup efforts, much of which was reimbursed by the insurance industry, some environmental groups feel that oil companies have not made sufficient efforts to protect the environment. According to the Alaska Wilderness League, the potential for pollution has increased since the spill, as oil companies proposed to exploit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. During 20 years of oil extraction, hundreds of thousands of gallons of petroleum products have been spilled in the North Slope oil fields, and thousands of gallons of crude oil and toxic wastes are still spilled into the environment each year, averaging more than one spill each day. In addition to spills, oil companies have also been found responsible for dumping illegal hazardous waste in their oil fields. For more information about oil fields in the Alaska Wilderness, visit http://www.alaskawild.org/.
Funding Opportunity from the "Collaborative Science & Technology Network for Sustainability" Responses Due 5/21/04 (EPA)
Through the Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability, EPA’s Office of Research and Development will be funding innovative regional projects that address a stated problem or opportunity relating to sustainability and the use of science to inform design, planning and decision-making at the local, state and industrial levels. Approximately $1.5 million is expected to be available, with as many as ten $50K - $100K grants being awarded. Institutions of higher education, not-for-profit institutions located in the US, and tribal, state, and local governments are eligible to apply. Responses are due by 5/21/04, and special application instructions apply. For more information, contact Diana Bauer, EPA, at 202/343-9759, email@example.com, or visit http://es.epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2004/2004_collab_science.html#Eligibility, and refer to Sol# EPA-GRANTS-032304-001.
Iowa Air Quality Bill Rejected by Lawmakers (Quad City Times)
Iowa lawmakers seeking to establish air-quality regulations continue to battle across party lines and with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)'s Environmental Protection Commission (EPC). Democratic lawmakers rejected the first Republican attempt at rewriting the regulations, which would have taken away the authority of the DNR to set regulations on air quality until after a three-year study on odor is completed. While Republicans feel this study would create the nation’s first legitimate effort to compile data on livestock odor, Democrats feel it would simply delay action. The bill also prohibits the state from setting tougher air-quality regulations than federal standards. Democratic lawmakers feel the bill is too lenient, calling it a "right to pollute" bill. These lawmakers say they will not support the bill until it allows the DNR to establish state-specific rules, which may be tougher than federal regulations which were based on research conducted on laboratory mice more than 20 years ago rather than being based on studies that have been more recently published.
Mercury Emissions from Proposed Power Plant Raise Concerns Among Citizens and Environmentalists (Leavenworth Times)
Two 850 megawatt coal-fired power plants have been proposed by Great Plains Energy to be built near Leavenworth, KS, raising concerns about mercury emissions among citizens and environmentalists. Mercury has been shown to adversely affect the health of humans, particularly children. One of the power plants is proposed to be built on the Missouri side of the border, and the other just across the Leavenworth County line in Atchison County. These power plants would be large wholesalers supplying electricity across the US, so would not be regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission. Opponents urged Leavenworth city commissioners to recommend that the EPA request an environmental impact study from the Army Corps of Engineers before the power plants are built. While the Army Corps of Engineers have indicated that an environmental study would be conducted, opponents say that this type of study is a weaker tool, and intervention by the EPA may be needed to convince the Corps that a more comprehensive environmental impact study is needed.
Rural Nebraskans Organize to Become More Active in CAFO Policy Discussions and Decision-Making (Grand Island Independent)
Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have become a major issue for many Nebraskans who are forced to deal with quality of life concerns, as well as environmental, health, and economic issues related to industrial livestock operations. As a result, a number of Nebraska citizens have organized to become more proactively involved with the decisions that affect their lives. Many rural Nebraskans feel that elected officials are indifferent to their concerns because of the economic potential of CAFOs, despite the possible damage they may cause to the Nebraska environment, lifestyle, rural community, and health. Due to the potential impact that CAFOs may have on the lives of so many Nebraskans, it will likely remain a hot policy topic that will continue to engage Nebraska citizens, environmentalists, and policy makers in the months and years to come.
Increased Air Pollution in U.S. Cities Forces EPA to Regulate Gasoline to Reduce Ground-Level Ozone Formation (Environmental Protection Online)
EPA has ordered Denver-area gas stations to sell cleaner-burning gasoline beginning in Summer 2004 after denying a request by the Colorado Petroleum Association to allow use of gasoline with a volatility rating that exceeds Clean Air Act and EPA regulations. Last year, the Denver Metro area exceeded the new 8-hour ozone standard, forcing officials to identify strategies to lower ozone levels. The Clean Air Act and EPA regulations allow gasoline volatility of 9.0 psi or higher RVP (Reid Vapor Pressure - a common measure of gasoline volatility) during most of the year, but during the summer that limit drops to 7.8 psi RVP in the Denver-Metro area. The Colorado Petroleum Association asked EPA to waive the 7.8 psi RVP gasoline standard during Summer 2004 and allow use of 9.0 psi RVP gasoline, as has been done routinely since 1992. However, last summer's high ozone levels led to violations of EPA's more stringent 8-hour ozone standard, and EPA no longer supports allowing the higher volatility gasoline.
Second Five-year Review to Begin on Iowa Superfund Site (Charles City Press)
EPA Region 7 and the Iowa DNR have started their second five-year review of the White Farm Equipment site in Charles City, Iowa. The site occupies about 20 acres bordered by wetlands on the south and northwest and consists of an old sand/gravel quarry where manufacturing wastes were disposed. The City of Charles City draws its drinking water from the aquifer underlying the site, and runoff from the site flows into the Cedar River. The White Farm Equipment Company generated foundry sand, sludges, and dust from air pollution control equipment since the 1920's. In 1986, Allied Products Company purchased the operation, and in the same year, EPA determined the arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, zinc, and VOCs from the former waste disposal practices were contaminating the ground water. Allied Products was designated as the responsible party and agreed to a site cleanup, which included groundwater sampling, physical inspections, and performed maintenance of the cap. The first five-year review, conducted in 1999, found the site to be protective of human health and the environment. During this second five-year review, EPA and DNR will inspect the site and study site information to make sure the remedy continues to be protective.
"Million Solar Roofs Initiative's Grant Program for State and Local Partnerships" Proposal Deadline is 4/30/04 (DOE)
The US Department of Energy (DOE) is soliciting grant applications from State and Local Partnerships under the Million Solar Roofs (MSR) Program. DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy will consider proposals that further the work of State and Local Partnerships, including partners in the building industry, state and local governments, utilities, the solar energy industry, financial institutions and non-governmental organizations, to remove market barriers to solar energy use and to develop and strengthen local demand for solar energy products and applications. For applicants to be considered, they must be or become MSR partners and be capable of installing a minimum of 500 solar energy systems by 2010. A complete description of partnerships and their representative activities can be found on the MSR website at http://www.MillionSolarRoofs.org. Two types of grants are available: Phase 1 - New Partnership grants, and Phase 2 - Meeting the Commitment grants. DOE anticipates funding approximately 30 to 40 grants in the amount of $10,000 to $50,000 each. Applications are due by 8 pm EST on Friday, April 30, 2004. For details about the solicitation and instructions on how to apply, view "Funding Opportunity Announcement number DE-PS26-04NT42089" on DOE'S IIPS web site at http://e-center.doe.gov/iips/faopor.nsf/8df825feb86675de852564650046faea/fbe8d2851e7ce63a85256e59005c5fd2?OpenDocument.
Some Warn that the Bush Administration Uses "Sound Science" to Promote Science Policies Corrupted by Political Considerations (By Chris Mooney, syndicated)
A recent article by Chris Mooney warns that President Bush and members of his administration are using "science" as a means of justifying predetermined political conclusions. Phrases such as "sound science" and "peer review" are often used, particularly in discussions about environmental policy, in an effort to assure constituents that administrative decisions are being made based on the best available scientific research and review. But many in the scientific community dispute this claim, and a recent statement by the Union of Concerned Scientists charges that Bush has undermined the role traditionally played by scientific information in policymaking. Mooney concludes by saying that although science shouldn't dictate political choices, policymakers should consult with scientists and consider pertinent scientific information when making their decisions. To view the full-length article, visit the WashingtonPost.com (registration may be required), the SierraActivist.org, or Google "beware sound science".
*Chris Mooney, a freelance writer living in Washington, is writing a book on the politicization of science under President Bush.
Watershed Protection Projects Proposed for Three Rural Iowa Watersheds (Mitchell County Press-News)
Three Iowa watersheds have been targeted by several groups who hope to prevent pollution, improve water quality, and protect nearby streams from soil erosion. The watershed projects encompass the Burr Oak watershed (roughly 9,500 acres), the Turtle Creek watershed (roughly 12,000 acres), and the Little Cedar River watershed (161,488 acres). The projects are designed to prevent pollution by manure, sediment runoff, and nutrients from agriculture. The proposed project objectives for the two creeks include: (1) educating landowners to select chemicals that are less water soluble, (2) reducing pollution from manure runoff by working with the 80 percent of area landowners with livestock to develop proper manure utilization plans and to construct 12 new manure storage facilities, and (3) reducing the sediment delivered to the streams by using a variety of best management practices to reduce stream bank and sheet and rill erosion. The Little Cedar River project intends to focus on the stream corridor and critical areas within one mile on either side of the Little Cedar River corridor. The long range goal is to establish a riparian zone with permanent cover along 75 percent of the Little Cedar corridor by encouraging landowners to implement water protection practices such as livestock exclusion fencing, sediment trapping structures, development of corridor wetlands, stream bank stabilization practices and in-stream channel stabilizing practices. Potential participating agencies and organizations for these projects include the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa DNR, ISU Extension, USDA, St. Ansgar FFA, Cedar Valley RC&D, Mitchell County Conservation Board, and Don Lund of the Hawkeye Fly-Casters Assoc., Chickasaw SWCD, Floyd SWCD, Mitchell SWCD, Chickasaw County Conservation Board, Floyd County Conservation Board, and the Mitchell County Economic Development Board.
EPA "Compliance Assistance Centers" Provide Sector Specific Environmental Resources (US EPA)
In recognition of the challenges faced by small- and medium-sized businesses, local governments, and Federal agencies, EPA has partnered with industry, academia, environmental groups, and other government agencies to create sector specific Compliance Assistance Centers. Each Center helps businesses and other agencies by providing relevant environmental compliance resources such as pollution prevention strategies, technology databases, regulatory explanations and updates, compliance tools, and related links. Compliance Centers currently available include:
*Construction Industry Compliance Assistance Center,
*Environmental Compliance for Automotive Recyclers,
*Local Government Environmental Assistance Network,
*National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center,
*National Metal Finishing Resource Center,
*Paints & Coatings Resource Center,
*Printed Wiring Board Resource Center,
*Printers National Environmental Assistance Center,
*Transportation Environmental Resource Center.
For more information, visit the Compliance Assistance Homepage at www.assistancecenters.net.
National Research Council Climate Change Report Urges More Focus on Funding and Research to Improve Understanding and Support Decision-Making (National Academies)
According to a recent report from the National Academies' National Research Council, the Federal government's new strategic plan for climate change research is much improved, but still lacks commitments to fund many of the newly proposed activities. The plan was reviewed by the NRC after being written by the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP). In its revised plan, CCSP tackles a wider array of research activities than the government had previously pursued and emphasizes achieving a better understanding of how climate change will affect ecosystems and people, as well as on research to support decisions about how to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The revised plan makes a more explicit connection between research and the development of technologies to address climate change. The NRC review committee concluded that CCSP needs to secure sufficient funding since their current budget does not appear capable of successfully supporting all of the activities outlined in the strategic plan. The purpose of the plan's proposed synthesis and assessment reports also must be clarified, in order to ensure that these reports meet the needs of decision-makers who must confront the effects of climate change and who consider policies to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. These reports also should provide periodic assessments of the effects of climate change, as specified in the 1990 Global Change Research Act, and help evaluate progress toward the objectives of the program. The NRC committee also stated that CCSP must ensure the scientific independence and credibility of its research efforts due to the potential of a real or perceived political influence that could discredit the program. The report, entitled "Implementing Climate and Global Change Research: A Review of the Final U.S. Climate Change Science Program Strategic Plan" (NAS Rept., 2004) is available at http://books.nap.edu/catalog/10635.html. For additional
information about the Administration's FY05 Budget Request, visit EngineeringPolicy.org.
AWMA-Midwest Section Co-sponsors the Annual Region VII Environmental Symposium Scheduled for April 20-21, 2004 (AWMA-Midwest)
The AWMA-Midwest Section is co-sponsoring the annual Region VII Environmental Symposium, scheduled for April 20-21, 2004, in Kansas City. As a co-sponsor, all AWMA-Midwest members are entitled to save $100 off the registration fee. This unique conference is designed exclusively for Region VII industry, manufacturing and utilities, and will focus on practical regulatory, compliance and enforcement issues. Speakers will include corporate experts from three major U.S. companies: Ford Motor Company, Wal-Mart, and Tyson Foods. Each speaker will discuss the unique environmental issues they face and the innovative and practical approaches they have adopted to meet these challenges. Specific sessions on this year's agenda include: "Personal Environmental Criminal Liability," "Spills, Thrills, and Chills: Straight Talk about Release Reporting," "The Future of New Source Review," and "Air Compliance Planning." Sponsors for the Region VII Environmental Symposium include: Associated Industries of Missouri, Regulatory Environmental Group for Missouri (REGFORM), Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Chamber, Iowa Association of Business and Industry, the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Midwest Section of the Air & Waste Management Association. For more information, contact Jan Schanbacher with Associated Industries of Missouri at 573/634-2246. A program agenda can also be viewed at: http://www.aimo.com/events/04RegionVIIProgram.pdf. Those interested in exhibiting at the conference, visit: http://www.aimo.com/events/04RegionVIIExhibitor.pdf.
EPA Proposal to Dispose of Low-Activity Nuclear Waste in Community Landfills Draws Fire (About Environmental Issues)
EPA's recent proposal to allow nuclear waste to be dumped in standard community landfills or other non-licensed facilities has drawn fire from Public Citizen, a national consumer advocacy organization that represents consumer interests in government. The EPA is considering a plan to allow low-activity radioactive waste to be disposed in community landfills that are not specifically designed to contain it. EPA worked with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to develop the deregulatory rulemaking, which would save the nuclear industry millions of waste management and disposal dollars. EPA has extended the comment period on this proposal, entitled "Approaches to an Integrated Framework for Management and Disposal of Low-Activity Radioactive Waste." The Federal Register notice of the extension can be viewed at http://www.epa.gov/EPA-WASTE/2004/March/Day-12/f5642.htm. Prepared comments may be submitted to EPA by May 17, 2004. To view Public Citizen's comments submitted to the EPA, visit http://www.citizen.org/documents/epalowlevel.pdf.
UN University Study Calls for Reduction in High Tech Trash (UN News Centre)
According to a recent United Nations University (UNU) study, the manufacture of an average desktop computer and monitor uses more than 10 times its weight in fossil fuels and chemicals. The study indicates that the construction of an average computer system requires at least 240 kg of fossil fuel, 22 kg of chemicals and 1,500 kg of water – or 1.8 tons in total, which is much more materials-intensive than making other machines such as cars or refrigerators that require only one or two times their weight in fossil fuels. The report studied the environmental impact of the IT revolution and the negative impacts associated with the more than 130 million computers sold each year. UN co-editors of the study called for government incentives to extend the life of PCs and to reduce the frequency with which people discard computers for newer models. They also identified several other potential environmental consequences of the PC boom, such as exposure to hazardous materials during computer manufacturing and/or disposal of used computers in landfills. For more information, visit the UN News Centre site at http://www.un.org/News/.
Iowa Town Makes Plans to Help Control Water Pollution with $11.9 Million Sewer Upgrade (Quad Cities Times)
The Clinton, Iowa, sewer system, formerly comprised of 100-year-old pipes and pumps, used to send all raw sewage and storm water directly into the Mississippi River. While most of the city's sewage is now processed through the wastewater treatment plant built in the 1960s, sewage continues to overflow from a number of points along Clinton’s riverfront when heavy rains hit. As a result, federal environmental protection officials are now requiring that the Iowa town protect the river by changing its sewer and wastewater system in a major $11.9 million project. According to city administrators, the EPA has been reviewing cities along the river and other bodies of water to prevent sewage overflow into public waters. Other cities with older sewer systems like Burlington, Fort Madison and Ottumwa, had been required years ago by the EPA to begin their own sewer upgrades. Clinton received its EPA permit last fall to begin the process and hired consultants to decide how the city should comply with the requirements. The work is expected to begin in 2005, with an October 2006 completion date mandated by the EPA. City officials said the deadline could be extended if the city is making progress at that time.
Proposed Plan to Regulate Mercury Emitted by Coal-fired Power Plants Causes Concern Among Environmentalists and Health Advocates (Lowell Sun - MA)
New power-plant emissions standards proposed by the Bush administration have drawn fire from environmentalists, health advocates and others who claim that the new standards violate the Clean Air Act. The concern stems from an EPA proposal to reduce mercury discharges from coal-burning power plants, the main source of mercury pollution in the United States. But industry leaders say that immediately clamping down on mercury emissions is not feasible and could increase energy bills, potentially causing a shift to higher-priced natural gas use. In addition, EPA administrators recently called for an analysis of the agency's proposed plan. While the EPA held that the analysis is part of the normal process of creating new regulations, environmental advocates say the concession validates their health concerns. Adding to the debate, EPA has been asked to conduct an investigation into allegations of industry's and utility lobbyists' influence on the agency.
The Midwest is home to a large number of coal-fired power plants, and emissions from the plants' stacks are carried many miles by prevailing easterly winds and dumped into waterways as far east as New England.
Audubon County Hog Farmer Cited for Violations (CB Nonpareil)
Lawrence Handlos, an Audubon County, Iowa hog farmer, was recently cited for water pollution and livestock confinement violations at eight of nine confinement feeding operations, with a total capacity of 49,600 hogs. The violations include an incident where an unattended manure pump hose slipped off and spilled more than 7,000 gallons of manure, some of which eventually discharged into a tributary of the West Nishnabotna River. The suit also alleges Handlos failed to adhere to a number of environmental requirements, including: submitting required manure management plans for seven of his facilities, complying with DNR directives to install appropriate drainage systems at five sites, complying with storm water discharge requirements at five sites, and implementing a pollution prevention plan. In addition, the suit alleges he failed to obtain construction permits to expand three facilities, and had a land application of 700,000 gallons of manure at one facility without an approved manure management plan. The civil lawsuit against Handlos was filed March 12, 2004, by Attorney General Tom Miller and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Online P2 Video Library Now Available at p2ric.org (P2RIC)
The Pollution Prevention Regional Information Center (P2RIC), with funding from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has created an online video library to make pollution prevention and waste reduction videos easily accessible to educators worldwide. This unique collection complements the document library implemented by the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx). The purpose of the library is to provide better access to useful resources for waste reduction educators and service providers. This invaluable online resource is the first of its kind for this subject matter. The online library is now active and continually growing. It can be accessed at http://www.p2ric.org/video/index.cfm. The library is also accessible from the P2RIC homepage under Virtual Library => Video Library. You can Watch P2 videos online or download video segments for use in PowerPoint presentations. This library offers resources of great value to educators and trainers who want to add punch to their presentations. Many organizations have been generous enough to donate the videos they have produced. If your organization has produced or knows of videos that pertain to pollution prevention and would like them to be included in this library, please contact Dan O’Dell at 402/595-1823, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To view the P2RIC Virtual Library, visit http://www.p2ric.org/Vlibrary/index.cfm.
Department of Energy Releases Research Plan for Hydrogen-Based Transportation Energy (DOE)
The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released its "Hydrogen Posture
Plan," a document outlining the activities, milestones, and deliverables that DOE plans to pursue to support America's shift to a hydrogen-based transportation energy system. The plan identifies milestones for technology development over the next decade and includes timelines that provide scientific measures to track and demonstrate progress, with market availability targeted by the year 2020. The Bush Administration's fiscal year 2005 budget request includes $227 million for research to support the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative. For more information, view the "Hydrogen Posture Plan" at www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells.
EPA Announces Newly Developed Efficiency Tool for Freight Industry (US EPA)
EPA has developed a user-friendly spreadsheet-based tool, the FLEET Performance Model, to help SmartWay Transport partners calculate fuel efficiency, carbon efficiency, and emission reductions from a variety of voluntary actions covered under the SmartWay Transport program. SmartWay Transport is a voluntary partnership between freight industry sectors and EPA that establishes incentives for fuel efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The performance model is available at http://www.epa.gov/smartway/smartway_fleets_software.htm. For more information on EPA’s FLEET Performance Model contact Matt Payne at
(734) 214-4576 or email@example.com.
EPA Welcomes New SmartWay Transport Partners (US EPA)
Thirty-seven new freight industry partners have joined EPA’s SmartWay
Transport Partnership, bringing the total number of partners to 52. SmartWay Transport is a voluntary partnership between freight industry sectors and EPA that establishes incentives for fuel efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The SmartWay Transport Partnership challenges companies to add innovative fuel saving strategies to their fleets such as reducing unnecessary engine idling; using improved aerodynamics, tires, and lubes; and increasing the efficiency and use of rail and intermodal operations. The program helps support the voluntary 18 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal set by President Bush in February of 2002. By 2012, the initiative aims to reduce up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions and 33-66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, while saving up to 150 million barrels of oil annually. For more information about the SmartWay Transport Partnership, visit http://www.epa.gov/smartway/.
EPA to Issue Special SBIR Solicitations on Pollution Prevention and Waste Minimization (US EPA)
EPA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program will issue four Phase I Solicitations on March 25, 2004. There will be special solicitations for Pollution Prevention, Waste Minimization, and Pacific Southwest Environmental Problems, as well as the regular SBIR solicitation. All solicitations will open on March 25, 2004 and close on May 25, 2004. Topics in the Pollution Prevention solicitation include: (1) automobile and other green supplier networks, (2) Hospitals for a Healthy Environment, (3) flame retardants, (4) diisocyanates, (5) fragrances, (6) industrial design and (7) printed wiring boards. Topics in the Waste Minimization solicitation include: (1) new products and technologies that reduce or eliminate generation of hazardous waste containing any of 30 Hazardous Waste Priority Chemicals and (2) clean waste-to-energy gasification technologies and systems. SBIR Phase I Solicitations will be posted on the National Center for Environmental Research website at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir. The EPA HELPLINE (800/490-9194) is also available to answer questions and provide faxed copies of the solicitation.
The EPA is one of 10 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR Program established by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 in an effort to strengthen the role of small businesses in federally funded R&D and help develop a stronger national base for technical innovation. The EPA SBIR program provides financial support to help small science and technology based firms develop new environmental technologies and ready them for commercialization. For more iformation visit the National Center for Environmental Research website at http://www.epa.gov/ncer/sbir.
New Tool Developed To Help Hog Producers Protect Environment (Crop Decisions - St Louis,MO)
A new EMS tool has been developed to provide hog producers an organized approach to identify and manage swine operations that may affect the environment, such as feeding, clean-up, waste treatment systems and spray irrigation. The tool was developed by the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance and Murphy-Brown LLC, a swine production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc. The EMS tool consists of policies and practices designed to ensure that high environmental standards are maintained at swine operations nationwide, which may lead to a number of business benefits as well. The system is being made available to all producers across the United States free of charge. For more information visit the North Carolina Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance website at http://www.p2pays.org/iso/agriculture/pork/smithfield.asp.
Region 7 Supplemental Guidance for Source Reduction Grants Now Available (EPA R7)
The Region 7 Supplemental Guidance for the Source Reduction grants is
now posted at http://www.epa.gov/region07/economics/r7_grant_opportunities.htm. The deadline for submission is April 30, 2004. For more information, contact Gary Bertram at 913/551-7533 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.epa.gov/region07/p2.
Nebraska MEP is Cosponsor of the "Southwestern Lean Manufacturing Conference" in June 2004 (Nebraska MEP)
Nebraska Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is cosponsoring a Regional Lean Manufacturing Conference in Tulsa, OK, June 16-18, 2004. This conference will address Lean concepts and techniques in the manufacturing, support and administrative areas of small to medium-sized manufacturers. The conference will include a variety of workshops featuring world-renowned speakers, as well as opportunities to learn the latest tools and technology for improving your business, such as Lean accounting, advanced Lean concepts, supply chain management, mixed model value stream, material flow for job shops, and strategic planning. CEOs, business owners, managers, supervisors, front line employees, and office employees are encouraged to attend. For more information or to register, visit www.isiworld.net/summit or call 918/712-8922.
Register Now for the Region 7 Spring Meeting April 5-7, 2004 (P2RIC)
Federal, state, local and non-profit pollution prevention service providers are encouraged to attend the Region 7 Roundtable Conference April 5–7, 2004, on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The conference will include an ethanol learning session including a tour of the Kaapa Ethanol plant and waste reduction discussions with plant engineers, an introduction to P2 opportunities presented by the MS4 program, updates on measurement, news, funding, and peer programs, and opportunities to network with P2 peers and with the P2 staff of the US Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, Sandhill Crane viewing on the Platte River will be available on April 5th and throughout the week. For more information view http://www.p2ric.org/Roundtable/2004_spring_meeting.cfm or contact Rick Yoder at 402/595-1653 or email@example.com.
Interested individuals can register the following ways:
*Online: https://nbdc.unomaha.edu/regforms/roundreg.cfm - pay with PO number or credit card
*Fax: 402-595-2385 - pay with PO number or credit card
*Mail: Mail registration form with check ($50) payable to NBDC, PO number, or credit card information to: Attn: Karen Lund, Nebraska Business Development Center, PKCC 230, Omaha, NE 68182.
*Phone: Call Karen at 402-595-3259 weekdays, 8am to 4pm.
Two-Day Watersheds Workshop Scheduled for March 24-25 in Jefferson City, MO (U of Missouri FSE)
"Resource Tools & Techniques Supporting Successful Watersheds: A Workshop" is a two-day workshop scheduled for March 24-25, 2004, at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City, MO. This workshop will assist participants with watershed inventories and assessments, watershed and water quality monitoring and modeling, ranking and/or prioritizing watersheds, and the 9 steps of watershed management planning. The target audience includes rural and urban elected officials, commission members, project stakeholders, volunteer and special interest groups, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, consultants in natural resources management, and agency personnel helping citizens in managing their natural resources. For more information visit http://www.fse.missouri.edu/waterquality/workshop/.
Iowa Farmers, Environmentalists, and Legislators Debate Over Air Quality Bill (Sioux City Journal)
Environmentalists and opponents to large-scale livestock operations voiced concerns recently about a proposal that would nullify DNR-established air quality rules for livestock confinements. Legislation pushed by Republican lawmakers, and supported by the Iowa Farm Bureau, would appoint a panel of experts to study the health effects of livestock odor before new air-quality regulations were established, a move that some opponents call a tactic to stall air quality improvement actions.
Large livestock farmers and farm groups pleaded for leniency and fairness in air-quality rules at the hearing, arguing that they care about the state's environment but want to ensure that any rules be based on sound scientific evidence. But some lawmakers question a move that would lead to the adoption of less stringent federal rules, rather than rules proposed by the state's environmental protection commission and based on scientific evidence.
Hydrogen sulfide and ammonia emissions from livestock confinements have been found to create health risks when people are exposed to them at high levels and serve as an irritant to the respiratory system at lower levels. For more information about air quality in Iowa, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Air Quality website at http://www.iowadnr.com/air/input/input.html.
Kansas National Guard Receives Top Environmental Award (Topeka Capital Journal)
The Kansas Army National Guard and Major Tony Randall, the Kansas Guard's environmental program manager, have been awarded the US Army's top prize for environmental stewardship. The Kansas Guard recently received the "Army Environmental Award for Environmental Quality," making them the best environmental steward in the US Army, including the National Guard, reserves and active duty. The Kansas Army National Guard will represent the US Army in a competition with other branches of the US military for an award from the Secretary of Defense. In February, the Kansas Army National Guard won a National Guard Bureau's Environmental Security Award. As a result, the Kansas Guard was eligible for the Army Environmental Award from the Secretary of the Army. During the past few years, the Kansas Guard has implemented a number of programs, such as the use of high-volume, low-pressure paint guns that reduce air emissions; a recycling program that has collected more than 305,000 pounds of materials in two years; a series of small-scale erosion control experiments; a comprehensive spill prevention and response program; and distance learning packages including hazard communications, pollution prevention and natural resource awareness.
Missouri Site is One of Eleven New Hazardous Waste Sites Proposed to the Superfund National Priorities List (US EPA)
EPA recently proposed 11 new hazardous waste sites to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), including the Annapolis Lead Mine in Annapolis, MO. The Superfund sites contain a wide array of contaminants, including lead, arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds, among others. The proposed sites were selected based on various factors including: risk to human health and the environment; the urgency of the need for response; projected total costs to the Fund; maintenance of a strong enforcement program; leverage of cleanups by others; and the level of support from the state, tribes, and communities. The NPL serves primarily for informational purposes, identifying for the states and the public those sites that appear to warrant remedial actions. If these sites are funded, EPA will work with states, tribes, local communities and other partners to identify land reuse opportunities. Nationally, more than 70 percent of all Superfund sites are cleaned up by those responsible for the pollution, and more than $21 billion in cleanup commitments have been provided by responsible parties. With the 11 new sites proposed to the NPL, there are now 65 sites proposed and awaiting final agency action, as well as 1,240 final sites on the NPL, bringing the final and proposed sites total to 1,305. Cleanup construction has been completed at 892 sites and is underway at 360 additional sites. For Federal Register notices and support documents for the new proposed and final sites, visit http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/newnpl.htm.
Grant Applications Available from the Missouri DNR for Funding of Projects to Fight Water Pollution (KC Star)
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is accepting applications for "319" grant funding of projects that will protect Missouri's waters from nonpoint sources of pollution. Nonpoint source pollution occurs when pollution is released from many sources, such as storm water runoff, snowmelt, and irrigation, making it difficult to identify and control pollutants like garden fertilizers, construction debris and pesticides that find their way into nearby waters. Universities and colleges, local governments and not-for-profit organizations are eligible for the funding. Grant awards typically range from $5,000 to $400,000 and projects can last up to four years. Eligible projects for funding include those that address nonpoint source pollution through information, education, demonstration and technical assistance, as well as projects that include specific monitoring, improving habitat along streambanks and a watershed-based approach to protecting rivers, lakes and streams. Research projects are not eligible. The deadline for optional one-page pre-proposals is April 5. Final applications are due by July 1. For a copy of the request for proposals or an application packet, contact Michelle Luebbert, Water Protection Program, at 1-800-361-4827 or 573-526-1599. For more information on the Water Protection Program, visit www.dnr.mo.gov/wpscd/wpcp.
US Exports to Mexico May Be Impacted as Nations Dispute about Genetically Modified Commodities and Their Effects on Human Health and the Environment (BioScience News)
Government officials, scientists and environmentalists from more than 80 nations, including Europe and the US, have disputed recently about whether genetically modified crops might benefit - or befoul - human health and the environment, with some countries demanding strict labeling and liability laws and others seeking looser guidelines. At a recent conference on biotechnology safety, divisions surfaced in discussions on how to implement the UN Cartagena Protocol, which aims to protect Earth's diversity of life from biotechnology's possible risks by ensuring countries receive enough information to let them accept or reject gene-modified imports. US officials said identification papers accompanying bio-engineered shipments meant for release into the environment - such as new varieties of corn for cultivation - shouldn't have to include details on how they've been genetically modified. Environmentalist groups accused biotech crop producers that haven't ratified the Cartagena Protocol - such as the US and Canada - of undermining the treaty by trying to persuade other countries to sign separate agreements with them on biotech shipping procedures. Meanwhile, Mexico announced it was banning imports of some genetically engineered maize - a decision that could affect its imports from the United States - in an effort to prevent genetic contamination of maize cultivated in Mexico for food. But one official says the ban will not impact trade with the United States since Mexico does not import any of the maize they are banning. Mexico last year imported 5.6 million metric tons (6.1 million short tons) of yellow corn, mostly from the US.
Airport Environmental Efforts Highlighted in Book from World's Third Busiest Airport (DFW International Airport)
Dallas-Fort Worth Airport recently released a book entitled "DFW: A Balance of Nature and Global Technology" that highlights their environmental stewardship efforts and celebrates their 30th anniversary. The book, written and produced by DFW's Environmental Affairs Department, will be made available to other airports as well as city, government, and environmental leaders. Excerpts of the publication will also be available on www.dfwairport.com. DFW's primary environmental priorities are pollution prevention, source reduction, waste minimization and continuous environmental improvements that focus on reducing air emissions and assuring that storm water quality meets the quality standards. Other priorities include improving energy efficiencies and facilitating environmentally friendly procurement policies. In addition, all 1,600 of DFW's employees must complete an extensive environmental stewardship-training program. For more information, visit the DFW Airport website at http://www.dfwairport.com.
EMS Implementation Guide for Specialty-Batch Chemical Facilities Now Available from US EPA's Sector Strategies Program (US EPA, SOCMA)
The US EPA has recently released a new EMS guide entitled "Environmental Management System (EMS) Implementation Guide for Specialty-Batch Chemical Sector." This step-by-step 'how-to' guide is based on ISO 14001 standards and conforms with EMS criteria for the National Environmental Performance Track. The EMS Implementation Guide was jointly developed by the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA) and EPA's Sector Strategies Program. Later this year, SOCMA will be incorporating EMS requirements into their new Responsible Care® Management Systems (RCMS) program. The EMS Implementation Guide will be the first step for specialty-batch chemical facilities that do not have a process in place to weave environmental decision making and improvement into their daily processes and businesses. For more information, contact Janice Bryant at 202-566-2956, or visit http://www.epa.gov/sectors/sbchemical/sb_ems.html#ems.
Missouri DNR Awards Grant to Mid-America Regional Council Solid Waste Management ((KC Star)
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $20,000 grant to the Mid-America Regional Council Solid Waste Management District, Region E, which includes Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties. These grants enable Missouri's Solid Waste Management Districts to fund operational costs, administration of activities related to implementation of the district's solid waste management plan and expenses related to the administration and operation of the district. Missouri's 20 solid waste management districts were organized to encourage regional cooperation and to help ensure proper solid waste management through waste reduction and recycling activities. The projects funded by this grant will help the Mid-America Regional Council Solid Waste Management District significantly reduce the amount of waste going to landfills, a goal created in an amendment to the Solid Waste Management Law in 1990.
Executives of Iowa-Based Company are Indicted with Others for Overboard Dumping of Oil-Contaminated Grain (US Dept of Justice)
Three senior executives of Sabine Transportation, Inc, a Cedar Rapids, IA, based company, as well as a marine superintendent and two licensed ship-board officers were indicted by a federal grand jury for their role in overboard dumping of part of an oil-contaminated grain cargo from the SS Juneau into the waters of the South China Sea in early February 1999. Sabine Transportation, Inc was at the time in the business of managing and operating US flagged oceangoing vessels transporting dry and liquid commercial cargos. Sabine admitted to discharing an oily mixture of 440 tons of diesel oil contaminated with grain at sea under the guise of it merely being an oily waste, which could be processed through an oil pollution prevention device, thus limiting oily waste discharge to the standards set by US and international law. The Sabine officers and employees were well aware, according to the allegations, that discharging the oil-laden mixture in this fashion from the SS Juneau was not feasible since the system was designed to handle liquids and not solids. Sabine agreed to pay a $200,000 criminal fine with respect to the dumping incident and an additional $1.8 million as a result of the other charges against it. The investigation was conducted by the US EPA, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, and the Environmental Crimes Section of the US Department of Justice.
Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks Available for Public Review (US EPA Federal Register)
The 1990-2002 Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks is available for public review and comment. The draft can be viewed at http://yosemite.epa.gov/oar/globalwarming.nsf/content/ResourceCenterPublicationsGHGEmissionsUSEmissionsInventory2004.html. Annual U.S. emissions for 1990-2002 are summarized and presented by source category and sector. The inventory contains estimates of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions. The inventory also includes estimates of carbon sequestration in U.S. forests. To ensure your comments are considered for the final version of the document, please submit comments by March 31, 2004. However, comments received after that date will still be welcomed and considered for the next edition of this report. Send comments to Mr. Leif Hockstad at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Environmental Protection Agency, Clean Air Markets Division (6204J), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20460, Fax: (202) 343-2356. For more information visit
National Environmental Assistance Summit Nearing Capacity (National Pollution Prevention Roundtable)
The National Environmental Assistance Summit scheduled for April 19-22 is nearing capacity. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the summit website at www.p2.org/summit2004 for registration and other conference information. This Summit will bring together individuals who work in the environmental assistance arena for sessions focusing on pollution prevention, compliance assistance, environmental policy innovations, environmental management systems, sustainability and best practices. Industry, small business and trade association representatives are encouraged to attend. The goal of the Summit is to enable members of the environmental assistance community to learn from each other how to provide more effective assistance to improve environmental performance. For more information, visit the Summit website at www.p2.org/summit2004.
EPA Announces“SMARTWAY” for Trucking Operations (US EPA)
Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska entities who are interested in the SmartWay Transport Partnership are encouraged to attend the “Alternatives to Truck Engine Idling Workshop” on June 22-23, 2004 in Des Moines, Iowa. SmartWay Transport is a voluntary partnership between various freight industry sectors and EPA that establishes incentives for fuel efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. To date, 43 companies, including 15 charter partners, have joined and committed to improve the environmental performance of their freight operations. By 2012, this initiative aims to reduce between 33 - 66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions per year. At the same time, the initiative will result in fuel savings of up to 150 million barrels of oil annually. To view an announcement on the Des Moines event, visit http://www.ctre.iastate.edu/bulletin/truck-idling.pdf. For more information on the SmartWay program, contact either Joann Jackson-Stephens, (734) 214-4276, email@example.com; or Buddy Polovick, (734) 214-4928, firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPA Region 7 Requests Proposals for Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program (EPA R7)
The EPA Region 7 Air, RCRA, and Toxics Division (ARTD) is soliciting proposals for the Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program. Region 7 is interested in supporting source reduction, pollution prevention and resource conservation projects that will provide an overall benefit to the environment by preventing the generation of pollutants at the source. The goal of this grant program is to assist businesses and industries in identifying better environmental strategies and solutions for reducing waste at the source. For more information, visit the Region 7 Grant Opportunities website at http://www.epa.gov/region07/economics/r7_grant_opportunities.htm.
FY-2004 Region 7 Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) Strategic Agriculture Request for Proposals Now on the Region 7 EPA Website (EPA R7)
EPA Region 7 is requesting proposals to help implement requirements of the FQPA and to support a transition to using less and lower risk pesticides in food production. The program supports innovative efforts that enable growers to decrease reliance on pesticides while maintaining economical outcomes, by developing, and/or applying reduced-risk alternatives and ecologically-based integrated approaches to pest management. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/region07/economics/r7_grant_opportunities.htm.
Grand Island, Nebraska Joins Groundwater Foundation (Grand Island Independent)
The city of Grand Island, Nebraska recently entered the Groundwater Guardian program of the Groundwater Foundation, underscoring their commitment to local groundwater protection. Since 1994, Groundwater Guardian has encouraged team efforts of citizens at the local level and has recognized the groundwater protection accomplishments of communities throughout the U.S. Grand Island has participated since 1996 and in 2003 was among 155 communities in 33 states and one Canadian province designated as Groundwater Guardian Communities. To enter the Groundwater Guardian program, communities form broad-based teams that work together to implement activities that address local groundwater-related concerns and priorities, such as public awareness, education, pollution prevention, public policy, or best management practices. New communities may enter the program at any time and there is no cost for participation. For more information about Groundwater Guardian or the Groundwater Foundation, visit www.groundwater.org, call (800) 858-4844, or e-mail email@example.com.
USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Grant Opportunity Deadline is March 5, 2004 (USDA)
March 5, 2004, is the application deadline for grants from the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) High Energy Cost Grant Program. Up to $11.3 million in competitive grants are available to provide
financial assistance for the improvement of energy generation,
transmission, and distribution facilities serving rural high energy cost communities. Communities qualify as extremely high energy cost communities if average home energy costs in the area to be served exceed 275% of the national average under one or more RUS high energy cost benchmarks shown in the application guide. For more information, visit http://www.usda.gov/rus/electric/hecgp2004/index.htm.
Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) Issues a Statement to Restore Scientific Integrity to Federal Policymaking (UCS)
Recently, more than 60 influential scientists - including Nobel laureates, medical experts, former federal agency directors, and university administrators - voiced their concern over the alleged misuse of science by the Bush administration in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry. A 38-page report on the accusations made by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has also been issued and is available on their website at: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/rsi/index.html. UCS is an independent organization that focuses on technical issues and has often taken stands at odds with administration policy. UCS accuses the administration of censoring and suppressing reports by scientists, stacking advisory committees with unqualified political appointees, allowing industries with conflicts of interest to influence technical advisory committees, disbanding government panels that provide unwanted advice and refusing to seek any independent scientific expertise in some cases. In response, President Bush's science advisor has stated that the report consisted of a largely disconnected list of events that did not make the case for a pattern of disrespect, misrepresentation, or suppression of good scientific advice by the administration. But UCS is concerned that input from individuals whose views are not in line with the policy inclinations of the current administration don't seem to be sought or welcomed. For more information, visit the UCS website at http://www.ucsusa.org/global_environment/rsi/index.html.
"Green Procurement" Added to the Joint Service Pollution Prevention Technical Library (Joint Service)
The Joint Service Pollution Prevention Technical Library has added a new listing of resources for purchasing more environmentally friendly products. The "Green Procurement" library site can be located at http://p2library.nfesc.navy.mil/topics/green.html and includes P2 opportunity datasheets, documents, factsheets, presentations, web links, and related resources. The Joint Service P2 Technical Library is a comprehensive resource for information on equipment, technologies, and management practices that reduce or eliminate the generation, disposal, and release of pollutants, and is useful for researching pollution prevention opportunities during P2 plan development and other projects. The website is funded by the Joint Services, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the U.S. Coast Guard and can be viewed at http://p2library.nfesc.navy.mil/index.html.
Multi-State Working Group on Environmental Performance Will Be Held April 1-2 in Des Moines (MSWG)
Iowa will host the next Multi-State Working Group on Environmental Performance (MSWG) Meeting on April 1 and 2, 2004, in Des Moines. The theme for this meeting is "Systems Innovations for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) Performance." MSWG is an organization that convenes government, non-government, business and academic interests to conduct research, promote dialogue, create networks and establish partnerships that improve the state of the environment, economy and community through systems-based public and private policy innovation. MSWG meets quarterly at various locations around the U.S., and everyone is welcome to attend. All 50 states are enrolled in MSWG, and new members are welcome.
A $45 registration fee for the Iowa quarterly meeting will be collected at the meeting, and includes three breaks and one lunch. If you are interested in attending this meeting please contact Jeff Fiagle at the Iowa DNR (phone: 515/281-5353; fax: 515/281-8895; email: firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information about MSWG visit their website at http://mswg.org/.
Air & Waste Management Association's (AWMA) Annual Conference Entitled "Sustainable Development: Gearing Up for the Challenge" Will Be Held June 22-25, 2004 (AWMA)
The Air & Waste Management Association’s (AWMA) 97th Annual Conference & Exhibition will be held in Indianapolis, June 22-25, 2004. This year’s conference is called "Sustainable Development: Gearing Up for the Challenge" and will provide leading-edge content on sustainability. Over 150 technical sessions will be offered on Air, Environmental Management, Waste, and Environmental Education. The conference will also include professional development courses, networking opportunities, a student program, technical tours, social program tours, and outreach activities, as well as the 6th International Urban Air Quality Forum, which will focus on integrated particulate matter pollution management, urban air quality sustainability, and air quality and urban-transportation planning. Early registration rates are available through March 15, 2004. For more information, visit the AWMA conference web site at: http://www.awma.org/ACE2004.
EPA Proposes Integrated Actions to Reduce Power Plant Emissions of SO2, NOx, and Mercury (US EPA)
EPA has recently proposed a set of integrated air actions that will significantly reduce levels of power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), and mercury. The proposed "Utility Mercury Reductions Rule" offers two innovative approaches for reducing by as much as 70%, the estimated 48 tons of mercury currently emitted each year by coal-burning power plants in the United States. The first approach follows traditional command-and-control models, requiring coal-fired plants to install pollution controls, while the second approach sets a mandatory, declining cap on the total mercury emissions allowed from coal-burning power plants nationwide. The combined actions are expected to significantly reduce mercury emissions and lower the levels of fine particles and ground-level ozone in the air. EPA feels that addressing SO2, NOx and mercury in an integrated fashion will produce greater health benefits than would be achieved by stand-alone regulations. Visit http://www.epa.gov/mercury/actions.htm for more information about the proposed Utility Mercury Reductions Rule, a summary of options for reducing mercury emissions, and the Interstate Air Quality Rule.
Waverly Light and Power of Iowa Is One of First U.S. Power Companies to Commit to A Shift to Become CO2-Free by Mid-Century (Environmental News Network, World Wildlife Fund)
Five electric power companies representing different geographical areas of the U.S. have committed to becoming the first U.S. power companies to support the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) "PowerSwitch! Challenge," which calls for mandatory limits on national CO2 emissions and a commitment to a clean energy action target. The five companies — Austin Energy, Burlington Electric Department, FPL Group, Inc., Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and Waverly Light and Power of Iowa — are pioneering a way to revolutionize the power sector that has traditionally relied heavily on fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, and is responsible for 37% of all man-made CO2 emissions worldwide. In addition to supporting an emissions cap, each power company has chosen at least one action target from the following:
*increasing energy efficiency by 15% by 2020
*utilizing renewables as the source for 20% of their electricity sold by 2020
*retiring the least efficient half of coal generation by 2020.
Waverly Light and Power of Iowa committed to increasing its energy efficiency by 15% by 2020. For more information, visit http://www.worldwildlife.org/climate/climatesection.cfm?sectionid=226&newspaperid=16&contentid=985.
EPA Proposes Hazardous and Solid Waste Exclusion for Industrial Wipes (US Federal Register)
EPA has proposed a conditional exclusion from the definition of solid waste for industrial wipes that are contaminated with solvent and that are sent for cleaning and reuse. They have also proposed a conditional exclusion from the definition of hazardous waste for industrial wipes that are contaminated with solvent and are sent for disposal. On March 9, 2004, a public hearing entitled "Proposed Conditional Exclusions from Hazardous and Solid Waste for Solvent-Contaminated Industrial Wipes" will be held. The EPA is also extending the comment period through April 9, 2004. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WASTE/2004/February/Day-24/f3934.htm.
Kansas Air National Guard Recently Honored with the "Secretary of the Army Environmental Award" (US Army)
The Army recently announced that the Kansas Air National Guard has been awarded the annual "Secretary of the Army Environmental Award", recognizing them for their efforts to preserve the environment and create successful environmental stewardship, while protecting the nation’s freedom. Each year, Army environmental professionals from around the world compete for recognition in the categories of natural resources conservation, cultural resources management, environmental quality, pollution prevention and environmental restoration. For details on the FY 2003 Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards, visit the U.S. Army Environmental Center’s Web site at http://aec.army.mil/. This year’s winners include:
Natural Resources Conservation, Installation – Newport Chemical Activity, Indiana
Natural Resources Conservation, Individual/Team – Thomas Bryce, Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia
Cultural Resources Management, Installation – U.S. Army Garrison, Alaska
Environmental Quality, Installation – Kansas Army National Guard
Environmental Quality, Individual/Team – Lt. Col. Ronald Swafford, Hawaii Army National Guard
Pollution Prevention, Installation – Anniston Army Depot, Alabama
Environmental Restoration, Installation – Anniston Army Depot, Alabama
Environmental Restoration, Individual/Team – Annette Island Project Delivery Team, Alaska District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Environmental Excellence in Weapon System Acquisition – Project Management Office, Brigade Combat Team, Michigan.
EPA Requests Proposals for Source Reduction Assistance Grant Program for FY 2004 (EPA)
EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT) and EPA's Regional Pollution Prevention Program Offices expect to have approximately $1 million available in FY 2004 to fund approximately fifty proposals supporting source reduction/pollution prevention and resource conservation activities. EPA intends to fund activities that involve but are not limited to: reducing production waste and consumption; improving facility and institutional operations by reducing pollutant use and exposure; reformulating and procuring products to reduce toxic constituents; improving reuse and recycling opportunities; reducing disposal risks; providing direct technical assistance to businesses and other organizations; encouraging green product design and manufacturing; conducting outreach; collecting and analyzing data; and integrating pollution prevention concepts in state, regional and tribal environmental media programs. Assistance under this program is available to the fifty States, the District of Columbia, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, local governments, city or township governments, independent school district governments, state controlled institutions of higher education, Federally-recognized tribal governments, non-profits other than institutions of higher education, private institutions of higher education, and community-based grassroots organizations. Eligible applicants are encouraged to establish partnerships with businesses and other environmental assistance providers to seamlessly deliver source reduction/pollution prevention assistance. Application forms can be downloaded at http://www.epa.gov/ogd/AppKit/application.htm or can be requested from: EPA, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, Pollution Prevention Division, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Mail Code 7409M, Washington, D.C. 20460. Proposals designed to benefit multiple EPA Regions and with a national or international focus should be submitted to EPA Headquarters. If a proposal is designed to benefit states, Federally-recognized tribal governments, or local jurisdictions within only one EPA Region, the proposal package should be sent to the appropriate EPA regional office. Proposals sent to EPA Headquarters must be received on or before April 16, 2004; however, the deadline for proposals sent to EPA Regional offices may vary. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/p2/pubs/2004RFP_sourcereduction.htm.
White Paper on Pollution Prevention and Homeland Security Released by National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR)
The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) has recently released the "White Paper on Pollution Prevention and Homeland Security." This paper discusses the relationship between pollution prevention (P2) and homeland security; explores the roles the P2 community can play in improving homeland security; and identifies recommendations to EPA, state agencies, industry, and others involved in homeland security. NPPR developed this white paper in the hope that it would serve as a catalyst for discussion among P2 professionals, as well as among policy makers, researchers, and other individuals who wish to determine the impacts of their programs on homeland security. The white paper can be found on the NPPR website at http://www.p2.org/whitepapers/p2_and_homeland_security.doc. For more information, contact Jeffrey J. Burke, Executive Director, National Polluiton Prevention Roundtable, 11 DuPont Circle NW, Suite 201,
Washington, DC 20036 (email@example.com).
Brownfields Grant Competition Reopened Through March 9, 2004 (US EPA)
EPA is reopening the competition for the 2004 National Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants, and is accepting proposals through March 9, 2004. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2004, which President Bush signed into law on January 23, 2004, temporarily expands the number of brownfields sites that are eligible for funding under EPA's brownfields assessment, revolving loan fund, and cleanup grants awarded under CERCLA section 104(k). For details on the competition, view the Federal Register notice and the Addendum to the Proposal Guidelines for Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grants (Publication Number: EPA-500-F-03-244) at: http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-WASTE/2004/February/Day-10/f2819.htm. For more information, contact the US EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, Office of Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment, at 202-566-2777.
National Research Council (NRC) Recommends Changes to Air Quality Management in the U.S. (NRC)
In January 2004, the National Research Council's (NRC) Committee on Air Quality Management published a report that assessed governmental clean air efforts and recommended that changes be made to current air quality management methods. In the report, "Air Quality Management in the United States," the Committee concluded that implementation of the Clean Air Act (CAA) has resulted in substantial reductions in emissions, although changes would foster future improvements. The NRC also recommended environmentally protective and cost-effective multipollutant strategies, and suggested regulating groups of pollutants rather than one particular pollutant at a time. In addition, the report suggested that the EPA be granted more authority by Congress to address multistate and international transport of air pollutants. For more details, view the report at http://books.nap.edu/catalog/10728.html.
President Bush's FY 2005 Budget Allocates an Increase in Funds for the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA)
President Bush's 2005 budget provides $7.76 billion for the US EPA, a $133 million increase over the President's 2004 budget request. According to an EPA Press Release, some of the highlights of the proposed budget include: a total of $210 million for Brownfields cleanup, $1.4 billion for the Superfund, $45 million for the Great Lakes Legacy Program, $25 million for the Targeted Watersheds Program, $20 million for a new water-quality monitoring initiative, and $1.25 billion for EPA categorical State grants, the highest level in EPA history. For more information visit:
"Water Law, Policy and Science Conference" Scheduled for March 4-5, 2004, in Lincoln, NE (Omaha World Herald)
UNL's new Water Resources Research Initiative will host the "Water Law, Policy and Science Conference" in Lincoln, NE, March 4-5, 2004. This conference will explore a wide range of water-related local and nationwide issues, including sustainable water management, the future of water policy, how to use science to resolve water conflicts, security, agriculture, and the value of water. This conference is open to the public and is of special interest to natural resource managers, policy makers, and attorneys. For more information and registration, contact Jacki Vogel of UNL's School of Natural Resources (402-472-7550 or firstname.lastname@example.org), or visit the conference web-site at http://www.snr.unl.edu/waterconference2004/.
National Academy of Sciences Skeptical About Hydrogen Car Initiative Timeline (NAS)
A new report by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) casts doubt on the President's proposed hydrogen car program timeline as presented in his January 2003 State of the Union Address. During the address, the President announced that the goal of the hydrogen fuel based FreedomCAR initiative is to make it "practical and cost-effective for large numbers of Americans to choose to use clean, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020." While the NAS report does acknowledge the feasibility of a wholesale shift to a hydrogen economy, NAS contends that the timeline might be a bit unrealistic. The report also recommends that hydrogen should be part of “a balanced, overall DOE national energy R&D effort.” For more information, view the NAS report at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309091632/html/.
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Announces Environmental Scores for 2004 Cars and Tracks (ACEEE)
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently announced this year's "Greenest" and "Meanest" vehicles, as well as environmental scores for all model year 2004 cars and passenger trucks. The vehicle scores are part of ACEEE's Green Book® Online, which helps consumers compare vehicles on the basis of a "Green Score," a measure that incorporates tailpipe emissions, fuel consumption, and the emissions of gases that cause global warming. The top five "Greenest" vehicles of model year 2004 are Honda's natural gas-powered Civic GX, followed by Honda's hybrid-electric two-seater Insight, Toyota's hybrid-electric mid-size sedan Prius, the Honda Civic Hybrid, and the Toyota Echo. Others in the top twelve are conventional gasoline vehicles from Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, and Scion. The 2004 "Meanest" vehicles list, once again dominated by large SUVs and other popular domestic and foreign nameplates, includes vehicles with a combination of poor fuel economy and mediocre tailpipe emissions. In addition to the "Greenest," "Meanest," and best-in-class lists, GreenerCars.com also contains articles on model year 2004 highlights, consumer information on vehicles and the environment, as well as each model's fuel economy, health-related pollution impacts, global warming emissions, and estimated fuel expenses. For more information, visit the web-site at http://www.greenercars.com/indexplus.html.
"Water Stewards Network" Promotes Water Issue Awareness and Encourages a Shift in Water Management Strategies (Water Stewards Network)
The "Water Stewards Network" is a project working to unite individuals and organizations to restore and preserve the world's water resources. It strives to build cohesiveness among the water movements and networks emerging around the world and to emphasize the theme of stewardship in the global dialogue. The network provides a number of valuable resources designed to raise awareness about global water issues and disseminates information about sustainable approaches to water management. Resources include a free electronic newsletter, educational tools for classrooms and educators, and networking opportunities using a database of water-related organizations around the world. For more information, visit their website at http://www.WaterStewards.org.
Minnesota's "Center for Producer-Owned Energy" Supports Farmer-Owned Renewable Energy Businesses (Agricultural Marketing Research Center)
The USDA recently announced funding of $1 million for Minnesota's "Center for Producer-Owned Energy" (web-site not yet operational). The Center has been created to support the development of farmer-owned value-added businesses related to the production of renewable energy and the marketing and utilization of related products and byproducts. The Center will provide technical, business and organizational outreach assistance, including product development support, marketing assessments, laboratory services, engineering services, business planning, market development assistance, and pre-development feasibility grants. This USDA-supported project will be managed by the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) in alliance with the Center. For more information, contact Max Norris (email@example.com, 507-537-7440) or Edgar Olson (firstname.lastname@example.org, 218-281-7600) at the AURI.
"Environmental Health Perspectives" Research and News Journal Available On-line (EHP)
Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) is a peer-reviewed journal that provides current, credible, peer-reviewed research and news on environmental factors that affect human health. EHP is a publication of the Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). Full articles are now available online at ehponline. Seventeen annual issues include current information on environmental health issues, as well as monthly sections devoted to children’s health and environmental medicine, a toxicogenomics research section published in separate quarterly issues, and an annual review issue. Publications of the National Toxicology Program including the Report on Carcinogens are also available on ehponline. Visit Environmental Health Perspectives at:
Submetering Promotes Water Conservation by Encouraging Unit Based Pricing (National Real Estate Investor)
Water submetering has been shown to reduce water usage in submetered properties by as much as 39% compared to properties that share one water meter. While submetering promotes water conservation by encouraging unit based pricing, it has not been widely used because of EPA's stipulation (Safe Drinking Water Act, 1974) that states that property owners were subject to the Act's water quality requirements, including periodic testing and supervision by a certified water operator. These stipulations deterred many property owners from issuing individual water bills. In December 2003, the EPA announced a change in policy, allowing property owners to submeter water usage and thus help reduce the water usage of their residents. The ruling called for a policy reversal, stating that properties using a billing process “by which a property owner (or association of property owners, in the case of co-ops or condominiums) bills tenants based on metered total water use” are not subject to the Act's regulations. While this change is encouraging, there is still work to be done, particularly because the ruling does not address alternative billing methods that also have a positive affect on water usage in properties where submetering is not an option.
Early Registration Deadline for "National Environmental Assistance Summit" Extended to February 20th, 2004 (National Pollution Prevention Roundtable)
The early registration deadline for the National Environmental Assistance Summit scheduled for April 19-22, 2004, in Baltimore, MD, has been extended. Early registration will continue through close of business on February 20th. The registration fee will then increase from $295 to $375 per person. Visit the Summit web-site at http://www.p2.org/summit2004/ for more information about conference speakers, agenda, group rates, and other conference information.
New Solar Power Web-Site Provides Information and Resources for the Midwest (Iowa DNR)
A new Web site provides photovoltaic (PV) information and materials for seven states in the Midwest. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, the "Solar Power in the Midwest" site offers resources for consumers and professionals on incorporating PV into buildings. The site includes a "yellow pages" of resources, case studies, links to state and national sites, and educational materials. Resources from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin are included. Solar professionals can request to have their information included on the site by contacting the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Contact: Dave Evans, (515) 281-6150, Dave.Evans@dnr.state.ia.us
EPA's AgSTAR National Conference is March 24-25, 2004, in St.Louis (EPA)
The U.S. EPA's AgSTAR National Conference "Anaerobic Digestion for Livestock Waste Management & Energy Production," will be held in St.Louis, MO, on March 24-25, 2004. This 2-day conference will highlight the status and future direction of anaerobic digestion of animal wastes. The conference is geared toward the technical, state of the art energy markets and utility business models. The conference will discuss the benefits of anaerobic digestion with respect to reduction of the impacts of animal wastes on air and water quality, the economic feasibility of anaerobic digestion, and the assistance and incentives available to encourage the utilization of this technology. Individuals interested or involved in the design, financing, operation, or regulatory oversight of animal waste management systems or in the development of alternative sources of energy will learn about the latest advances and network with people currently using this technology. For more information, visit the conference Web site at http://www.epa.gov/agstar/conference.html or contact ERG Conference Services Division at 781-674-7272 or email@example.com.
Internet Presentation on Energy Performance for New Building Design is Scheduled for February 10, 2004 (ENERGY STAR)
An Internet presentation entitled "Achieve Energy Performance Goals for New Building Design" is scheduled for Tuesday, 2/10/04, from 1:00-1:45 PM, EDT. This presentation describes how to use ENERGY STAR's software tool "Target Finder," and how it complements energy simulation modeling and the LEED rating system. Target Finder takes rudimentary building and occupant data and yields the annual energy use value required if the building is to perform in the top 25 percent of U.S. building stock. Target Finder and integrated design assistance has been developed for office buildings and other medium to large scale buildings such as schools, hospitals and hotels. The presentation also presents strategies that enhance performance and illustrates how building owners and designers can evaluate and achieve energy-based design targets. ENERGY STAR offers additional presentations on topics such as: Benchmarking Tool/Portfolio Manager, Money for Your Energy Upgrades, The Five-Stage Approach to Building Upgrades, Cost Savings through ENERGY STAR Purchasing, and Monitor Power Management. To see the schedule or to register, visit www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=business.bus_internet_presentations. There is no cost for participation. You simply view the presentation on your office computer and converse with the presenter using a toll-free telephone line. For more information on saving money and preventing pollution through energy efficiency, visit http://www.energystar.gov.
Risk Management Program (RMP) Workshop Scheduled for February 25, 2004, in Grand Island, NE (EPA R7)
A Risk Management Program (RMP) workshop will be held on February 25, 2004, from 9 am to 4 pm (CST) at the Midtown Holiday Inn in Grand Island, NE. This program will be hosted by the Ag Coop Safety Directors and presented by representatives from the U.S. EPA. The program will cover four main topics: requirements for 5-year update to RMPlans, recent changes to the regulations at 40 CFR Part 68, EPA’s expectations regarding implementation of Prevention Programs, and EPA’s compliance assistance and inspection programs. This program is intended for environmental safety and compliance representatives and/or persons responsible for implementation of the requirements of the Clean Air Act Section 112(r) and the Chemical Accident Prevention Provisions (CAPP) found at 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 68 at regulated facilities. Participants must register ($30 fee, cash or check payable at workshop) by submitting name and phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to: Aurora Cooperative Elevator, Attn: Doug Salmon, PO Box 209, Aurora, NE, 68818. Lodging arrangements must be made on your own. For more information, contact US EPA Region 7 representatives Scott Hayes (913-551-7670, email@example.com) or Herb Zirschky (913-551-7452, firstname.lastname@example.org). Additional workshops are being planned in other Region 7 States.
"Virtual Plant Tour" Provides P2 Techniques for Chemistry Industry (ChemAlliance)
ChemAlliance's "Virtual Plant Tour" provides a factory-level view of environmental regulations, as well as applicable pollution prevention and management practice techniques. In addition to a process-oriented overview of regulatory requirements, the virtual tour provides more than 350 pollution prevention case studies and 200 good management practices, each linked to specific process operations and site locations where they can be applied. ChemAlliance is operated by a partnership of environmental professionals in academia, government and industry, and provides up-to-date information concerning environmental regulations and P2 opportunities affecting the chemical industry.
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality "Consultants' Day" is March 11, 2004 (Nebraska DEQ)
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will be holding its annual Consultants’ Day on March 11, 2004, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Lancaster County Extension Office. Consultants are invited to attend to obtain more detailed understanding of state environmental regulations and to discuss issues with DEQ staff. Registration is required. Registration forms are available on the DEQ web-site at http://www.deq.state.ne.us/ and must be returned no later than March 2, 2004, to: Steve Stevenson, Environmental Assistance Division, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, P.O. Box 98922, Lincoln, NE 68509-8922. For more information, contact Tom Franklin at email@example.com or (402) 471-8697.
NREL Seeks Subcontract Agreements for Analysis & Technical Assistance (NREL)
As a part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) mission to implement the U.S. DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy R&D programs, NREL conducts a broad range of technical, economic, financial and organizational studies and analyses. In order to draw upon expertise beyond its own capabilities, NREL seeks to establish subcontract agreements to perform specific tasks that shall be defined by NREL on an as-needed basis. Work areas include: Technology and Applications Analysis, Market Analysis, Policy and Benefits Analysis, and Program Analysis and Evaluation. Sub-areas of interest include but are not limited to: Hydrogen Economy Issues, Distributed Energy Resource Market Issues, Representation of Clean Energy Technologies in Energy Models, Life Cycle Assessments, and Green Power Market Analysis. Interested organizations should respond by 2/27/04. For more info, contact Laura Hughes, NREL, at (303) 384-7347 or visit: http://www.nrel.gov/business_opportunities/solicitations_rfps.html.
Refer to Sol# RCX-4-44402.
Panel Seeks Nominations for Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award (SBAP/SBO)
The Steering Committee for National Small Business Assistance and Ombudsman Program (SBAP/SBO) is seeking nominations for the first annual "Small Business Environmental Stewardship Award." The award
recognizes small businesses and/or trade associations that have shown
dedication and commitment to environmental stewardship by their exemplary performance in one or more of the following areas: pollution prevention, reducing emissions, emission control and/or community air quality leadership. Individuals, businesses and organizations may nominate themselves or others for the award by submitting a completed nomination form or by completing the form online at http://www.smallbiz-enviroweb.org/sba/awards_smallbusiness_2004.html. Applications are due by March 1, 2004. A luncheon to honor the winner or winners will be held in Sacramento, CA, on June 3, 2004.
The Steering Committee represents delegated 507 Small Business Assistance Programs throughout the nation and is part of a program that was designed by the U.S. EPA to comply with the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. More information about the Small Business Assistance Programs and the award is available at: http://www.smallbiz-enviroweb.org.
State Energy Program (SEP) Special Projects Funding Available (DOE)
The U.S. Department of Energy requests proposals for State Energy Program (SEP) Special Projects. The goal of the Special Projects Program is to assist states to accelerate deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies; facilitate the acceptance of emerging and underutilized energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies; and increase the responsiveness of Federally funded technology development efforts to private sector needs. Funding areas include: Clean Cities/Alternative Fuels, Industrial, Building Codes and Standards, Rebuild America,
Building America, FEMP, Solar, Wind, Distributed Generation, and
Biomass. Applications must be submitted by state or territorial Energy Offices or other agencies responsible for the lead administration of the SEP. Cost share, funding amounts and due dates vary by project area. Due date range is 3/29/04 to 4/2/04. For more info, visit: https://e-center.doe.gov/iips/faopor.nsf/1be0f2271893ba198525644b006bc0be/200aea6f25de647185256e1c007b1286?OpenDocument.
Brownfields 2004 National Conference Scheduled for September 20-22, 2004 (US EPA)
"Brownfields 2004" is the official, EPA-cosponsored national conference focused on redeveloping America’s Brownfield properties. This national event brings together stakeholders from the private sector, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations for three days of programming and networking. The conference will include more than 125 education sessions with over 200 speakers, as well as plenary sessions, mobile workshops, an exhibit hall with more than 160 brownfield vendors, numerous meetings and events for networking, and a Technical Program that will feature a variety of educational sessions. Organizations are encouraged to partner with and support conference sponsors in their efforts to promote P2 and prevent future Brownfields. For more information, visit the conference website - www.brownfields2004.org - or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Television Special about Watersheds to Air on The Weather Channel February 4, 2004 (US EPA)
A half-hour television special about watersheds called "After the Storm" has been co-produced by the US EPA and The Weather Channel and will premier on The Weather Channel on Wednesday, 02/04/04, at 8 pm and 11 pm EST. Additional showings are set for Sunday, 05/09/04, at 8:30 and 11:30 pm EST, and Saturday, 06/26/04, at 8:30 and 11:30 pm EST. This special will address the threats facing U.S. waters from polluted runoff and will show the connection between weather and watersheds and the importance of watershed protection. Three case studies — Santa Monica Bay, the Mississippi River Basin/Gulf of Mexico, and New York City — illustrate how polluted runoff threatens watersheds highly valued for recreation, commercial fisheries, navigation, and drinking water. In addition, the special offers solutions and useful tips on how people can help make a difference, and shows how some communities and private companies are getting involved through low impact development. Viewers are encouraged to visit the EPA web site – www.epa.gov/weatherchannel - for more information about what they can do, including a free brochure about stormwater pollution. The US EPA will eventually gain rights to the special and intends to make "After the Storm" available to other television stations and educational organizations interested in broadcasting the show.
Applied Environmental Management Systems in Agriculture Conference Announced for May 25 and 26, 2004 (SES, Inc.)
The U.S. EPA has announced a two-day conference focusing on environmental management systems (EMS) and how these systems relate to food production and processing. This national conference, co-sponsored by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and SES, Inc. of Lenexa, Kan., will be held May 25-26, 2004 in Kansas City, KS. This conference will address environmental management issues in major agricultural sectors and promote a practical discussion EMS already being implemented, with emphasis on the benefits and challenges faced during the creation and implementation process. Discussions also will include information about current incentive programs and how new incentives could further promote the use of EMS in agriculture. This conference will build upon an EPA/USDA conference about Environmental Management Systems policy scheduled for March 2004. The conferences will work together to cover all aspects of how EMS can support the goals of American agriculture. Limited exhibit space will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Additional conference information, including registration forms and agenda, are available at http://www.ses-corp.com, or by contacting Frank Bryant, SES, Inc. at 1-800-897-1163.
EPA Grant Opportunity to Support Development of the ENERGY STAR Program for Existing Homes (US EPA)
The U.S. EPA has announced the availability of funds and solicits applications to advance the development of national certification of contractors who deliver whole house energy efficiency improvements in existing homes that can lead to reduced air pollution and energy savings for consumers. Proposals shall also address quality assurance mechanisms, national delivery of the program, and the impact that certified whole house contractors can have on reducing energy consumption/carbon emissions and enhancing state and local energy efficiency programs. The purpose of this grant is to support the continued development of the ENERGY STAR program for existing homes. Information concerning this grant can be found at http://www.epa.gov/air/grants_funding.html under the heading "Office of Atmospheric Programs." The solicitation number is RFA# OAR-CPPD-04-02.
Republicans Will Try Again to Pass Energy Bill (ASME Capitol Update)
Having failed by 2 votes to overcome a filibuster to H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2003, Senate Republicans will try again in the next couple of months to pass the bill. The House passed it last year, and the President has indicated that he will sign it once it passes the Senate. There are unconfirmed reports that Senate leaders have persuaded two Democrats to switch their votes, allowing the bill to go to a vote in the full Senate. Some Washington observers believe that the fact Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) has drawn a strong challenger in his bid for re-election will make him more likely to push harder for Senate passage of the bill this year. South Dakota is a heavily agricultural state that would greatly benefit from provisions in the bill mandating increased use of ethanol, a fuel derived from corn. Daschle stated recently that he believes he could muster 5-6 additional Democratic votes to break the filibuster if Republicans would drop a controversial provision providing limited liability protection for manufacturers of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), a fuel additive that has been found in groundwater supplies in some states, but that has not been shown to be harmful to humans. House lawmakers from key MTBE-producing states, such as Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, had inserted the provision to protect manufacturers. The House passed the conference report with the MTBE provision included, and any change by the Senate to the conference report would have to also be approved by the House.
New Report Outlines U.S. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research and Initiatives (U.S. Climate Change Technology Program)
A recent report entitled "U.S. Climate Change Technology Program: Research and Current Activities" from the U.S. Climate Change Technology Program highlights a number of initiatives and cutting-edge technologies found in the U.S. climate change technology portfolio. A companion report, "Technology Options for the Near and Long Term", provides a more complete list of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. A number of initiatives are described on the U.S. Climate Change Technology site, including information about the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative which is outlined in the "National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap." This Roadmap outlines key issues and challenges in hydrogen energy development and suggests paths that government and industry can take to expand use of hydrogen-based energy. A 36-page [PDF] of the entire "U.S. Climate Change Technology Program: Research and Current Activities" document is available at http://www.climatetechnology.gov/library/2003/currentactivities/car24nov03.pdf.
Green Building Guide For Non-Profits Now Available (Kresge Foundation)
A new document called "How Do I Build Green?" is now available from the Kresge Foundation Green Building Initiative. This backgrounder on green building strategies was specifically written with nonprofit organizations in mind. The guide describes steps of the integrated design process -- planning, design, construction, and maintenance. Other Green Building information is available on their web-site, including documents on why to build green and how to apply for green building grants.
New EPA Region 7 Solid Waste Web Page Now Available (EPA - R7)
The EPA Region 7 Solid Waste Web Page provides an overview of the Solid Waste Program and quick links to key national, state and local resources. This easy-to-navigate site is designed to provide timely and practical information and includes over 75 topics ranging from America Recycles Day to Waste Reduction. The public will find links to State web-sites and toll-free numbers for illegal dumping reports. The regulated community will find links to State, as well as Federal, landfill regulations. Business will find links to award programs conducted by States and non-profit groups, as well as links to Region 7 and National award programs. Local government or non-profit agency’s can quickly navigate to State and Federal funding
and information sources. The Information Sources section of the site includes the 2003 Edition of "A Collection of Solid Waste Resources" on CD ROM. This latest edition contains more than 300 EPA publications and can be ordered for free on the web or by phone.
U.S. Commerce Department Issues Report That Promises More Help for Industry (US Dept of Commerce)
The Bush administration has recently published a plan that will provide support for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a network of nonprofit centers that provide technical assistance to small and medium-size factories to try to make them more competitive. The report, entitled "Manufacturing in America" offers a comprehensive strategy to address the challenges faced by the U.S. manufacturing industry and is available at http://www.commerce.gov/DOC_MFG_Report_Complete.pdf. The Bush administration has developed this strategy in an effort to grow the manufacturing industry and create new jobs.
DOE and USDA Jointly Seek Biomass Research and Development Research Grant Funding Proposals (FIEN)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) jointly announce the availability of fiscal year 2004
(FY04) funds and solicit applications for financial assistance addressing research, development, and demonstration of biomass based products, bioenergy, biofuels, biopower, and related processes. This funding opportunity is intended to promote greater innovation and development related to biomass, and to support Federal policy calling for greater use of biomass-based products, feedstock production, and processing and conversion. This year's focus is on development and demonstration projects that lead to greater commercialization. For more information, visit http://e-center.doe.gov/iips/faopor.nsf/8373d2fc6d83b66685256452007963f5/f6cfe64b2b40f85e85256e0600597fcf?OpenDocument. Or view the solicitation through IIPS at http://e-center.doe.gov by browsing Financial Assistance Opportunities by "Contracting Activity" and selecting the "Golden Field Office" folder. DOE will not issue paper copies of the solicitation. Applications are due to DOE by 03/26/04. The DOE contacts are Grant Officer Mary Hartford (fax: 303-275-4788; e-mail: Mary.Hartford@go.doe.gov), or Pat Liles (fax: 303-275-4788; e-mail: Pat.Liles@go.doe.gov).
Staples Spearheads a Computer Take-Back Pilot Program (Capitol Reports)
U.S. EPA has announced a new partnership with Staples Inc. and the Product Stewardship Institute to test a pilot take-back program designed to distribute used electronics to recyclers via reverse distribution efforts. Under the partnership with Staples and the Product Stewardship Institute, electronics manufacturers Apple, Brother, Dell, Epson, Intel, Lexmark, Panasonic, Sharp, and Sony will pay for the recycling of their name brand products taken back to Staples. The states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire will undertake the first pilot project in 26 retail stores, and additional pilot projects are expected to be conducted in the Pacific Northwest and Minnesota in the coming year. The partnership is part of the EPA's PLUG INTO e-CYCLING campaign to promote electronics recycling by working with manufacturers and retailers.
ENERGY STAR Internet-based Training Sessions and Presentations Available (ENERGY STAR)
EPA’s ENERGY STAR offers a number of free Internet-based training sessions and presentations that demonstrate how to incorporate energy efficiency into an organization’s planning process. These resources are available to help organizations further their partnership with ENERGY STAR and/or to educate already active staff about the depth of ENERGY STAR's resources. Participants in these live sessions interact via telephone with financial or energy experts while logged into a presentation on the Internet. For more information, visit http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=business.bus_internet_presentations.
EPA charges DuPont hid Teflon's risks (Chicago Tribune)
More than 50 years after DuPont started producing Teflon near this Ohio River town, federal officials are accusing the company of hiding information suggesting that a chemical used to make the popular stick- and stain-resistant coating might cause cancer, birth defects and other ailments.
NREL Engineers Advance Non-CFC, Energy Efficient Desiccant Cooling (Sustainable Practices-EPA R8)
At the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), engineers have been researching desiccant cooling and dehumidification technologies that don’t require ozone-depleting refrigerants and which can use solar thermal energy or waste heat. In a stand alone desiccant cooling system, air is first dried, then cooled by a heat exchanger and a set of evaporative coolers. The desiccant is then regenerated by thermal energy supplied by the sun, waste heat, or natural gas. The system is free of CFC and HCFC refrigerants and can help control humidity independent of temperature. In supermarket freezer applications, this can reduce frost build-up on frozen products, extending product shelf life and contribute to a drier ambient environment for humans working or shopping in the store. For more information, visit http://www.nrel.gov/desiccantcool/tech.html.
Congressional Budget Office Says Higher Gas Taxes Better than CAFE Increase for Reducing Gas Usage (ASME Capitol Update)
In a recent report, the Congressional Budget Office stated that significantly increasing (by at least 46 cents-per-gallon) the gasoline tax would be more effective at reducing gasoline consumption than would raising corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for automakers. While people are more likely to conserve fuel if it costs more, the report implies that increased CAFE standards may actually result in increased driving because of enhanced automobile fuel economy. The report states that both efforts would reduce gasoline consumption, but the higher tax would reduce it more. The report suggested that a 10 percent increase in CAFE standards would cost producers and consumers $3.6 billion per year, while increasing the fuel tax by 46 cents-per-gallon would cost $2.9 billion and would reduce current petroleum demand by 10 percent. The study did not appear to factor in the inevitable increase in the cost of goods and services that would result from such a steep increase in gasoline prices.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in an effort to determine whether or not CAFE standards should be increased, particularly for sport-utility vehicles. Among the proposed reform options are (1)revising the structure of light truck standards to reduce manufacturers' incentives to lower vehicle weight, (2)modernizing existing regulatory definitions to reflect today's modern and significantly different vehicle fleet, and (3)setting fuel economy standards for vehicles weighing between 8,500 and 10,000 pounds, a category that currently does not have to comply with CAFE standards.
NHTSA will accept comments until mid-March, 2004. The advance notice will be on the Internet at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/CAFE/rulemaking.htm. Written comments concerning it should be sent to the DOT Docket Facility, Attn: Docket No. NHTSA 2003-16128, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh St., S.W., Washington, DC, 20590-0001, or faxed to (202) 493-2251. The advance notice also will be available for viewing at http://dms.dot.gov/. Comments may be submitted electronically via that same web site.
New "One-Stop" Shop for Federal Grants Now Available at Grants.gov (Dept of Health & Human Services)
The U.S. government has recently unveiled a web portal that provides comprehensive access to Federal grants and allows organizations to electronically find and apply for grant opportunities from all Federal grant-making agencies. Dubbed "Grants.gov," the site links users to over 900 grant programs offered by the 26 Federal grant-making agencies that administer over $350 billion in funding distributed each year to state and local governments, academia, not-for-profits organizations, and other institutions. The site is a centerpiece of President Bush's federal "E-Government Initiative," which is intended to use the Internet to deliver government services as a way to save taxpayer dollars and facilitate citizen-to-government communications. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is the managing partner for the Federal Grants.gov initiative,and eleven other agencies and departments also act as supporting partners. For more information, see the HHS Press Release at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2003pres/20031209.html, or visit http://www.grants.gov.
Earth Day Funding Available from EPA Region 7 - Proposals Due by January 30 (EPA)
U.S. EPA Region 7 is accepting proposals for Earth Day funding from local agencies, state agencies, environmental groups and not-for-profit organizations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Proposals will be accepted for $1,000 - $5,000. These proposals should engage the community and should support EPA's mission to protect human health and the environment. Proposals should use both sides of a page and should include the name of the organization, address, contact person, phone number, and email address. Include in your proposal the following information (which will be used to evaluate proposals): how the project supports Earth Day, long-term benefits of the project, whether or not the project or work can be used again, how the community supports the project, and whether or not voluntary support from the EPA staff will be needed. For more information, contact Denise Morrison at email@example.com, or call 1-800-223-0425. Proposals are due by January 30, 2004, and winners will be notified by February 27, 2004.
EPA Launches New Environmental Technology Resource (EPA)
EPA has launched the Environmental Technology Opportunities Portal (ETOP), a network designed to promote programs that foster development of cost-effective environmental technologies and to pass on existing EPA environmental technology information. ETOP relays funding opportunities, information, and links to EPA programs that assist in development and commercialization, as well as programs that foster the use and acceptance of innovative technologies through collaborative recognition and incentive, and advocacy and information programs. ETOP keeps users up-to-date through its single portal page and associated tools, including central database searches, notifications of new funding opportunities and updates from the ETOP mailing list. For more information, visit ETOP at http://www.epa.gov/etop/.
On-line EMS Course Offers Assistance for Academic Institutions Interested in Improving Environmental Performance (U of Missouri-Rolla)
An on-line course entitled "Elements of an Effective Environmental Management System in Academia" provides instruction for colleges and universities interested in Environmental Management Systems (EMS) aimed at preventing pollution, ensuring compliance with environmental regulations, and establishing processes for continual environmental improvement. This on-line course is offered on an on-going, individualized basis, so participants can take part at their convenience. Courses are technical in nature and are worth 2.0 PDH (professional development hours). The University of Missouri-Rolla offers a number of online seminars to satisfy continuing education needs and to aid in recertification of professional engineer's licenses. For more information, visit http://campus.umr.edu/dce/noncredit/online/availablecourses/index.htm.
"Computer Procurement Network" Requests Input from State and Local Representatives (Center for a New American Dream)
The Institutional Purchasing Program at the Center for a New American Dream helps institutional purchasers buy less polluting products from less polluting companies, and is currently looking to expand state and local government representation in its Computer Procurement Network. The Network is composed of institutional purchasers and other experts who address green computer procurement issues, and convenes via conference call on a monthly basis. The Computer Procurement Network is developing guidelines for purchasing environmentally preferable computers that would eventually be used by state and local government purchasers. The Network is also harmonizing with other initiatives such as the Computer Take-Back Campaign, Health Care Without Harm, the Federal Electronics Challenge (FEC), and the Environmental Products Evaluation Assessment Tool Project (EPEAT). For more information visit THe Center for a New American Dream web-site at http://www.newdream.org/procure. To participate in the Network, please send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Edition of "What's New in P2" Now Available (PPRC)
PPRC, a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) has just issued its January 2004 edition of "What's New in P2." This issue contains summaries of P2 resources, upcoming events, job postings, P2 news, 'Web-site of the Month', and other interesting facts. For more information, visit http://www.pprc.org/pprc/pubs/whatsnew.html.
Carolina Recycling Association's Annual Conference Scheduled for March 22-25, 2004 (CRA)
The Carolina Recycling Association's 14th Annual Conference
and Trade Show will be held March 22-25, 2004, at Adam's Mark Hotel in Charlotte, NC. This conference includes a wide variety of workshops, sessions, and guest speakers, as well as tours, a silent auction, and a golf tournament. Session topics include: managing hazardous waste in local governments and business communities, Green Building and Sustainable Design, educational resources, environmentally preferable products and services, food residual management, green construction practices, disaster preparedness and cleanup operations, electronics recycling, scrap tire use, waste management innovations, and many more. For more information, visit the Caroline Recycling Association's web-site at www.cra-recycle.org.