Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for week ending January 14, 2011
EPA HALTS DISPOSAL OF MOUNTAINTOP MINING WASTE AT WEST VIRGINIA MINE TO PROTECT WATER QUALITY
On Jan. 13, EPA announced a decision to halt the proposed mining of the Mingo-Logan Coal Company's Spruce No. 1 Mine in West Virginia. The scientifically-based decision will protect water quality, wildlife and Appalachian communities. For a copy of the Final Determination go to http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/guidance/cwa/dredgdis/404c_index.cfm
FEDERAL AGENCIES JOIN FORCES WITH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS TO PREVENT RADON-INDUCED LUNG CANCER
EPA and eight other federal agencies have created a consortium to reduce the unnecessarily high lung cancer death rates attributed to radon, an invisible, odorless gas. The consortium will collaborate with states, public health, and the environmental and private sectors to more effectively prevent radon cancer deaths through testing and other means. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/radon/federal_summit.html
To find your state radon office, go to http://www.epa.gov/radon/whereyoulive.html
EPA ASSURES SAFETY OF WIDELY USED CHEMICALS TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH
On Jan. 1, EPA issued a final rule requiring manufacturers to test the health and environmental effects of 19 high production volume (HPV) chemicals and to make the data publicly available. Next year, testing of chemicals will be required for which the agency has not received data. HPV chemicals have many consumer and industrial applications such as use in personal-care products, dye manufacturing, and metalworking fluids. For more information on HPV chemicals, go to http://www.epa.gov/hpv/
EPA AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO ASSESS PUBLIC DRINKING WATER TO REDUCE EXCESSIVE FLUORIDE LEVELS
EPA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced important steps to re-evaluate the standards and guidelines for fluoride in drinking water to protect Americans by supporting good dental health and preventing excessive use. Fluoride protects against tooth decay, but too much can cause fluorosis in children typified by markings on tooth enamel. HHS has proposed a recommendation of 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water to replace the current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams. For information on EPA's fluoride assessment and to comment, go to
For information on community water fluoridation, tooth decay prevention and dental fluorosis, go to http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation
EPA AWARDS $7 MILLION IN STAR GRANTS TO STUDY THE EFFECT OF POLLUTION EXPOSURE AND SOCIAL STRESSORS ON COMMUNITIES
EPA has awarded $7 million as part of the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) research grants program to fund research to study the cumulative effects of pollution exposures and social stressors such as chemicals, anxiety, and poor nutrition. When these stressors are combined, they can lead to a much higher risk of health issues. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/ncer/cumulativerisk For information on cumulative risk assessment research, go to http://epa.gov/ncer/cbra/
EPA BEACH ACT GRANTS CONTINUE TO PROTECT THE NATION'S BEACHES
EPA is providing almost $10 million in grants to 37 states, territories and tribes to protect swimmers and beachgoers at America's beaches. The funding will help local authorities implement programs to monitor water quality at beaches, provide public health protection and up-to-date information about local beach conditions. The number of protected beaches has almost quadrupled from about 1,000 in 1997 to more than 3,800 in 2009. For more information, go to http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/beachgrants/index.cfm
SIGN UP FOR EPA'S SCIENCE MATTERS NEWSLETTER
EPA is inviting everyone to sign up for our Science Matters Newsletter. The January-February issue includes articles on near-roadway air pollution research, a project by EPA researchers exploring the impact of rain barrels and rain gardens on stormwater runoff, developing high-tech methods to monitor insect-resistant corn crops—and more.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
PLANT A TREE, SAVE A RIVER! You might be wondering why we're concerned about forests since this is a Healthy Waters Blog. But forests right next to waterways act as useful buffers by filtering out excessive nutrients, sediment, and other damaging pollutants and also prevent flooding by absorbing and slowing down surface runoff. Visit the Healthy Waters website at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.
DO YOU HAVE THE RTK? One of the newest acronyms on the block, “RTK” stands for the “right to know.” Have you ever walked or driven by an industrial factory or plant and wondered if the facility is emitting toxic fumes and threatening your community? You do have the right to know. Find out more, go to http://myrtk.epa.gov/info/Visit the Healthy Waters website at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.