Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for weeks ending July 15, 2011 and July 22, 2011
EPA ISSUES FINAL GUIDANCE TO PROTECT APPALACHIAN WATER QUALITY FROM THE IMPACT OF MOUNTAINTOP MINING OPERATIONS
On July 21, EPA released final guidance to ensure a more consistent, effective, and timely issuance of Appalachian surface coal mining permits under the Clean Water Act and other statutes. EPA's final guidance reflects improved peer-reviewed science on the impacts of mountaintop mining and extensive public and stakeholder input. It is not a rule and is not binding legally or in practice. To view the final guidance, go to http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/guidance/mining.html
ENERGY STAR RECOGNIZES THE MOST ENERGY-EFFICIENT LEADING-EDGE PRODUCTS IN 2011
On July 14, Energy Star announced the 2011 list of "most efficient" products that have earned the Energy Star label by reducing consumers' energy bills, and providing a low environmental impact. The exclusive list includes a variety of clothes washers, heating and cooling equipment, televisions, and refrigerator-freezers including those by brand name manufacturers. For the list of most efficient Energy Star products, visit http://www.energystar.gov/mostefficient.
EPA BROWNFIELDS TRAINING GRANTS TO REVITALIZE CONTAMINATED PROPERTIES, CREATE JOBS
EPA announced on July 12 that Pathways-VA in eastern Virginia will receive a $300,000 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant to train 64 unemployed, underemployed residents, and veterans transitioning from the military, for entry-level jobs to clean up abandoned and contaminated properties in Petersburg, Va.
Civic Works in Baltimore, a non-profit AmeriCorps program, will receive a $300,000 Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant to train 144 low-income residents for entry-level environmental jobs to help clean up abandoned and contaminated properties in Baltimore, Md.
For more information on the Environmental Workforce Development and Training Program, visit http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/job.htm
PILOT PROGRAM TO SPARK GROWTH IN CHESTER, PA UNDER PROGRAM TO IMPROVE STRUGGLING CITIES
On July 11, the Obama Administration launched Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) - a new customized initiative to strengthen and spark economic growth in local communities. Federal agencies will work directly with the six selected cities, including Chester, Pa. in Region 3, to leverage federal dollars to support and encourage economic growth and development, as well as maximize the benefits from the federal funds they already receive.
REGISTER BY JULY 29 FOR THE THIRD MARYLAND STREAMS SYMPOSIUM AND VOLUNTEER MONITORING CONFERENCE
There is still time to register for the Third Maryland Streams Symposium that will take place from August 10th – 13th and the corresponding Mid-Atlantic volunteer Monitoring Conference taking place August 11th -12th at Carroll Community College near Westminster, Md. The events, cosponsored by EPA, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and others will provide interesting presentations, exhibits, field trips, workshops, and an outdoor social/cookout. For more information, go to (http://www.dnr.state.md.us/streams/streamSymposium.asp).
EPA TO REVIEW AND UPDATE SECONDARY NITROGEN AND SULFUR OXIDE STANDARDS AS REQUIRED BY CLEAN AIR ACT
On July 13, EPA proposed to develop a multi-pollutant standard ensuring additional protection to human health and the environment and to vulnerable ecosystems (including streams and lakes), from the effects of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx). EPA will accept comments for 60 days after the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, issuing a final rule by March 2012. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides/actions.html
EPA TO APPROVE REVISION TO PENNSYLVANIA'S REGULATION CONTROLLING PARTICULATE MATTER EMISSIONS FROM OUTDOOR WOOD-FIRED BOILERS
On July 15, EPA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register approving revision to the Pennsylvania State Implementation Plan to control and reduce particulate matter emissions from outdoor wood-fired boiler operations. This revision will improve air quality and visibility, decrease damage to plants and trees as well as protect human health and environment. Submit your comments on or before August 15 [Docket ID Number EPA-R03-OAR-2011-0288] at http://www.regulations.gov.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Surf's Up! - EPA and the states play a big role in keeping beach goers safe from pollution and beaches open and safe for swimming. Listen to this recent Environment Matters Podcast to learn more about the deep blue sea and the ways it's being protected. Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/
Roots of Success! - The Chesapeake Bay Program's "Plant More Plants" campaign encourages the use of native trees, shrubs and perennials to help slow down and filter the rain water from roofs, driveways and sidewalks during a storm. Share your ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/