Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for the Week Ending August 6, 2010
EPA ORDERS PENNSYLVANIA MUNICIPALITIES TO IMPROVE THEIR STORMWATER MANAGEMENT, REDUCE POLLUTION DRAINING INTO THE BAY
EPA continues to carry out inspections of Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) in the mid-Atlantic states to ensure that all municipalities comply with permit provisions designed to reduce pollution draining into local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. EPA is requiring that four south central Pennsylvania municipalities: Silver Spring Township and Lower Allen Township in Cumberland County, and Wyomissing Borough and West Reading Borough in Berks County comply with their Clean Water Act permit regulations ensuring their drainage systems do not carry excessive nutrients from urban runoff, toxic metals and other pollutants into the bay. For more information, visit http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/munic.cfm
EPA ISSUES NEW GUIDE TO IMPROVE STORMWATER MANAGEMENT TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF LOCAL STREAMS AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY
On Aug. 3, EPA issued a new guide to control urban runoff originating from farming, industrial activities and the everyday activities of watershed residents to keep pollutants from flooding downstream and into the Chesapeake Bay. The guide will help evaluate the effectiveness of stormwater permits and enable EPA to identify areas needing improved planning to achieve a more effective control and to better prevent erosion, sediment, toxic metals, volatile organic compounds and excessive nutrients from polluting the bay. To get more information about stormwater management, visit http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater/munic.cfm.
SEVERAL REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS MAKE THE TOP 20 GREEN POWER PURCHASERS LIST
On Aug. 2, EPA announced the green power organizations that made the Top 20 list of green power purchasers.
Washington, D.C. clinched the No. 3 spot on EPA's Top 20 Local Government Green Power partnership purchasers list by switching from traditional sources of electricity generation to greener, cleaner renewable energy alternatives and purchasing enough green power annually to meet 50 percent of its electricity use. Local governments in region 3 that made the Top 20 list are: No. 3. District of Columbia , No. 5. Montgomery County Clean Energy Buyers Group , Rockville, Md., No. 8. Washington (DC) Suburban Sanitary Commission , No. 15. Montgomery County, PA , and No. 17. City of Philadelphia, PA .
A growing number of colleges and universities in Region 3 are joining the Green Power Partnership and reducing their environmental footprint by supporting green power and increasing their purchases of renewable energy alternatives. Five colleges/universities in Region 3 made the Top 20 Colleges and Universities green power purchasers list. The Top 20 winners include: No. 1. University of Pennsylvania , No. 2. Carnegie Mellon University , No. 3. Pennsylvania State University , No. 6. American University , and No. 20. Dickinson College , Carlisle, PA.
Five K-12 schools in Region 3 made the Top 20 K-12 Green Power Partnership list of schools purchasing green energy. The combined green power purchasers among all K-12 school partners nationwide amounts to nearly 219 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually, or the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power more than 19,000 average American homes each year. The five Top 20 winners in Region 3 include: No. 4. The Bullis School , D.C., No.11. Sidwell Friends School, D.C., No. 12. Norwood School , MD, No. 15. Maret School , D.C., and No. 20. Sheridan School , D.C.
For more information on EPA’s Green Power Partnership, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/
GRANT ALLOWS PENN STATE UNIVERSITY TO EVALUATE LESS TOXIC ALTERNATIVE FOR GROWING PRODUCE
EPA awarded a Strategic Agricultural Initiative Grant of $54,776 to Penn State University entitled "Using Biological Inoculants to Enhance Vigor, Stand and Yield in Strawberries" designed to evaluate the effectiveness of biological inoculants as replacements to toxic soil fumigants in increasing plant vigor, preventing soil borne diseases and impacting the yield of strawberries (a crop highly susceptible to pest infestation). The success of this project will prove profitable since the demand is growing in the mid-Atlantic region for organic, sustainable, pesticide-free, fresh, and locally grown produce.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG HIGHLIGHTS PHILADELPHIA’S SUCCESFUL EFFORTS TO MEET CLEAN WATER GOALS
The current Healthy Waters blog offers an 11-minute video, “Building Green: A Success Story in Philadelphia,” highlighting the efforts that green builders in the city are using (installing cisterns, green roofs, porous pavers, solar panels, and Energy Star appliances) to reduce stormwater runoff and save energy. The City is determined to slow down urban runoff from rainwater before it surges into the sewer system and harms local waterways. What do you think of the video? Let us know your thoughts. EPA looks forward to your comments. Visit the Healthy Waters Web site at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/