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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending January 29, 2010

GROWING LIST OF GREEN POWER PARTNERS INCLUDE LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

EPA announced that in 2009, as many as 300 new organizations have joined the ranks of the more than 1,200 organizations in EPA's Green Power Partnership pledging to use green power from renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas and low-impact hydropower.  Green power electricity is cleaner than conventional power and produces less greenhouse gas emissions. The Commonwealth of Pa. is ranked among the top 10 for its purchase of 400,000,000 kWh of renewable energy derived from wind and biomass. Among the top 50 green power purchasers are: Carnegie Mellon, the U. of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh's BNY Mellon and Penn State U.:  For Green Power Partnership information, go to http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/  

EPA AWARDS ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION GRANTS FOR PROJECTS THAT EDUCATE STUDENTS AND THE PUBLIC IN GREEN PRACTICES AND ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

EPA awarded environmental education grants to eight local non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and governmental agencies in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia to fund environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and green practices.

Maryland
$49,846 to the North Bay LLC in North East, Md. to train 60 teachers to educate students about the importance of estuary protection especially in relation to the Chesapeake Bay.  The training will support their week-long environmental science program geared for middle school students. 

$7,720 to the Prince George's County Board of Education in Maryland for a workshop to train elementary and high school teachers about the biology, history and ecology of the Monarch Butterfly whose migration is dependent upon conservation habitats in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Pennsylvania
EPA awarded an environmental education grant in the amount of $17,449 to Philadelphia's Wissahickon Restoration Volunteers to train group leaders who will educate and work with volunteers on park restoration projects that protect and improve the Wissahickon park's urban environment.

Virginia
$28,121 to the Elizabeth River Project in Portsmouth, Va. to help support the group's Learning Barge (a custom-built solar/wind-powered floating classroom and living wetland) and to teach  river ecology, aquatic life, conservation, alternative energies, and green practices to students in surrounding communities.

$15,066 to Sweet Briar College in Amherst County, Va. to set up a "Schools for Pools" program that prepares teachers to teach students and the community about the importance of conserving wetlands and specifically, vernal pools (seasonal wetlands that a variety of animal and plant species depend on to survive).

$20,000 to the Rivanna Conservation Society in Charlottesville, Va. to support a day long teacher watershed summit connecting teachers with professionals to discuss environmental education issues.  Teachers will be provided with activities and approaches to engage students with the environment and its various issues.

West Virginia
$11,250 for the Ohio County School in Wheeling,W.Va. to support its Project Green and Growing Well program promoting awareness in students of the environmental and health issues facing their community through an Environmental Stewardship Community Project. The project will also educate the general public to be part of a greener and healthier community.

$21,907 to the Friends of Deckers Creek in Dellslow, W. Va. to track water quality through its Clean Creeks Program.  The data collected will be used to educate the public about the threat to local water quality from acid mine drainage as well as from other water pollutants such as bacteria from combined sewage overflows, heavy–metals, sediment, trash, and general abandonment. 

LOUDOUN COUNTY, VA COMPLETES A WATER RESOURCES MONITORING PROGRAM

An EPA grant has helped Loudoun County, Va. develop an improved water resources water quality monitoring program in the county to provide the basic quantitative/qualitative data needed to manage the county's water resources.  These improved watershed management efforts will help establish the sound, scientific-based information needed to make informed policy and regulatory decisions about the long-term use, protection, and restoration of water resources for drinking, recreation, and natural habitat and to protect human health and the environment. 

AQUA AMERICA AND CITY OF NEWARK, DEL. BECOME PARTNERS IN EPA'S WATERSENSE WATER EFFICIENCY PROGRAM

EPA's WaterSense voluntary partnership program continues to attract members.   Aqua America Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer has joined forces with EPA's WaterSense program to foster a water-efficiency culture in providing water and wastewater services to approximately 3 million people in 13 states, as has the City of Newark, Del.  Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer The city provides water service to 33,000 customers including 26,463 residents.  More than 1.3 billion gallons of water is pumped through 91 miles of pipe annually to serve 7,500 service connections and to service 1,300 commercial and industrial accounts. Learn more about WaterSense at www.epa.gov/watersense.  

EPA'S NEW NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY STANDARD FOR NITROGEN DIOXIDE WILL BETTER PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH

EPA has strengthened the health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to better protect public health.  "We're updating these standards to build on the latest scientific data and meet changing health protection needs," said former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "In addition to limiting annual average concentrations, we're preventing high NO2 levels for shorter periods of time and adding stronger monitoring in areas near roadways, where the highest levels of NO2 are often found. This will fill current standard gaps and provide important additional protections where they are needed most." Details about the proposal: http://www.epa.gov/air/nitrogenoxides
 
EPA UPDATES DATA TO ITS SCHOOL AIR TOXICS WEBSITE

On Jan. 22, EPA posted additional school air toxics data to the www.epa.gov/schoolair website reflecting data collected through Dec. 21, 2009 for all 9 schools in Region 3.  EPA is analyzing the data to determine the health effects, if any, from long term exposure to these air toxics and is writing the reports for schools that have completed monitoring.  To date, most of the school air toxics monitors in Region 3 have not shown any toxics above the levels of concern for long term level of exposure.  There have been some elevated levels of manganese at Follansbee Elementary School in Follansbee, W. Va. and elevated levels of benzene at South Allegheny Middle/High School in Allegheny County, Pa. 

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