Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
ENVIROBYTES, A SUMMARY OF ISSUES AND EVENTS FOR WEEKS ENDING FEBRUARY 24, 2012 AND MARCH 2, 2012
EPA HAS FINALIZED THE DIOXIN NON-CANCER ASSESSMENT RESULTS; CANCER ASSESSMENTS TO FOLLOW
On Feb. 17, EPA finalized dioxin's non-cancer health assessment. The findings showed that there has been a 90 percent decline since 1987 of toxic dioxin emissions released by coal-fired plants, hazardous waste sites and other industrial processes. The report also concludes that dioxin emissions at current exposure levels do not pose a significant health risk. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/dioxin/.
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MULTI-AGENCY COMMITMENT TO PROTECT ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE COMMUNITIES
On Feb. 27, federal agencies led by the Council on Environmental Quality and EPA committed to protect communities near polluting industries facing poor public health, housing, employment and educational inequities. The multi-agency collaboration will help reduce environmental health hazards, and ensure community access to helpful programs and decision-making. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice/interagency/iwg-compendium.html.
THE CLIMATE AND CLEAN AIR COALITION TACKLES 'SHORT-LIVED' CLIMATE POLLUTION WORLDWIDE
On Feb. 16, the State Department and EPA announced a new initiative to address climate change, improve air quality and protect public health: the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollution. Short-lived pollutants such as methane, black carbon (soot) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) contribute to climate change, impact public health, and food productivity. For more information, go to http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/02/184055.htm.
REGIONAL ENERGY STAR LEADERS MAKE THE LIST OF TOP PERFORMERS FOR 2011
On Feb. 22, EPA announced the Energy Star partner organizations that substantially improved their energy performance to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
The Seaford School District in Delaware
The Loudoun County Public Schools, Ashburn, Va.
Chambersburg Area School District, Chambersburg, Pa.
Columbia Borough School District, Columbia, Pa.
Garnet Valley School District, Glen Mills, Pa.
Pennridge School District, Perkasie, Pa.
Solanco School District, Quarryville, Pa.
For more information, go to http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=partner_list.accomplishments.
SEVEN WEST VIRGINIA ESSROC CEMENT PLANTS ACHIEVE GREEN-STAR CERTIFICATION
Essroc of Nazareth, Pa. announced on Feb. 23 that seven of its ready-mix concrete plants in West Virginia were awarded Green-Star certification by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and EPA's Green Highways Partnership. The certified plants include those in Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, New Martinsville, Parkersburg, Wheeling and Winfield. Certification entails adopting a no-idling policy, metered water use, and re-use of both truck-wash water, and left over concrete. For more information, go to http://www.greenhighwayspartnership.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17&Itemid=40.
EPA PROVIDES $15 MILLION TO HELP SMALL DRINKING AND WASTEWATER SYSTEMS PROVIDE SAFE DRINKING WATER TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH
On March 3, EPA made available up to $15 million to fund training and technical assistance to help qualified small publicly-owned drinking and wastewater systems, on-site systems and private well owners, comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act to improve water quality and protect public health. Applications are due by April 9. For more information, visit: http://water.epa.gov/grants_funding/sdwa/smallsystemsrfa.cfm.
For more information on EPA's programs, visit:
FEDERAL PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHES URBAN WATERS AMBASSADORS PROGRAM TO HELP COMMUNITIES REVITALIZE URBAN WATERWAYS
The Urban Waters Federal Partnership including EPA and other federal agencies has launched an Urban Waters Ambassadors program to coordinate and initiate projects to foster the environmental, economic and social well-being of watershed communities. Region 3 communities that will benefit include the Anacostia River watershed, in DC and Maryland and the Patapsco River watershed in Baltimore, Md. For more information on the seven pilot projects, visit http://www.urbanwaters.gov/projects.html. For more information on the partnership, visit http://urbanwaters.gov/.
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
GREEN FOR GREEN IN CHESAPEAKE - EPA's green streets, green infrastructure and green jobs grants help Chesapeake Bay Watershed cities and towns improve Watershed protection, and revitalization. Find out more at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.
GIVING POLLUTANTS THE PRETREATMENT – EPA works closely with state and local governments to ensure that industries are effectively treating their wastewater before water makes its way to rivers and streams. Find out more at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.