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EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending March 6, 2009

EPA'S PHILADELPHIA FLOWER SHOW ENTRIES GARNER THREE AWARDS; MAGIC CONTINUES VIA PODCAST, PHOTO GALLERY

The EPA Flower Show exhibit "Water is Life, Life is Water," won three awards at the Philadelphia  Flower Show (March 1-8):  Best in Show in education (Philadelphia Horticultural Society); the Special Achievement Award for exhibits under 1,000 square feet (Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania); and the Bulkley Medal for a special exhibit in horticulture, botany, or conservation (Garden Club of America).  EPA's mid-Atlantic regional office used the opportunity to educate home gardeners and others on beneficial landscaping techniques, the beauty and practicality of native plants, and the importance of wetland and headwater protection.  .

EPA GRANT PROMOTES COMPOSTING AS A BUSINESS TO FARMERS

EPA funded several farming conferences from Feb. 25 to Feb. 27 in Morgantown, W. Va. and Kulpsville, Pa. as part of an EPA solid waste grant.  At the conferences, a farmer/composter and a representative of the Mid Atlantic Consortium of Recycling and Economic Development Officials (MACREDO) spoke about farm composting as a business.  The EPA Solid Waste program awards grants and provides technical assistance to farmers to encourage composting of food, yard waste or other organic materials which would otherwise end up in a landfill.  For more information on composting, and permit requirements, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3wcmd/solidwastecomposting.htm To learn more about MACREDO, go to  http://macredo.org/ Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

WEBSITE ENCOURAGES MANY TO GO GREEN

EPA is helping reduce our overall environmental footprint by making us more aware of how our actions impact the environment.  By acting to reduce the amount of wastes we produce, by saving energy, using less water, and helping keep our water clean, we can help our planet and make a difference in important ways. EPA's new Going Green Web site addresses environmental issues facing different segments of society and how certain guidelines can point them towards a green path.  If you are a business; If you are a local government; If you are a school; If you are a community planner; In your home; Green Buildings; Sustainable Healthcare For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/region03/green/

LIST OF NATION'S 25 ENERGY STAR LABELED ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDINGS INCLUDE PHILADELPHIA AND DC IN THE REGION

Among EPA's list of 25 U.S. cities with the largest number of buildings that have earned EPA's Energy Star label in 2008, are Philadelphia and D.C. in our region. Energy Star buildings conserve energy by using more efficient lighting, programmable thermostats, well-maintained heating and air-conditioning systems, and informing tenants and others on conservation measures.  In the Philadelphia-area 50 buildings achieved the Energy Star label in 2008 and are saving an estimated $12.4 million annually in lowered energy bills.  These include: Nazareth Hospital (Philadelphia); the Philadelphia Marriott (including the West Swedeford Rd and Bartram Ave. locations); Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services (Malvern, Pa.); and the American College of Physicians (Philadelphia). 

In Washington, D.C., 136 buildings achieved the 2008 Energy Star label for energy performance – fourth in the nation. The D.C. Energy Star labeled buildings save an estimated $42.2 million annually in lower energy bills. Among these are those owned by TIAA-Cref (K Street, NW ); the NAHB National Housing Center (15th Street, NW), the Meadowland Elementary School (Sterling, Va.); and the Finnish Embassy (Massachusetts Ave, NW). To learn more about the Energy Star program for buildings and plants, go to http://energystar.gov/labeledbuildings .

EPA SEEKS PUBLIC COMMENT ON ITS ANNUAL U.S. GREENHOUSE GAS INVENTORY

EPA is seeking public comment on the annual Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2007 report which will be open for comment for 30 days after publication of the Federal Register notice. (The draft report shows that overall, 2007 emissions increased nationwide by 1.4 percent from the previous year due primarily to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions associated with fuel and electricity consumption). After responding to the comments, the U.S. will submit the final inventory report to the U. N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to fulfill the annual requirement of the international treaty on climate change, ratified by the U.S. in 1992. For more information and to submit public comments, go to http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/usinventoryreport.html

EPA ADMINISTRATOR ANNOUNCES EPA SCHOOL MONITORING INITIATIVE

Former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson announced a new initiative to protect children from high exposure levels to toxic air pollution near schools nationwide; carefully monitoring schools to determine which ones are exposed to high levels of toxic air pollution.  EPA will work with states, tribes, and communities to ensure that high-quality data is used to monitor and develop a clearer picture of the potential risks to children from toxic air pollution, prioritize mitigation, and share the results with American families. This action is particularly critical in some low-income areas, which may be impacted disproportionately by environmental degradation.  For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/air/toxicair/newtoxics.html

ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CONFERENCE FOSTERS ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

The West Virginia Environmental Education Association's "Growing the Green Generation" conference will be held at the Oglebay Resort, in Wheeling, W. Va. on March 27-28.  The conference is sponsored by EPA and the Schrader Environmental Education Center, to promote environmental awareness, stewardship and environmental responsibility.  EPA's Ruth McCully (EPA's Office of Children's Health Protection and Environmental Education), will join Vince Meldrum (past president of Earth Force)Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer as keynote speakers. To register online or to download a scholarship application for West Virginia K-12 teachers to attend the conference, visit http://www.wveea.org, Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer. For information about the Oglebay Resort and Conference Center visit http://www.oglebay-resort.com.Exit EPA Click for Disclaimer

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