Envirobytes - An Environmental Newsletter
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for week ending March 11, 2011
DEFOLIATED PORTION OF PALMERTON ZINC SUPERFUND SITE TO BE RESTORED
EPA Region 3, in cooperation with the National Park Service, will oversee remediation of part of the Palmerton Zinc Superfund site's Blue Mountain section made bare by toxic air and soil contamination from former zinc smelting operations. Beginning the week of March 14, warm season grasses, shrubs and native trees will restore the environmental damage to prevent erosion and runoff of contaminated soil into the Lehigh River. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/super/sites/PAD002395887/index.htm
COMMIT TO SAVE WATER MARCH 14-20 DURING EPA'S FIX A LEAK WEEK
EPA's WaterSense partnership program is promoting Fix a Leak Week from March 14 through 20 with simple tips on using water more efficiently to save money and prevent waste. The average household spends as much as $500 per year on its water and sewer bills, but using WaterSense tips can help save about $170 per year in water and sewer bills, reduce the energy required to supply and treat public water supplies, and address climate change. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/watersense Take the "I'm for Water" pledge at www.epa.gov/watersense/pledge.
EPA IS PROPOSING NEW GROUP OF 30 UNREGULATED WATER CONTAMINANTS FOR MONITORING AND PUBLIC COMMENT
EPA is required by the Safe Drinking Water Act to identify up to 30 unregulated contaminants for monitoring every five years and is requesting public comment on 30 contaminants until May 2, 2011. EPA will consider the public input before the list is finalized in 2012. Sampling will be conducted from 2013 to 2015 at systems serving more than 10,000 people and at 800 systems serving less than 10,000 people. For the proposed list, go to http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/rulesregs/sdwa/ucmr/ucmr3/index.cfm.
EPA SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT TO DEVELOP PRACTICES/STANDARDS TO REDUCE POLLUTION FROM RECREATIONAL VESSELS
As of March 7, EPA is seeking public comment from recreational boaters and others to develop proposed regulations and management practices as an alternative to permits, to limit the pollution discharged from these vessels to protect water quality and curtail the spread of invasive species into rivers and streams. EPA is holding listening sessions in Annapolis, Md. on March 18 and April 29 and conducting webinars to inform about the Clean Boating Act. For information on the listening sessions, contact Brian Rappoli at 202-566-1548, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org For other information, go to http://water.epa.gov/lawsregs/lawsguidance/cwa/vessel/CBA/about.cfm
EPA UPDATES EMISSIONS DATABASE ON MOST ELECTRIC POWER GENERATED IN THE UNITED STATES BY ZIP CODE
EPA has updated its Emissions and Generation Integrated Resource Database (eGRID) and Power Profiler to include data from 2007, an update from 2005. eGRID is an emissions database from almost all electric power generated in various regions of the country such as coal or nuclear. By entering a zip code and selecting a utility, users can know where their electricity comes from and what impact it has on air quality and the environment. For information about eGRID, go to http://www.epa.gov/egrid
For information about Power Profiler, go to http://www.epa.gov/powerprofiler
EPA RELEASES ITS FOURTH NATIONAL AIR TOXICS ASSESSMENT TOOL BASED ON 2005 EMISSIONS DATA
On March 11, EPA released the updated National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), a computer tool containing 2005 emissions data submitted primarily from the states for 178 air pollutants. NATA helps identify the potential health risks from exposure to various air toxics to determine the actions needed to protect public health, prevent serious health effects, or adverse environmental and ecological impacts and to identify areas that might need closer investigation. For more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/nata2005
EPA ADDS HAZARDOUS WASTE SITES TO SUPERFUND'S NATIONAL PRIORITIES LIST / ADDITIONAL SITES PROPOSED
On March 8, EPA announced the addition of 10 new hazardous waste sites and 15 proposed sites to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites, the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country. In the Mid-Atlantic region, the Dwyer Property Ground Water Plume, Elkton, Md. was added to the National Priorities List, and the Sauer Dump, Dundalk, Md. was proposed to the National Priorities List. For information on all final and proposed sites, go to http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/npl/current.htm
EPA RECOGNIZES PHILADELPHIA SCHOOL DISTRICT FOR IMPROVING THE INDOOR AIR QUALITY OF ITS BUILDINGS AND PROTECTING STUDENT HEALTH
On March 9, EPA recognized the Philadelphia School District with EPA's national Great Start Award for improving the indoor air quality at more than 360 buildings. The award entitles the District training on indoor air quality and technical assistance from EPA experts and is one of five categories of recognition under EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools program, to help schools reduce exposures to indoor environmental contaminants. For more information, visit http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/chm.htm,
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
FIX A LEAK WEEK MARCH 13-20, 2011 Can we save water, money, and conserve water for future generations by just making a few changes to our daily routines? Contribute your ideas. Visit the Healthy Waters website at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/.
THE KEYSTONE STATE'S SUSTAINABLE SPORTS The Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Penguins are sustainably reducing their environmental footprints. Follow their example! Comment on the ways you are saving water!