Envirobytes - Archive
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for week ending March 18, 2011
D.C. AND PHILLY AMONG TOP 20 CITIES TO EARN EPA'S 2010 ENERGY STAR AWARD
On March 14, EPA announced the list of top cities with the greatest number of certified Energy Star energy-efficient buildings in 2010. The growth of Energy Star certified buildings is helping cities reduce energy use and costs, and also to curtail the toxic emissions that harm human health and cause climate change. In Region 3, Washington D.C. made it to #2 with 114 commercial buildings and Philadelphia to #14 with 21 commercial buildings. For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/buildings. For EPA's real-time registry of all Energy Star certified buildings, go to http://energystar.gov/buildinglist.
THREE LOCAL COMMUNITIES BECOME "GREEN POWER" COMMUNITIES IN FIRST QUARTER OF COMPETITION
On March 18, EPA announced that Washington, D.C. ranked first among major cities who vied to become EPA Green Power Communities in the first quarter of the competition by increasing their use of solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, and low-impact hydropower. Two other communities: Brookeville, Md. (#11) and Swarthmore, Pa (#19) also excelled in helping the nation reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels. Participating communities will continue to submit their green power data each quarter, and the high achievers will reap national recognition at the end of the year. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/greenpower/communities/index.htm.
PA UPDATES NATIONAL AIR TOXICS ASSESSMENT DATABASE
On Friday, March 11, EPA released its most current update to the National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA), a tool that helps federal, state, local governments and other stakeholders better understand the progress being made in reducing air toxic emissions nationwide and the potential health risks from exposure to the air toxics emissions for 178 pollutants. Between 1990 and 2005, air toxic emissions were reduced by about 42 percent from industrial and mobile sources. To learn more about NATA, go to http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/natamain/index.html
EPA ISSUES AIR TOXICS PROPOSAL TO REGULATE POWER PLANT AIR POLLUTION AND MERCURY STANDARDS
On March 16, EPA proposed the first-ever national emissions standards of toxic air pollution from power plants responsible for half of the mercury and over half of the acid gas emissions nationwide. The new air toxics proposal would require power plants; mainly older coal- and oil-fired plants that have yet to install emissions controls such as scrubbers, to install widely available pollution control technologies, cut harmful emissions of mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases and improve public health by preventing premature deaths, heart attacks, and aggravated asthma symptoms.
EPA EXTENDS GREENHOUSE GAS REPORTING DEADLINE
EPA has issued a final rule extending the 2010 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program data deadline from March 31 to Sept. 30. Sources must register with EPA's online reporting system: the Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool (e-GGRT) by Aug. 1. This will allow EPA more time to test the system for efficiency, and the opportunity for large industrial sources to provide feedback, and become more familiar with the tool prior to reporting.
For information on the GHG Reporting Program:
EPA WARNS ONLINE SHOPPERS TO BUY ONLY EPA-REGISTERED PESTICIDES
EPA is warning customers nationwide about risks associated with a banned pesticide and ant-control product purchased online through fastpestcontrol.com. The product: Fast Ant Bait, contains mirex, a pesticide banned in 1978 because it can cause liver, skin, reproductive and nerve damage. To ensure safety, consumers should use only EPA-registered pesticides and follow label directions. A letter from EPA to customers who bought the product provides directions on its safe cleanup and disposal: http://www.epa.gov/region10/pdf/publications/notice_to_fastpestcontrol_customers_02_09_2011.pdf How to use use pesticides safely: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/safely.htm
HEALTHY WATERS BLOG CURRENT HIGHLIGHT
PUT YOUR LOCAL WATER BODY TO THE TEST! Involving volunteers in initiatives like water monitoring helps greatly to protect the quality of water, and also to build awareness to pollution problems. Opportunities abound for volunteers to monitor local rivers, streams and lakes for water quality not only in the United States but worldwide.
Visit the Healthy Waters website at http://blog.epa.gov/healthywaters/