Envirobytes - Archive
EnviroBytes, a Summary of Issues and Events for Week Ending March 20, 2009
EPA PARTICIPATES IN GO GREEN EXPO PHILADELPHIA
EPA Region 3 representatives participated in the "Go Green Expo Philadelphia" from March 13-15, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, providing outreach and information to businesses and consumers regarding EPA's regional voluntary programs. EPA provided materials and education on topics such as Green Landscaping, WaterSense, Energy Star, Pollution Prevention, Sustainability Partnerships and other voluntary programs. Organizations were given the opportunity to showcase their eco-friendly products and services and to learn to reduce their environmental footprints. For more information, go to http://epa.gov/Region3/voluntary_programs.htm
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS NOW OPEN FOR POLLUTION PREVENTION GRANTS
The EPA Pollution Prevention Program, which supports technical assistance programs that help businesses identify environmental strategies and solutions to reduce or eliminate waste at the source, is announcing the availability of pollution prevention grants. During Fiscal Year 2009, EPA anticipates that it will award grants totaling approximately $4.1 million in program funding, dependent on Congressional appropriations and the quality of proposals received. Requests for proposals must be received by Friday, April 17.
REGIONAL SOLID WASTE PROGRAM HELPS BLACKSBURG VA. INCREASE ITS COMPOSTING OF FOOD WASTE
Representatives from Blacksburg, Va., Region 3 and the Mid-Atlantic Consortium of Recycling and Economic Development Officials (MACREDO) held a food waste recovery workshop in Blacksburg for representatives from grocery stores, restaurants, and hospitals. The workshop promoted the benefits of food composting and the option of sending food waste to the PME composting facility instead of to a landfill. PME received a permit to compost food waste in January 2009, and is currently receiving approximately 2.25 tons per week processing approximately 4.3 tons per day. EPA estimates that almost 31 million tons of food waste was sent to landfills in 2007 with less than 1 million tons recovered.
EPA GRANT ALLOWS CENTRAL VIRGINIA SCHOOLS TO RECYCLE MORE THAN 156 TONS OF PAPER
The Region 3 Solid Waste Program awarded a $12,500 grant to the Central Virginia Waste Management Authority (CVWMA) to implement paper recycling programs in Central Virginia schools during the 2007-2008 school year. In the latest grant update, CVWMA reported that the 28 schools enrolled in the program have collected 156.4 tons of paper from September 2007-February 2009 which was being sent to landfills prior to this effort. Overall, the effort has saved more than 2550 trees,1,050,000 gallons of water, and 525 cubic yards of landfill airspace. For more information on the recycling program, go to http://www.cvwma.com/education_and_outreach/education_resources/school_recycling/pilot_program.wbp.
EPA LAUNCHES "FIX A LEAK WEEK" FROM MARCH 16-20 AND PROMOTES WATERSENSE TO ENCOURAGE WATER EFFICIENCY
EPA launched "Fix a Leak Week" nationwide to save the more than 1 trillion gallons of water wasted each year from minor leaks from household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems. The average home can save 30,000 gallons per year if retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures and appliances. Here are a few basic water-saving tips that can result in water savings: reduce faucet leaks; replace bathroom fixtures with WaterSense-labeled models; fix leaky toilets; fix leaky garden hoses; and check landscape irrigation systems for damage from freezing. EPA's Video on "Fix a Leak Week" provides details on how to reap the economic and environmental benefits of leak prevention efforts.
SCIENCE GRANTS MEASURE PROGRESS IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS THAT PROTECT HUMAN HEALTH
EPA has awarded 10 EPA Science-to-Achieve-Results research grants totaling $5 million to universities, state departments of public health and one research institute to measure progress in environmental programs that protect human health. Using health outcomes data provides a new way to determine program success in reducing the incidence of environmentally-related diseases, such as asthma, and will help environmental managers evaluate the effectiveness of programs in protecting human health. Two grants were awarded to Johns Hopkins researchers in Region 3. Under one of the grants, "Statistical Models for Estimating the Health Impact of Air Quality Regulations, researchers will develop evidence of the gains in public health that have followed the implementation of costly regulatory policies. The other grant also to Johns Hopkins titled: "Longitudinal Indicators of Policy Impact on Pollution, Exposure and Health Risk" will develop state level indicators of environmental pollution, population exposure, and population health risks. For more information on the grants, go to http://www.epa.gov/ncer/indicators
NATIONAL POISON PREVENTION WEEK MARCH 15-21
EPA observed National Poison Prevention Week from March 15-21 to increase awareness of the danger to children from unintentional exposures to pesticides and household products. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to lock up products that can potentially harm children, and to follow some simple steps to prevent poisonings such as to store household products in a locked cabinet or shed away from children and pets; read the product label first and follow directions to the letter; never leave products unattended when you are using them, and never transfer pesticides to other containers. More than 50 percent of the 2 million exposure incidents each year involve children younger than six years old. The National Poison Center hotline is 1-800-222-1222.
EPA ISSUES THE MOST RECENT INFORMATION ON TOXIC CHEMICAL RELEASES
EPA is making the most recently reported data available on toxic chemical releases into the environment through its Toxics Release Inventory for 2007. The data shows overall decrease of five percent in releases since 2006. (Releases to air decreased seven percent and releases to water decreased five percent). The report also shows a 40 percent increase in the release of persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic chemicals (PCBs) like lead, dioxin, and mercury. Overall releases increased one percent. For more information on the TRI reporting change, go to epa.gov/tri For additional information, go to the TRI Explorer tool.
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